The entry into force of Regulation 913/2010/EU created the legal framework for the development of rail freight corridors. The on-going work, the implementation of the requirements highlights more and more issues of common interest to several corridors and the need for harmonisation of rules and processes between corridors. It implies a need for effective coordination between the different Rail Freight Corridors, the National Ministries and Regulatory Bodies. Therefore the European Commission is facilitating this coordination in the following ways:
Twice a year the Commission organises a joint meeting of representatives of all Member States, Regulatory Bodies and Infrastructure Managers participating in a Rail Freight Corridor, the forum is called Single European Railway Area Committee (hereinafter: SERAC) RFC WG meeting. These meetings are ideal occasions to tackle legal, operational and other specific issues to be addressed jointly by all concerned Member States, Regulatory Bodies and IM-s, and/or common difficulties with the practical implementation of the Regulation. The coordinator of the event is the European Commission, DG-Move.
The coordinators of the DG-MOVE also participate frequently in the Executive and joint Executive/Management Board meetings of the individual corridors to ensure that the specific issues of these corridors can be addressed in an appropriate way.
The Management Board, the Secretariat and the concerned Working Groups keep close contact with RNE. The common operational guidelines provided by RNE contribute to a harmonised development of the corridors, even if they are not endorsed by the Commission and thus have no legal status.
RFC Orient/East-Med CID Book 5 – Implementation Plan for timetable 2019 20 RNE intends to involve RFCs in the elaboration of the solutions to RFC-related issues therefore representatives of all corridors are participating in these demanding work in order to harmonise the processes among the 9 RFCs. The work run in different project working groups.
RNE General Assembly on 3 September 2014 had approved the proposal to involve the RFCs in its organisation structure as associated members. Consequently, all RFCs (one representative of each RFC) are invited to participate at RNE General Assembles.
In order to establish a network among the 11 rail freight corridors an informal platform of RFCs was created in 2014. These informal meetings called RFC-Network is organised 4 times per year, and the chairmanship is based on the rotation principle. RFC OEM had this chairmanship role in May 2017. All representatives of RFC MBs can suggest some topics for the discussion where the exchange of views and experiences would be useful to reach common understanding in different operational rules. These regular meetings are important occasions to find out common approach and solutions for relevant questions and problems concerning the operation of the rail freight corridors.
Another forum has been established on the basis of bottom-up initiative. The so-called COSS Community, community of C-OSS managers of the 9 operating RFCs meet regularly and deals with the following topics:
UIC has also launched a project for the efficient coordination of rail freight corridors, called ECCO. There is a regular meeting between ECCO and RFCs. Representatives meet 2 times per year, establishing a constructive dialogue for the exchange of information and opinion.
RFC OEM plays important role in the different platforms, its opinion, practices and experiences gained in the Central-Eastern Europe region can force the cooperation among RFCs and wider the network approach concept.