Photo: Ministry of Transport, Information technology and Communications
A high-level meeting on the topic "Multimodal Transport for Europe" took place in Sofia on 20 March 2018. The conference aimed at exploring the possibilities of achieving more sustainable and efficient transport and logistics chains in Europe and beyond. Participants discussed in particular the revision of the Directive on the establishment of common rules for the combined transport of goods, which was initiated by the Bulgarian Presidency and aims at boosting the development of multimodal transport.
"Within the framework of the Bulgarian Presidency, we started the revision of the Directive on the combined transport of goods. The document was adopted 25 years ago and has not been transposed equally in the legislation of individual countries, which does not allow for its potential to be expanded and high-value transports to be realised. European legislation in this area needs revision so that it can be used as a powerful tool for developing multimodal links between existing transport systems and building new ones in the European Union. The implementation of the new directive will directly affect business in a positive way, encouraging the use of combined transport of goods within the Union",
stated Velik Zanchev, Deputy Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications at the opening of the conference.
Rail and port connections were discussed, focusing on the construction of intermodal terminals and adjacent infrastructure. The participants presented good examples of the overall completion of the transport corridors and the construction of missing sections.
The Bulgarian Presidency emphasised that it is essential to shift freight from road to rail, inland water and sea. By unloading road infrastructure, the negative impact of transport on the environment can be substantially reduced and greater security for people on the road will be ensured. The creation of favourable conditions for the development of multimodal transport and logistics requires the construction of modern intermodal terminals on the territory of the ports and at the points where the main transport routes are crossed, Deputy Minister Zanchev pointed out.
Further possibilities for funding for the transport infrastructure between the European Union and the countries of the Western Balkans were also discussed.
Ministers and deputy ministers of transport from the countries of the Western Balkans and the European Union, as well as representatives of the Bulgarian and European institutions related to transport participated in the debate on the future of multimodal transport. The conference also included delegates from the European Commission, the World Bank, port operators, representatives of leading European transport and logistics companies and others.
The topic of multimodal transport is part of the priorities of the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications within the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.