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Slovenian Minister Vlačič and Austrian Minister Bures on closer bilateral cooperation in transport

The Austrian Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology, Doris Bures, today paid her first official working visit to Slovenia. At the meeting, Minister Bures and her host, the Minister of Transport of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Patrick Vlačič, exchanged information and views on bilateral cooperation in the field of transport to date and continued the talks by focusing attention on the Karavanke tunnel, cooperation in the field of railway infrastructure, European transport policies, in particular the Eurovignette III Directive and the Zürich Process, and on Functional Airspace Block Central Europe.

The two ministers advocate the upgrading of the Karavanke tunnel in accordance with Directive 2004/54/EC in order better to ensure the safety of participants in traffic, provide a road link with the capacity to support the expected traffic volume, satisfy EU safety standards and relieve a bottleneck on the Pan-European corridor X.

Slovenian Minister Vlačič informed Austrian Minister Bures in more detail about current transport projects and investments in infrastructure, in particular in Slovenian railways. Austrian Minister Bures was especially interested in the modernisation planned for the development axes. Austria and Slovenia encourage the revival of transport along the entire corridor X, which is important not only for both countries and their economy but also for the wider western and southern Balkan region. The Austrian minister welcomed a proposal by the Slovenian minister that a meeting of a Slovenia–Austria joint working group be held as soon as possible with a view to exchanging information on the current situation and plans concerning the development of public railway infrastructure and railway transport between the two countries. 

The Slovenian Minister stressed that the Republic of Slovenia is striving for the implementation of the Single European Sky rules. In this context, a project to establish Functional Airspace Block – Central Europe (FAB CE) is of vital importance; to date, cooperation between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Austria in this field has been very good. In this connection, a FAB CE Agreement is being drafted covering all the most important areas of cooperation among member states and their air navigation service providers.