Security experts from UIC members in eight countries and from CER met online on 26 March for a meeting of the Strategy, Procedures and Regulations Working Group (WG).
In the context of international traffic development and the opening up of the European market, the group aims to assess the impact of having different security models in different countries, comprising combinations of internal security, public security and private security companies.
3 topics were addressed during the meeting, chaired by Delphine Beatse on behalf of SNCB:
- Cross-border trains: How can security continuity be ensured in trains?
- Covid-19: How can security and sanitary measures and flow management be combined?
- The Passenger Name Record (PNR).
The first part of the meeting focused on the rights of foreign rail staff – and especially security staff – in cross-border trains. The powers of security staff and sworn officers in cross-border trains stop at the border. In some countries, such as Belgium, wearing a blue, grey or brown uniform is forbidden. A questionnaire was sent out in advance of the meeting, and the results served as a basis for discussion.
A draft agreement between governments relating to foreign staff competences in cross-border trains has been prepared by SNCB and will be further discussed within the group. The decision was also taken to draft a technical position paper on harmonisation needed for security in cross-borders trains in Europe. This technical paper may then be discussed at European political level with the help of CER.
A very interesting presentation was given by SNCB, explaining mandatory sanitary measures introduced by the company and the role of law enforcement. With regard to passenger flow management, canalisation and a “Stop and Go” procedure have been deployed in Belgium.
The latest news regarding the PNR was presented by Ilja Volpi (CER), who noted that a possible extension of the PNR Directive is not currently on the table. In summer 2020, the European Commission published a report on the review of Directive 2016/681 on the use of passenger name record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime. According to the report, there are no plans at present to extend the scope of the directive to other transport modes.
The next group meeting will possibly be held between the second and third quarters of 2021.
UIC members are always welcome to join the working group.