Investment perspectives in railway connections with Slovenia and Croatia,  transport development, the TEN-T network extension to Croatia, were the topics discussed during the technical meeting on 19 July 2013 at the CEI premises in Trieste.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, the Croatian Ministry of Maritime Affairs, the Transport and Infrastructure, Slovenian Ministry of Infrastructure and Spatial Planning, and by representatives from Unioncamere Veneto, the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, the Prometni Institut Ljubljana, the Croatian Pro-rail Alliance and the University of Trieste.

Discussions mainly focused on the outcome of the Agreement on Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the integrated instrument for investments dedicated to EU’s priority infrastructure in transport sector, revealing a revival to the EAST WEST Corridor, currently renamed “Mediterraneo” and reaching Croatia in the new EU programming period.
The Croatian Ministry of Transport pointed out the good financial envelope that would be available in the next 7 years and the priorities Croatia intends to develop, mainly in the railway sub-sector in relation to the axis towards Hungary and accessibility to the Port of Rijeka.

The Italian Ministry of Transport indicated as a priority the completion of studies and activities ongoing under the previous EU programming, with particular attention to the fast completion of the Trieste – Divača project, which now becomes the hub for trade also with Croatia and not only with Slovenia. The Slovenian Ministry of Transport emphasised again their priority Koper – Divača and cross-border section Slovenia – Hungary in order to guaranty a continuity of the Corridor “Mediterraneo”.  

The CEI underlined the necessity of immediate promotion of bottle-necks on existent network and activation of new railway services towards Sežana, Divača and Rijeka. The Meeting was the first but very important step towards having an effective coordination of rather small investments railway agencies intend to implement within the network. Nevertheless, Thanks to the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region’s intervention, pre-conditions for joint activation of railway and maritime services already exist. Therefore these conditionds would contribute to reducing the coastal marginality affecting Italian, Slovenia and Croatia. 
    
The meeting was organised within the framework of the EU-funded project “Accessibility improved at border crossings for the integration of South East Europe” (ACROSSEE). The Project is co-financed by the EU Transnational Cooperation Programme “South-East Europe” with a total budget of 3 Million EUR and coordinated by the CEI Secretariat in Trieste as Lead Partner and by 24 partner institutions from 13 countries from the region.. Ministries of Transport, Regional Administrations, National Transport Operators and European Associations, Universities and Research Institutions are involved in project.

For more information, please visit the web site (www.acrossee.eu) or contact the Project Contact Point on following e-mail: euprojects@cei.int