The Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic, the Minister of Economy and Transport of the Republic of Hungary, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure of the Republic of Poland and The Minister of Transport, Posts and Telecommunications of the Slovak Republic
acknowledge the information submitted by the Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic on the progress attained in the realization of common objectives since the last meeting of the Ministers in Bratislava on 3 April 2003;
acknowledge the draft submitted by the Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic for setting out further common objectives of the Ministers responsible for transport in the V4 states;
declare that they are satisfied with the good standard of hitherto co-operation between the transport sectors of the V4 states;
express their interest in participating in further co-operation between the Ministers responsible for transport in the V4 states, even after the accession to the European Union;
and hereby agree on the following joint conclusions:
1. In the area of co-operation in railway and combined transport
The Ministers approve the the co-operation of rail experts. The first meeting of the said experts will be convened by the Czech Republic. Further meetings depending on topics to be discussed will be convened by the country holding the presidency of the V4 co-operation. The focus of the expert group shall be, in particular, on the following areas:
- collaboration for the gradual implementation of the interoperability of goods and passenger rail transport;
- joint procedure in accelerating the forwarding of goods trains at frontier stations;
- exchange of the views on the conclusions arrived at in the process of discussing Railway Packages II and III with the European Commission.
In accordance with the Joint Declaration on the Development of Combined Transport already adopted, the Ministers agree that activities of the expert group
for combined transport should continue; the focus of those activities shall be, in particular:
- to arrange for the collection of comparable statistical data on combined transport with the objective of their use in supporting the further development of this type of transport;
- the support of joint projects and procedures in order to increase the share of combined transport in the total goods transport market.
2. In the area of the preparation and implementation of the TEN-T projects
The Ministers agree to continue activities of ad hoc bilateral expert groups aimed at co-ordinating the preparation and implementation of cross-border projects by V4 states. In relation to the above, individual ministries shall nominate experts responsible for individual cross-border connections, the establishment of permanent communication links between the experts, and, if necessary, the organisation of the first expert meetings to define topical problems of cross-border corridors. The Ministers also strongly encourage further active co-operation within the Steering Committees related to Pan-European Transport Corridors.
3. In the area of the co-ordination of the efficient road infrastructure charging
The Ministers agree that co-operation at the expert level should continue based on the following principles:
- extension of the scope of the co-operation which should contribute to the development and harmonization of transport policies of individual countries with a wiew to the introduction of an efficient road infrastructure charging;
- to facilitate closer relations between the state organizations responsible for motorway management in order to create better conditions for international co-operation in this area;
- to regularly exchange information on new regulations, amendments and proposed amendments in the process of harmonisation of EU legislation in the area of an efficient system of road infrastructure charging;
- to exchange experience with countries that have already introduced a system of an efficient road infrastructure charging;
- to hold regular meetings of all Parties involved in order to discuss and evaluate co-operation in the area of an efficient road infrastructure charging.
Furthermore, the Ministers recommend that members of the expert group co-operate with each other and exchange views on, inter alia, in the final drafting of the following Directives of the European Commission:
- Draft of the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (Eurovignnette);
- Draft of the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the introduction and interoperability of electronic road toll systems in the Community.
4. In the area of road safety
In order to bring about a substantial reduction in the number of traffic accidents, particularly those resulting in fatal injuries, the Ministers have decided to co-operate in the field of road safety on the basis of the following principles:
- to promote the common interests of the V4 states, which shall be complemented by activities at the EU level;
- to promote co-operation at an expert level, with a special emphasis on possibilities offered by the Internet applications;
- to consider the possibility of cooperation with other Central, Eastern and Southern European countries;
- the co-operation may also include the implementation of joint projects and products identified by the expert group;
The Ministers have welcomed the offer of the Czech Republic for the setting up of a special Internet application to provide for information support of co-operation of the V4 states in the area of road safety.
5. In the area of the joint procedure in the preparation of standpoints and comments to fundamental materials discussed by the Council of EU Ministers responsible for transport and the ECMT Council of Ministers
The Ministers have agreed that, in the case of common interests, a meeting of experts shall be held in order to exchange opinions and to prepare standpoints and comments to fundamental issues discussed by the EU Ministers responsible for transport and the ECMT Council of Ministers.
Done in Čejkovice on 6 February 2004 in four counterparts in the English language.
Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic
Minister of Economy and Transport of the Republic of Hungary
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure of the Republic of Poland
Minister of Transport, Posts and Telecommunications of the Slovak Republic