The TRACECA Program has been created on the occasion of the Brussels Conference on the 3rd of May 1993, were there participated the Ministers of Transport and Trade from 8 states, 5 states from Central Asia: the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Republic of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan, and respectively, 3 states from the Caucasus region: the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan and Georgia. During the Conference there was signed an agreement for the implementation of the Technical Assistance Program, financed by the European Union, for the development of atransport corridoron awest - eastaxis fromEurope, across theBlack Sea, through theCaucasus and the Caspian Sea toCentral Asia.
In 1996, Ukraine and Mongolia have been accepted in the TRACECA program, afterwards, in 1999 - the Republic of Moldova, and in 2002, within the Tashkent Conference, 24th-25th of April (Second Annual Conference of the TRACECA Intergovernmental Commission) the Republic of Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey have also joined TRACECA.
The goals of the TRACECA Program:
- Creation of the necessary structures for the development of the TRACECA corridor as an alternative to the North Trans-Siberian route;
- Unification of the TRACECA corridor with the European transport networks;
- Support of the political and economic independence of the CIS countries, and afterwards, of the participant states of the Basic Multilateral Agreement on International Transport for Development of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia Corridor.
The objectives of the Basic Agreement are:
- To contribute to the development of economic relations, trade and transport communications in Europe, in the Black Sea region and the Caucasus, in the Caspian Sea region and Asia;
- To facilitate access to the international market of road and railway transport as well as commercial navigation;
- To ensure traffic safety, security of goods and environment protection;
- To harmonize transport policies and the transport legal framework;
- To create equal competition conditions for the consolidation of the transport field.
The principles applied by the Republic of Moldova in its cooperation with TRACECA
The TRACECA program, initiated by the European Community at the Brussels Conference as a TACIS component, presented a regional intergovernmental program aiming at facilitating cooperation between its member states in all areas related to trade and transport development in the region; development of the transport corridor Central Asia-Caucasus-Europe; facilitation of customs regimes among member countries.
The TRACECA program resulted in a close cooperation and dialogue between government representatives and lead to the signing of joint agreements on the maintenance of transit fees at competitive levels and simplification of border crossing formalities.
The technical assistance granted through the TRACECA program has contributed to attracting investments from International Financial Institutions, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, which made capital investments amounting to more than 1.7 billion Euro, in projects for the development of ports, roads and railways along the entire TRACECA corridor.
During the implementation of investment projects the Republic of Moldova has benefited of the following:
- International Road Transport and Transit Facilitation (1998-2000) /
- Transportation prognosis and technical-economical bases (1999-2000);
- Harmonization of border crossing procedures ( 2001-2003);
- Unified Policy on Transit Fees and Tariffs (2001-2003);
- Technical and economical motivation for improving automobile and railway border crossing points between Moldova and Ukraine (2002-2004);
- Common Legal Basis for Transit Transportation (2003-2005);
- Capacity Development for Senior Transport Officials (2003-2005); Dezvoltarea capacităţilor oficialilor in domeniul transportului (2003—2005);
- Trade Facilitation and Institution Support (2004-2006).
After the finalization of the project “Technical and economical motivation for improving automobile and railway border crossing points between Moldova and Ukraine” (1.7 million Euro budget) in 2004, as a logical continuation of the TRACECA program, the European Commission established a new investment project "Improving the infrastructure and equipment endowment of the border crossing points between Moldova and Ukraine" (2 million Euro budget).
Having signed the Basic Multilateral Agreement, the Republic of Moldova became “part” of it and began its activity within the TRACECA Intergovernmental Commission. This involved the establishment of the National Commission and the Representation of the TRACECA Permanent Secretariat in Moldova. This Agreement was ratified by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova on the 15th of December 2005 by Law nr. 328 - XVI.
By the Government Decision nr.41-p as of the 12th of April 2005, the official delegation of the Republic of Moldova took part in the fourth meeting of the TRACECA Intergovernmental Commission, where there was signed the Agreement on common financing of the TRACECA Intergovernmental Commission.
The TRACECA program involves a series of projects for the development of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia transport corridor and their implementation in the regions relevant for the corridor. Since 1998, the National Commission and the National Secretariat have worked towards cooperation in the implementation of the TRACECA projects planned for the member countries, including the Republic of Moldova. The mentioned projects include the following:
- International Road Transport and Transit Facilitation (IRU): term - 1998-2000, budget (Euro) - 2 800 000;
- Intergovernmental Commission for the Implementation of the Multilateral Agreement on Transport: term - 1999-2001, budget (Euro) - 1 100 000;
- Traffic Forecasting and Feasibility Studies: term - 1999-2001, budget (Euro)-2000000;
- Intergovernmental Commission for the Implementation of the Multilateral Agreement on Transport (follow up): term - 2001-2002, budget (Euro) - 1 050 000;
- Harmonization of Border Crossing Procedures: term - 2001-2003, budget (Euro) – 2 000 000;
- Unified Policy on Transit Fees and Tariffs: term - 2001-2003, budget (Euro) – 2 000 000;
- TRACECA Coordination Team: term - 2001-2003, budget (Euro) - 500 000;
- Common Legal Basis for Transit Transportation: term - 2003-2005, budget (Euro) - 2 000 000;
- Capacity Development for Senior Transport Officials: term - 2003-2005, budget (Euro) - 1 800 000;
- Trade Facilitation and Institution Support: term - 2004-2006, budget (Euro)- 2 000 000;
- Freight Forwarders Training Courses: term - 2006-2007 budget (Euro) - 2 000 000.
The “Technical and economical motivation for improving automobile and railway border crossing points between Moldova and Ukraine” project, designed for the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, having a total budget of 1 700 000 Euro, was realized in the period 23rd of December 2002 – 29th of February 2004 (at the conclusion of this project the Transport Agency of the Republic of Moldova received equipment in the amount of 14 326 Euro).
The European Commission together with the TRACECA Intergovernmental Commission have drafted the Annex to the Basic Multilateral Agreement on the joint financing system of the Permanent Secretariat of the TRACECA Intergovernmental Commission, starting with 2006, with a total budget of 600 000 Euro, which was analyzed within the Meeting of the National Secretaries (21st of April 2004), where there has also been discussed the project for the joint financing of the TRACECA Intergovernmental Commission within the governments of the member states. This project was approved by the governments parties of the Basic Multilateral Agreement and submitted for signature at the fourth meeting of the TRACECA Intergovernmental Commission, held in the period 21st – 22nd of April 2005, in Baku.