EESC backs the European Year of Rail in 2021

Rail should play a prominent role in the EU's future mobility and become the primary form of transport. For this reason, the EESC is pleased to support the European Commission in proposing to mark 2021 as the Year of Rail.

In the opinion approved at the July plenary session and drafted by Alberto Mazzola, the Committee says that, on the one hand, the EU has to invest more in rail in line with the goals of the European Green Deal and, on the other, it has to raise its visibility, bringing about a debate on passenger services, including on people with reduced mobility, digitalisation and environmental sustainability.

Against the backdrop of the European Year of Rail in 2021, rail will be showcased as a prime example of smart mobility and an innovative and safe mode of transport, with efforts to reach out to the wider public, especially young people. Projects, debates, events, exhibitions and initiatives organised throughout Europe will be aimed at citizens, businesses and authorities and explain why rail is an attractive and sustainable way to travel across Europe, emphasising its EU-wide aspect.

Commenting during the plenary, Mr Mazzola stressed that this initiative "should also be an opportunity to better communicate the attractiveness of a career in rail, especially to young Europeans, by supporting joint initiatives with social partners, universities, the academic community at large as well as European youth organisations." (mp)