Brussels, 9 September 2002
Transport : launch of the Italy-Turkey pan-European Corridor through Albania, Bulgaria, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece
Today is taking place a ministerial ceremony with the participation of Ministers of Albania, Bulgaria, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Italy and Turkey in order to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the intermodal Pan-European Corridor VIII, in presence of the European Commission. This corridor links Italy to Turkey via these various countries. Loyola de Palacio, Vice-President of the European Commission, in charge of Energy and Transport, welcomed this step ahead: "The development of the corridor will positively contribute to the stabilisation process in the Balkans, the forthcoming enlargement of the EU and the strengthening of co-operation between the European Union and Eastern Europe. All these corridors which are being built are crucial to vertebrate the whole European continent: we are bridging the gap with our neighbours".
With the signature of this MoU, conditions are now in place to undertake concerted efforts to develop this corridor which is of vital importance for the South-East of Europe, while respecting the environment.
The MoU will enable the states concerned to consult one another and co-operate within a flexible structure with a view to the harmonious development of this transport artery of European interest.
The creation of Pan-European Transport infrastructure is one of the European Union priorities. The corridor n°VIII linking Italy to Turkey though South East Europe forms part of that infrastructure. This example of a large-scale regional co-operation project brings together EU Member States, candidate countries and other countries of S.E Europe.
This MoU is also the last to be signed from the ten Pan-European corridors outlined at the Helsinki European Council in 1997. All projects are now launched.
ANNEX : The pan-European corridors