2021 is the European Year of Rail!
On 29 March, the European Commission and the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union will hold a joint conference to officially kick-off the initiative together. Livestreamed from Lisbon, the event will discuss the benefits of rail for travellers, the economy, and the environment. This is particularly beneficial to cross-border regions as rail services reduce obstacles for those living in cross-border regions, from easing the daily commute to increasing access to healthcare facilities. The launch will be introduced by Commissioner Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport. Speakers also include Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg, MEP and rapporteur on the European Year of Rail, Karima Delli, Chair of the Parliament’s TRAN Committee, CommissionerElisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, and Stientje van Veldhoven, the Netherlands’ State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management. High-level representatives from the European rail sector will also join the panel discussions. The event will cover a range of topics including the future of rail in a decarbonised and digitalised economy, rail connectivity’s role in territorial cohesion, and inclusive means of transport. We encourage you to watch the event which will discuss policies and ideas aimed at increasing connectivity between member states. This, in turn, will reduce barriers and create more opportunities for those living in cross-border regions. For a detailed schedule, please click here.
On this occasion, the European Travel Commission and Eurail have also launched a joint award competition: Best European Rail Tourism Campaign 2021. This campaign aims to contribute to the objectives of the EYR: promoting rail tourism among EU citizens, encouraging cross-sectoral dialogue between the rail and tourism sectors, and contributing to the European Green Deal. Find more about this campaign and enter the award competition here.