On 16 May the Commission Vice-President responsible for transport Siim Kallas visited Ankara to enhance transport cooperation between the EU and Turkey. In line with the Commission “positive agenda” Vice-President Kallas discussed the establishment of a roadmap for EU transport relations with Turkey including regular high-level meetings and the establishment of a structured dialogue with Turkish authorities.

The development of EU-Turkey transport cooperation is very important due to its strategic geographical position at the crossroad between Europe and Middle East and Caucasus its candidate status and growing market for transport services. During the visit Vice-President Kallas met the Ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs EU Affairs and Transport as well as major transport stakeholders.

“The talks covered the future of our partnership for all transport modes” said Vice-President Kallas. “The successful dialogue on aviation last April in Istanbul has been a positive first step towards stronger cooperation. We want to achieve full integration of Turkey into the EU aviation system as soon as possible in order to provide both Turkish and EU citizens with more connections and cheaper and safer flights”.

At this aviation dialogue both sides decided to work together towards the objective of a fully integrated aviation system. In this respect the commonly agreed priorities are to further progress in the field of safety in particular through the strengthening of Turkey’s relationship with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as well as to advance in the implementation of the Single European Sky (SES).

As an essential step to enhance EU-Turkey relations in the field of aviation two sides will sign the Horizontal Agreement agreed in March 2010 which will bring all existing bilateral air services agreements between Member States and Turkey in line with Community laws.

Vice President Kallas also participated in the ground breaking ceremony of the Irmak-Karabuk-Zonguldak Railway Line the largest contract ever funded by the EU in Turkey (€ 188 million). Thanks to this project the north-south freight connection from the Turkish Western Black Sea region to Europe will be modernised. The project is funded under Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance dedicated to the development of infrastructure in the EU candidate countries.

Source: European Commission

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Original Publication Date: Tue 29 May 2012