SEETAC event at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium
"Strengthening Transport Networks in South East
Europe: The Way Ahead for European Integration"
SEETAC meeting with Members of European Parliament
European Commission and relevant stakeholders
On 9th of December, the SEETAC Project was
successfully presented at the European Parliament in Brussels
during an event co-organised by the Central European Initiative
(CEI) and hosted by Hon. Antonio Cancian (Transport and Tourism
Committee of the European Parliament).
The general objective of the meeting was to discuss the
challenges of the Western Balkans in their path towards integration
into the EU Transport Networks, by analyzing the current EU
transport revision process and instruments, as well as the role of
the SEETAC Project. SEETAC partners had the opportunity to meet
Members of European Parliament, EC officials, and other relevant
stakeholders (i.e. national and regional Representatives to the EU,
Transport Associations and Transport Lobbies), directly involved in
TEN-T revision and in the EU enlargement process.
The event, chaired by Mr. Carlo Fortuna, SEETAC Content Manager,
was attended by several Members of the European Parliament who
addressed the audience: Hon. Cancian (Italy), Hon. Kukan (Slovak
Republic), Hon. Marinescu (Romania), and Hon. Ranner (Austria), EC
officials from DG Move and DG Enlargement, the Joint Technical
Secretariat of the South East Europe programme, officials from
national and regional representations to the EU and numerous
transport associations and lobbies.
CEI Secretary General, Amb. Pfanzelter, briefly introduced the
activities of the CEI and emphasized its strategic objective
to help non-EU Member States to get closer to the European Union.
In this context, the SEETAC project represents a flagship
initiative, because not only is it in the line with this objective
but it also witnesses the ability of the CEI in acting as a
reliable partner for the EU, able to manage and implement EU funds
In his speech, Hon. Cancian highlighted the importance of the
transport sector for the Western Balkans, and also expressed the
necessity to create an Adriatic system in the region. He explained
that as the Danube river has inspired the creation of a
macro-region for the riverain countries and beyond, so should the
Adriatic Sea. He also stressed the need for Public Private
Partnerships (PPP) in the implementation of future transport
projects, since neither national nor EU budgets are enough
especially in times of budgetary constraints.
Following a brief presentation of SEETAC state of art, the
European Commission officials took the floor. Mr. Baron, Policy
Officer and Mr. Adelsberger, expert, explained the current status
of the TEN-T (Trans European Transport Network) revision,
methodology and its extension to the Western Balkans. They both
expressed their appreciation for the SEETAC Project and its
importance as a contribution to prioritize South East Europe
transport projects in the light of the current TEN-T revision. Mr.
Baron, in particular, pointed out the necessity to define a similar
methodology in the definition of a core network for the Western
Balkan region. This implies that quality of data collection and
financial information are put in exercise and SEETAC will be an
effort in this respect.
Ms. Gianfranchi, Policy Officer from DG Enlargement gave a
significant input by explaining the rationale of the Instrument for
the Pre-Accession (IPA) for candidate and potential candidate
countries in financing transport projects.
Mr. Fortuna closed the conference expressing his willingness to
continue the fruitful cooperation with the European Commission as
well as with the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European
The panelists as well as the participants expressed their
satisfaction for the very encouraging results of the