On 22 October CEI Secretary General Roberto Antonione along with a delegation from the CEI-Executive Secretariat (CEI-ES), took part in the High-level Meeting on Transport in Budva organised by the Ministry of Capital Investments of Montenegro, in the framework of the Montenegrin CEI Presidency.
The Conference was composed of two sessions, i.e. Transport Community as a key mechanism of cooperation in the Western Balkans “One year of Transport Community Action Plans on road, road safety, rail, and transport facilitation, progress, and the way forward”, and CEI High Level Meeting “Strengthening the connectivity with Western Balkans and among CEI members” – challenges and the way forward; it aimed at dicussing the state-of-the-art of the transport links in the region, as well as identifying innovative solutions for facilitating the progress of the transport networks, while considering the impact on the environment.
Minister Mladen Bojanić - who opened the second CEI-centred session together with CEI SG Roberto Antonione - highlighted with satisfaction that conferences of this kind enabled the exchange of experiences between the Western Balkans and Central European countries. “Montenegro is extremely committed to a precise and innovative concept of promoting key activities and clearly defined goals in accordance with regulations and plans that are directly aimed at strengthening transport links in the region, taking also into consideration the decarbonization of traffic, and of strengthening regional integrations with the transport network of the European Union”, Minister Bojanić said.
Antonione, underlined that the mobility of goods and people had always been a priority for the CEI with focus on strengthening transport networks - thus contributing to better integration and improvement of connections in the CEI area. He underlined that tangible actions were carried out through combined multilateral diplomacy and fund, programme and project management; through a strong operational and result-oriented approach to achieve the main mission of the Organisation. While mentioning two main CEI resources such as the CEI Fund at the EBRD as well as EU-funded Projects, he pointed out that “solidarity between the CEI countries as well as the exchange of know-how and experiences on the policies and good practices is necessary for strengthening cooperation in the transport sector and, more in general, for supporting the European integration process.”
The representative of the EU delegation in Montenegro, Yngve Engstroem, who also spoke at this panel, underlined the importance of developing projects in the transport sector, especially in line with the EU Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, and outlined the possibilities offered by the European Union to do more for the region in this endeavour.
The conference was closed by Zoran Radunović, State Secretary at the Ministry of Capital Investments of Montenegro, emphasising the main takeaways in terms of further stepping up regional cooperation and promoting shared principles, including the application of the basic EU principle of free exchange of goods, people and services on the common market, a priority that will ensure faster economic development of the region.
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