Meeting of transport ministers in Lugano

Bern, 31.05.2016 - Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard met the transport ministers of the Alpine countries today as part of the Zurich Process. The conference was held in Lugano this year to mark the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel. Transport ministers from the Alpine countries meet regularly to discuss issues of transport safety as well as the modal shift policy. The presidency passed from Slovenian infrastructure minister, Peter Gašperšič, to his Italian colleague Graziano Delrio.

The transport ministers held their biennial conference in Lugano today where they discussed activities carried out over the last two years under the Slovenian presidency. The focus was on environmental impact reports and the improvement of rail tunnel safety, as well as the transfer of goods from road to rail in the Alpine region. Under the Zurich Process platform, work is under way to examine the feasibility of a demand-based toll system for heavy goods vehicles in the Alpine region (Toll+). The priority during the Italian presidency will be to draw up a report on how Toll+ could be implemented in practice. The environmental impacts of HGVs will also be investigated in more depth. Here the emphasis will be on determining the proportion of atmospheric pollutant emissions in transalpine traffic attributable to heavy goods traffic.
At a dinner this evening, the transport ministers will meet their counterparts from the Rotterdam-Genoa freight corridor (BE, LUX), the EU Transport Commissioner, and the heads of European railway undertakings. Tomorrow, all the guests will attend the ceremony to mark the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel.
The Zurich Process was set up in 2001 following several serious accidents in road tunnels. The members are Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland. A representative of the European Commission is included as a permanent observer, and a representative of the Alpine Convention attends as a guest.

Memorandum of Understanding on navigation signed
On the fringes of the Zurich Process conference in Lugano today, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard and the Italian infrastructure and transport minister, Graziano Delrio, signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning navigation on Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano. Shipping on the two lakes is based on an agreement between Switzerland and Italy, as well as on concessions that are coming up for renewal. Federal Councillor Leuthard and her Italian counterpart would like to boost the appeal of tourist shipping on Ticino’s lakes. The MoU allows new approaches to be tested, such as cross-border cooperation and the approval of additional private service providers. A joint working group will now set about drafting proposals.

Address for enquiries

on the ministerial conference in Lugano: Annetta Bundi, DETEC Press and Information Service, 078 646 38 80
on the Zurich Process: Federal Office of Transport, Information, +41 58 462 36 43,


Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications

Only a small number of press releases have been translated into English. The majority are only available in German, French or Italian.