The UN 2030 Agenda strives to develop sustainable transport and the accompanying infrastructure. Transport policy plays a major role in pursuing several SDGs, particularly in the area of environmental protection concerning limiting harmful emissions, air, sea and ocean pollution, mitigating adverse climate change impacts, as covered by the Paris Agreement on climate change (2015). The SDG 3 (3.6) aspires to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents, which is closely linked with the development of infrastructure which is at the same time conducive to economic development and human wellbeing, and be based on increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes (SDG 9; 9.1, 9.4). Access to quality infrastructure is also covered by SDG 11; 11.2, while SDG 14; 14.1, 14.2, 14.3 emphasises preserving life under water, closely linked with the maritime transport and the accompanying adverse impacts of road and railway transport. The UN 2030 Agenda promotes the transport cooperation platform, Sustainable Mobility for All, launched by the World Bank, and consisting of 55 influential public organisations and private companies aimed at changing how transport operates towards building accessible, efficient, safe and green mobility.
At the European level and globally, sustainable transport and sustainable urban mobility are promoted, which requires technological advancement of vehicles, the use of alternative energy sources, favourable tax policy, promoting public transport, non-motorised means of transport, multimodal transport system, and the same are the priorities set for Montenegro under its National Sustainable Development Strategy 2030. The greatest challenges Montenegro is facing include poor infrastructure and low inter-regional connectivity, underdeveloped multimodal transport, vehicle age and quality, but also air, water and soil pollution, Therefore, several NSDS measures focus on this policy areas, aspiring to better quality of life and the environment (measures 1.2.2, 3.1.1, 3.4.5, 4.1.3, 4.2.1, 4.5.1) and better inter-regional connectivity (measure 2.8.1). Some of the key targets to be achieved by 2030: number of fatalities in car accidents reduced by 50%, all three regions connected with up-to-date ad safe infrastructure, the northern region disposes of necessary infrastructure as a precondition for development and is a comfortable place for life and work, the GHG emissions level reduced by 30% compared to 1990, man-made GHG emissions amount to 5.7 t CO2 eq/ per capita, minimum annual GHG emissions reduction is 10 % by 2021, environmental fiscal reform completed with primary focus on energy, construction and housing, agriculture, transport, industry and tourism, improved vehicle fleet in terms of age and emissions, increased energy efficiency in transport.
 More in: Global Roadmap for Action, Towards Sustainable Mobility, Sustainable Mobility for All, 2019.
Transport policy is directly linked with two EU Acquis chapters: 14 – Transport policy and 21 – Trans-European networks.
Chapter 14 was opened on 21 December 2015, and the closing benchmarks refer to alignment with the EU acquis concerning passenger rights, air and railway traffic management, road transport rules, EU safety and interoperability standards. The Programme of Accession of Montenegro to the EU (PAMEU) 2020-2022 envisages the adoption of several documents relevant for this chapter. The European Commission 2019 Report on Montenegro notes that Montenegro is moderately prepared in the area of transport policy and that going forward Montenegro should focus its attention on the independent railway regulatory body, lay down the strategic framework for implementing intelligent transport systems (ITS) on its core road, rail and maritime network, and achieve full membership of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control.
Chapter 21 was opened on 22 May 2015, and closing benchmarks refer to agreement on the future TEN-T network concerning Montenegro, on the list of priority projects in the transport sector and undertaking the responsibilities from the Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility. The PAMEU 2020-2022 sets similar obligations to the ones for Chapter 14 regarding the trans-European transport network, and in reference to the trans-European energy network the plan is to adopt the 2021-2025 Action Plan pursuant to the Energy Development Strategy by 2030. As regards this chapter, Montenegro is also moderately prepared, and given that the Transport Development Strategy 2019-2035 has been adopted, going forward Montenegro should focus on meeting the closing benchmarks.
The most recent EC report notes progress in the area of transport, data gathering and transport statistics which is fully aligned with Eurostat, and the progress made in completing the preliminary studies for the design of the Adriatic-Ionian highway. As regards the Bar-Boljare highway, it notes that the decisions on the construction of the next sections must be based on a careful analysis of the financing scheme and in full compliance with applicable EU standards on public procurement, State aid and environmental impact assessment.
