On September 24-27, representatives of the Belarusian Union of Transport Workers (BUTW) travelled to Vilnius on a study tour organised by the Brussels-based Office for a Democratic Belarus in cooperation with the Office for European Expertise and Communication (Minsk, Belarus) in the frames of the project “EU and Belarus: Sharing Knowledge”. The Lithuanian National Road Carriers’ Association LINAVA hosted the event in Vilnius.
The programme of the visit was designed to help the Belarusian experts get acquainted with the passenger transportation in three different sectors: state-run, public, and commercial. Belarusian specialists were particularly interested in the way transport networks are organised in Lithuania, new legislative acts that regulate transport domain after the country joined the EU, as well as the possibility to apply the experience of their Lithuanian colleagues in Belarus which aims at approximation with the EU norms and standards in the area of transport and transit.
During the visit the Belarusian specialists had the opportunity to study the documents regulating the passenger transportation in the EU in general and in particular in Lithuania. The Belarusian guests also visited the bus station of Vilnius owned by Limited Liability Company TOKS, the State Road Transport Inspectorate and the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania.
Uladzimir Sauko, a member of the Board of the Belarusian Union of Transport Workers and the director of its Hrodna branch, shared his opinion on the visit and expressed his gratitude to the organisers for "providing an opportunity to learn from the experience of the country that once was part of similar system and could serve as an interesting model for Belarus".
One of the achievements of the visit was signing an agreement between the Belarusian Union of Transport Workers and the Lithuanian National Road Carriers’ Association LINAVA. Let us remind that a similar agreement was signed by BUTW with the Union of Transport and Road Workers of Moldova during their visit to Chișinău under the same project in April this year.
The project “EU and Belarus: Sharing Knowledge” envisages a series of events to enhance contacts and exchange best practises between Belarusian specialists in different fields and their colleagues from the EU and other EaP countries. One of the expected results of this project is the elaboration of a concept on harmonisation of the legislation in the field of passengers' transportation by automobile transport.
The project is implemented by the Office for a Democratic Belarus (Brussels, Belgium) in cooperation with the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (in Vilnius, Lithuania), the Belarusian Union of Transport Workers (Minsk, Belarus) with technical and informational support provided by the Office for European Expertise and Communication (Minsk, Belarus).
Translated from Russian by Vito Russi, the intern with the ODB