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TRANSFORuM's 1st Joint Forum Meeting held in Gdansk

On June 24th / 25th 2013, over 70 transport experts from all of Europe followed TRANSFORuM's invitation to its 1st Joint Forum Meeting in Gdansk. Half of the attendees were external stakeholders, including CEOs of leading transport companies, top-level management representatives of authorities as well as policy makers such as Pawel Stelmaszczyk, Head of the Unit Intelligent Transport Systems within DG Move at the European Commission.

They all brought their real-world experience in one of the following topics to the discussion:

  • Clean Urban Transport and CO2-free city logistics
  • Shift of road freight to rail and waterborne transport
  • Complete and maintain the European high-speed rail network
  • European multimodal information, management and payment system

These are four key goals (no. 1, 3, 4 and 8 respectively) of the 2011 Transport White Paper to whose implementation TRANSFORuM  aims to contribute.

The event was kick-started with a very informative keynote speech of Prof. Monika Bak from the host University of Gdansk with the title "EU transport policy from the perspective of the White Paper 2011". Stefan Back delivered the second keynote "Civil society and the EU White Paper on transport policy – the EESC experience," in which he also explained the mission of the newly formed "Permanent Study Group White Paper Implementation" at the European Economic & Social Committee.

Afterwards, the attendees split up into four thematic workshops to engage in four parallel, carefully moderated discussions. The focus in the afternoon of June 24 was the identification and verification of key policies, actors, funding mechanisms and trends. The four parallel workshops continued on June 25 with a discussion about barriers, challenges and ways to overcome them. The essence of these discussions were presented to the plenum before lunch on Tuesday before Prof. David Banister from the Transport Studies Unit at the University of Oxford gave his lunch-time keynote "TRANSFORuM: Challenges and Opportunities."

Every part of the meeting was held under the Chatham House Rule, which means that "participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed." This ground rule was set in order to facilitate a frank and open discussion about any relevant issue, including sensitive, daring and controversial views. And indeed, the dialogue in all four groups was characterised by a very collegial atmosphere and helped the TRANSFORuM team greatly to sharpen its understanding of key issues. 
For more information visit the TRANSFORuM <link http:>website

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Ralf Brand

+49 221 6060 55 18