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Georgian Railway Starts Fulfilling Georgia-EU Association Agreement

Georgian Railway has started fulfilling the Georgia-EU associated membership agreement, under which the company must introduce 8 main instructions and regulations.

In this respect the experience of the EU member countries is of crucial importance. To share their experience representatives of the European Railway Agency (ERA) arrived in Georgia. The delegation is led by ERA executive director Libor Lochman, who attended the September 18 workshop at the Radisson hotel and shared the ERA experience to the Georgian Railway representatives.

At the workshop Lochman provided a detailed description of the recommendations that must be introduced in Georgia for establishing EU directives and regulations in the railway field.

David Bakradze, the Georgian State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Issues, opened the workshop. The due regulations must be enacted in Georgia in 2018-2020-2012 years, he noted.

“Georgian Railway is member of the European Railway Agency. Sharing the European experience is of crucial importance for adjusting our everyday life, legislation and Railway sector to the European standards. It is important that our friends assist us on this way and this factor opens new opportunities to us to achieve these standards thanks to assistance of our European partners.

At this stage, we are passing a preparatory period. None of these regulations is easy for fulfillment. All of them require much effort. Consequently, we should get prepared for the period of their enactment”, David Bakradze said.

Georgia will cooperate with the EU in the railway and, in general, transportation fields as part of the EU associated membership agreement, Akaki Saghirashvili, a head of the Georgian Railway operations management department, noted.

“Georgian Railway should introduce 8 directives and regulations stage by stage due to years. We have already taken certain steps in this direction. We have set up a special group and created its working statute.

The years of 2018-2020-2012 are deadlines when the directives must have been enacted. Main aspects of these directives are – safety, opening the market, determination of tariff of the railway infrastructure company, issues related to passengers’ rights, cargo transportation operators and so on. Significant directives exist regarding the environment protection that will be established stage by stage. As a result, the railway will become more flexible in Georgia and we will have genuinely European standard railway”, Saghirashvili said.

It is worth noting the objective of the European Railway Agency is to back the enhancement of the business and create healthy environment to European Railway operators and railway infrastructure companies for taking bolder and more successful steps. ERA unites over 70 infrastructure managers and railway operators. Georgia is one of the ERA partner countries.