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Foreword from Philippe Citroën
Competitiveness of the European Rail Supply Industry Forum
10 years of European Railway Awards
Joint declaration for an ambitious EU Industrial Strategy
Sixth EU-Japan Industrial Dialogue on Railways (27 February) and EU-Japan FTA negotiations
Update on EU-China relations
European Parliament approves EU-Canada Trade Agreement (CETA)
‘Blending’ is being tested for the Connecting Europe Facility grants
Update on the status of the implementation of the Technical Pillar of the 4th Railway Package
RFE dinner event on MEAT principle
Shift2Rail interim evaluation
NGTC Final Conference successfully held in Brussels
Signalling CEOs sign Letter of Intent for supporting the updated ERTMS European Deployment Plan
IRIS Certification™ status update
Upcoming events

Foreword from Philippe Citroën


Dear Friends,

It was great getting a chance to speak with so many of you at the 10th Anniversary of the European Railway Awards earlier this month. As always, the event provided a wonderful opportunity for so many members of our community to come together and listen to insightful speakers share their visions of rail – including UNIFE Chairman President of Bombardier Transportation Laurent Troger. I hope those of you who had a chance to attend enjoyed it. 

Today is European Industry Day – which will bring together high-level policy makers and representatives from various sectors to debate the future of European Industry. UNIFE along with 125 European Manufacturing Associations signed a Joint Declaration for an ambitious EU industrial strategy, made public earlier this month to put pressure on the European Commission to propose an industrial strategy that will help safeguard the world leadership of European manufacturers, and keep jobs in Europe. We’ve never seen so many associations from such a wide range of industries come together to support a single declaration, and we have definitely been heard.  You can read more about this declaration in this Newsletter. 

I am currently on a flight back from Tokyo, where I attended the 6th EU-Japan Industrial Dialogue on Railways. As you know, the past few years of negotiations have not done much to improve access to the Japanese market, and we were very firm in our expectation of concrete results and major market access improvements going far beyond the ‘one-year package’ on railway. 

Warm regards,





Philippe Citroën
Director General

HIGHLIGHT

Competitiveness of the European Rail Supply Industry Forum

 
The European Commission Directorate for Industry (DG GROW) will organise the kick-off meeting of the Competitiveness of the European Rail Supply Industry Forum in Brussels on 2 March. The creation of this platform of dialogue between the EU Institutions and our manufacturing industry is the direct outcome of the European Parliament’s Resolution on the Competitiveness of the European Rail Supply Industry adopted last June 2016 under the leadership of Ms. Martina Werner, Member of the European Parliament’s Industry Committee. 
Contact: Jean-Philippe Peuziat

10 years of European Railway Awards 

 
On 7 February, the 10th Anniversary celebration of the European Railway Award took place in Brussels. The evening ceremony, which was followed by the CER-UNIFE Annual Reception, attracted more than 500 guests from all over Europe, including high-level politicians and transport stakeholders.

After the introduction of the ceremony by UNIFE Director-General and CER Executive Director Libor Lochman, we had the pleasure of welcoming political keynote speaker European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, MEP Karima Delli (Greens/EFA, DE), Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism, representing the European Parliament, and the Maltese Minister of Transport Joe Mizzi, representing the Maltese Presidency of the EU. UNIFE Chairman and President of Bombardier Transportation Laurent Troger, as well as CER Executive Director Libor Lochman, paid tribute to all the laureates of the past 10 years, before giving the floor to Gerd Leonhard, renowned futurist, who took guests on an inspirational journey into the future. 

In this tenth anniversary year, we broke from tradition, presenting no awards. Instead, we payed tribute to the past winners, the speakers and all who have contributed over the past decade to making the event what it is today. 

Please click here to read the full press release and here to have a look at this year’s pictures.
Contact: Agathe Marie

Joint declaration for an ambitious EU Industrial Strategy

 
On 16 February, ahead of the Competitiveness Council (on 20 February), 92 European industrial associations – including UNIFE – representing a wide array of manufacturing sectors co-signed and published a Joint Declaration for an ambitious EU industrial strategy. That number grew to 126 total signatories by the end of the month – just in time for the EU Industry Day (28 February).

The declaration urges the European Commission to propose an EU industrial strategy that will help safeguard the world leadership of European manufacturers and jobs in Europe.

