Transport ministers meet to discuss regional cooperation

  • 2009-09-17
  • From wire reports
RIGA - Transport ministers from the Baltic sea countries closed their Nordic and Baltic States meeting Sept. 11 by signing a joint communique covering the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T), in addition to agreeing to a declaration on air traffic, reports news agency LETA.

Latvian Transport Minister Kaspars Gerhards (For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK) said that at the meeting the ministers discussed the situation in the transport sector, the effect of the economic downturn on the development of the transport sector, and considered options for emerging from the crisis. The ministers agreed that the projects currently under way must be continued, measures must be taken to promote economic growth, and the development of multimodal transport must continue.
The TEN-T project is currently being revised by the European Commission, and several aspects of the project also concern the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. In the communique, the Baltic and Nordic transport ministers suggest that the projects that are already being implemented must be continued, including the development of the East-West transport corridor.

"The communique is a good example of how several countries can agree upon a joint policy on matters that are of interest to all of them," said Gerhards.
The other document signed at the conclusion of the meeting, the declaration on air traffic, deals with Denmark and Sweden's joint air traffic organization system that Latvia would like to join, said Gerhards.

At the meeting, the ministers also discussed the development of the Baltic region, emphasizing that non-European Union members, for instance, Russia, must also be involved in the development strategy.

The transport ministers' meeting in Riga was attended by Danish Transport Minister Lars Barfoed, Norwegian Transport and Communications Ministry's Secretary General Eva Hildrum, Estonian Economy and Communications Minister Juhan Parts, Finnish Transport Minister Anu Vehvilainen, Swedish Communications Minister Asa Torstensson, Icelandic Communications Ministry's Secretary Ragnhildur Hjaltadottir, as well as European Commission's Directorate General for Regional Policy head Jose Palma Andres, and the International Transport Forum head Jack Short.