The biggest 2018 event in Ljubljana was attended by 2300 delegates, amongst which were many high-level personalities, including 5 European Commissioners and 26 European ministers of Transport. Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc represented the European Commission. She was joined by Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Günther Oettinger and Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu. In addition, Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar and Bulgarian Minister for Transport Ivaylo Moskovski and Karima Delli, Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism in the European Parliament participated in the opening ceremony. Besides the high-level meetings and four plenary sessions over 40 smaller meetings took place during the three-day event.
This year's conference under the slogan "Connecting Europe" also hosted an accelerator hub and futuristic lab, which allowed young European entrepreneurs and companies to showcase their innovative mobility solutions, and reach out to participants from across the EU, including public authorities, transport companies, project promoters, public and private banks and investors. Additionally, a high-level inter-institutional meeting was held in order to discuss further synergies between transport, energy and digital connectivity, and the investment in the post-2020 framework. The session led to the "Ljubljana declaration" initiated by members of the transport industry on key principles for investment in smart, sustainable and safe mobility. Among high-level events, there were also ministerial sessions between Western Balkans and Turkey, and Southern Mediterranean and Eastern Partnership countries. The aim of these meetings was to foster transport connectivity between the European Member States and EU neighbours as well as making border crossings more efficient and raising road safety.
TEN-T Days Exhibitions
The conference also saw an impressive indoor and outdoor exhibition with more than 100 exhibitors displaying innovative transport solutions and technologies, including an electric plane. The aim of the exhibition was to contribute to European transport infrastructure development. The exciting projects on the future of mobility – electric vehicles and chargers, ITS and alternative fuels were exhibited at the Kupola Hall, while projects supporting the mobility with rail, maritime, IWW and road transport infrastructure were displayed in the Steklena Hall. Different innovative technologies for the road sector, such as electromobilic natural gas and fuel cell/hydrogen got presented in the outdoor space, including a range of alternative fuels vehicles, from passenger cars and light commercial vans to heavy vehicles.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive from both stakeholders and high-level personalities:
Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport, commented on the event:
"As a former entrepreneur, the world of business and innovation is very close to my heart. With this year's edition of the TEN-T Days, the Commission is bringing together people from all parts of the transport sector to facilitate exchanges, and ensure that we can build the European transport network of the future. The Commission is there to assist you with our expertise and where possible also with EU funding."
Désirée Oen, Policy Coordinator, Directorate-general for Mobility and Transport, explained why GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre with 22 multi-purpose halls and a vast outer area was indeed the right choice for the conference:
"The venue was ideal to cater all the needs of participants, taking into account also the complexity of all parallel sessions and the presence of so many high-level personalities. The cooperation with the staff of GR Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre was excellent: good preparatory meetings, open communication and personal commitment and follow-up during the TEN-T Days."
Source: GR - Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre; European Commission