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Origins & History

Origins and History

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(c) BBT-SE

In the light of the tragic accident in the St. Gotthard Tunnel at the end of October 2001 and disasters in other tunnels (Tauern), the transport ministers of Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland and Austria signed the joint Declaration of Zurich on 30 November 2001. This Declaration was drawn up in response to a Swiss initiative and was signed in the presence of representatives of the European Commission.  The purpose of the Declaration is to encourage alternative means of transport and improve road safety (especially in Alpine tunnels). Since October 2001 the ministers have met three times, on 11 May 2004 in Regensberg, on 14 November 2005 in Sedrun (both under Swiss presidency) and on 20 October 2006 in Lyon (under French presidency), when Slovenia joined the group as a member.
The adoption of the EU Directive on Safety Requirements for Tunnels in European Road Networks (Austria held the chair of this working group) and an agreement to jointly commission a study regarding an “Alpine Crossing Exchange” were some of the most important successes achieved under these presidencies.


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Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung (Germany) Ministère de l'Écologie, de l'Energie, du Développement durable et de l'Aménagement du territoire (France) Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti (Italy) Bundesminsiterium für Innovation, Verkehr und Technologie (Austria) Eidgenössisches Departement für Umwelt, Verkehr, Energie und Kommunikation (Switzerland) Ministrstvo za promet (Slovenia) Directorate General Energy and Transport