The main office of the Secretariat of the Western Balkans Transport Community starts working in Belgrade on Friday.

The office will operate as a center for coordination of all transport-related projects and activities in the region. This international office in Serbia is important for all the countries in the Western Balkans, and it is a “gateway to faster accession to the EU”, according to outgoing European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc.

This office will bring all the countries of the Western Balkans together with representatives of the EU, as implementation of all standards of the transport-related regulatory framework in the EU will begin in the region. This means much smoother execution of transport services and access to investments under much better conditions”, Bulc said in a statement to Serbian public broadcaster RTS.

European Commissioner for Transport underlined that the EU would invest more than EUR 700 million into infrastructural projects in the region during the 2014-2019 cycle. Bulc concluded that the amount of foreign investments into infrastructure in the region would exceed EUR one billion by 2020.

The Transport Community is an international organization composed of the EU and the six Western Balkan states - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Its key objective is to extend the EU transport market rules, principles and policies to the Western Balkan countries through a legally binding framework.

Based on the South East European Transport Observatory (SEETO), the organization was founded by the Treaty establishing the Transport Community, signed on July 12, 2017 in Italy and ratified by all partners. It applies in the field of road, rail, inland waterway and maritime transport and aims also at developing the transport network between the EU and the six Western Balkan countries.