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Brussels, 25 November

Vice-President Kallas visits Poland to discuss transport priorities for upcoming presidency

European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas is visiting Poland today and tomorrow to discuss transport issues in the run up the Polish presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2011. The Commissioner responsible for transport will meet with the Minister for Infrastructure, Mr Cezary Grabarczyk, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Radoslaw Sikorski and the Presidents of the Polish Railways and PKP Group. Vice-President Kallas will also participate in a regional forum organised by the European Investment Bank on "Diversity in Transport: coherent connections?" and "Energy and Transport Diversity: Sustainable Policies, Priorities and Needs."

Poland is preparing its Presidency in the second half 2011 and therefore the visit of Vice-President is timely to discuss important transport dossiers it will be dealing with during its presidency. Vice-President Kallas will discuss issues such as the upcoming White Paper on the future of transport and the review of the TEN-T policy.

The EIB Regional forum 2010 will discuss progress in the implementation of transport policy objectives in the Central and Eastern Member States' region, the role of infrastructure development in economically active and developing regions, and the prospects for securing private sector capital. These questions are key in the light of the upcoming review of the TEN-T policy. The Commission has been extensively consulting stake holders and other EU institutions on general policy objectives and project implementation. Based on this, new TEN-T guidelines will be presented next year. In a number of regions - in particular in the newer Member States - a shortage of high-standard rail and road links is still to be considered. In other parts coping with bottlenecks on existing links and nodes and investing in "intelligent infrastructure solutions" are important topics. This will have to fit into the planned core and comprehensive networks at EU level.

Other transport issues relevant to Poland will also be discussed such as rail policy and its implementation and planned Commission proposals that match with the future Polish presidency's priorities, such as the planned social maritime agenda, airports package and a comprehensive transport policy vision for our neighbouring countries to the East featuring in the Commission's work programme for 2011. The Maritime Days 2011 will be held in May in Gdansk.

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