Rehabilitation on Section Virpazar - Sutomore

Closing ceremony for the reconstruction of the railway section in the Sozina Tunnel

Closing ceremony for the reconstruction of the railway section in the Sozina Tunnel

The closing ceremony for the reconstruction of the railway section in the Sozina Tunnel in the length of 6712 meters was held today. Minister of Transport and Maritime Affairs Osman Nurkovic, emphasized that the transport sector in Montenegro, together with the environment sector, is the predominant part of the number of projects that have been funded through available IPA funds.

As he said, we are witnessing a completion of a large number of projects or they are in its final implementation stage, especially in the railway sector.

"Financial support provided through various European Union’s funds is of a great value for Montenegro and, therefore, we in the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs continuously work in order to follow European procedures and to ensure the maximum utilization of European funds," Nurkovic emphasized.

Hermann Spitz, Head of Cooperation Section at the European Union Delegation to Montenegro, explained that the investment of funds amounting to € 4.3 million returned the railway to its projected standards and added that the trains would go faster and safer from now on. All this is in line with the objectives of the EU transport policy aimed at promoting safe, ecological and efficient transport throughout Europe, strengthening the internal market and citizens' rights to travel freely throughout the European Union. "Moreover, since this section is on the Belgrade-Podgorica-Bar line, it is very important for cross-border cooperation and it contributes to a better linkage between the Western Balkan countries. A good road network makes it easier to delete borders between countries," Spitz emphasized.

Director General for European Affairs, Ivana Glisevic Djurovic, said that the EU accession process is beneficial to the entire Montenegrin society, and that the most concrete effects are visible through the implementation of important infrastructure projects financed by the European Union through non-refundable financial support.

"The completion of the works on this project will contribute to the modernization of the railway section Bar - Vrbnica, which as a railway route 4 is recognized as part of the main EU transport network, i.e. its extension to the Western Balkans. The investment of more than 4.3 million euros in the reconstruction of the railway in the Sozina Tunnel is certainly an additional step towards fulfilling the standards specified in negotiating chapters 14 and 21 - Transport Policy and Trans-European Networks, said Djurovic.

She stressed that the successful implementation of this project confirms that Montenegro has both knowledge and skills not only for planning but also for project implementation, as well as for seriously preparing for the future use of much more plentiful European structural and investment funds that will be available after accession to the EU.

At the very end, Almer Kalač, Director of Directorate of Public Works, addressed the audience, and pointed out that this was a very important project for Montenegro and that the Directorate would be equally dedicated to every future project.

"I believe that, in this way, Directorate of Public Works justified the accreditation it has received for the realization of such projects and I think we will do it further," Kalač emphasized.

The Operational Programme “Regional Development 2012-2013” was adopted by the Montenegrin Government in March 2012 and by the European Commission in December of that year. The value of the Programme is € 26,159,626, of which 85% is funded through EU pre-accession funds i.e. IPA funds for Component III - Regional Development and 15% from the Capital Budget of Montenegro. The program consists of 5 infrastructure projects, three in the field of environment and two in the field of transport. In addition to infrastructure projects, several technical assistance projects are also implemented.