Mr François DAVENNE appointed new Director General of UIC from the mid-2019 General Assembly
The General Assembly asked Mr Renato MAZZONCINI to be UIC Chairman and Mr Isa APAYDIN to be UIC Vice-Chairman for a further two years, which they both accepted
Focus on cooperation with other international organisations, on climate and sustainable development
The Executive Board and the 92nd General Assembly of UIC, the worldwide railway organisation, took place on 4 July in Madrid, at the invitation of Spanish Railways RENFE and of the Spanish Railways Foundation (FFE). The meetings were chaired by UIC Chairman Mr Renato MAZZONCINI, CEO and Director General of Ferroviedello Stato Italiane (FS) and in the presence of Mr Jean-Pierre LOUBINOUX, UIC Director General. Mr Pedro SAURA, Spanish Secretary of State for Infrastructure, opened the Assembly: “New challenges for railways are ahead for them, such as participation of citizens, digitalisation, economic and social assessment, respecting our environment and developing our European network”.
UIC Governance: appointment of a new Director General for a period of four years
Mr François DAVENNE was appointed new UIC Director General by both the Executive Board and General Assembly, for a period of four years. His mandate will start mid-2019 and from January 2019 to the UIC General Assembly of June 2019, he will be the Deputy Director General of UIC Director General Jean-Pierre LOUBINOUX.
Mr François DAVENNE has been Secretary General of OTIF (Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail) since 2013. He promotes interdisciplinary work and partnership building to expand uniform regulations for international carriage by rail. Before his election, he was in charge of railway safety and regulations at the French Ministry of Transport. He graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications d’Evry in 1988 and from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in 1999. After his experience in international satellite telecommunications, his first assignments were in the French housing sector, where he managed key operational programmes.
Mr François DAVENNE had the opportunity in front of UIC Members to underline his vision for UIC and spoke about the railway sector. “We have to shift our paradigm”. “I’m truly convinced that UIC is the right place to propose a new Vision for the Railways”. He paid a tribute to the tremendous achievements gained these last years. And then: “We definitively need standards to implement new services”.
Report from the UIC Chairman
UIC Chairman Mr Renato MAZZONCINI in his report reviewed the activities of the railway organisation since the last General Assembly in December in Paris and reminded the meeting of the orientations and main challenges for the months to come.
He highlighted the Strategic achievements to further develop. Among them: signature of a Memorandum of Understanding, climate & sustainable development.
The Memorandum of Understanding between UIC and UITP, the International Association of Public Transport signed by Mr Jean-Pierre LOUBINOUX and the President of UITP Mr Pere CALVET last April, will enter in force once the UIC General Assembly and the UITP Executive Board have approved it.
The cooperation between the two organisations will focus on Security, Environment, Digital, Intermodal and Accessible Stations, Regional and Suburban Transport Services, Skills Development, Workforce Planning, and Training, and common goals between UIC and UITP will be to promote sustainable urban mobility worldwide.
Mr MAZZONCINI said: “In order to be capable of coping with the compelling need to decarbonise transport and fight road congestion and pollution, we need to offer to our customers a growing number of integrated solutions and smart urban mobility. Having in mind the Sustainable Development goals, the UIC and UITP jointly have a considerably increased potential to foster the enhancement of attractiveness of public transport versus private cars. Therefore, I hope this MoU will give us the opportunity to organize soon a joint event that might help to bring into focus the main challenges we have ahead.”
Mr MAZZONCINI continued by stressing the crucial importance of climate and sustainable development. He said: “The “One Belt One Road” initiative is mainly focused on infrastructure, transportation and energy, with the objective of linking China with more than 70 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. Railway projects are in the pipeline and I think UIC shall play a key role in developing a substantial number of agreements with the Chinese Investment Bank. The development of new sustainable and climate friendly infrastructures shall be coherent with the initiatives that are being intensified in the European Union throughout the TEN-T corridors with the support of the Connecting Europe Facility. In this case we expect that the agreement between UIC and the European Investment Bank EIB will soon come to fruition. Banks can play a decisive role in the fight against climate change through their intermediation functions between conscious savings and socially responsible investments. Indeed, the Central Banks should encourage low-carbon investment. To encourage investments from diversified instruments, such as private funds and capital ventures which today are allocating their resources to space, automotive and aviation in preference to rail and to ensure the new Rail Logistics strategy to be financially sustainable in the long run we agree on the urgency of activating the first stage to build a robust but dynamic “Sustainable Finance Taxonomy”, to ensure market consistency and clear guidance about what is green, social and related to good governance. To this end, current green bonds would be strengthened for instance in Europe by introducing an official EU Green Bond Standard (EU GBS) and considering an EU Green Bond label or certificate, subject to mandatory external review, in order to guarantee positive impact investments”.
