After six years at the centre of EPF’s activities Stijn Lewyllie, EPF’s Secretary General, has left EPF at the end of February. He provided invaluable administrative under-pinning for the federation. This allowed it to expand both the range of its activities and its influence. It was assisted, in no small part, by Stijn’s natural flair for analysing complex issues with speed and clarity. He quickly built effective working relationships, both amongst EPF’s member associations across more than twenty European countries and with opinion formers in and around the Brussels institutions. His workload was prodigious, not least due to his natural inclination to assist all who came to him for help. He successfully masterminded a revision of EPF’s statutes, facilitating its graduation as a professionally supported advocate for Europe’s passengers.
Despite the many time-pressures – and his joy in discovering the delights of parenthood – Stijn built up EPF’s involvement in a range of EU-funded transport research projects. This helped fund EPF’s research activity and, importantly, enabled the addition of Evelien Marlier and Delphine Grandsart to the EPF staff team. Their work provides EPF’s research partners with valuable insight into end users’ needs and aspirations. Politically astute members of the research community seeking Horizon 2020 programme finance soon realised the value of associating with Europe’s passengers’ organisation. Collaboration seemed to increase the chance of a productive bid whilst also enhancing the standing of EPF. Stijn’s contribution will be remembered by all his colleagues; EPF and the passengers it represents across Europe will benefit for time to come from the sound foundations that he was able to lay for the organisation. And we will miss a distinctively Flemish friend.