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In Europe’s southeast, the Balkan peninsula has a transport dilemma. Relatively short distances between cities take hours to navigate and what should be a well-connected region is anything but. Motorway expansion is the go-to government option while rail and waterways often only get the scraps. Given transport’s substantial contribution to our emissions surplus, this makes for an interesting climate policy case study. If the Balkans gets its transport act together, who knows what other green objectives the region could achieve?
As six countries vie for EU membership, one international body, the Transport Community, aims to help integrate those nations into the pan-European bloc to both accelerate their membership applications and make the transition a smoother ride. That means helping governments adopt EU standards and rules so that they can tap into funding, as well as making recommendations on what kind of policies should be prioritised.
This week Sam is joined by the Transport Community’s director, Matej Zakonjšek, to discuss the difficulties the region is facing, what kind of transport options the Balkans should focus on and why these EU-hopefuls could actually outstrip their northern neighbours if the right decisions are made soon.
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