western_balkans_rail_summit
Photo Credit: M2Communications

The European Year of Rail, 2021, was solemnly marked by organising the Western Balkans Rail Summit by M2Communications on September 13th in Belgrade. The Summit was attended by Western Balkan’s delegations. The attendees discussed investments in rail transport and railway policy reforms.

The first Rail Summit was held as a hybrid event, with a live audience and online speakers. M2Communications’s task was to create the creative concept of the event, the visual identity for the first WBRS and the realization of the project.

The Summit was organized on the initiative of the Permanent Secretariat of the Transport Community, European Investment Bank and European Bank for Reconstructions and Development. The year 2021 is designated as the European Year of Rail, highlighting the benefits of rail as a sustainable, smart, and safe means of transport.

western_balkans_rail_summit
Photo Credit: M2Communications

Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner (DG NEAR) said: “European Commission continues to support the Western Balkans in developing and modernising the rail sector. The adopted Economic and Investment Plan includes €1.5bn for the development of railways, some of the Flagship projects are the fast tracks on Corridor X, connecting Budapest and Belgrade and further to Niš, Skoplje and Greece, and Corridor 4 that will connect Belgrade with the port of Bar and Podgorica in Montenegro.”

The European Year of Rail is part of the EU’s efforts under the European Green Deal, the EU’s plan to make its economy sustainable by achieving climate neutrality by 2050. One of the key elements of the plan is to roll out cleaner and healthier means of transport, as the transport sector is currently responsible for about 25% of the Union’s greenhouse gas emissions. The European Green Deal seeks a 90% reduction in transport emissions by 2050. With only a 0.4 % share of greenhouse gas emissions in total EU transport, rail emits far less CO2 than equivalent travel by road or air and is one of the most sustainable, innovative and safest transport modes in the EU. Comparing to the EU where 75% of total train kilometres are travelled by electricity-powered trains, in the Western Balkans less than one-third of rail tracks is electrified.

western_balkans_rail_summit
Photo Credit: M2Communications

The EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkan prioritises projects and programmes on the indicative extension of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) core network which is of strategic interest to the region and to the EU. Action will be taken to speed up the construction of new transport infrastructure and the upgrading of existing infrastructure, with the objective of bringing the core transport network up to EU standards. Major sustainable transport Flagship projects, connecting East to West, North to South and the coastal regions have been identified in the Plan.

Find out more M2Communications about here.