An International Forum

The European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) is an intergovernmental organisation established by a Protocol signed in Brussels on 17 October 1953. It comprises the Ministers of Transport of 44 full Member countries, 7 Associate countries and 1 Observer country.

In Europe, the ECMT helps to create an integrated transport system that is economically efficient and meets environmental and safety standards.

At their meeting in Dublin, Ireland, in May 2006, the Council of Ministers agreed on the creation of an International Transport Forum (Dublin Declaration), which would include a much wider group of countries in its membership. The founding members of the Forum consist of the 51 ECMT Members and Associate Members. Other economies are also expected to participate in the future. The yearly Forum will provide Ministers of Transport with an opportunity to discuss topics of global, strategic importance, relating to all modes of transport, and will include the participation of leading non-government actors. The aim of the Forum is to bring high-profile, international attention to the essential role played by transport in the economy and society, while facilitating the integration of transport and logistics into key policy-making processes.

Working Structure

The Forum is designed to be flexible, efficient and politically responsive, while retaining the quality of its policy analysis and research. This is reflected in a new, slimmer, decision-making structure. A Transport Management Board gives direction to the work of the Forum. The Presidency of each Forum will form a small Task Force to help it plan the annual conference. In turn, the Task Force may draw upon the specialist work of ad hoc conference project groups and policy networks, plus the output of the Joint OECD/ECMT Research Centre and additional contributions from stakeholder consultations.

This new supporting structure replaces the former ECMT Committee of Deputies and nearly all working groups which will cease during a transitional period to the end of the current three-year work programme period. The only group to be retained as a permanent structure is the Working Group on Road Transport, which will continue to manage the European multilateral quota and any related issues.
As from May 2008, date of the inaugural Forum, the event will be established permanently in Leipzig (Germany).

Transport Research

In January 2004, the ECMT and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) brought together their transport research capabilities in setting up the Joint Transport Research Centre. The Centre conducts co-operative research programmes addressing all modes of inland transport and their intermodal linkages, in support of policy-making processes in member countries.