Senior officials of the transport ministries of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia signed a memorandum on establishing a high-level working group in Brussels on 14 March, 2014.

At their meeting last October, the Prime Ministers of Visegrád Countries agreed to assign their ministries responsible for transport to work out steps aimed to improve North-South transport connections. As a result of the inter-ministry consultations, the scope of responsibilities of the high-level working group set up for this purpose at Hungary’s initiative is to broaden. In addition to coordinating the national transport policies and the stances to be represented in the course of EU decision-making, the body is also to be involved with transport security, the environmental aspects of infrastructure development and intelligent transport systems (ITS) in future. 

Minister of State for Infrastructure Pál Völner, who signed the memorandum on Hungary’s part, revealed that the first expert-level preparatory session of the working group would be held in Bratislava in the second half of March. The issues on the agenda of this meeting are to include consultations on the transport strategies of the V4 countries.

At their meeting held on occasion of the session of the Transport Council, the senior ministry officials issued joint V4 statements on two important EU draft regulations. In relation to the draft regulation on opening the market for domestic passenger transport services by rail they noted, among others, that the target date of 2 December 2019 was too early according to their stance. They similarly believe that the preparation of the legal package aimed to accelerate the Single European Sky initiative requires more time.

Visegrád Countries support the Commission’s intention to simplify the regulations currently in force but are of the opinion that the proposal gives reason to serious reservations in its current form. In his function of chairman of the V4, Pál Völner submitted the signed documents to Vice-President of the European Commission Siim Kallas and the representative of the Greek presidency. The memorandum is also to be sent to EU Member States so that they should have the chance to join.

(Ministry of National Development Communications Department)