S&D MEP István Ujhelyi proposes an agenda for the future of mobility in the EU


 Transport is undergoing a profound transformation, both due to the transition to a low-carbon and sustainable economy and to digitalisation. The S&D Group is leading the EU in a long-term vision to make the most of the new opportunities while ensuring that no jobs are lost.
Today, a report on an agenda for the future of mobility in the EU, drafted by S&D MEP István Ujhelyi, was backed by the transport committee in the European Parliament. The aim is to look into the fast changes in the transport sector – including collaborative economy, automation and digitalisation – in order to start drafting the most effective policies.
István Ujhelyi said:
“The automotive industry is one of the main driving forces in the European economy, accounting for almost 7% of the EU’s GDP and providing employment to 12.2 million people. Some jobs will inevitably be lost with this technological development and now is the time to ensure that people potentially affected by this change can be retrained in a timely manner to perform new tasks and to benefit from new opportunities that digitalisation offers.
“It is vital to ensure that this industry has the workers it needs to stay at the forefront of technological advances and to maintain its strong position in the global market.
“We must provide Europeans, both as workers and as consumers of various services, with the necessary skills in this new environment. Concerted action at European level is needed to ensure cohesion between member states: if we fail to adequately adjust to the progress of digitalisation it could have serious consequences for their economic prospects and competitiveness of the EU itself.”

Brussels, 21-06-2018

István Ujhelyi becomes Special Ambassador of the UNWTO


35087351_2102409156439926_3236681856707461120_oMr. István Ujhelyi has been appointed as special ambassador of the UN World Tourism Organisation.  The Hungarian socialist politician, who is also a member of the European Parliament, has got the official proposal from Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general of the UNWTO at the organisation’s Regional Commission meeting held in June in Prague. Accordingly, he will work in order to maintain an effective relationship between the institutions of the European Union and the UNWTO, representing the UN body in the European political arena at the same time. With this appointment, Mr. Ujhelyi is now among such notable public persons like Eliza Jean Reid, first lady of Iceland, Aliko Dangote, African businessman and former Forbes Man of the Year or Lionel Messi, worldwide known football player, who are all UNWTO Special Ambassadors.

After receiving the acknowledgement, Mr Ujhelyi said “Being a Special Ambassador of the UNWTO is a great honour and a serious responsibility. This role crowns my efforts for the tourism sector in European policy-making.” The MEP reminded that tourism is the third most powerful sector of the European economy; it creates more than ten percent of the Union’s GDP while providing nearly 26 million jobs. “In 1950 there were less than 25 million tourists recorded in the world, in 2000 there were 700 million, in 2012 this number reached 1 billion. One does not have to be a fortuneteller to predict that tourism will continue to be an engine for economic growth; therefore, the minimum expectation is managing it in an appropriate manner in the European Union. From now on I work for this to happen, with the motivating support of the UNWTO.” said Ujhelyi who fills this role in a non-remunerated position.

The UNWTO, founded in 1975, is the leading voice in discussing challenges and trends related to the global tourism industry. Resolutions and documents produced by the UNWTO are the foundation for the work of national tourism agencies, enterprises, and scientists researching the topic as well.

Prag, 12.06.2018

S&D MEP István Ujhelyi welcomes the DiscoverEU programme – Free rail-pass Europe card for young Europeans


FB_IMG_1465759613078The idea of giving every young European a free rail-pass on their 18th birthday was launched by two young German activists, Vincent-Immanuel Herr and Martin Speer, and it was quickly supported by several political groups in the European Parliament. This will provide an opportunity to strengthen cultural relations between EU member states and foster a true European identity for every participant.

S&D MEP István Ujhelyi was the first politician to react and mentor the project in the European institutions until its final success: The initiative is now fully operational with more than 30.000 young Europeans able to travel free of charge starting this year.

Istvan Ujhelyi said:

“The programme starts on Tuesday. This is the hard work of the past long years for many of us, of which I am really proud, that I was among the first who helped the initiation of the two German activists Herr and Speer and have become the mentor of this programme.

“This initiative is not only about free travel, but the strengthening of the European community, the better acceptance of each other and learning more about the culture of all EU member states.

“We need these programmes to reunite our European communities, where these kinds of European ideas overarch the political groups, and different ideologies. I ask all the governments to support the promotion of the programme, getting as many 18-year-old Europeans as possible to be involved. The programme should be maintained and expanded over the long-term. We continue working on this.”

