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Sustainable and Green Mobility: Joint Workshop Bringing Together Transport and Energy Community Representatives from Western Balkans and the European Union.

In Vienna, from December 20 to  22, 2023, public sector and civil society representatives from the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia convened  for a Joint Workshop on sustainable and green mobility. The European Commission and World Bank presented  strategic  context and funding opportunities for the Western Balkans. UNOPS Austria Multi -Country Office programme “Knowledge for Reform Action in the Western Balkans” showcased its efforts in providing direct EU integration support to government institutions and competent energy and transport authorities.

The Joint Workshop organized by the Transport and Energy Communities focused on solutions for alternative fuel infrastructure and sources, the interlinkages between fuels, air quality and climate change, EU case studies and financing reforms in these sectors. In their pursuit of EU accession reforms, the Western Balkans partners emphasized the need for technical support. In this context, they were introduced to both  existing and new facilities and programmes including the Norway/UNOPS ‘’Knowledge for Reform Action in the Western Balkans’’ designed to assist in the development of relevant infrastructure and other essential elements. 

In the concluding discussions, participants reached consensus on areas of collaboration, ranging from policy formulation to on-the-ground implementation. Three spheres of cooperation emerged from the discussions: 

  1. Aligning Policy (Laws and Strategies): Participants emphasized the necessity for intensified collaboration in crafting transport strategies and national climate and energy plans. The objective is to ensure seamless coordination and alignment during implementation. Implementation of TEN - E and TEN-T requirements and provisions for sustainable mobility as well as Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation have been marked as a key priority for cooperation. 
  1. Alternative Fuel and Infrastructure (Electromobility and Hydrogen):  
  • Electromobility: Closer cooperation is necessary for the installation of electric charging stations and preparing the electric grid to seamlessly support the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.  
  • Hydrogen Development: Although hydrogen development is in its inception stage, both the energy and transport communities have legal frameworks dedicated to hydrogen objectives, at least as stemming from the Clean Energy Package. The emphasis is on fostering closer cooperation in the evolution of hydrogen within the transport sector.  
  • Innovative Approaches: Recognizing transport as a potential storage reservoir for electricity, participants expressed interest in exploring innovative solutions in this area.
  • Sharing Knowledge and Consultation: Participants discussed exchange of studies and consultation sessions during the formulation of laws (when needed), fostering a more comprehensive and informed approach. 
  1. Fuel Quality:  
  • Directive 98/70/EC: This directive, encompassed by the TCT Treaty, aligns with the Energy Community's monitoring and development efforts, especially concerning Fuel Quality Monitoring Systems (FQMS). Participants highlighted the potential benefits of joining forces to drive the development of FQMS.  
  • Beyond FQMS, additional facets such as Roadworthiness, emissions inspection, and EURO standards are deemed as possible components for joint cooperation. 
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Dec 20, 2023