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The development of more efficient and sustainable transports is one of the crucial components of the EUROPE 2020 strategy and one of the pillars of both the new TEN-T Guidelines and the White Paper on transport.

The new TEN-T Methodology in this sense envisages few core network transport corridors, which have to foster multimodality, the deployment of renewable energies & clean fuels, capable of connecting the main transport nodes (ports, cities, logistics platforms, airports). This is in line with the overarching objective of deploying more competitive & efficient freight transport, which is essential to spur economic development in Europe and fulfil the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy on competitiveness & employment.

These issues are at the core of future developments of the whole Adriatic area where too many disparities and structural weaknesses remain between different States and Regions. The recent launch of the new maritime strategy for the Adriatic & Ionian Macro Region underlines the need to step up cooperation in the area by exploiting existing resources, structures & regulations to foster cross-border partnerships, mobilizing local, regional and national actors towards common objectives.

“Optimizing transport links by developing an integrated, demand-based, low-carbon maritime transportation network across the Region” & “stimulating the creations of maritime clusters” are two of the main priorities of the strategy. More interconnections, links & exchange of good practices are indeed fundamental between the two coasts of the Adriatic sea where many initiatives exist due to individual approaches and not yet based on a common and consistent policy.

Moreover the development of an effective transport policy based on the new TEN-T Guidelines is jeopardized by the lack of infrastructures & services based on multimodal solutions. 

The road freight transport still plays a major role and rail and inland navigation are not sufficiently exploited. Accessibility analysis shows that railway has travel times much longer than the respective roads’ ones. Ports are often not well connected to the transport network and logistic centres and the existing inter-modal terminals are still underutilized.

However, there is a great potential for enhancing inter-modal transport with an envisaged increase of 15% by 2015 in the sole core network. Furthermore the very fragile Adriatic ecosystem, both marine and coastal, have to be protected and taken carefully into consideration by deploying more eco-friendly means of transport together with eco-innovative services.

The EASYCONNECTING Project aims at studying and analysing all the main infrastructural bottlenecks and transport service inefficiencies in the IPA area in order to find&test proper solutions and put forward recommendations for policy-makers and national/regional representatives. These propositions are essential to develop a common strategy on transport and logistics ensuring the common development of the area in the near future.