On 20 February,  during the press conference following the Competitiveness Council, EU Industry Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska acknowledged that “all Member States called on the European Commission for an overall coherent industrial policy document” and explained that “time has come to really have a European vision for industry”.  

Commissioner Bienkowska has opened a first door but the mobilisation of these manufacturing sectors will undoubtedly  help convince European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to adopt such an industrial strategy. 
Contact: Jean-Philippe Peuziat

Sixth EU-Japan Industrial Dialogue on Railways (27 February) and EU-Japan FTA negotiations 


UNIFE actively participated in the sixth meeting of the EU-Japan Industrial Dialogue on Railways, which took place on 27 February in Tokyo. The Industrial Dialogue, organised by the European Commission and the Japanese government, facilitated exchanges on critical topics addressed in the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations, especially related to public procurement on the Japanese rail market. UNIFE members came in numbers to meet with Japanese rail operators and present their technical solutions, which confirms the strong interest of the European rail supply industry in this market.

During the event, UNIFE reaffirmed its support for the Industrial Dialogue on Railways in monitoring mutual market access and presenting technical solutions to a wide range of high-level rail stakeholders. However, UNIFE was very firm on the fact that, after over four years of negotiations, the situation has not fundamentally changed for European companies trying to access the Japanese market. Therefore, UNIFE stressed again that the European rail supply industry expects concrete results and major market access improvements going far beyond the ‘one-year package’ on railway.

Meanwhile, on 17 February, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Fumio Kishida met in Bonn to discuss the way forward for the negotiation of FTA between the EU and Japan. Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to reach a highly comprehensive and ambitious agreement as early as possible, acknowledging that ‘the few remaining issues are the most difficult to be solved’. The 17th round of negotiations took place in Brussels in September 2016 and since then, technical negotiations have continued without interruption, with frequent stocktaking at Ministerial level and by the two Chief Negotiators.

In terms of content, public procurement and railways continue to be a major source of tension, as well as agriculture. In the rail sector, discussions continue on the question of the removal of the Operational Safety Clause (OSC) and the entities to be covered in the agreement. UNIFE continues to closely monitor these negotiations and advocate for a level playing field in access to respective markets.
Contact: Jonathan Nguyen

Update on EU-China relations 


In January, China's State Council issued a public circular setting out a comprehensive menu of new policies and guidelines to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) in China. In particular, it states that foreign investors would be permitted to invest in or own a majority of equity stakes in some key sectors that were previously restricted, and that the government will afford equal treatment to foreign-invested enterprises in the field of public procurement.

The detailed policies are set forth in a revised version of the Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment, under the leadership of NDRC and MOFCOM. Sixteen sectors were removed from the list of restricted industries for foreign investors, including rail equipment; it will now remain to be seen if concrete changes are observed on the ground by the European Rail Supply Industry.

Meanwhile, as the EU-China Connectivity Platform gains in visibility, so do the first attempts from China to invest in rail projects in Europe in the framework of the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. Recent articles in the press mentioned that the European Commission is assessing the compliance of the Belgrade-Budapest high-speed rail project. The investigation rests on whether construction contracts for the scheme are open to all bidders under EU public tender rules, and whether the estimated €2.7 billion cost for the 350-kilometre-long track makes it economically viable. The project is the most tangible result of China’s ‘16+1’ forum, a series of summits at which Chinese politicians and investors meet with their counterparts from 16 countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
Contact: Jonathan Nguyen

European Parliament approves EU-Canada Trade Agreement (CETA)


The plenary session of the European Parliament ratified on 15 February the EU-Canada Trade Agreement (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – CETA), paving the way for it to come into force, most likely in early April.

In its public procurement chapter, the CETA includes significant changes and improvements for the European Rail Supply Industry. In particular, CETA has significantly limited the use of ‘buy domestic’ policies at all levels of government, including the provincial and municipal ones. Apart from Ontario and Québec, for which clear thresholds have been agreed upon, no province in Canada is now allowed to require domestic content provisions in transit equipment procurement.

