Around 20 European railway company CEOs met in Versailles, France, on 17 June for the 2011 European railway CEO summit, hosted this year by French Railways (SNCF). The summit was chaired by Guillaume Pepy, President of SNCF and Chairman of UIC Europe, and opened jointly with Mauro Moretti, CEO of Italian Railways (FS), Chairman of CER and Vice-Chairman of UIC, to take stock of the past year since the last meeting in Rome in 2010.
The aim of this summit is for European railway CEOS to meet regularly, on an annual basis, in a climate of open exchange and in a relaxed and productive atmosphere, and to generate discussion on strategic issues and railway matters.
The morning session enabled reflection and discussion to be extended to other modes of transport, notably through the example of air transport and the presence of the Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which then gave Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Transport, the opportunity to make the concluding remarks for the morning’s session and to take stock of the EU Transport Council held the previous day.
Later that day, and as an extra addition to this year’s meeting, the presentations delivered by speakers from the World Bank – with which UIC is currently fostering a partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding – and companies from the technology and finance sectors such as IBM and a credit rating agency, enabled the CEOs to develop their debate around major macro-economic issues impacting rail transport’s business model.
UIC was represented by its Director-General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, who took an active part in the discussions by presenting the INNOTRACK and EUROPETRAIN projects.
This summit also served as an opportunity to recall that the European railways share the European Commission’s stance in its desire to boost the European rail sector not only as part of Europe’s economic growth but also in terms of benefiting its people.