European Year of Rail 2021: European Commission welcomes provisional agreement between European Parliament and Council

Yesterday, the European Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on declaring 2021 the European Year of Rail. The Commission proposed this initiative in March 2020 to promote rail as a sustainable, safe and innovative mode of transport. Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, said: “The European Year of Rail 2021 will put rail transport’s many benefits in the spotlight, through dedicated events, exhibitions and promotional campaigns, reaching out to our citizens, in particular young people. Rail connects regions, people and businesses, and it is part of Europe’s cultural heritage and proof of our industry’s excellence. Rail has also been remarkably reliable in these difficult times, ensuring availability of goods across Europe. I want to thank the European Parliament and the Council for their support for this initiative, which is part of our European Green Deal.” The provisional agreement foresees a series of projects, events and initiatives in 2021 to promote rail as an attractive and sustainable way to move both passengers and freight across Europe. It includes elements such as feasibility studies on a tool to measure rail connectivity and on the creation of a European label to promote goods and products transported by rail. The year 2021 is an important year for EU rail policy: it will be the first full year in which the rules agreed under the Fourth Railway Package are implemented throughout the EU, increasing competition and reducing costs and administrative burden for railway undertakings. The provisional agreement must now be approved by the Parliament and the Council before it enters into force.