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Interview with Rudo Vidovic

  • Minister of Communications and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Newsletter: Special edition - January 2011

Rudo Vidovic

1. Inwhich modal transport domains is at the moment the government focusing its activities to support the development of the domestic economic sector ?

In view of supporting the national economy growth, the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is currently focusing its activities on river transport development. The Stabilisation and Association Agreement signed with the EU, commits Bosnia and Herzegovina to cooperate on a regional level and to work on the implementation of the core transport network. According to this document, the regional waterway network is made of Sava and Danube river waterways. Whereas the EU transport policy for Bosnia and Herzegovina identified only two international trans-European axes as the most important and priority transport links, that are Sava river and Corridor Vc. The White Paper-European Transport Policy for 2010 underlines the importance of the river transport and in 2006 the Development plan for European Inland Waterways was designed, which represents a multiannual action plan for the river transportation enhancement till 2013. Inland waterway transportation will play a more and more important role in the European freight transport. The EU Commission confirmed the crucial role of this kind of transport for the future and announced the so-called NAIADES programme, that aims at promoting inland waterway transport in Europe. The EU has a clear goal to intensify the transfer to this kind of energy saving transportation that is environmental-friendly and has higher safety levels. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia signed the Framework Agreement on the Sava river basin in order to develop navigation, provide maintenance and marking of the navigable areas along the Sava river and its tributaries, in order to establish the international navigation regime regularisation and to improve sustainable water management. The Framework Agreement includes all aspects of water resources management. Through this agreement the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC), located in Zagreb, was founded, with the legal status of an international organization. The countries of the Sava river basin, represented in the commission, acting as a coordinating body, agreed on activities, specific tasks and timeframe in the field of international navigation regime and water management area, that should result in implementing the strategic aims quoted in the Framework Agreement. For this reason, the strategy on implementation of the Framework Agreement on the Sava River Basin was adopted, that foresees activities and operational tasks till 2015.

Bosnia and Herzegovina defined the programme for restoration and development River" for the 2010-2015 period. The main objective of this programme is the sustainable development of the Sava river navigation system, based on the expected economic and social development, achievement of parameters for an improved movement of people and goods, physical access to markets, jobs and other social and economic needs in new globalisation, deregulation, market liberalisation and integration processes in the region and in the world in the field of transport. In order to achieve the main aim, it is essential that the Sava navigation system, as well as the intermodal and combined transport meet the social and economic needs, offer the highest service level at lowest cost, guarantee major safety and offer adequate information, that

they are financially sustainable and cover the maintenance, improvement and development cost of the transport infrastructure through the main financing sources. Moreover, they must follow and comply with the EU regulations and directives, as well as maintain the lowest environmental impact allowed.

2. How will the completion of the Corridor Vc directly contribute to the implementation of activities of the Port of Ploče? Can we consider this as an arising to a regional role of the port ? What has still to be done to reach such an objective ?

Bosnia and Herzegovina has an important geo-strategic position in the South East Europe. It is a bridge between the Central and Eastern Europe and the Adriatic Sea. Infrastructure transport system is one of the main actors that mutually influence economical, social and spatial development of each region and state. It is important to add that, the strategic document, highlighting the need for Corridor Vc highway development, is the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Development of the South East Europe Core Regional Transport Network (Luxemburg, June 2004), which is based on the development of the Road Core Network. Bosnia and Herzegovina signed the EU Stability and Association agreement, in which it accepted to implement the MoU as the main element in the transport infrastructure sector. In the final report of the EC High Level Group (Brussels, November 2005.), the Corridor Vc track, that crosses the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was accepted as the single transnational backbone, crucial for the European Transport Policy.

As far as the ports' issue is concerned, Bosnia and Herzegovina is connected to the Port of Ploče in Croatia more than with any other port in the Adriatic sea. The Port of Ploče is an Adriatic port that has been developing as a port for freight traffic deriving from Bosnia and Herzegovina and it is connected with Bosnia by road and rail. Container terminal construction and the forthcoming realization of the terminal for bulk dry goods, as well as further capacity for liquid goods, constitute a solid basis for the Port of Ploče to become the most competitive port in this area of the Mediterranean sea and will represent the best choice port for its users. Bosnia and Herzegovina is the first country in the region to have obtained the Intermodal transport study, that favors the use of the railway Corridor Vc and the capacity for the ports of Ploče and Šamac/Bosanski Šamac. In this way, the port of Ploče is gaining a regional and international role and according to the study, 70% of the freight transported over sea is imported to Bosnia and Herzegovina through the port of Ploče. To reach the above mentioned aim it is necessary to build as soon as possible the rail and road corridor Vc.rail and road corridor Vc.

3. Which kind of implications would result from the realization of the road connection from Sarajevo to Tirana through Podgorica ?

At the SEETO's 6th Ministerial Meeting in Sarajevo, held on December 1st, 2010, the ministers of transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the reconstruction and modernization of the road Sarajevo - Podgorica - Tirana.

The main aims of the Memorandum are:

  • overall improvement of mutual relationships among countries and reciprocal cooperation enhancement in the social, economic and political field;
  • strengthening of the regional cooperation, single market development, regional stability guarantee;
  • enhancement of transport connections among the three countries and major competitiveness;
  • support of the development and environment protection.

The expected results from the project of reconstruction and modernisation of the road Sarajevo - Podgorica - Tirana will give a detailed plan for the drawing of technical and investment documents, together with the main project, plan for the road construction works, with a proposal of financial resources.

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