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A strong, sustainable and innovative transport sector definitely contributes to the strengthening of the competitiveness of the European Union's economy, the creation of new jobs and economic growth in a healthy environment. Efficient traffic flows are a precondition for the functioning of the single market.

During Slovenia's Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the priority tasks in the field of transport will be the following:

  • Transport safety
  • The Western Balkans
  • Railway transport


Transport safety (all modes of transport)

Transport safety is an area of activity where Slovenia and the European Union will have to meet many challenges in the future. The improvement of transport safety is one of the objectives of Slovenia's transport policy.  This objective coincides with the objective set by the European Commission in the White Paper: European Transport Policy for 2010. The European Union set itself an ambitious plan to reduce the number of road fatalities by one-half by 2010 (from 50,000 to 25,000). In addition to road safety the European Union is paying great attention to the safety of all other modes of transport – air transport, maritime transport and railway transport. 

(1) Railway transport safety will need to be further improved by larger investments into the technical protection of traffic, maintenance of infrastructure and vehicles, modernisation of vehicles and harmonisation of the transport system.

(2) Road safety has gradually improved in the Member Sates in the last few years, in particular by the adoption of measures at the European, national and local level. The basis for the implementation of the ambitious transport policy objective was the adoption of the "European Road Safety Action Programme – Halving the number of road accident victims in the European Union by 2010: A shared responsibility", COM (2003)311, on 2 June 2003, with the target of saving 25,000 lives on Europe's roads by 2010.

After making gradual progress towards the fulfilment of the demanding target of the Action Programme, in 2007 the European Union for the first time had to face the fact that the road safety situation was not satisfactory, because in the majority of European countries the number of fatalities increased by more than 10%. In 2006, Slovenia and several other European countries observed an unfavourable trend in the road safety situation and in 2007 the trend remained rather unchanged. 

For this purpose Slovenia will during its Presidency make every effort to pursue a road safety policy at the European and national level that will contribute to the attainment of the ambitious target through work, activities and legislation. Taking into consideration the principles of a harmonious, safe and sustainable development of transport, primarily from the aspect of harmonisation of legislation among Member States, Slovenia will endeavour to elaborate a progress report on road safety after the presentation of a draft directive on cross-border enforcement in the field of road safety.  Slovenia will also seek to achieve a political agreement on the improvement of road transport infrastructure safety management. During its Presidency, Slovenia will actively participate in the organisation of various international and European events related to road safety.

(3) Air safety should continue to be provided by permanent professional training and consistent administrative and technical control in accordance with Slovenian and European legislation.  

In this respect and on the basis of the Resolution on Transport Policy of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenia will devote attention within the European Union to the SESAR project (European air traffic control infrastructure modernisation programme), in particular to the ATM Master Plan which will be prepared by the European Commission and submitted to the Council for its approval. The European Commission will also be conferred a mandate to start negotiations with third countries on joining the SESAR project.  At the same time, the Republic of Slovenia will focus on the Report on the Single European Sky prepared by the European Commission.  In the report the needed reforms of air traffic management will be dealt with.

(4) Maritime transport is one of the safest modes of transport with regard to the volume of goods carried. Slovenia will strive to develop a high level of maritime safety. It will actively continue to address the issues related to the Third Maritime Safety Package. Slovenia's activities will be concentrated on the earliest possible achievement of progress in the discussions of legislative acts from the Third Maritime Safety Package where the Council has already reached an agreement. With regard to the current state of negotiations it is envisaged that during Slovenia's Presidency the last two legislative proposals of the Third Maritime Safety Package will be discussed: the proposal for a directive on the conformity requirements of flag states and the proposal for a directive on civil liability and financial guarantees of ship owners.

Ecological and integrated management of the sea also covers an appropriate European port policy, and Slovenia will make every effort to adopt relevant decisions delivering a political message.


Transport Agreement with the Western Balkans

The Western Balkans will be a general priority of Slovenia's Presidency.  In the field of transport this priority could be implemented by conferring a mandate on the European Commission to sign a Transport Agreement with the Western Balkan countries.  In substance, the Agreement (following the model of the Energy Community Treaty) should in general regulate the transport links of the Western Balkans to the European area and all modes of transport with the exception of air transport, which is regulated by separate agreements. 


Railway transport

In the field of railway transport Slovenia plans to discuss two Council Communications: the Communication "Towards a rail network giving priority to freight" and the Communication on multi-annual contracts between owners and managers of the railway infrastructure. From the legislative aspect the internal market for railway services in the European Union has already been established. The adaptation of Member States and in particular of economic operators to the new way of providing services and the new conditions of competition in the market will be a demanding task. For this reason, certain relationships will have to be created between the newly established operators in the market. Slovenia estimates that the stable management of railway undertakings urgently requires the conclusion of long-term contracts which will contribute to a clearer management vision and consider the specificity of the industry.



Because of the political weight of the GALILEO project in the Community, Slovenia will have to devote its utmost attention to this project. Slovenia is also a serious candidate to host the Galileo Supervisory Authority (GSA) and therefore must provide its full political support to this project. After all, Slovenia also wants to take advantage of the benefits the programme will bring along, not only in transport but also in the fields of science, research, education and economy. 

The setting-up of the satellite radio navigation infrastructure exceeds the financial and technical capacities of individual Member States, therefore it is most appropriate to implement these programmes at the Community level. In order to guarantee the continuation of the GALILEO and EGNOS Programmes, an appropriate financial and legal framework must be established to allow the European Community to continue to fund the programmes.



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Date: 16.01.2008