Monday 11 April 2022

First meeting of the new European Management Committee College held on 1 April 2022

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The European Management Committee (EMC) meeting was held in hybrid format, with around 30 participants present both in Lisbon (Portugal) and online, representing European member railways and partner organisations.

Francisco Cardoso dos Reis, representing Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) and Chairman of the UIC Europe Region, together with François Davenne, UIC Director General and Simon Fletcher, UIC Director Europe, welcomed the participants and thanked members for their continuous commitment and collaboration. He gave an overview of the very considerable efforts being made by the railway community to show support and solidarity with regard to the conflict in Ukraine. A number of railways and partners – including FS Italiane, Network Rail, SNCF, CFR, LDZ, MAV, PKP & CER, – gave updates on what their organisations are doing to show solidarity in the form of providing humanitarian aid, managing the welfare of refugees in stations, providing hot meals, providing special trains and offering free travel.
Director General François Davenne briefed the meeting on what the UIC has done and will continue to do to ensure that it remains compliant with the requirements in force.

Simon Fletcher gave an update on the work carried out by the UIC Refugee Task Force, chaired by Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director. The Task Force meets on a weekly basis to exchange know-how and good practice and to provide a support platform for the work being done by the railways to help to facilitate the stress for the people seeking refuge. Mr Fletcher gave an overview of the companies and countries that are currently involved and spoke about the questionnaire that has been sent to Task Force members with the aim of getting a clearer idea of what the railways are doing to manage the situation. The meeting was reminded that many companies had been invited to respond to the questionnaire including companies that are not UIC members.

Regarding the EMC College Francisco Cardoso dos Reis highlighted that whilst some companies have held seats in the previous college, their representative has changed and some new companies have taken seats in the 2022 – 2023 EMC College. Amongst these are Network Rail, Lineas, CFR, Trafikverket, and SNCB who introduced themselves and said they were looking forward to being part of the committee. The EMC was asked to welcome Jean-Pierre Farandou, President of SNCF, as the fourth representative of the UIC Executive Board on behalf of the European region alongside Francisco Cardoso dos Reis, Martin Frobisher and Robert Homolya.

Simon Fletcher, Director Europe, presented the Europe Action Plan which has evolved, the not inconsiderable help of the EMCA, since the first iteration was presented in autumn 2021. It sets out a number of key areas that make up the regional focus for 2022 – 2023 including standardisation, sustainability, innovation, communication, member-focused high-level exchanges and cooperation with other associations.

By way of an illustration of how this focus will be supportive of the work in the freight business area, Sandra Géhénot, UIC Freight Director, presented the Freight Work Programme for the Europe region. This largely driven by the Rail Freight Forward (RFF) coalition, with an update on the work in progress, organised around three main pillars, placing particular emphasis on DP-Rail, the digital platform. The EMC was invited to support the action plan and enhance the topics proposed.
Martin Frobisher informed the meeting that there would be a paper on energy issues that he will present at the EMC in June.

François Davenne briefed the meeting on the latest document under development, the UIC Manifesto for future mobility, which aims to provide a roadmap for UIC and offer concrete solutions, particularly in the area of innovation – for example energy, modal shift and customer service – and will complement the existing Vision 2030, which was presented at the International Symposium organied by UIC at the end of last year. The EMC supported the approach being taken with the Manifesto.

Philippe Lorand, UIC Senior Passenger Advisor, and Carsten Lotz, Partner at McKinsey & Company, presented the ongoing Study on how to boost passenger preference for rail, outlining the context and objectives of the study. This included findings to date and current challenges concerning recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, ways to increase ridership, and levers to restore and boost passenger rail, which involves restoring passenger trust, attracting new customers and creating a service that offers a viable alternative to cars and aeroplanes. The key findings of this study will be summarised in a report and shared with UIC members at the 100th General Assembly at the end of June.

Regarding Ringfencing of projects/activities, François Davenne explained the mechanism that will be added to the different terms of reference regarding access to the project groups, dissemination of work results outside the project groups and general information. The aim of this implementation is to raise awareness of the professionalism of UIC project management, how ultimate confidentiality is involved and how intellectual property rights are handled within UIC.

On behalf of the UIC Sustainable Development Unit, Isabelle De Keyzer, Senior Sustainability Advisor, presented the Rail Sustainability Index (RSi), a new tool being designed for and with the global rail community. Previously named the ‘SDG Rail Index’, the tool will provide UIC members with a unique rating system and a supportive digital platform based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations to assess the performance of each railway based on a selection of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). To mark the official start of the first year of the Rail Sustainability Index (RSi), UIC will be hosting an interactive online event on the afternoon of 3 May open to all members. EMC members are invited to inform their colleagues and register to be part of the first RSi score ( An invitation is to follow.

On the point concerning Specifications & Standardisation, Françoise Davenne briefed the EMC on the coordination framework with ERA, an agreement signed in November 2021 with the aim of reinforcing cooperation with ERA to draft guidelines, guidelines and solutions that can be utilised as source references for AMOCs or even to be integrated into TSIs. Cooperation will also be strengthened with CEN/CENELEC to ensure better participation of UIC and/or UIC members in standardisation working groups.

Finally, Martin Brennan, Head of Research and Innovation, gave an update on UIC’s involvement in Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (ERJU), with a focus on the adoption on 1 March of the ERJU’s work programme for 2022 – 2024. He also briefed the meeting on the call for tender for the framework contract which will define the work, the tasks and the provision of expertise in the various areas of the railway system. EMC members were very supportive of this and fully supported the approach being taken with regard to UIC’s involvement in ERJU.

In conclusion, Francisco Cardoso dos Reis, François Davenne and Simon Fletcher thanked the participants for their comments and involvement, acknowledged the successful organisation of the meeting and reminded everyone of the effective work that has been undertaken so far and that needs to be pursued, with special emphasis on stepping up efforts in the areas of communication, standardisation and innovation through the region’s involvement in the ERJU, as well as providing continued support for those who need it.

The next meeting of the European Management Committee is planned to be held in hybrid format on the morning of 27 June 2022, before the 34th Regional Assembly Europe and in the sale week as the 100th General Assembly will be held in Paris.

For further information about the EMC please contact Simon Fletcher, UIC Director Europe:

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