Brussels | 28 November 2023
ERF commemorated its 25th Anniversary on 27 November 2023 with a vibrant cocktail reception attended by a diverse array of stakeholders from road authorities, European Institutions, associations and the private sector. The event served as a platform for both reflection on past achievements and a discussion of the road ahead, fostering invaluable networking opportunities.
The evening kicked off with an address of ERF Director General Christophe Nicodème, who was involved in the association since 2003 in several roles: starting as member then treasurer, Vice-President and finally as Director General since 2008. Mr. Nicodème emphasized the ever-evolving landscape of the road sector, stressing the imperative of enhancing road mobility’s sustainability, intelligence, and adaptability to evolving paradigms and habits.
Highlighting the disruptive impact of the Covid-19 crisis, Mr Nicodème underscored the necessity for a flexible, resilient road sector capable of swift adaptation. He emphasized the critical need for adequate financing, encompassing maintenance, preservation, digitalization, decarbonization, and preparing for future challenges in road infrastructure.
Acknowledging ERF’s growth in membership and strategic alliances over 25 years with European and International stakeholders (IRF, CEDR, PIARC, and FIEC, among others), Mr Nicodème introduced keynote speakers Kristian Schmidt (Director of Land Transport, European Commission, DG MOVE) and Kristof Rombaut ( Study engineer Intelligent Transport Systems at the Flemish Agency for Road Traffic, Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer).
Kristian Schmidt outlined the European Commission’s commitment to decarbonizing the road transport sector while advocating the integration of CCAM technologies for enhanced road safety. Stressing the pivotal role of road infrastructure, he emphasized targeted investment as critical for enhancing safety.
Kristof Rombaut focused on smart mobility, addressing the challenges of future physical and digital infrastructure. He highlighted the dual role of public authorities in shaping shared autonomous mobility: directing market developments and creating a legislative framework that prioritizes efficiency while considering the environment and public well-being.
Subsequently, Rik Nuyttens, immediate ERF Past President with two decades of involvement in ERF, shared his perspective, citing ERF as “his window into EU mobility and road safety policies for 20 years”.
Harald Mosböck, the recently elected ERF President, concluded the series of speeches reaffirming ERF’s commitment to advocating for roads as the cornerstone of daily mobility. Harald Mosböck highlighted the significance of a sustainable road traffic system in achieving the European Union’s ambitious goal of climate neutrality by 2050, stressing collaboration among stakeholders as fundamental to forging a safer, sustainable road environment.
ERF pledges to continue advocating for these principles, remaining the unequivocal voice for the evolution of a safer, efficient, and more sustainable road sector.