Transport & logistics in the Western Balkans
With the help of the international community – EU, Berlin Process, International Financial Institutions – the countries in the Western Balkans are investing in the development of their infrastructure, including on a regional scale.
Regional integration is also taking place within the transport sector through regulatory harmonization and coordination between authorities and contributes to the cross-border flow of goods, tourists and business travelers. The policy issues, reform challenges and investment needs vary between transport modes.
In the air transport sector, the EU defines much of the liberalization agenda. The 2006 agreement to establish the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA) commits all signatories to remove existing barriers and fully liberalize air traffic among themselves. This will effectively extend the EU’s single market for air transport to Souteast Europe.
The railway sector constitutes a network industry with potentially substantial economies of scale in long-distance bulk cargo if seamless operations with neighboring countries can be achieved. The bulk of cross-border transport among Western Balkan countries and with the EU moves along a limited number of road and rail corridors. A priority for regional integration in the transport sector is therefore to continue close coordination on infrastructure investments and facilitation measures along land corridors. In June 2004, governments therefore signed a memorandum of understanding on the development of the South East Europe Core Regional Transport Network.