Slovenia works to adapt its infrastructure to EU needs

Just days after Slovenia joined the EU it was obvious that traffic was a problem in need of attention - especially along the border with Croatia where long delays are common. And with traffic volume expected to increase, Slovenia is hoping that joining the EU will help clear up some of those jams. Ksenija Samardzija-Matul reports:

What's known as the fifth European transport Corridor was on the top of the agenda at a conference in the Slovenian city of Portoroz this week. The fifth corridor is a combined set of transport and communication infrastructures which will move people and goods from Portugal in the West to Ukraine in the East. It runs through Italy, Slovenia and Hungary. Boris Zivec is the State Secretary for traffic policy and international relations at Slovenia's transport Ministry:

"As we can realize in Slovenia we are making such great efforts to adapt our transport infrastructure to future transport flows. But nevertheless what is important all the countries agreed that this was a first conference in a series of future conferences, where we would make a checklist of what we have already completed on this transport infrastructure and what is in front of us in the future".

Much is still to be done and much money is needed to complete this East West transport link. And according to Mr. Thielmann from the European Commission - once completed it will strengthen cooperation between neighbours:

Boris Zivec,  photo: POPTV,
"Well I am representing the European Commission in this conference and we are very much interested to see developments going on on this corridor, which we consider as very important. Linking Italy Slovenia with the Ukraine but also going beyond to France. We think that now after the enlarged EU has been materialized the 1st May, we should strengthen the links to our next door neighbours and the plans are existing but we have to realize it now and we are looking forward to receive contributions by all the member states concerned."

Hopefully financing will be found and long delays at the border crossings will become history. But what are the main priorities and efforts that have to be taken by Slovenia to complete the Slovene section of the Corridor. We asked State secretary Boris Zivec:

"On the top of the list is firstly to adapt our transport infrastructure on the railway side we have to conclude the doubling of railway lines from Koper to Divaca and we have to upgrade the increasing structure further on on Corridor 5 to Hungary particularly the electrification part from Pragersko to Hodos

Road and railway construction on the Slovene section of the 5th Pan - European Corridor is due to be finished by 2012.