On 30 January 2014 a meeting was held in Paris between UIC and the International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) to finalise the text of a Cooperation Agreement between the two organisations.
Participants in the meeting representing UIC included Mr Gianfranco Cau (Secretary of the UIC Standardisation Platform), Mr Hans Günther Kersten (Director of the UIC Rail System Department) and Mr Simon Fletcher (Coordinator for Europe); and representing IEC were Mr René Baillif, (IEC Technical Manager), Mr Franco Cavaliere (Chairman of TC9) and Mr Bernard Lerouge (Secretary of TC9). The IEC delegation was also supported by Mr Hiroshi Tanaka and Laurent Lasnier Heads of Japan and France National Delegations.
The Cooperation Agreement adds to the Liaison A reactivated according to Resolution 53/07 of the last TC9 meeting. The draft document – prepared in July last year – was circulated on both sides and has been submitted for in-depth analysis by UIC and IEC. A number of comments were thus produced, disseminated among the members and provisionally integrated in the text. This meeting’s goal therefore was to prepare the agreed and enhanced version of the Cooperation Agreement; the general framework of this document has not however changed and reflects the decisions of the UIC General Assembly.
A relevant improvement concerns the given opportunity to provide a better description of the UIC processes for the development of the standards; this is strictly related to the mutual recognition of the working methods – and consequently of the resulting UIC and IEC standards – of the two partners, establishing the concept of UIC and IEC as complementary bodies. The possibility of fully referencing the partner documents is set forth in addition. The complementarity will also produce synchronised work programmes on topics of common bilateral interest.
In this respect, the International Standards issued by each of the two partners will be geared towards: the production and dissemination of railway knowledge aimed at final customers – passengers and freight traffic – through standardisation, the improvement of the performance and efficiency of the railway transport (operational facilitation of the railway service, increase of quality and cost reduction), making railways a more attractive transport mode for (end) users, providing a safer, more reliable, cheaper, smoother and better functioning system, and finally achieving economies of scale, thanks to the availability of standardised, unambiguous requirements.
The next steps for this Cooperation Agreement are:
- Circulation of the final Cooperation Agreement on both sides (UIC and IEC) and explanation of the comments resolution (1st week of February)
- Final UIC decision within the Standardisation Platform (11 March)
- UIC-IEC Resolution Meeting and preparatory Strategic Liaison Group (8 April)
- Expected Signature of the Cooperation Agreement ( 84th General Assembly)