february, 2020

04feb14:3016:30Conference Session Shift2Rail, Shift2Green14:30 - 16:30 Event Type:Conference Session in cooperation with S2R / UNIFE


(Tuesday) 14:30 - 16:30


A3E-2, European Parliament, Brussels

Event Details


On 11 December 2019, at an extraordinary European Parliament plenary session, European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen delivered an historical speech presenting her mandate’s hallmark undertaking: the EU Green Deal. The first European integrated communication aimed at boosting the bloc’s 2030 climate targets, as well as specific and cross-sectoral initiatives pertaining to transport, energy, chemicals, construction and more,  for one overarching objective: setting the pathway to make Europe the first climate-neutral Continent by 2050.

Ms. von der Leyen has announced that up to €100bn would finance this transition and safeguard Europe’s industrial and economic competitiveness. The European rail sector is committed to deliver the ambitious target of shifting “a substantial part of the 75% of inland freight carried today by road … onto rail…”. Besides the specific initiative on transport, ‘’Achieving the shift to sustainable and smart mobility’’, the European rail sector is also set to be an important asset in other policy areas of the Green Deal’s strategy such as “Increasing the EU climate ambition for 2030 and 2050’’, “Clean, reliable and affordable energy’’ and “Mobilising industry for a clean and circular economy’’.

Rail plays an instrumental role in achieving the ambitious goals set by the Green Deal. A climate neutral Europe necessitates a major transformation of its mobility and transport sector. In fact, transport remains the second largest greenhouse gas-emitting (GHG) sector after energy production, currently responsible for nearly 24% of Europe’s GHG emissions and the only whose emissions have been increasing over the past 20 years. Against this backdrop, rail transport has steadily reduced its emissions while increasing its passenger and freight capacity. Investing in research and innovation for energy-efficient, low-emission rail transport appears to be pivotal to fulfilling the Union’s ambitions.

Scope of the session:

The European rail sector has been committed to taking on the key role to secure the Green Deal’s ambition. Firstly, by accompanying the transition towards a lower carbon footprint with other modes of transport by offering integrated and connected solutions, and secondly, enhancing the sector’s ambition towards a circular economy based rail system. Moreover, rail systems must provide climate resilient services to their clients, passengers and freight business through the vision ‘’affordable mobility, for everyone, everywhere’’

Such ambitious boost to multimodal transport will result from a combination of policy, legislation and standards, funding where Research and Innovation combined with active Deployment coordination and Industrial Policies will be a cornerstone, starting from the mind-set change initiated in the current Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, in particular.

It is around the new Horizon Europe Rail institutionalized partnership that the rail sector will lead the transition towards integrated, digital, autonomous, sustainable (decarbonised, life-cycle cost efficient, energy-efficient, etc.) mobility in Europe and towards global competitiveness. It is not about projects delivering piecemeal components, it is about committing to meet the expectations of the European citizens, directly through passenger mobility and, indirectly, serving as the backbone of the economy.

This will be achieved through an integrated systematic approach, including decarbonisation, automation and digitalization (big data, Artificial Intelligence, distributed ledger technologies, quantum computing and robotics, new scientific approaches, etc.), sustainability and attractiveness for passengers and freight to connect Europe global transport and mobility hubs with cities, regions, economic centres and beyond. Thus, the new Horizon Europe Rail institutionalized partnership will embed the priorities of freight and high-speed connections, the urban view, which the European Commission emphasized in the context of the development of rail. This will bring rail systems to be pivotal in delivering a “climate neutral” mobility and transport, with a holistic approach implementing a long term circular economy view.

This session will be the opportunity to:
• Learn about the shared vision of the European rail sector by 2030 and 2050 (ERRAC’s vision) and the expectations of the rail sector regarding Horizon Europe.
• Highlight the benefits of and innovations delivered by the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking
• Discuss about the need to set-up a new Horizon Europe Rail institutionalized partnership answering the Green Deal’s objectives
• Share views about existing and future cooperation between the EU rail sector and the fuel cell and hydrogen sector


Knowledge4Innovation Forum in cooperation with S2R / UNIFE

Speakers for this event

  • Borghini, Carlo

    Borghini, Carlo

    Executive Director, Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking

    Mr Carlo Borghini is responsible for the overall management of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking activities since he took up the position of Executive Director in February 2016. Prior to this posting, Mr Borghini held senior management positions in different domains in private and international organisations, at corporate level. He was the Deputy Executive Director for the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) in Brussels from 2008 to 2014, and prior to this was Director and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialised Agency of the United Nations based in Rome. Mr Borghini holds a Master’s Degree equivalent in Business Economics and speaks Italian, French and English. He is married with three children.

    Executive Director, Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking

  • Citroën, Philippe

    Citroën, Philippe

    Director General, UNIFE - The European Rail Industry

    Philippe Citroën joined UNIFE in 2011 as Director General. He began his career as Transport Advisor at the French Permanent Representation to the EU and then became Member of the Cabinet of the French Transport Minister. In 1993 he became Manager and Chief of Staff at RATP Paris, and joined the SNCF as Strategy Director in 1999. Prior to assuming his position at UNIFE, he served for 8 years as CEO of Systra, one of the world’s leading public transport engineering companies. P. Citroën is a graduate of Paris II University in Public Law, holds a Diploma from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) and also studied at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA), where he also lectured about Rail and Urban Transport.

    Director General, UNIFE - The European Rail Industry

  • Parrondo, Alberto

    Parrondo, Alberto

    Chairman, ERRAC

    Alberto Parrondo, from Madrid (Spain), with over 30-years’ experience in the areas of Transport, Defense, Aerospace, Security and Banking and a master degree in Mathematics (Operations Research) from Madrid University, holds also a PDG (General Management Programme) from the IESE Business School. He was elected as ERRAC (European Rail Research Advisory Board, a European Technology Platform advising the EC on Rail Innovation and Research) Chairman in May 2018. He was appointed in February 2017 as Vice President Strategy, Ground Transportation Systems for THALES. In April 2013 he was appointed as Vice President, Integrated Communications & Supervision (ICS) Systems in Ground Transportation Systems Global Business Unit for THALES. He is member of the Board of several THALES companies worldwide (Thales España, Thales Programas de Seguridad, Thales Portugal, Thales Security Systems…). He was Thales Spain Country Director (2008-2013) Parrondo is in charge of the Strategy of the worldwide Ground Transportation activities for THALES, including the Signalling, Telecommunications, Supervision and Ticketintg for Urban and Main Lines. Parrondo is Honorary Professor at the Complutense University of Madrid, Mathematic Faculty, where he taught from 2004 Dynamic Programming, Mathematical Programming, Statistical Inference, Game Theory, Graph Theory, Combinatorial Optimization.

    Chairman, ERRAC



Nicolas Furio, Head of Technical Affairs Unit, UNIFE



Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director, FCH JU

Carlo Borghini, Executive Director, Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking

Philippe Citroën, Director General, UNIFE

Alberto Parrondo, Chairman, ERRAC