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has been adopted on 8 July 2008


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18 October 2007


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Railway policy in the West Balkans

The West Balkans is a region comprising, for the purpose of the present section, Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and UNMIK-Kosovo.

On 5 March 2008 the Commission adopted new initiatives, and enhanced existing ones, to help accelerate the progress of the Western Balkans on the road towards EU membership. The Commission proposals support the political and economic development in the Western Balkan countries; other measures aim to promote people-to-people contacts and familiarise the citizens in the Western Balkans with the EU.

Regional ministers and the Vice-President of the EU Commission responsible for transport signed  an Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding at the 3rd Ministerial Meeting on 4 December 2007 as participants to this MoU on a South East European Core transport network. Its objective is to approximate in steps regional rail systems to that one of the EU and create favourable conditions for investment in the rail sector.

The Working Group Railways and Intermodality, established under the Memorandum of Understanding on a South East European Core Transport Network, prepared a 1st interim report on rail reform in the West Balkan region. It gives a comparative overview on the state of rail reform, explains the background on certain features critical to a future revitalisation of rail transport and finishes with a set of conclusions and recommendations for action.

Participants signed a Declaration on railways at the second ministerial conference in Brussels on 1 December 2006. Ministers acknowledge that network statements are a key to rail market opening. Before end of 2008, the regional infrastructure managers will develop a network statement based on a single format, i.e. that of RailnetEurope, such that railway undertakings will benefit from full transparency on the technical and financial conditions for access to rail infrastrucuture.

The World Bank report on rail reform gives an overview of the situation in the railway sector as of mid 2005.

Disclaimer: The content of this report and the views expressed therein do not commit the Commission nor prejudge the position of the EU and its institutions in their bilateral or multilateral relations with the countries of the region.


last update: 15-12-2008