The Corridor VIII Project: Albania and Macedonia - Balkan News & Politics

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The Corridor VIII Project: Albania and Macedonia

The Corridor VIII Project: Albania and Macedonia

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ne: 15-11-2008, 00:37:15
After the fall of Berlin Wall, the project of “Trans-European Transport Corridors” has been emerged between the Europe and the Balkan countries. The main aim of the project was to make trade relations easier among the countries in the region and to develop ties on oil and other energy supplies, and telecommunication. Although, this was a complex infrastructure network, for Europe it had a strategic importance in the sense that these Corridors will also improve the stability in a region which has always been troubled.

The Corridor VIII is one of ten trans-European corridors which connects the Adriatic and Black Sea. It sets out from the Italian ports of Bari and Brindisi and knocks on the door of Durres in Albania before carrying on through Tirana, Skopje and Sofia, finally arriving in the Black Sea ports of Burgas and Varna. In this regard, it has a significant importance for Albania and Macedonia from a geopolitical and geo-economic point of view.

Corridor VIII will launch Albania and Macedonia towards the Eastern European markets. Besides, it will provide a large amount of investments from the West for the roads, railways, ports, logistic infrastructure. Therefore, it will guarantee business opportunities in short term and structural economic advantages in long term. On the other hand, it brings political benefits of breaking the isolation and provides a new geopolitical importance as a bridge between Eastern Europe and Asia.

However, the project faces some difficulties in terms of feasibility. The region is a mountainous district, especially between Albania and Macedonia. This current problematic is increasing the cost and extending the time period needed to finalize the project. Hence, last Tuesday (November 11th) Albanian Parliament Speaker Jozefina Topalli proposed and Macedonian counterpart Trajko Veljanovski came together in Skopje and decided to lobby in the EU in order to secure financial aid. Both country officials called for intensified bilateral economic ties.

Now it is time for Albania and Macedonia to reveal the studies for Corridor VIII in order to stimulate the integration with the EU.

Muzaffer Vatansever, JTW.
November 14, 2008

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