News 20 Sep 2021

European rail CEOs welcome Connecting Europe Express in Gdansk and elect CER’s new Management Committee

Europe’s leading rail CEOs welcomed the arrival of the Connecting Europe Express (CEE) today in Gdansk, which coincided with the 68th General Assembly of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER). Travelling on the train were Mr Janusz Wojciechowski, European Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Walter Goetz, Head of Cabinet EU Transport Commissioner, and Mr Andrzej Bittel, Secretary of State from the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure. Mr Goetz and Mr Bittel joined the Association’s bi-annual statutory meeting for a fruitful exchange of views on railway policies. 

The CEE is a unique endeavour, involving CER and the European Commission, European rail operators, infrastructure managers and numerous other partners at EU and local level. One of the European Year of Rail 2021’s most emblematic initiatives, it is traveling across Europe to promote the many benefits of rail – for passengers, freight and the environment. 

CER Chairmanship & Management Board 

The General Assembly in Gdansk was also marked by the election of the 2022-2023 CER Management Committee, as the current term expires by the end of this year. 

Andreas Matthä, CEO of Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), was confirmed as the Chair of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) for a further two-year tenure. The General Assembly also confirmed one new member to the CER Management Committee (MC) which is now composed as follows:

  • Jean-Pierre Farandou (SNCF CEO), Richard Lutz (DB CEO) and Krzysztof Mamiński (PKP CEO) will act as Vice-Chairs. 
  • Other members of the Management Committee include Mantas Bartuška (LG CEO), Vincent Ducrot (SBB CEO), Sophie Duturdoir (SNCB CEO), Luigi Ferraris (FSI CEO), Róbert Homolya (MÁV President and CEO), Marjan Rintel (NS CEO), Ted Söderholm (ASTOC/ Green Cargo CEO), Jiří Svoboda (SZCZ Director General), Isaías Táboas Suarez (RENFE President), Marc Wengler (CFL Director General), Oliver Wolff (VDV Managing Director). 

CER Chair Andreas Matthä said “Over the past two years, we have come a long way under difficult circumstances. We must now build on the positive dynamics of the European Year of Rail. The topics for the coming term are clear: TEN-T revision, Green Deal, Fit for 55 package, ticketing, cross-border passenger transport and the issue of a level playing field for rail freight transport. One thing is certain: we need more Europe for the railway sector - but Europe also needs more railways! I would like to thank the General Assembly for their trust, the outgoing Management Committee members for their commitment and I look forward to working with the new Management Committee. Together with Executive Director Alberto Mazzola, our association will continue to provide a strong voice for the European rail sector.

CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola said: “Thanks to the support and trust of CER members, and under the leadership of our Chair and Management Committee, we will continue to strive to make 2021 a remarkable Year of Rail, while ensuring that the sector emerges strongly from pandemic related losses. 2022 will be key for Europe’s recovery and sustainable transition. I look forward to work with the newly elected Management Committee and to tackling the various challenges and opportunities which lay ahead, including, amongst others, the revision of TEN-T and the FIT for 55 package.”

CER will welcome the CEE once again on its arrival in Strasbourg on 6 October, where the association has invited Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the organisation Erasmus by Train to join an event during plenary week, organised in collaboration with SNCF, which will focus on the topics of youth, rail and sustainability.