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The EU and its six Eastern Partners agree to develop better transport links

Council of the EU: Marking 10 years of cooperation within the Eastern Partnership (EaP), transport ministers from the 28 EU countries and the 6 EaP countries met in Luxembourg to discuss cooperation in the area of transport. The main topics for discussion were road safety and infrastructure, including investments linked to the extended trans-European transport network (TEN-T). Ministers endorsed a joint declaration on specific ways of taking forward this cooperation.

Commissioners for Transports Violeta Bulc and for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn reconfirmed the readiness of the Commission to assist Eastern Partnership Countries in the preparation of projects and the necessary sectoral reforms.

Commissioner Johannes Hahn said: “Today, we can celebrate our joint success of extending the TEN-T policy to the Eastern Partnership. This is a milestone achievement in line with the “20 Deliverables for 2020” strategy. From now on a comprehensive and accelerated implementation of infrastructure projects should be our top priority in order to see the TEN-T extension materialise as direct benefits for citizens.”

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc stated: “Enhanced transport connectivity with the Eastern Partnership region has the potential to bolster economic growth, create jobs and better connect our regions. A major step has already been achieved with the extension of  our Trans-European Transport (TEN-T) Network to the Eastern Partnership countries. Now we must focus our efforts on delivering on concrete projects. On road safety, I am convinced we can further step up our cooperation. Halving the number of serious injuries between 2020 and 2030 is an ambitious, balanced and realistic goal towards even safer roads in Europe.

The meeting also provided the opportunity for participants to discuss the EU’s successful experience in reducing road fatalities and exchanged on equivalent measures for the Eastern Partnership (EaP), including the possible establishment of a regional EaP Road Safety Observatory.

The Ministerial meeting follows up on the joint commitment by the EU, its Member States and the 6 Partner countries, at the Eastern Partnership Summit in November 2017 to deliver tangible benefits for citizens in the region, based on a clear work plan of 20 Deliverables for 2020 in four priority areas (stronger economy, stronger governance, stronger connectivity, stronger society).