EU helps BiH railway sector to meet European standards

The session in occasion of closing the project  of harmonization of BH railway regulations with the relevant EU Directives on safety and interoperability, took place on 26 July in the BiH Parliament Assembly Building in Sarajevo.

The European Union provided 996.000,00 Euro for this project which is vital for the development of the BiH railway sector and will ensure that it meets European standards.

„Outdated railway regulations that do not comply with the EU acquis have made life harder both for the Regulatory Board, which has lacked relevant regulations on which to base regulatory and inspection activities, and for the EU when it comes to helping Bosnia and Herzegovina improve its railway infrastructure, which has been neglected during the war and post-war period,” said Natalia Dianiskova, Head of the Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross-Border Cooperation at the EU Delegation. „We have been happy to provide assistance in response to an initiative from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Under the terms of Article Eight of the BiH Law on Railways we have provided the Regulatory Board with a comprehensive set of draft railway regulations that comply with the acquis and the Technical Specifications on Interoperability.”

The consortium, comprising ITALFERR and IRD, realizing the project, has produced a complete set of draft railway sector regulations, including railway infrastructure, railway rolling stock and railway operations. The draft regulations incorporate all relevant EU Directives, Technical Specifications on Interoperability (TSIs), COTIF, with Annexes and international railway regulations, which have already transposed and incorporated the acquis applicable to the railway sector.

„With this set of proposed regulations in place and their adoption and application the BiH railway sector will be able to ensure the required level of safety and interoperability,” said BiH Transport and Communication Minister Rudo Vidovic.

Formally presenting the complete set of documents (a total of 3,500 pages) to Minister Vidovic, Dianiskova called on state and entity transport authorities, including the BiH Railways Regulatory Board and the directors of railway companies „to invest all your efforts in achieving the final result with no delay. Only then will the path to further progress in the BiH railway sector be open – thus facilitating access to funding. This will also help Bosnia and Herrzegovina maintain a leading role in application of railway reforms in this region.”