Europe-Caucasus-Asia Transport Corridor Meeting
Brussels, Belgium – Europe – Caucasus – Asia Transport Corridor Annual Meeting and Second Ministerial Transport Co-operation Conference between the EU and Black Sea/Caspian littoral States.
The Fifth Annual Meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia Transport Corridor TRACECA and the Second Ministerial Conference on enhanced Transport Co-operation between the EU, the Black Sea/Caspian littoral States and their neighbouring countries (“Baku Initiative”) were held in Sofia 3 May 2006. The participants agreed on the strategy for TRACECA for the period up to 2015. The Second “Baku Initiative” Ministerial Conference took note of this development, while the participants endorsed the conclusions of the four expert Working Groups which met in 2005 to identify priority areas for cooperation, gradual integration of markets and sector reforms in the domains of civil aviation, security in all modes of transport, road and rail transport and transport infrastructure.
During the 5th Annual Meeting representatives of the European Commission and Governments of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus *, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation*, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan discussed and agreed on enhanced co-operation across the different transport sectors.
At the 2nd “Baku Initiative” Ministerial Conference participants also agreed that further dialogue will take place for greater convergence of transport markets in the Black Sea/Caspian littoral states and their neighbours, taking into account the principles set out in the EU White Paper on Transport Policy. They underlined the importance of implementing the recommendations of the High Level Group on the extension of the major trans-European transport axes to neighbouring countries and regions. The transport corridor from the Black Sea through the Caucasus to Central Asia (TRACECA) is one of the major axes retained by the High Level Group.
During both conferences participants reviewed past, current and forthcoming EU assistance, agreed on priorities for the future and some specific actions to be taken. It was recalled that the EU has been granting financial assistance from the TACIS Programme to the countries concerned by the TRACECA Corridor: 62 technical assistance projects worth 105 million euros and 14 investment projects worth 52 million euros have been financed through TRACECA so far. Four projects amounting to 13,5 million euros have been identified for 2006:
- Training in civil aviation administration and training for personnel involved in air transportation: 2 million euros
- International Logistical Centres / Nodes for Western NIS, Caucasus and Central Asia: 5.5 million euros
- Development of a common security management system and cooperation in the area of maritime safety and ship pollution prevention for the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea: 3.5 million euros
- Motorways of the Sea for Black Sea and Caspian Sea: 2.5 million euros.
 TRACECA = TRAnsport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia
 participating as observers in the Second Black Sea / Caspian MCT