“The strategic interests of the Government of Serbia are to develop and invest in railway transport and to improve traffic safety. In the past few years, we have done a lot – from restructuring railway companies to investing in railways,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlovic, at the 2019 IPA Summit, where she signed the European Railway Safety Declaration. The Declaration was also signed by Peter Mihm, IPA Project Manager from European Railway Agency and Director of the Directorate of Railways Lazar Mosurovic in the presence of the Head of EU Delegation to Serbia, Sam Fabrizi.
The signing ceremony was also attended by Directors General from railway companies.
The Minister expressed her gratitude to everyone who came from the region to discuss about very important subject such as safety in railway traffic and added:
“When we talk about safety we always think on safety on roads and that is understandable, bearing in mind that since 2014 there were not much investments in railways and railways was only mentioned when salaries were had to be paid. A lot of things have changed in Serbia since 2014, especially in railway sector” said the Minister and continued:
“Today I can proudly say that in the past few years we have been dealing with both the restructuring of the great railway system and opening of the market to our railway transport, but also with great investments in railway sector. That proves that the railways represent not only a priority but also a strategic interest for Serbia.”
The Minister pointed out that the safety comes first, but also regional integration. “ For that reason I am glad that today we are going to exchange experiences and additionally deal with legislative framework in order to put safety in our railway transport on the highest level and the Ministry as well as the Directorate will work to set the minimum requirements for transport to be safe. Our common task in the next period will be to complete legislative framework, because although all the laws we adopt are in line with European Union, there are always some parts which can be improved, especially when it comes to safety. Our goal as a state is to return the passengers to railway passenger traffic, to improve efficiency of the cargo and to bring the railways where it belongs and that is to be a part of European railways.” -concluded the Deputy Prime Minister.
Sam Fabrizi, the Head of EU Delegation in Serbia, said that the Union gives big importance to safety and connectivity and congratulated to the Government of Serbia and European Railway Agency on signing the Safety Declaration today.
“Connectivity is an essential element for traffic safety. Railways represent an eco-friendly mode of transport and contribute to traffic safety and efficiency. In the last couple of years, the EU has invested over one billion EUR in Serbia in the field of transport and we will continue to support it. I congratulate the Government of Serbia on the completion of the last section of Corridor 10, on the highway to Bulgaria,” Fabrizi said.
Lazar Mosurovic, acting director of Directorate for Railways, pointed out that by signing this Declaration today Serbian railways have become part of a large European railway family.
“Traffic safety is a concern of all European railways and it is in everyone’s best interest to continue working on it. Directorate for Railways complies with EU procedures and aligns with European regulations. Today, the Safety Declaration will be signed by more than 35 institutions from the country and the region,” said Mosurovic.
IPA Summit 20019 was organized by EU Railway Agency in cooperation with Railway Directorate in order to sign the European Railway Safety Declaration and to raise awareness of the impact of human and organizational factors on safety. After signing procedure safety workshops were organized for representatives of railway sector.