And then: “The agreement signed at the COP 21 to strengthen the fight against the Global warming set in 2014 an important milestone. The “Railway Climate Responsibility Pledge” was signed by the majority of UIC CEOs and represents a concrete step of the Low Carbon Rail Transport Challenge, showing the real commitment of the railway companies towards climate targets. In order to uphold our engagements, more investments are needed and the global project on eco-scoring and green certifications shall be further investigated. As we said in our previous meetings, we strongly believe in the potential of the Footprint Study. It can become an impressive tool to promote, especially in institutional contexts, one of the main competitive advantages an integrated mobility. With studies like this, we can demonstrate even more punctually that the railway effectively gives value to the territories. To make this possible, it is necessary to give a new and strong impulse to this study, also by strengthening the working group that is currently at work. Further efforts should be made both from the point of view of intensity and from the side of sharing, by expanding the team to other members - even outside Europe if necessary - that can make in December an effective contribution”.
He concluded by saying: “Last year, our association was certified for its commitment in quality standard services. This year, we shall confirm this certification. The implementation process is running soundly within the UIC services, but the constructive involvement of the Members will be essential at this moment in time: we engaged the process, people have accepted to be part of an improved framework and expectations are very high. We have embarked in a steady and constant development stage and we shall not miss this opportunity. Manifold changes are still to come and a new positioning of the association might be needed. Its strong points shall be transformed into added values. The monitoring process needs to be strengthened, the communication with the Members enforced and better targeted. Members’ representatives need to be effective in their roles and understand how the UIC different bodies work together. We need to be attractive for new talents to support and challenge the existing ones. We need to be positive and proactive to support the internal efforts which are being done. Therefore I invite you all to support this approach by getting actively and constructively involved. It is our joint responsibility to build a better and stronger UIC”.
Report of UIC Director General on the organisation’s activities
UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre LOUBINOUX gave an overview on main activities performed by UIC Headquarters and working bodies during the last period. He said: “Looking back to the 10 years behind us, we have been very consistent in all our actions to develop UIC into the most renowned and respected global professional association in the railway sector in terms of its documents, its standards and its conferences. As I have regularly said at previous General Assemblies, all our actions are based on the symbolic values of UIC that they were defined at the General Assembly in June 2009: Unity, Universality, Solidarity, in order to open, to share and to connect all stakeholders of our industry together.”
He followed by: “Projects are at the very heart of UIC’s role in its technical dimension at the service of its Members and the global railway community. I am pleased to underline that the creativity of our forums and platforms allowed us this year to propose a larger number of projects for 2019. I would also like to mention, among the global projects, specific actions in the four fields of Digital (DIGIM project), Economic (Global Footprint), Environment (Ecoscoring to come) and Social (TALENT project)”.
And then: “With regard to relations with partners, all the Memoranda of Understanding that I have proposed in the last decade not only allow us to establish the recognition of the role of UIC from renowned external partners worldwide but also work with them on the promotion of some projects or activities. In the context of these memoranda of understanding, we now have the particular opportunity to underline the growing strength of more constructive relations with UITP which has subscribed fully to the vision of an integrated railway in the context of a Sustainable, Integrated Chain of Mobility, and a number of common projects in the fields of safety, sustainable development, training and digitalisation. I salute the presence of Mr CALVET and Mr MEZGHANI from UITP. Equally, an MoU is in discussion with the IHHA – International Heavy Haul Association to again avoid duplicating efforts or creating competition with other associations in the area of Heavy Haul, for the development of freight on major corridors. We will co-organise the next IHHA conference in June 2019. Finally, I would mention the MoU with OSJD which allows us to develop some IRS – International Railway Solutions – together”.
UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre LOUBINOUX announced the following appointments within UIC working bodies and UIC HQ:
- Mr Piotr KURCZ, Director of the Security Department of Polish Railways PKP, as Vice-Chairman of the UIC Security Platform for a 2-year mandate.
- Mr Marc GUIGON, Director of UIC Passenger Department, as Coordinator of the Latin American Region.
The 2018 accounts show a stability of UIC, with a slight positive surplus.
During this General Assembly, 4 Members were welcomed by UIC, among 14 to be confirmed:
- ARTF (Rail Authority, Gabon) becomes affiliate member
- TBNE (Association of Regional Public Transport Companies, Germany) becomes affiliate member
- Hitrail (Railway & IT Communication provider, Netherlands) as affiliate member
- Regio Calatori as affiliate member
- ARTF (Mexican regulatory agency for rail transport) as associate member