24 February – On 25 February 2021, Transport Community will organise the 2nd Social Forum focused on social issues in rail transport. The online event will be opened by Transport Commissioner Adina Ioana Vălean and Transport Community Director Matej Zakonjsek.

The Social Forum is a platform for dialogue between key transport stakeholders of the European Union and Western Balkans Regional Partners. The role of the Forum is to promote a dialogue and the social dimension through reference to the acquis in social matters, workers’ fundamental rights.

“Social issues are of paramount importance to the work of the Transport Community. The reason for that is the fundamental nature of social rights: they represent a mirror of our humanity. How we treat a fellow human being at work. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that what really matters is not how fast or far we travel, how much we spend on our lives, but the very opposite. It has demonstrated that what really matters is how safe we feel,” Director Matej Zakonjsek stated on this occasion.

The Forum will shed a light on social issues in rail and analyse the impact of pandemic on social rights. In 2021, the European Year of Rail, Transport Community will promote the rights of employees in the rail sector. The need fair working conditions, reskilling opportunities, attractive jobs and employability, has never been more important. This means providing higher social standards, improving staff safety, attracting new staff, managing the ageing work force, and recruiting young people. At the same time, the trust of passenger and customers in the railways must be strengthened by improving passenger rights.

The importance of social issues in rail will be further highlighted as part of the Western Balkans Rail Summit, organised by the Transport Communuty, on 8 July 2021 in Belgrade.