Transport Issues And Problems In Southeastern Europe (Transport and Society)

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9780754619703: Transport Issues And Problems In Southeastern Europe (Transport and Society)

Transport, both as an industry and as a policy area, is an unquestionably important factor in European economic development and has played a particular role in the post-war European integrative process. European goods and people are more mobile than ever before and transport policy has emerged as one of the few dynamic policy areas, whose origins date back to the Treaty of Rome itself. For many years, the primary role of the Common Transport Policy has been to remove the technical and institutional barriers that exist between the member states and this Policy continues to be a major aspect for Europe, and one of the most important agenda points in the discussions with the acceding countries for the adoption of the acquis communautaires. The Trans-European Network (TEN) has gradually arisen as one of the driving forces for the achievement of growth, competitiveness and employment. In preparation for the enlargement of the European Union to the east, the extension of the existing TEN in the candidate countries for accession comprises an effort to upgrade existing infrastructures or build new ones in order to create a coherent network out of the current patchwork of transport links and achieve safe and speedy connections between countries that are necessary to increase the efficiency of the Single Market and maximise the potential of European trade. Another part of the European wide transport infrastructure concept, is the Corridor concept, which has developed over the past eight years along with the Pan-European Transport Conferences. During the Conferences in Crete in 1994 and in Helsinki in 1997, the UN-ECE, the ECMT, the European Commission and all European states supported the development of ten pan-European Transport Corridors and four pan-European Transport Areas (PETrAs). These ten multimodal transport Corridors and Areas, provided an important focus for investment by the international financial institutions, and significant progress has been achieved in their development. Greece's significance for the region of Central and South Eastern Europe is unquestionable. It has already been the focus of many new advances and developments having a special mission for the peace and the prosperity of the area. Greece has excellent relations with all its neighbouring states. It is now feasible for Greek companies, which are already active in several business sectors, to move into the transportation industry in the greater area of Central and Eastern Europe. In this respect, Greece strongly supports the development of the pan-European Transport Corridors, in fact the Greek Ministry of Transport and Communications has undertaken the Presidency of Corridor X and acts in close cooperation with the other Corridors and particularly Corridors IV and VII. Apart from the above mentioned initiatives, Greece is currently undertaking multimodal projects all over its territory with the scope of improving substantially the transport infrastructure and quality of the network of the country, thus improving both the transport cohesion with the rest of the Balkans and the EU. T he objective shared by the countries of the region is the complete reconstruction, rehabilitation and upgrading of the whole transport infrastructure in Southeastern Europe. And after having taken into account the particularities of Greece, the government has opted for a progressive removal of restrictions in transport operations. It has been judged that the immediate and unconditional liberalisation of the transport sector, as it has been practised in other countries, would create market disruptions with disastrous effects in the case of Greece and the whole region. All those, who are involved in policy making, should profit from the opportunity to take all necessary political decisions towards the rapid development of the transport infrastructure and quality of operations in Southeastern Europe, which will be of significant benefit to the entire region. Concluding it has to be mentioned that initiatives, which contribute to improving the quality of transport operations in the region, such the Southeast Transport Research Forum (SETREF) and this book in particular, are most welcome since they reflect the importance of the development of the region and provide the necessary background for profitable cooperation of the countries in the field of Transport. Christos Verelis

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