Eastern Partnership transport ministers meet at EIB
10 October 2013
On Wednesday, 9 October, the EIB hosted an Eastern Partnership (EaP) transport ministerial council entitled “Connecting Europe: possibilities created by the Eastern Partnership Transport Cooperation”.
Ministers from Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine participated alongside EIB Vice-President Wilhelm Molterer, Lithuanian Transport Minister Rimantas Sinkevicius, European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, and ministers or ministry representatives from the other 27 EU Member States.
Financing of transport connections within the Eastern Partnership and with the EU, regulatory convergence issues (e.g. safety standards, environmental standards and procurement aspects) and best practices in making transport connections more efficient were discussed.
“Mobility is a pre-requisite for productivity and output increase, said Wilhelm Molterer. “It contributes to closer integration of the region as well as to closer ties with the EU”; The ministers adopted a joint declaration to support gradual regulatory approximation between EU legislation and EaP in all transport areas; to endorse an indicative map of EaP regional transport network, showing how the EaP countries could join up between themselves and with the EU TEN-T; and to endorse a list of priority projects.
The EIB has been assisting the Eastern Partners with economic transformation and capacity building for more than six years. Some 40% of the 2.8 billion euro in loans signed by the EIB so far in the Eastern Partnership countries has been earmarked to improving connectivity – from roads to airport facilities and air navigation upgrades to public transportation.
The meeting was organised by the EIB at the request of and in co-operation with the Lithuanian Presidency. The EBRD and the World Bank also participated.
The EIB Group has stepped up its level of precaution at its headquarters in Luxembourg and in its external offices. All staff will telework as of 16 March. A small number of staff whose physical presence on EIB premises is indispensable will continue to be present on the EIB campus. The decision aims to protect the health of employees and ensure the continuity of the EIB Group’s activity.
On Wednesday the EIB identified its first case of one staff member who tested positive for corona virus.
As a precautionary measure, the EIB decided not to hold the meeting of its Board of Directors planned for Thursday 12 March in person. Decisions on the Board’s agenda will be taken by written procedure. The Bank has put in place measures to prevent disruption to its governance or operation approval schedule.
On Monday 2 March, the former President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, visited the EIB in Luxembourg on a joint invitation from the Bank, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Court of Auditors.