While the major part of the deal will be implemented under provisional application, it should be mentioned that the outstanding clauses (covering the investment court system and investment) will be subject to ratification in 38 regional and national parliaments.
Contact: Jonathan Nguyen

‘Blending’ is being tested for the Connecting Europe Facility grants


On 8 February, the European Commission launched the CEF Transport Blending call, making EUR 1 bn of grants available for combining (or ‘blending’) with financing under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI or the so-called ‘Juncker Plan’), from public financial institutions, and the private sector. The call will have two deadlines for applications: 14 July and 30 November 2017. You can find more information about the call here. As the European Commission is exploring different ways to combine CEF Transport grants support with other sources of financing, UNIFE emphasizes that grants remain a vital element for the implementation of the TEN-T network.  
Contact: Arturs Alksnis

Update on the status of the implementation of the Technical Pillar of the 4th Railway Package


We continue to follow the implementation of the Technical Pillar, this month UNIFE attended the EC Fees and Charges support group, ERA one-stop-shop users group and the Agency’s Common Occurrence Reporting workshop, continuing the development of these important topics. 

UNIFE also attended the OTIF Technical Working Group meeting on 21-22 February in Rome. The objective of this meeting was to agree on the revision of several key OTIF documents in order to align them with the EU legislation (TSIs, Common Safety Methods on Risk Assessment and new Interoperability Directive 2016). This activity is key for a coherent and harmonised approach for non-EU countries in respect to the admission of railway vehicles.

UNIFE now awaits the Agency’s proposal for the Implementing Act for Vehicle Authorisation due to be sent to the EC 10 March.
Contact: Nicholas Shrimpton

RFE dinner event on MEAT principle


Life-cycle costs and sustainable products should be key elements of public procurement in the rail sector, in accordance with the existing EU legislation. The Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) principle should therefore be fully enforced since, outside of the mere purchase price, there are numerous other factors that determine the total cost of ownership and life cycle cost. This was the main message of Rail Forum Europe’s dinner debate held in Brussels on 27 February and sponsored by voestalpine Schienen GmbH.

Martin Platzer (Senior Vice-President of voestalpine Schienen GmbH) underlined the advantages of the MEAT principle in terms of value for society and stressed the importance of such a principle in the context of the EU dialogue on the competitiveness of the European rail supply industry. He declared: “For the railways of the future, we need essentially more cost-efficient and high performing track systems which also meet societal and ecological criteria.  This is only possible if the old-style procurement practice with the single parameter of the cheapest purchase price is replaced by the “most economically advantageous tender”. For this purpose, let us just implement what is mentioned in the Directives of the European Commission directives and the Resolutions of the European Parliament”.
Contact: Leonardo Dongiovanni

Shift2Rail interim evaluation


The European Commission has launched a Public stakeholder consultation in the context of the interim evaluation of the Joint Technology Initiatives and Joint Undertakings. This consultation aims to collect the views of the public on the implementation of the Joint Undertakings (JUs) under Horizon 2020 for the period 2014 to 2016. 

The outcome will provide input into the ongoing interim evaluation of the JUs, covering the same period. The results of the interim evaluation will be used as a basis to improve the performance of the JUs and will be communicated to the European Parliament and the Council, national authorities, the research community and other stakeholders. This questionnaire consists of six parts and it will take around 20 minutes to respond. 

One part of the questionnaire is dedicated to the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking and UNIFE encourages you to answer it.
Contact: Nicolas Furio

NGTC Final Conference successfully held in Brussels


Almost 80 participants from Europe, Japan and China attended the NGTC Final Conference, which took place on 14th February in Brussels. Jointly organised by UNIFE, UITP and the ERTMS Users Group, the event was an opportunity to present results and to discuss their use with present participants.

The welcoming words were provided by Mr. William Bird, representing the European Commission, Mr. Philippe Citroën, Director General of UNIFE, Mr. Michel Ruesen, Managing Director of the ERTMS Users Group, Mr. Laurent Dauby, Rail Director at UITP and Carlo Borghini, Executive Director of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking.

Presentations of the main project topics also took place, including user needs and requirements for future train control, NGTC Architecture and System Specifications, IP-based radio communications including new message structures, generic moving block principles and satellite-based functionality for train positioning. The evening session was dedicated to three focused panel discussions with recognized experts and stakeholders, providing interesting views on the future evolution of train control systems.

The conference was closed by Mr. Peter Gurnik, project coordinator (UNIFE), who thanked all the participants and project experts for their hard work in the project.
Contact: Peter Gurnik

Signalling CEOs sign Letter of Intent for supporting the updated ERTMS European Deployment Plan


On 7 February, the CEO’s of Alstom, Ansaldo STS, AZD Praha, Bombardier, CAF, MerMec, Siemens and Thales, members of the UNISIG association, renewed their commitment to the development of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) at a meeting in Brussels hosted by DG Move Director-General Henrik Hololei, ERTMS Co-ordinator Karel Vinck and EU Agency for Railways Executive Director Josef Doppelbauer.

