Social sustainability: solidarity in stations is growing in Europe

The number of European railways that combine social solidarity policies and safety has now risen to 16.

Brussels, 22nd February 2017

In February, another four European railways signed the European paper for the development of social initiatives in stations, promoted and supported by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane since 2008.

Deutsche Bahn DB (Germany), Hrvatske Željeznice HZ (Croatia), Železnice Srbije ZS (Serbia) and Trainose (Greece) – companies acquired by FS Italiane on 18th January of this year – can be added to Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (Italy), Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français SNCF (France), Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois CFL (Luxembourg), Société nationale des chemins de fer belges SNCB (Belgium), Polskie Koleje Państwowe PKP (Poland), Căile Ferate Române CFR (Romania), Slovenske železnice SŽ (Slovenia),  Norges Statsbaner NSB (Norway), Bălgarski dăržavni železnici BDŽ (Bulgaria), Danske Statsbaner DSB (Denmark), Czech Railways ČD (Czech Republic) and Jernhusen (Sweden).

This means that the number rises to 16 European railways committed to blending their social solidarity policies with those regarding safety.

The new members signed the Carta europea to develop social initiatives at stations during the General Assembly of the Community of European Railways (CER), with the presence of Henrik Hololei, General Transport Manager of the European Commission.

The Solidarity card is based on the principles of corporate social responsibility contained in the Green Paper of the European Commission of 2001 and the Lisbon Treaty, anticipating many of the UNO Agenda 2030 objectives on sustainability.

It is a road that Gruppo FS Italiane has been following since 2008, and it marks increasing sensitivity towards the culture of shared social value in Europe. It is a plan that sees even more European railways committed to building a single reference model for recovering social alienation in stations.

The objectives are to ensure more solidarity in railway stations, and to guarantee more safety in our cities. The European commitment has resulted in the realisation of three projects, financed by the EU, Hope in Stations, Work in Stations and the recent Train in Stations.

Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane has been committed to these projects since 2002 when, anticipating the times, it collaborated with Local institutes and Voluntary associations to establish the Help Center, places where clients are welcomed and assisted.

The Osservatorio nazionale sul disagio e la solidarietà (National observatory on social issues and solidarity in Italian stations, site:, established in collaboration with the Associazione Nazionale Comuni Italiani (Italian National Municipality Association) and which today is a reference point for anyone moving in this delicate sector, coordinates the activities.

The numbers regarding the activity of the 17 Help Centers in the ONDS 2016 Report became important: 520,572 social interventions, 21,291 users, of which 9,135 new (never been to a station office window). 

More than 110,000 immigrants have been hosted since the start of the HUB emergency, created purposely near Milano Centrale station, while every day 500 meals are prepared at the Ostello Caritas Don Luigi Di Liegro at Roma Termini, where up to 300 homeless people can sleep. The spaces given by the group under loan for use contracts to local institutions and the Voluntary Sector on a national scale are around 110,000 m2, for a value that exceeds 120 million Euro.