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Expert panel explores transport facilitation to enhance regional connectivity  

An Expert Panel, under the theme "Transport Facilitation as a Powerful Tool to Boost Connectivity of CEI Region," unfolded at the CEI headquarters on 14 December.

Organised under the Moldovan CEI Presidency, in collaboration with the CEI-Executive Secretariat and the Transport Community's Permanent Secretariat, the panel brought together representatives from governments, businesses and international organisations to conduct an in-depth exploration of challenges, best practices, and potential solutions for improved connectivity.

Secretary General, Roberto Antonione welcomed participants, emphasisng that efficient and resilient transport infrastructures were fundamental for the mobility of people and goods, promoting socio-economic integration and growth.

The Moldovan CEI Presidency represented by Ms Gabriela Moraru, CEI National Coordinator and Head of the Regional Cooperation Unit at the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Moldova, and Mr. Eugeniu Harabara, Deputy General Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development of the Republic of Moldova, echoed Antonione’s words, underscoring the importance of regional cooperation to reach this goal.

Discussions revolved around two main sessions:  in the first, participants set the scene by examining existing challenges in the region and potential perspectives for removing transport and trade barriers. In the second, they provided practical information through best practice presentations, illustrating possible solutions for reducing border waiting times with the EU, focusing on alternative solutions to road traffic (ports, railways, etc.) and necessary investments. Suggestions also included the need for more multilateral dialogue, the realisation of concrete activities at regional level, infrastructure renewals, the identification of steps to be taken in ports, railways and roads, as well as for enhancing people's skills and networking.

In this context, CEI Deputy Secretary General Nina Kodelja concluded the event by reiterating that the CEI-ES had effectively carried out numerous initiatives to promote connectivity in the CEI region. She underlined that the integration of the region should be founded on both institutional cooperation and political will coupled with concrete actions. She also pointed out that this was the rationale behind the CEI’s strong support for initiatives facilitating the exchange of experiences and best practices among representatives of the CEI countries, exemplified by the current event, but also with other activities on the ground.

The overall event was complemented with a field visit to the Port of Trieste.

The collaborative organisation of this expert panel by the CEI and the Transport Community Permanent Secretariat addressed existing challenges and solutions for broader connectivity in the CEI region 

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