International transport agreements: TRACECA, SEETO and NDPTL
The European Union (EU) aims to promote closer transport relations with its neighbouring countries by means of international legal and regulatory frameworks.
Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus Asia (Multilateral Agreement on International Transport for Development of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia Corridor , signed at Baku on 8 September 1998).
South East European Transport Observatory (Memorandum of Understanding for the development of the Core Regional Transport Network signed at Luxembourg on 11 June 2004).
Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics (Memorandum of Understanding setting out the modalities of establishing the Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics signed at Naples on 21 October 2009).
TRANSPORT CORRIDOR EUROPE-CAUCASUS-ASIA (TRACECA)
The Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA) is an international programme which aims to strengthen economic relations, trade and transport communication between Europe and Asia, across the Black Sea, the countries of the South Caucasus, the Caspian Sea and the Central Asian countries. The current participating countries are: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The European Union supports the development of TRACECA although neither the European Commission nor the European Union are parties to the Agreement.
The Multilateral Agreement signed in 1998 aims to:
- facilitate access to the international market of road, air and railway transport and also commercial maritime navigation;
- facilitate international transport of goods and passengers and international transport of hydrocarbons;
- ensure traffic safety, security of goods and environmental protection;
- harmonise transport policy and also the legal framework in the field of transport;
- create equal conditions of competition between different types of transport.
In the TRACECA programme, each participating country grants to the other participating countries the right of transit of international means of transport, goods and passengers through its territory. The countries must also ensure the most effective arrangements for facilitating the transport in transit on their territories. Taxes, duties and other payments are not imposed for transport in transit, except payments for transport and customs services, services related to transport, and payments for use of transport infrastructure.
Tariffs for transport transit services are established on the basis of preferential terms. Any preferential terms and tariffs established between two participating countries within the programme must be equally applicable to all participating countries.
SOUTH EAST EUROPE TRANSPORT OBSERVATORY (SEETO)
The South East Europe Transport Observatory (SEETO) is a regional transport organisation established by the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2004 by Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and the European Commission.
The SEETO aims to promote cooperation on the development of the main and ancillary infrastructure on the multimodal South East Europe Comprehensive Transport Network and to enhance policies in this area which facilitate such development. The development of the Network should include maintenance, reconstruction, rehabilitation, upgrading and new construction of main and ancillary infrastructure as well as its operation and use with a view to promoting the most efficient and environmentally friendly transport modes on a regional scale.
NORTHERN DIMENSION PARTNERSHIP ON TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS (NDPTL)
The Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics (NDPTL) was established in October 2009 and is one of the partnerships of the Northern Dimension. The current members of the NDPTL are Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the European Commission. Alongside the general aim of promoting international trade, the NDPTL also more specifically aims to:
- improve the major transport connections and logistics in the Northern Dimension region to stimulate sustainable economic growth at the local, regional and global level;
- accelerate the implementation of transport and logistics infrastructure projects along the major transnational connections, and facilitate the approval of projects of mutual interest;
- accelerate the removal of non-infrastructure related bottlenecks affecting the flow of transport in and across the region, and facilitate the improvement of logistics in international supply chains;
- provide effective structures to monitor the implementation of the proposed projects and measures.
The NDPTL is structured on three levels:
- High Level Meetings to take strategic decisions on the future development and priorities of the Partnership;
- Steering Committee to co-ordinate the joint work under the Memorandum of Understanding, to follow and monitor the implementation of the action plan, and to review the general functioning of the Partnership;
- Secretariat to provide administrative and technical support to the Steering Committee and the High Level Meetings.
The involvement of international financial institutions is crucial in mobilising the necessary funding, and therefore the Nordic Investment Bank, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank, as well as other relevant financial institutions, may be invited to attend the NDPTL’s activities as observers.