Tuesday 9 December 2014
UIC Europe

UIC Regional Assembly for Europe (Paris, 2 December 2014)

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The joint European Management Committee and 19th Regional Assembly Europe took place in Paris on 2 December. President Michele Mario Elia, CEO of FS Italiane and UIC Vice-Chairman, expressed his delight at being able to chair his first full meeting of the RAE in the presence of so many European members and alongside Vice-Chairman Bernard Guillelmon, CEO BLS, UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and Regional Coordinator, Simon Fletcher.

After a review by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux of major facts and achievements of a busy 2014 year, Mr Elia presented his directions for the region and encouraged all the members to work together to create and sustain a stronger UIC that has a visible leadership role in the fields of research and innovation, including involvement in Shift²Rail as much as possible; to take a strong leadership role in the field of standardisation and the important field of investment in the future generations of railway personnel through development of educational programmes and knowledge sharing.

The Regional Assembly took a number of key decisions and set a number of directions:

It validated its budget for 2015 recognising that everyone is operating in a situation of economic caution.

The RAE endorsed the mandate proposal by the Chairman that as a result of the disappointing investment returns from the call for the European Work Programme 2015, that the EMC takes the initiative to examine the root cause and to propose some developmental next steps.

A meeting is to be organised by the Chairman and involving the Presidents of the CER, EIM and UIC (Europe) and their respective Directors General. The objective of this meeting is to collaboratively consider how to collectively maximise the technical and project management expertise that UIC has and how that experience can best interface with the political role of the CER and the EIM.

UIC was given the mandate to consider extending its scope of activity and look at ways in which tasks that are often put out to competitive tender for things such as business cases, impact analysis, independent assessment, compliance and conformity and so can be responded to in a successful manner. Central to this is having the available resources to prepare tender and proposal documents. One method could well be that the UIC enters into a number of preferred partnerships with carefully selected organisations that see an added value in working with the UIC in these areas.

The RAE recognised the positive opportunities that the introduction of a quality management process within UIC would bring. As a result of a recent internal reorganisation a Quality Manager has been appointed and will work with a core group of RAE companies to develop the framework of this QMS.

The role that standards play in the development of the future European railway system is very central. The RAE validated the proposed directions taken for the preparation of a specific rail standardisation strategy for Europe that will establish how the ROC sees this important field of activity developing into the future and the role that the UIC and the IRSs will play. Publication of a Rail Standardisation Strategy, Europe is scheduled to take place in late summer 2015.

The UN’s COP 21 climate negotiations event that will take place in Paris in December 2015 will provide a significant opportunity for rail to showcase its environmental credentials. The RAE totally supports the concept of the “Train to Paris” programme and endorsed the principle in kind contributions related to provision of rolling stock, crews and pathways for these trains.

Having reliable solid data on which to base well-founded business and investment decisions is important to any successful business. UIC is completely revamping the way that it gathers and more importantly analyses the system data that is gathered and is moving towards a framework of business analysis and economic and performance trends to help the decision-making process of the future.

Noted the report from the ERRAC’s acting chairman, Mr Doherty of Network Rail, concerning the governance and programme of work of ERRAC and the plans it has for its role in the short and medium term and especially the supporting role it can bring to the Shift²Rail programme.

Noted the report from the RICG Chairman, Mr Olsson of Trafikverket and the involvement of UIC in the first Call of Horizon 2020. There will be a very important role for RICG in the future as it will not only continue to prepare and forward proposals to ERRAC for submission into future H2020 calls, but it will also play a key role in developing the necessary response to the future open calls programme within Shift²Rail.

Noted the busy calendar of meetings and events that this dynamic region has planned for 2015.

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