A meeting of the European Management Committee took place under the Presidency of Michele Elia in Berlin on 22 September. It was attended by the CEOs and representatives of all the companies that make up this senior body for the European region.
Held on the fringes of the INNOTRANS 2014 trade fair which formally opened the following day, the venue was the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Technology.
The agenda focussed on a number of key developmental points that are important not only for the European region but more especially as points for the development of the Future European Railway System.
In introducing these points on the agenda, Michele Elia highlighted his vision for the direction in which the UIC should be heading including a stronger UIC that leads in innovation, that plays a key and strategic role in the research arena and in particular Shift²Rail and which also takes a strong leadership role in supporting the ROC to develop future generations of rail personnel through programmes such as the recently launched Rail MBA.
The meeting was informed that the regional budget for 2014 is on forecast and was also advised about the state of play with the funding for the European Work Programme 2015.
The meeting was also advised that the EMC Assistants Group and colleagues from UIC HQ are exploring a number of options that should lead to simplification of the process and increased user-friendliness. It is anticipated that this will be presented to the RAE at their meeting in December.
Part of the framework for this efficiency improvement includes the review of a number of processes related to the management of projects and integrating them into a wider process structure known as “QMS” that is being developed by a team of members with UIC HQ and led by Jürgen Maier from BLS. Mr Maier updated the meeting on the progress to date, with the plan being for a more detailed structure to be presented to the RAE in December.
With the UN COP 21 event coming to Paris in November/December 2015, the meeting was updated on the current proposals, the structure of the Steering Committee that will oversee the development of what it is anticipated will be a Transport Day at COP 21 as well as the running of a number of specially arranged or branded trains to highlight the importance that the European rail companies place in strengthening rail’s green credentials.
With the opening words of Michele Elia still fresh in the mind, the meeting was reminded of the role of UIC in the Shift²Rail Joint Undertaking and the anticipated contribution that the EUROC consortium expects to be able to make to the S²R work programme.
The importance of the role of UIC in supporting the ROC in the development of standards that are developed and published for the sector by the sector was underlined in the item that recalled the approach that UIC hopes to be able to develop with CEN_CENELEC. The complementary development of a Rail Standardisation Strategy, Europe that is itself a development from the recently-published Rail Technical Strategy Europe was also briefed to the meeting. This was seen as an important next step and the EMC was pleased to note the progress to date and that the task force leader Ralph Muller (DB) would be in Paris for the RAE in December and will provide a more advanced overview of the progress.
The video message delivered by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, is available here: