Central Asia - Transport

Central Asia - Transport

TRACECA is an ambitious interstate programme aimed at supporting the political and economic development in Black Sea Region, Caucasus and Central Asia by means of improvement of the international transport.

The regional EU-assistance in transport benefitting our eastern neighbours is channelled under the TRACECA-programme, an acronym referring to Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia.  This EU programme was launched in 1993 to develop a transport corridor from Europe to China, via the Black Sea, the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea and Central Asia.

TRACECA aims at supporting political and economic independence of the Republics by enhancing their capacity to access European and World markets through alternative transport routes, encouraging further regional co-operation among the partner countries and increasingly being a catalyst to attract the support of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and private investors.

The beneficiary countries of the programme are: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

In parallel to the EU assistance programme, most of the participating countries have also engaged in a political process to strengthen regional cooperation in transport, by signing the "Basic Multilateral Agreement on International Transport for Development of the Europe-the Caucasus-Asia Corridor" (MLA) in 1998. The implementation of this MLA is done through the Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) and the TRACECA Permanent Secretariat of the IGC, based in Baku. The countries who signed the MLA are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. The EU participates as an observer.

The strategic framework of the IGC TRACECA comprises a number of pillars in order to achieve the desired objective of delivering a sustainable, efficient and integrated multimodal transport system at both the EU and TRACECA levels:

  • Assisting in the development of economic relations, trade and transport communications in Europe, Black Sea region and Asia
  • Ensuring access to the world market of road, rail transport and commercial navigation
  • Ensuring traffic security, cargo safety and environment protection
  • Harmonization of transport policy and legal structure in the field of transport
  • Creation of equal conditions of competition for transport operations.

The EU-support for this programme amounts to over € 180 million, via more than 80 projects in the areas of infrastructure development, legal harmonization, safety and security in transport as well as trade facilitation and logistics. In recent years there is an increasing focus on more sustainable modes of transport.

EU projects on safety and security in transport have resulted in the adoption by the countries of a TRACECA Regional Action Strategy on Maritime Safety and Security and Environmental Protection in November 2011, and a Regional Road Safety Action Plan also in November 2011. Projects supporting trade facilitation and logistics have resulted in the selection of potential hubs and pilot projects for logistics centres and Motorways of the Seas on the Black and Caspian Seas.

On-going TRACECA programme projects

  1. Logistics Processes and Motorways of the Seas (2011 – 2014)

    This project will enhance the development and implementation of coherent strategies for establishment of intermodal integrated transport and logistics chains underpinned by Motorways of the Seas. An important delivery of the project is the Master Plan. This Plan should indicate the priority projects, hard infrastructure as well as soft (trade facilitation) measures, on the medium term that can contribute to improved cargo sea and hinterland connections, in full compatibility with the revised TEN-T guidelines.  The (political) commitment of the individual involved countries is crucial for success.

  2. Civil aviation safety and security (2012 – 2015)
    Activities cover the main aspects of civil aviation regulation and oversight, including in the areas of licensing and organisation of market access, safety, security, air traffic management and environmental protection. For the ENP-countries support aims to ensure that beneficiaries which have signed a comprehensive civil aviation agreement with the EU or for which such negotiations are planned or in progress can participate effectively in the pan-European civil aviation system.
  3. Transport Dialogue and Networks Interoperability II (2012-2015)
    This project will contribute to the achievement of the policy objectives defined in the Commission Communication on transport relations with the European Neighbourhood Policy countries. Particular emphasis is to be put on improving coordination with and involvement of IFIs and participation of the private sector in transport projects.
  4. Maritime Safety and Security II (2012-2015)
    The objective is to support the further ratification and implementation of international maritime safety and security conventions as well as improving the level of quality of maritime administrations in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea partner countries with the overall objective of making shipping safer, more secure and environment friendly. This should promote the further alignment of the maritime safety and security legislation with the relevant EU "acquis" in the field and especially with the EU’s Third Maritime Safety Package.

TRACECA projects signed in 2013

Road Safety II

The main aim of this € 3 million project is the implementation of the TRACECA Regional Road Safety Action Plan, which should assist the TRACECA countries in improving their activities aimed at achieving a significant reduction in road deaths and injuries.


 Further information

The Permanent Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Commission TRACECA is based in Azerbaijan.

Secretary General: Mr. Mircea Ciopraga
8/2, General Aliyarbekov Street AZ-1005 Baku - Azerbaijan
Tel: +994-12-598 27 18, 498 92 34, 498 72 47
Fax: +994-12-498 64 26
Email: mircea.ciopraga@ps.traceca-org.org

Additional information may be found on the TRACECA website or by contacting the programme manager in DG NEAR: Stefaan Bil.