The European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc, Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and the Minister of Transport, Zorana Mihajlović, have officially opened the Transport Community Permanent Secretariat head office in Belgrade on September 13. Alen Baron is the Acting Director of the Transport Community.
“This is the first time that the Western Balkan countries have a direct access to the European Single Market. The Secretariat will contribute to cost reduction of the projects and attract new investments. This is a hub that will enable networking of the EU countries with the Western Balkans region,” Bulc said at the opening ceremony.
The Secretariat will oversee the transport operations, will support partners in the region with regards to reforms in the field of transport and will provide technical assistance for project preparation.
The Prime Minister said that this is the first head office of the international community in Serbia, adding that this is a sign of great trust in Serbia and a great honour for Belgrade. “All of us together are sending an important message that we can successfully cooperate with all partners in the region and that we are finding ways to overcome obstacles and create a better future. This is a new chapter in the development of a modern Serbia and the Western Balkans”, the Prime Minister said.
The Treaty on the Establishment of the Transport Community was signed in Trieste in July 2017, and Belgrade was unanimously elected as the seat of the permanent Secretariat at the Transport Community Ministerial Meeting in Brussels in December 2017.
“All countries in the region will now be closer to the EU and that the Transport Community will help achieve a higher standard of living for all citizens in the region. With the Transport Community, we are already halfway in the EU,” the Minster of Transport said.
The Transport Community is an international organisation composed of the EU and the six Western Balkan Parties (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia). Its key objective is to extend the EU transport market rules, principles and policies to the Western Balkan Parties through a legally binding framework.