A new milestone in EU-Russia transport relations

Brussel, België – Yesterday, Jacques Barrot, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of transport, and the Minister for Transport of the Russian Federation, Igor Levitin, signed, in Brussels, a Memorandum of Understanding on the creation of an EU-Russia Transport Dialogue. The new dialogue should lead to stronger EU-Russia transportation and infrastructure links. It entails a regular exchange of information in order to create benefits for both economies and their consumers. The Dialogue will be structured around five specific Working Groups that will meet on a regular basis to discuss issues of common interest in all modes of transport. Vice-President Jacques Barrot said: “This new instrument for cooperation with Russia should lead to new EU-Russia actions on issues such as maritime and aviation safety”.

The Transport Dialogue will work on the basis of regular meetings on mutually agreed issues and topics within the framework of ad-hoc Working Groups. The following five Working Groups are currently foreseen: Transport strategies and Public-private partnership (PPP); Transport security; Air transport; Maritime, sea-river and inland waterway transport; and Road and rail transport.

The Dialogue will promote a better understanding of current and future policies in transportation on the basis of the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. It will, for instance, promote cooperation in areas such as maritime and aviation safety standards and interoperability in the rail sector. The Dialogue will also contribute to the broader efforts undertaken by the Russian Federation and the European Union to implement the “Road Map” on the Common European Economic Space agreed at the EU-Russia Summit in Moscow in May 2005.