Brussels, 10 June 2018

DiscoverEU – Free Europe Card


inter1Have you ever thought of travelling across Europe with a free railway-ticket?

This summer marks the launch of one of the newest, coolest, and most exciting project of the EU: the DiscoverEU programme. This initiative – of which we could only have dreamt of until recently – is not merely about providing every young European with a free rail-ticket upon turning 18. The free Interrail ticket, or the „Free Europe Card” will open Europe’s gates for you to discover other European countries, cultures and people, whether you travel alone or together with your friends.

Two young Greman activists introduced the free interrail idea first: Vincent-Immanuel Herr and Martin Speer wanted the EU to give every young European a free railway-pass on their 18th birthday. This would provide an opportunity to strengthen cultural relations between EU member states and foster a true European identity for every participant. Istvan Ujhelyi, Hungarian Member of the Eurpoean Palriament was the first politician to react and mentor the project in the maze of European institutions until its final success. It was a journey full of seemingly impermeable obstacles but – following an edifying pilot project – the initiative is now fully operational with more than 20.000 young Europeans to travel free of charge only this year.

The project has since gained significant backing from a range of political actors in Brussels. Without the support of Manfred Weber, President of the EPP Group and Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport we could not tell you now to pack your luggage and jump into this adventure of a lifetime! All aboard? Let’s go!

A brief history of the DiscoverEU:

erasmusvonat•    2014: The first articles are published in the German media covering the original idea of Mr Herr and Me Speer.
•    2015: Istvan Ujhelyi, Hungarian Member of the European Parliament invites Mr Herr and Mr Speer to Brussels to talk about the execution of the programme.
•    2015: After numerous meetings and discussions, MEP Istvan Ujhelyi becomes the mentor of the initiative. He submits the free interrail project as a pilot project to the European Commission, which at first discards the idea.
•    2016: Manfred Weber, President of the European People’s Party (EPP) expresses his support for the project during the State of the Union debate in Strasbourg. He calls on European institutions to realize the free interrail programme. The EPP group officially backs the idea.
interrail3www•    2016: MEP Ujhelyi organizes a roundtable debate together with the German activists. Participants include representatives of European Parliamentary groups, the European Commission, and the European tourism industry. Officials of the Commission announce during the meeting that the institution will launch a free interrail pilot project.
•    2017: A narrow-scope E-twinning programme and a pilot project is launched: first, only bigger groups school classes could travel before the programme was expanded to individual travellers as well.
•    2017: The EPP and the S&D, the two biggest groups in the European Parlament reach an agreement about a widened, thoroughly reformed pilot project with 12 million euros as a preliminary budget for 2018.
•    2018: MEP Ujhelyi organizes a conference to evaluate the results of the 2017 pilot project. An adviser from Commissioner Navracsics’ cabinet explained the new framework of the free interrail programme for 2018.
•    2018: Commissioner Navracsics’ cabinet is discussing the finalization of the programme with the offices of MEP Ujhelyi and MEP Weber involving representatives of the railway and tourism sectors as well.
•    2018: Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission announces that the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework grants 700 million euros for the final project – this corresponds to 100 million euros annually.
int1•    2018. május 3.: At an event held in the European Commission, Commissioner Navracsics, MEP Ujhelyi and MEP Weber jointly announce the official start of a full-fledged free interrail programme for 2018 summer. MEP Ujhelyi hands over symbolic interrail-passes to Mr Herr and Speer and invites them to travel to Hungary together with the first Free Europe Card visitors.

How can you apply?
•    Registration forms will be available on the European Commission’s website dedicated to youth programmes: www.europa.eu/youth/EU
•    The first registration period starts on the 12th of June 2018 and ends on the 26th of June 2018.
•    More than 20.000 free interrail passes will be given to young Europeans in 20148 only.

The essentials:
•    European Union citizenship.
•    Applicants must be 18 years old by the 1st of July 2018 but not older than that.
•    The planned journey must fall between July and September and cannot be shorter than one day or longer than thirty days.
•    Applicants may apply individually or as a group for free interrail passes (maximum 5 people in a group).

Who will receive the tickets and when?
•    The selection procedure of successful applicants begins on the 27th of June 2018.
•    The jury will be composed of officials of the European Commission.
•    Successful applicants will be notified in e-mail in the beginning of July.

Should you have any further questions regarding the project, do not hesitate to contact me.

Istvan Ujhelyi MEP
email: istvan.ujhelyi@ep.europa.eu
phone : +32 228 45649