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. As part of this special year, the European Investment Bank (EIB), Transport Community (TCT) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), organised on 13 September 2021 in Belgrade the first ever regional Western Balkans Rail Summit.
The event was attended by the invited EU Commissioners, ministries in charge of transport of the Western Balkans region, the neighbouring EU member states, EBRD, EIB, European Institutions and rail companies.
The Western Balkans Rail Summit bringed together members of the Transport Community, international financial institutions, transport industry, and universities. This Summit promoted the European Year of Rail, as well as enhanced the integration of the Western Balkans rail system with the EU rail system. Its aim is to advance the Regional, European, and Global transport policy agenda, as well as to ensure that it continues to contribute to a safer, efficient, interoperable, digitalised, sustainable, and green development of the rail transport systems in the region of the Western Balkans.
The Summit also acted as a platform for discussion about identified policy and project issues in rail mentioned by the two strategic documents by the European Commission, the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.
In addition to the discussions, the Summit as a platform allowed knowledge sharing, promoting and exchange of expertise among different transport decision-makers and civil society.
Furthermore, Albrail signed a MoU with the other rail Infrastructure Managers of the region to promote the safe transport and harmonisation of standards.