Regional ministerial conference in Pristina: Better infrastructural connectivity to accelerate Western Balkan’s development

    Montenegro’s Minister of Transport and Maritime Affairs Ivan Brajović takes part in the regional ministerial conference in Pristina, dedicated to regional projects, with an emphasis on infrastructural investment.

    In his address, Minister Brajović said that today’s meeting marks a significant step towards creating a Western Balkan’s transport network, which is to be funded in cooperation with the European Union.

    The main network, supported by Montenegro and agreed in communication with its neighbours and the European Commission, contains: the Bar-Boljare highway, Bar-Vrbnica railway, Adriatic-Ionian corridor along the Adriatic coast, and the Port of Bar, Minister Brajović explained.

    He also referred to other projects of regional character, namely the Podgorica-Gusinje road, Podgorica-Tirana-Durres railway, Pljevlja-Bijelo Polje-Berane-border with Kosovo road, Nikšić-Čapljina railway, etc.

    The meeting emphasised that regional infrastructural connectivity is of crucial importance for the implementation of major regional projects in transport and energy, which would be presented to the European Commission and EU countries at the Western Balkans conference scheduled for late summer in Vienna, with the view to providing financial support for their implementation.

    The conference in Pristina also pledged to support the establishment of the Central Region Transport Network, which would imply a better connection between all major cities, economic centres and most important seaports of the Western Balkans with the European Union, as well as a more transparent decision-making process and harmonised approach of all the participating countries. In addition, the plan is to identify components of a comprehensive EU network that could make the core network for the Western Balkans, in line with the TEN-T guidelines and SEETO Comprehensive Network.

    Today’s conference was preceded by the conferences held in Berlin, Budva and Belgrade, as well as by a number of informal ministerial meetings, which emphasised the need to define common infrastructural and energy projects in order to provide financial support from EU and its institutions. At these meetings, the Western Balkan countries have committed to annually prepare and submit to the European Commission national programmes of economic reform.

    Montenegro’s participation in the conference in Pristina is a good opportunity to promote the progress and results the country has achieved at national, regional and European levels, as well as to exchange views on current situation in the region, primarily on improving regional connectivity.

    The Pristina conference brings together the heads of diplomacy and transport ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, as well as senior representatives of the international community – Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Johannes Han and European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc, who addressed the conference participants via video call.

    Source: Government of Montenegro