Slovak Atlantic Commission and Central European Policy Institute (CEPI), in cooperation with Slovak Foreign Policy Association (SFPA) and the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic, organised a visit of three experts from the Ministry of Transport and Road Infrastructure of Moldova on 1-5 February. The study trip was organised through the “Civil Servants Mobility Programme” which is a part of “Think Visegrad” programme supported by the International Visegrad Fund. The programme’s aim is to educate representatives of the public sector in the Eastern Partnership and Western Balkan countries through study visits to the Visegrad Four (V4) countries. This particular visit focused on the sharing of experience with harmonisation of national legislation with the EU acquis in transport and road sectors.
The experts from Moldova attended several seminars at the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic. Seminars focused on various topics such as:
- The Slovak Republic within the European Union
- Plans for sustainable mobility
- Preparation processes
- Cycling transport development in the Slovak Republic
- Public transport financing from EU funds
- Information on the projects
- Legislation in the Slovak Republic
- Experience with granting of EC vehicle type-approval
- Road technical inspections
- Bus transport
- Business in taxi services
Furthermore, another seminar took place at the National Council of the Slovak Republic, where the representatives discussed the negotiation process of Slovak Republic’s accession to the EU. Moreover, the experts visited several laboratories, namely the Transport Research Institute in Zilina, Technical Vehicle Inspection (SLOVDEKRA) and the Institute of Transport Technology and Engineering Design at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. Finally, the representatives from Moldova met with representatives of the International Visegrad Fund and exchanged their perspectives on the programme and several practical suggestions in order to further improve the programme.
The representatives expressed their satisfaction with the level of seminars, speakers, face-to-face meetings with professionals and visits at the laboratories in Bratislava and Zilina. In particular, they acquired important information in terms of EU harmonisation and EU acquis through the seminars and informal discussions at the Ministry of Transport. The obtained knowledge will be eventually presented, discussed and implemented at the Ministry of Transport and Road Infrastructure of Moldova as well as the country’s legislation. Moreover, discussions with businessmen working in the transport industry helped the Moldovan experts understand the advantages and disadvantages of Slovakia’s membership in the European Union and more importantly, the opportunities which Slovak businessmen had gained since 2004. Particularly, the guests expressed their interest in hearing possible solutions of problems which were similar to current difficulties in Moldova. Through the seminars at the universities, the guests learned that the membership in the EU represented an advantage not only to businessmen but also to universities. The universities and their laboratories are involved in various EU projects which have resulted in international recognition and even more possibilities. The Moldovan experts were particularly interested in possible cooperation between Slovak and Moldovan universities. Finally, the speakers, businessmen, researchers and other participants were kindly surprised by the participants’ activity and their acquired knowledge of the Community acquis.