The European Commission has published a Neighbourhood Transport Action Plan to make transport connections to the East and South of the EU smoother, safer and more reliable, and to deepen market integration.
Vice president Siim Kallas responsible for transport, said: “Freedom of movement is something we all tend to take for granted in Europe, but it shouldn’t stop at the border.
“Today if we are serious about a relationship with our neighbours we need to provide the infrastructure which is essential for flows of goods and people across borders and cut away the bureaucracy and bottlenecks.”
Commissioner Stefan Füle, commissioner for enlargement and European neighbourhood policy, said: “In the new and ambitious European Neighbourhood Policy launched on 25th May of this year, we offer a deeper economic integration to our neighbours in the east and south. This action plan proposes the concrete transport measures that we aim to put in place for the benefit of citizens and companies both in the neighbourhood and in Europe.”
The action plan suggests:
* Extending the EU’s internal aviation market and Single European Sky to neighbouring regions.
* Joining up the Trans-European Transport Network with infrastructure of the EU’s neighbours through priority transport projects.
* Making better use of rail freight potential by opening markets and by alleviating technical barriers such as differences in rail gauge sizes.
* Streamlining the implementation of regional transport co-operation, by establishing an Eastern Partnership Transport Panel to oversee co-operation with neighbours to the east.
*Making sea transport with the neighbouring countries more efficient, including in the longer term, through their inclusion in the “Blue Belt” of free maritime movement in and around Europe.
*Helping neighbouring countries to improve road safety.
The plan will now be presented to the Council and the European Parliament.
In October the new Eastern Partnership Transport Panel which will be launched to oversee the implementation of the measures to the east.