The eight signalling companies all signed individual Letters of Intent supporting the updated ERTMS European Deployment Plan which was formally adopted by the European Commission on 5 January.

The commitment by the suppliers follows the signing by various rail sector associations including UNISIG and UNIFE of a fourth MoU with ERA and the European Commission in September 2016. This is intended to secure long-term stability for the ERTMS specifications following the adoption of Baseline 3 Release 2 and promote a ‘swift and coordinated’ deployment across Europe.

The suppliers hope that their commitment to the future development of ERTMS will encourage individual railway operators and infrastructure managers to sign similar letters of intent in the near future, following the signing of the memorandum by both CER and EIM.
Contact: Kujtesa Hajredini

IRIS Certification™ status update


Technical Specification
The result of the two ballots launched by the ISO/TC 176 were communicated mid-February:
•    for a new standard proposal and the creation of a working group,
•    for the proposed Draft Technical Specifications
Eighteen of the twenty-one member countries approved the ballots. The ISO Central Secretariat in Geneva will now finalise the ISO/TS 22163 document in order to publish it in a few months and make it available for all the stakeholders. 

Rules
The final validation of the updated IRIS Certification™ rules and assessment methodology started in February through tests audits in four companies: HARTING, Knorr-Bremse, NedTrain and Siemens.
Over several days, different teams of working group experts, IRIS approved auditors and IMC members assessed in a real environment all the elements of the assessment methodology and IRIS Certification™ rules, with a special focus on the new parts. A beta version of the Audit-Tool including all supporting elements of the documentation of the IRIS audits was also validated. After the dry runs have been completed, a return of experience session will take place to debrief and make any final adjustments that may be required. 

Chairmanship
On 7 February, Stefan Siegler - Vice President of Business Excellence and Quality Management at Siemens Mobility - was elected as Chairman of the IRIS Steering Committee (SteCo) and IRIS Advisory Board (IAB). His main targets will be to ensure that the IRIS Certification™ level corresponds to the expected performance quality, and to increase worldwide acknowledgement and applications of the IRIS Certification™ throughout the entire value chain. 
Contact: Bernard Kaufmann

Upcoming events


UNIFE at SIFER 2017 – UNIFE will be participating at the 10th edition of the International Exhibition of Railway Technology, SIFER, held in Lille (France) from 21 to 23 March. Visit us at stand 1/465 and join us at the UNIFE round-table, on Tuesday, 21 March, at 14:00, on “Worldwide competitiveness of the European rail industry: which support from the EU to all the supply chain?”. 
More information will follow. 
Contact: Agathe Marie

Maltese EU Presidency event on urban rail - will be held on 27 and 28 April in Malta, on “Developing urban rail transport: environmental performances and financing solutions”. This event will be a unique opportunity to learn about best practices in Europe on developing and financing urban rail systems (tram/metro). Organised by the Maltese Presidency of the EU, with the support of UNIFE, UITP, POLIS & EUROCITIES, it will bring together numerous urban operators, cities/local governments and tram, metro & rail equipment manufacturers from all over Europe. We hope that your companies will be able to participate in this important event. To register, click here (delegation code: E316-MTI.Delegate).
Contact: Jean-Philippe Peuziat

2017 UNIFE General Assembly in Amsterdam - Save the Date - UNIFE will hold its 2017 General Assembly at the World Trade Center Barcelona (WTC) in Barcelona on 21-23 June. UNIFE Committee meetings will be held on 21 June, the General Assembly Meeting on 22 June. The Gala Dinner (21 June) will take place at Casa Llotja de Mar, and the General Assembly Dinner (22 June) will be held at Cavas Cordoniu. Technical/Cultural visits will be held on 23 June. Barcelona is a very busy location this time of year, so we hope that one of the suggested hotels here will suit your needs and budget. To find out more about the remaining sponsorship opportunities and pricing, please contact Andrei Ciufu (+32 (0) 2 626 12 64). Sponsorship requests will be treated on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
Contact: Andrei Ciufu

For further information on UNIFE or on this briefing, please contact Angela Pauly, Head of Communications at angela.pauly@unife.org
 

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