On June 21 CER, the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies, held its annual meeting in Tbilisi.
CER holds similar forums twice a year – in Brussels and EU member countries. The meeting that discusses the 4th railway package process, is being held for the first time in Georgia, a EU nonmember country.
After DCFTA agreement signature, Georgia assumed obligation of fulfilling various instructions and regulations, including 8 instructions regarding Georgian Railway. Georgian Railway is a CER member company. CER shares its experience to the Georgian company in both technical and legal issues. The forum that is held in Tbilisi is the best platform for establishing business relations with administrations of European railway companies. Key direction of CER is to support the interests of member railway companies on EU territory. Its slogan is: The Voice of European Railways. CER acts as a railway ombudsman in EU.
CER annual meeting in Tbilisi is being attended by directors of railway companies of EU member countries. The meeting is chaired by CER executive director Libor Lochman. Ketevan Salukvadze, head of Transport Policy Department of Ministry of Economy of Georgia and representatives of European and Euroatlantic Integration Ministry are attending the meeting.
The Forum was unveiled by Georgian Railway director general Mamuka Bakhtadze. He noted that Georgian Railway has achieved significant progress in implementation of Georgia-EU association agreement.
“Today Georgian Railway is hosting a very important event and We are very proud of this fact. This is the first case when CER is holding its meeting in EU nonmember country. This signifies that Georgia is a member of European family. In 2014 Georgia signed EU association agreement and implementation of European instructions and regulations is a part of this agreement.
At this stage, the 4th railway package is being implemented in the railway transport part. Georgian Railway has made significant progress in the part of this instruction and today’s meeting will discuss this 4th package”, Georgian Railway director Mamuka Bakhtadze said.
CER executive director Libor Lochman is leading the Forum. He positively appraised Georgian Railway’s cooperation with CER. Useful cooperation with Europe and EU member countries is very important for railway transport development, he said.
“I am happy to be in Tbilisi to participate in this event. Here I am talking with Georgian colleagues and discuss internal issues and interests of EU member countries. Georgian colleagues’ efforts in this direction are of crucial importance and I deeply appreciate these efforts”, Libor Lochman said.