Newsletter 2/2010 - Activities in brief

European Movement Councils from South East Europe meet in Sarajevo for the first time, under RCC auspices

The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat organized a conference of eight National Councils of the European Movement from South East Europe (SEE) on 17 May 2010 to discuss possibilities for their active involvement in regional cooperation and better communication of European integration across the region.

“In addition to supporting the EU accession efforts and aspirations of our countries, we also want to foster an open, transparent and regular dialogue with civil society, thus promoting citizens’ participation in public life and in decision-making, while emphasizing the essential values that are shared by the citizens of Europe “, said Hido Biscevic, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council in his opening speech. 

The agenda included four main discussion topics: communicating EU to the citizens of South East Europe; cooperation with national, regional and local authorities in promoting European values and standards; developing cooperation with European and international partners; and enhancing regional cooperation in South East Europe.

The discussion focused on the ways the European Movements in SEE can assist the accession process by communicating EU enlargement policy in cooperation with national authorities and through regional and international cooperation.

The conference participants agreed that the RCC would prepare an outline programme of joint future activities with the National European Movement Councils, with the aim of adding regional dimension to their work.

The meeting, organized on the occasion of the Europe Day, was attended by the representatives of the European Movement National Councils from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. 

Participants of the First Road Infrastructure Safety Management Conference agree about priority actions

The first Road Infrastructure Safety Management Conference was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 15-16 April 2010. It was organized by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), the Association of Consulting Engineers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACE) and the European Union Road Federation (ERF), under the auspices of Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of Communications and Transport.

The main objective of the event was to come up with a platform for knowledge and experience exchange on the Road Infrastructure Safety Management (EU Directive 2008/96) in all of its aspects in order to encourage its implementation in South East Europe. It represented a unique opportunity to review issues of road safety impact assessment, management, infrastructure projects audit, control for existing roads and the ones the construction of which is underway.  

All participants agreed on the key role of infrastructure in ensuring enhanced safety and optimal mobility for all road users. The need to analyse road safety on the basis of sound and accurate statistics was particularly stressed at the conference along with the importance of assessing the relation between performance and its impact on road safety by intensifying the research and dissemination of best practices.

The conference concluded that there is a necessity to improve safety at rural roads and protect vulnerable road users. In the context of road accidents, it was agreed that not only fatalities should be assessed but also the impact of the severe accidents on each of the countries.

The efficient implementation of the EU Directive 2008/96 is also a prerequisite for achieving the EU goal of decreasing the number of road accidents by 50% in the period 2011-2020. In addition, the participants highlighted the importance of involvement of all relevant ministries responsible for transport, health, home affairs, education and justice, due to the complex nature of road accidents and many different sectors involved in the operation of road safety.

The event was attended by representatives of relevant national institutions from South East Europe, the European Union member states and other institutions involved in construction and management of road infrastructure and its safety control.

For the RCC, the conference was a good opportunity to get agreement on specific actions to be taken together with the ERF in order to facilitate and co-organize regional seminars for national administrations from South East Europe at the technical level, as well as for the parliamentary committees in the region in charge of transport with an aim to raise their awareness and enhance legislative capacities on road safety issues.

The RCC will continue to promote this multi-sectoral approach, supporting relevant institutions in the region to make appropriate commitments in the field of road safety.