EU Transport Policy: Sharing Knowledge with Belarus. Eighth Visit of Belarusian Experts to Brussels

On the invitation of the Office for a Democratic Belarus, a group of Belarusian experts on transport visited Brussels on May 17-21, 2010. The delegation that consisted of two former Ministers of Transport of the Republic of Belarus, Assistant Professor of Logistics and Pricing Policy of the Belarusian State Economic University, Head of the Auditing Department of “MinskTrans” – the largest public transport company in Belarus - and a Board Member of the Belarusian Union for Transport Workers participated in a training course: “EU Transport Policy: Sharing Knowledge with Belarus".

During the visit, the delegation had the chance to meet key European experts on transport, Belarus and the region and visit various EU institutions and regional and international transport associations based in Brussels. They visited the Council of the European Union and the European Commission’s Directorate-General (DG) for Transport and Mobility, DG Research and DG for External Relations. In addition, the delegation held meetings with representatives of the International Union for Public Transport (IUTP), the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the Head Office of European Cities and Regions Networking for Innovative Transport Solutions (POLIS), and the STIB, the largest Belgian urban public transport company.

The topics covered in the programme included the general workings of the EU Institutions and the current state of EU-Belarus relations, 7th Framework programme and specific opportunities in research on transport for Belarusian scientists, transport planning and coordination in the EU, international transport relations, and presentations on the work of IUTP, POLIS, ETSC and STIB that should lay basis for future cooperation with these organizations.

The Belarusian professionals and their European colleagues described the visit as successful and productive, as it enabled them to establish contacts and communicate their intention to engage in future cooperation. The participants discussed the possibility of organizing technical missions of the EU experts to Belarus, the drafting of several membership agreements and future involvement of the ex-ministers in high-level conferences.

This visit is part of a larger programme for Belarusian experts, which is being implemented by the Office for a Democratic Belarus supported by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DMFA). Candidates for the participation in this programme are selected through an open call for applications. The organisers welcome participation of experts from both civil society initiatives and state and government institutions.

Office for a Democratic Belarus extends its gratitude to all partners who helped to make this project possible.

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