At the request of some of the UIC members, the intention to organise a Special Group at UIC to better coordinate the activities of SEESARI was endorsed by the UIC General Assembly on 25 June in Budapest.
SEESARI, which stands for the “South East Europe Strategic Alliance for Rail Innovation” is a voluntary alliance of transport system stakeholders willing to cooperate to improve the South East European (Balkan) area transport system – with the railways as its backbone – for the benefit of the strategically important region. Its main goals are:
- Identifying and launching the innovative solutions and projects in support of the development of railways and transport system in South East Europe
- Supporting its contribution to the wider European railway system
SEESARI has signed an MOU with the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking and is a member of the S2R User Requirements Group. More than 50 SEE organisations have signed the SEESARI “Declaration of Intent” for voluntary cooperation, including many of the SEE Railway Operating Companies (UIC members).
The mechanism of a Special Group has been chosen because not all transport system stakeholders who participate in the SEESARI Alliance are UIC members. According to Article 4 of the UIC Internal Regulations, UIC members as well as non-UIC members can be represented in a UIC Special Group.
The SEESARI Alliance will continue to function as it does. Some of its members will become a member of the new UIC Special Group to support this coordination with UIC. It was agreed that any SEESARI initiative and project proposal shall be discussed with UIC and must have the endorsement of the related UIC Working Bodies. This will lead to an improved communication and coordination of activities which will be beneficial to UIC and its members as well as to the SEESARI members. The Special Group and its work will be funded by the members of this Special group. Dr Peter Verlic, Director of the Transport Research Institute – Prometni Institut – of the Slovenian Railways will act as the chairman of the Special Group.