On 10 March the European Management Committee (EMC) held its meeting in Paris, chaired by Michele Elia, President of FSI.
Also present were BLS, ÖBB and Network Rail that hold the vice presidency as well as CP, DB, MAV, PKP, REFER and SNCF. The CER was also present.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General and Simon Fletcher, UIC Coordinator Europe, welcomed the Committee members to Paris for this first EMC of 2015. There were a number of strategic issues on the agenda including:
- ERRAC – the EMC agreed to nominate Professor Andy Doherty of Network Rail as their recommended ERRAC Chairman for the next three years
- Project Management – approved some improvements on ways in which new project proposals are validated with a view to improving the overall project commitment process
- Quality Management – approved a number of actions and processes as part of the development of a wider Quality Management System (QMS) that is to be introduced in the short to medium term
- COP 21 – approved the programme that the UIC is leading for the ROC input to the COP 21 event that will take place in November/December 2015.
- Environmental impact – agreed a number of ambitious sustainability targets for passenger and freight traffic. These will be presented within the framework of a new sustainability charter for rail that will be rolled out at COP 21. This is intended to promote rail as a key player in arriving at transportation solutions that take account of the need for the reduction of carbon and other aspects of environmental impact whilst still ensuring improvements to mobility in a multi-modal transport system.
- Third parties – approved the proposal that the UIC should seek to respond to calls for tender being launched by EU institutions such as ERA and UIC and to develop projects under contract to these bodies.
- Standardisation – reinforced the importance of the work on standardisation. The interface between the importance of the role in Europe and the development of IRS that are just as able to apply in Europe as beyond and the opportunity that exists for the future European rail system to grow alongside those in other parts of the world. Acknowledged the importance of the work to prepare a Rail Standardisation Strategy Europe and support that its publication will bring to the development of this strategically important issue for European rail
- Research and Innovation – in respect to Shift²Rail, EMC noted the position regarding the disappointing delays in the development of the Joint Undertaking. In respect to the involvement of the ROC, it was noted that there is a good spread of companies that are positioning themselves to join the JU either independently or as part of a consortium.
The meeting also noted that within the proposed Shift²Rail structure an opportunity exists for the rail operating community to make a significant contribution to the development of the Shift²Rail programme by taking a leading role in the requirements and implementation activity inside Shift²Rail. It was recognised that this is potentially a role that the UIC could perform for the ROC and it was noted that JP Loubinoux would write to the Head of Unit at the COM that is responsible for Shift²Rail and highlight this opportunity.
The meeting noted that the World Congress on Rail Research (WCRR) will take place in Milan, Italy in May 2016. EMC agreed to hold the spring 2016 meeting of the Regional Assembly Europe in Milan to coincide with WCRR.