The second 2018 Plenary Assembly was convened in Turin on 15th and 16th November under the Chair of Andrea Camanzi, President of the Italian Regulatory Body ART. Mr Camanzi will hand over the IRG-Rail Chairmanship to Mr Joao Carvalho, Head of the Portuguese Regulatory Body AMT at the end of the year. Mr Serge Drugmand of the Belgian Regulatory Body for Railway Transport and Brussels Airport Operations was welcomed as Vice-Chair of IRG-Rail for 2019.
The Plenary took stock of the main targets achieved for the 2018 Work Programme in line with IRG-Rail strategic objectives and unanimously adopted the 2019 Working Programme, that was presented by the current IRG-Rail Vice Chair. Further, the next steps for work on regulatory issues on multimodality in transport were presented to the Plenary.
Among the approved documents, a substantive step forward towards a more effective and transparent cooperation of the members of IRG-Rail was made with the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the member Rail Regulatory Bodies pursuant to Article 57(8) of Directive No 2012/34/EU.
The Memorandum aims at complementing the founding Memorandum of Understanding of the Network and specifies cooperation principles with regard to the need for a consistent approach by IRG-Rail Members to the European regulatory framework for railways and the development of the European internal Market in railways. It also aims at meeting the new cooperation requirements of the Fourth Railway Package. In particular, rules are laid down therein for the types of cooperation envisaged under the Recast Directive and two sets of procedure are provided addressing the general exchange of information and mutual assistance, including the exchange related to international train paths, and the cooperation mechanism for dispute resolution according to Article 57 (3a) of Directive No 2012/34/EU.
Also approved by the Assembly was a paper on common principles on granting exemptions under Article 2 (2) of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2177 that is based on Article 13 of Directive 2012/34/EU and will come into force on January 1st, 2019. Thereby the regulatory bodies agreed on a set of high-level principles that are intended to harmonise the decision-making process relating to requests for exemptions.