IRFC 2022 is a conference which takes place in the middle of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU from 5 to 7 October 2022. It will therefore be possible to discuss whether the Czech Republic’s priorities for transport, and especially for rail, have been set correctly during the Presidency. One of the priorities of the Czech Presidency is also the area of strategic decisions on the new strategy for the construction of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) as a resilient, multimodal, high-capacity and safe transport infrastructure. It is necessary to fully integrate high-speed rail connections in the Czech Republic and in Central and Eastern Europe into this structure. This is a topic that reflects the importance of European interconnectivity, not only within the EU, but also in relation to future new members and countries that still have only candidate status. One major contribution to the conference and the main theme of Session 5 will be the topic of Ukraine’s connection to the TEN-T as a strategic factor for the further development of cooperation in its post-war reconstruction. Representatives of various fields, from infrastructure managers of Central and Eastern European countries, industry and carriers, including Ukrainian Railways, will be able to discuss in one place with representatives of the European Commission, Member States and European and world institutions.
The conference has long been focused on all important and strategic areas of the railway system. The very busy programme of the second day will offer a research and innovation area in the morning session and follow-up sessions in the afternoon focusing on high-speed rail transport and Trans-European Transport Networks. The session on TEN-T will be moderated by Ms Elzbieta Lukaniuk, Member of the Cabinet of the Commissioner for Transport of the European Commission, presenters are going to include the Slovak Ministry of Transport and Construction, the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic with the topic of military mobility, the Czech Railway Administration Správa železnic will present the Via Vindobona project. The intergovernmental organisation CIT will give a presentation on the legal aspects of international transport and transport in different legal frameworks. Meanwhile, the online presentation of the Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov is still under discussion, but a representative of Ukrainian Railways, the IBS and other important speakers and panelists will be on site. And not only that – there will certainly also be talk about how the TEN-T will be developed, and how to influence the capacity of the lines still in use so that they can better serve rail freight traffic. The moderated discussion will then give room for any clarification and answers to questions from the audience.