The Railway Infrastructure Administration Director General retained his position of the international organization CER Vice-Chairman for the next term of office
Prague, 30 September 2013 – The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) is undoubtedly the most important railway international organization including both companies dealing with railway transport as such and railway infrastructure managers. During the General Assembly in Zagreb a new Management Committee has been elected for the next term of office. The position of Vice-Chairman was retained by Mr. Jiří Kolář, Director General of RIA.
The 50th CER General Assembly took place on 27September 2013 in Zagreb on the occasion of the recent Croatia entry into the European Union. An interesting fact is that Croatia – striving to meet requirements of EU law as much as possible – separated its originally unitary railway company into three independent ones – Infrastructure, Passenger Transport and Cargo.
The General Assembly elected unanimously a new Chairman and members of the Management Committee for the next two years. As of 1 January 2014 Mr. Christian Kern, Director General of the Austrian Railways (ÖBB Österreichische Bundesbahnen) will exercise the function of CER new Chairman, replacing the current Chairman Mr. Mauro Moretti, Director General of Italian Railways (FS Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane).
CER includes approximately 80 railway companies and the only Vice-Chairman from Central and Eastern European Countries is Mr. Jiří Kolář, Director General of RIA. The other Vice-Chairmen will be: Mr. Guillaume Pepy from France (Director General of French Railways - SNCF), Rüdiger Grube from Germany (CEO of German Railways – DB AG ) and Mr. Andreas Meyer from Switzerland (Director General of Swiss Federal Railways - SBB). The management Committee will have as members Mr. Mauro Moretti (FSI), Ms. Ilona Dàvid (MÁV), Mr. Roger Cobbe (ATOC), Mr. Crister Fritzson (ASTOC/SJ), Mr. Jakub Karnowski (PKP), Mr. Oliver Wolf (VDV), Mr. Dušan Mes (SŽ) and Mr. Timo Huges (NS).
The leaving Chairman Mr. Moretti summarized in his speech the organisation’s activity during the period 2009 - 2013; during this period the European Union adopted many Directives and Regulations having an impact on the railway sector and CER published 96 official standpoints to these documents having as objective to defend interests of its members. This concerns e.g. the Regulation dealing with passengers’ rights (Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007), a plan for extending the ERTMS system, the Regulation on freight corridors (Regulation (EU) No 913/2010) and a new strategic document the White Paper on Transport, a new plan for a trans-European rail network and its financial assurance by means of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), recasting of the ”Eurovignette“ Directive (2011/76/EU), recasting of the First Railway Package (2012/34/EU) and preparation of the Fourth Railway Package.
CER will keep on focusing especially on cooperation with European institutions while finalizing the Fourth Railway Package text. Last but not least it will cooperate in preparing the new draft on Megatrucks and a financial framework of the budget period 2014 - 2020.
”It is a great honour for me to have been elected Chairman of this organization,“ said Mr. Kern, new Chairman of CER in his inauguration speech and he added his conviction that all railway companies would keep cooperating and thus strengthening the role of the railway in European transport system. In order to achieve this goal, EU must adopt relevant measures for “equal and harmonized” conditions for all modes of transport, in other words to finalize a legislative framework for just intermodal competition.
The RIA Director General Mr. Kolář stated that railway transport always played an essential role in carrying passengers and freight. ”Railway operation and services we offer to transport operators as a rail network are quite different in various parts of Europe. It is strange that we are still divided into two groups in Europe; the first one includes countries of the former E15 grouping where public services are regulated by clear and uncomplicated legislation and rail transport operators are considered as commercial companies. The second group is formed by Central and Eastern European countries where the situation is much more complicated. Transport operators must often ensure services in public transport without receiving adequate financial resources. In other words different conditions still being applied in various EU member states should be taken into account especially during discussions on further railway transport market opening.“ He added that he values EU endeavours to connect important relations of main transport flows by trans-European rail corridors. “The Czech Republic is satisfied with the TEN-T network revision and especially with the extension of Rail Freight Corridor 7 to North Sea harbours and connecting main routes in the Czech Republic with important European rail freight corridors.
Interoperability is an unexceptionable fragment in the mosaic of an effective railway system finalization, “ stressed Mr. Kolář as he reminded that all countries would clearly compete in placing their vitally important infrastructure projects in order to receive sufficiently effective and quick support from the EU and international financial institutions.
CER General Assembly
The General Assembly is the decision-making body of CER. All member companies take one seat and are represented by their chief executive or director general. The assembly gives the CER team guidance by taking decisions on how to advance on specific policy dossiers.
CER Management Committee
The Management Committee prepares the decisions of the General Assembly. It consists of the CER Chairman, Vice-Chairmen and further members elected by the General Assembly. The size of the Management Committee is limited to a maximum of 14 members.
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