This Monday, 29 March, sees the kickoff of the European Year of Rail 2021, at a time when Portugal is holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The digital launch event will be broadcast from the Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon.
With Portugal having chosen rail transport as a main transport priority during its Presidency, this initiative will be aimed at highlighting the benefits of rail transport as a sustainable, smart and safe means of transport.
Pedro Nuno Santos, Portuguese Minister for Infrastructure and Housing, will be hosting this launch event. The European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, will also be taking part via video conference.
Throughout the year, a large number of activities will highlight rail transport all over Europe, with the aim of encouraging citizens and companies to use rail transport and contribute to the EU Green Deal's goal of making Europe climate neutral by 2050.
Minister Pedro Nuno Santos' promise for this European year includes ensuring that “the Portuguese Presidency prioritises the initiatives that help passengers, workers and companies in the sector to overcome the impact of COVID-19”. He also said that this initiative is “an opportunity to highlight the role of rail transport in sustainable recovery from the pandemic”.
Sector professionals, associations, stakeholder organisations and train lovers will be taking part in the launch event, scheduled for 1 pm in Lisbon. This will be an opportunity to discuss the steps towards decarbonisation and digitalisation of the transport sector and the fundamental role of rail transport as a facilitator of socioeconomic development and as an inclusive means of transport for all citizens.
This event will precede the informal meeting of EU Transport Ministers, which will be chaired by the Portuguese Minister for Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos, from the Centro Cultural de Belém on the morning of 30 March.
You can find out more about this event here.