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With the contribution of the LIFE programme of the European Union - LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611 and       the co-financing of Green Fund, Greece

European multimodal freight transport for better transport connectivity conference

Key transport stakeholders were invited by European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc and Bulgarian Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Ivaylo Moskovski to a high-level conference on European Multimodal Freight Transport, at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, on 20 March 2018.

The event organised as part of the 2018 Year of Multimodality was called for by Commissioner Bulc to promote the functioning of the transport sector as a fully integrated system, making better use of existing capacities in all transport modes, and improving efficiency of the logistics chains.

The conference included 4 sessions:

The first session was dedicated to challenges and opportunities including enablers such as digitalization as well as innovative concepts for more sustainable and efficient multimodal transport and logistics chains in Europe and beyond and was presented by Olle Isaksson, Principal in Ericsson Group Strategy, Technology, and Emerging Business.

The second session discussed the importance of rail and port connections for multimodal transport addressing operational issues as well as multimodal infrastructure including e.g. terminals, hinterland access, last-mile accessibility and was presented by Ralf Charley Schultze, President of UIRR (International Union for Road-Rail combined transport).

The third session elaborated challenges and opportunities for multimodal transport in the region, addressing infrastructure gaps, missing links, investment plans and best practice in order to move towards a seamless transport network and well connected with the neighbouring regions. Franc Žepič from the Ministry of Infrastructure in Slovenia presented the air, rail and road transport infrastructure in the Danube Region Countries. Dejan Lasica, General Manager of SEETO presented the multimodal challenges and opportunities in the region of Sofia. Ventsislav Trifonov, General Director of RASTIA, presented the digitalization and innovation development for freight transport in Orient-East Med Corridor, which runs along the Prague - Vienna / Bratislava - Budapest –Bucharest - Constanta –Vidin –Sofia – Thessaloniki – Athens axis. Ivan Petrov, Secretary General of Clecat, presented the multimodal challenges and opportunities for the European region.

The fourth session discussed possible funding mechanisms especially for transport infrastructure, with a specific view on the financial challenges for multimodal connections between the EU and the European Western Balkan countries. Maja Bakran-Marcich from DGG DG MOVE presented the EU efforts to provide assistance to South East Europe countries. Simon Ellis from World Bank Group presented the financing opportunities for multi-modal corridors between the EU and Western Balkans. Andreas Beikos from European Investment Bank presented the financing support possibilities provided by EIB to support inter-modal transport.

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The LIFE GYM [LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611] project is co-funded by the LIFE programme, the EU financial instrument for the environment.


The sole responsibility for the content of this report lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EASME nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.


Start Date: 15 September 2015 – Duration: 35 months

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