The European Commission 2019-2024, through its political guidelines and the Green Deal, promotes the idea of a climate-neutral continent by 2050, with a substantial section devoted to expanding the emissions trading scheme to cover maritime and road transport, and reduce the free allowances allocated to the airlines over time, and the construction sector. The European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility, adopted in 2016, wishes to secure that Europe stays competitive and ready to respond to the growing mobility needs for people and commodities, by maximising the use of digital technologies, the transition to low-emission means of transport, the use of low-emission alternative energy and electricity for transport needs and move towards the use of low or zero emission vehicles. The promotion of sustainable transport and the removal of bottlenecks in key transport infrastructure is one of the 11 thematic goals of the EU Cohesion Policy. Key strategic directions for EU transport policy and the TEN –T are set in the: White Paper 2011: Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area, 2009 Communication on the Future of transport and Maritime Transport Strategy.
Pursuant to the NSDS 2030 goals and priorities, Montenegro’s transport policy counts on synergies with other policies with a view to better harnessing development potentials, better regional transport connectivity, improving the existing capacities and environment-friendly spatial planning. The key strategic priority for transport infrastructure is the Bar-Boljare highway, while the Single List of Priority Infrastructure Projects in 2019 includes also: the Reconstruction and modernisation of the railway section Bar-Vrbnica-border with Serbia, the Coastal replica of the Adriatic-Ionian highway – the expressway along Montenegrin coast, Reconstruction and modernisation of the railway section Podgorica-Tuzi-border with Albania-Tirana, the Development of Podgorica and Tivat airports, Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Information System (VTMIS) and response to marine pollution incidents – Phase 2, and the Construction of the railway section Nikšić-border with BiH-Trebinje-Čapljina.
The Development Directions 2018-2021 envisage construction of motorways, construction and reconstruction of regional roads and highways, upgrading railway infrastructure, extension of air and sea ports, and similarly so the Medium-term Government Work Programme 2018-2020 (goals 29. Better connectivity between the north and the south of Montenegro by building roads with full adherence to security and safety standards and 30. Continued balanced restoration and modernisation of public railway infrastructure, rolling stock and train maintenance facilities). The Economic Reforms Programme 2020-2022, in the section on energy and transport markets reforms, with the priority reform measure 2 focuses on improved inter-city scheduled road transport services for passengers. Transport is also included in the Regional Development Strategy 2014-2020, in the priority area Transport infrastructure, which also highlights upgrading road and railway infrastructure, air and water-borne transport with a view to better connectivity among and within regions.
The key sector-specific strategy for the transport policy is the Transport Development Strategy 2019-2035 which sets future transport system development around five strategic goals aimed at boosting economy, economic efficiency and financial sustainability, service accessibility and quality, improving safety of people and commodities in transport, integration into the TEN-T network, and reduction of CO2 emissions, noise and impact on natural, historic and socio-economic environment. Moreover, Railway Development Strategy 2017-2035 supports similar goals, with railway transport in focus. As regards maritime transport, the development and adoption of the Strategy on Maritime Industry Development 2020-2030 is expected in the upcoming period.
Linkages with other sectors are observable from goals and measures from other sector-specific documents; hence, Energy Development Strategy 2014-2030 mentions transport among the measures and goals fostering energy efficiency and the use of renewables in transport industry. Mitigating harmful impacts of transport features among environment related strategies. The National Strategy for Transposition, Implementation and Application of EU Environment and Climate Change Acquis with Draft Action Plan 2016-2020 envisages a role for the ministry that covers transport and maritime policies in the transposition of the transport Acquis, noise reduction, reducing harmful emissions, cutting fuel consumption, which is also partly covered by the National Climate Change Strategy 2015-2030, the National Strategy for Air Quality Management 2013-2020, and the National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention. The measures concerning licencing and control of hazardous substances in road, railway, air and maritime transport are covered by the Strategy for Protection against Ionising Radiation, Radiation Safety and Radioactive Waste Management 2017-2021. The Postal Services Strategy 2019-2023 covers postal transport and postal services operators in Montenegro, which is closely linked with infrastructure development, postal and transport alike.