Newsletter 12/2011 - Activities in brief

Concrete steps towards increasing road safety in South East Europe discussed at Sarajevo conference

The second Conference on Road Infrastructure Safety Management in South East Europe was held in Sarajevo on 20 April 2011, with the purpose to halve the number of traffic accidents in the region by 2020.

The event was co-organized by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat, the Association of Consulting Engineers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACE BiH) and the Ministry of Communications and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The participants focused on concrete steps aimed at halving the number of road traffic accidents and casualties in South East Europe (SEE) in the current decade, in accordance with EU 2011-2020 goals. They also agreed on a need to translate road safety directives into national legal frameworks of SEE countries, especially Directive 2008/96/EC on Road Infrastructure Safety Management as soon as possible.

The Conference brought together representatives of national authorities from South East Europe (SEE) responsible for road safety and interior affairs as well as European Union (EU) experts, regional transport organizations and representatives of academia.

Opening addresses were delivered by Rudo Vidovic, Minister of Communications and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Jelica Minic, Deputy RCC Secretary General/Head of Expert Pool; Esref Gacanin, ACE BiH President; and Christophe Nicodeme, Director General of the European Road Federation.

 “Road accidents take the toll of over 3,000 lives per year in almost all countries of South East Europe,” said Jelica Minic, Deputy RCC Secretary General in her introductory remarks. 

“This Conference is a part of a wider campaign to facilitate introduction of European standards in this area. Countries in the region currently do not have the direct obligation to introduce certain regulations and standards but it is great that their initiative is authentic, which can largely accelerate approximation with EU standards.”

The participants reiterated the need for a feasible and efficient implementation of the EU Directive. They proposed establishment of a regional training centre for auditors and inspectors that would be based in Sarajevo, with participation of SEE countries and support of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Ministry of Communications and Transport and the RCC Secretariat.

The third International Conference on Road Infrastructure Safety Management, presenting the progress in the domain of road traffic safety, is to be held in April 2012 in Sarajevo.

RCC Board meeting and Coordination meeting between South-East European Cooperation Process and RCC held in Sarajevo

A meeting of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Board and a Coordination meeting between the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) and the RCC were held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 11 and 12 May 2011, respectively.

At the regular quarterly meeting of the RCC Board, RCC Secretary General Hido Biscevic presented a report on the activities of the organization’s Secretariat for the period 9 March-9 May 2011 as well as outlined its planned future activities. The Board heard an overview of the current status of implementation of the RCC Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013, presented by the organisation’s senior experts. 

The Annual Report of the RCC Secretary General on regional cooperation in South East Europe 2010-2011 was presented and accepted by to the Board members. 

This was the second meeting of the RCC Board in 2011. The organisation’s Board meets quarterly and is chaired by the RCC Secretary General. The Board provides the RCC with operational guidance and supervision. It consists of those RCC members contributing to the budget of the RCC Secretariat as well as the European Union, represented by the Troika, consisting of the EU Presidency, the European Commission and the Council Secretariat.

The SEECP-RCC coordination meeting discussed further advancement of practical coordination and harmonization of activities in the region, particularly those related to the implementation of priorities of the Montenegrin SEECP Chairmanship-in-Office and the RCC Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013.

Special attention was paid to preparations for the RCC Annual Meeting as well as of the SEECP Meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Heads of State or Government. The next steps in the process of streamlining of regional taskforces and initiatives in South East Europe (SEE) were also discussed in light of the conclusions and proposed recommendations of the RCC Secretariat’s regional coordination conference ‘Western Balkans and Europe 2020 – Supporting Convergence and Growth’, held in Brussels on 30-31 March 2011.