Next Generation on Track

Tuesday, 17 May 2022  10:00
53 Avenue des Arts 1000 , Brussels Belgium

Thanks to all speakers and participants who joined us for this timely policy debate celebrating 50 years of Interrail. You can read our press release here.


You can view the picture gallery here.

About the event

The European Year of Youth is a welcome opportunity to explore the strong significance of rail to young people in Europe. Engrained in our European history, rail travel has long contributed to a real sense of EU identity among young travellers, and well-loved travel formulas like Interrail have been helping youth discover Europe by train for decades. This year in fact marks the 50th anniversary of Interrail, which has kept pace with modern travel needs and remains as popular as ever. As younger generations are increasingly drawn to a more sustainable way of living, the interest in green transport like rail is growing.

Against this backdrop, CER, in good cooperation with the French Presidency of the EU Council, has partnered with Eurail and SNCF to hold an event dedicated to the themes of rail, sustainability and youth. The discussion is kindly hosted by Mr Ondřej Kovařík, MEP, inside the European Parliament. 

Together with a distinguished line-up of guest speakers, we will take a closer look at how incentivising sustainable train travel for young people can contribute to the modal shift to rail so urgently needed to meet pressing climate targets. The success of the DiscoverEU scheme is already inspiring similar initiatives and there is great potential within programmes like Erasmus+ to open up rail travel to so many more young Europeans. What more can be done at European or more local level to foster this crucial transformation?

CER event
European Year of Youth


Programme & Speakers

Moderated by CER Executive Director, Alberto Mazzola, the event brought together the following speakers:

  • Ondřej Kovařík, Member of the European Parliament
  • Joël Hamann, Head of EU & International Mission, Infrastructure, Transport and Mobility Directorate, French Ministry of Ecological Transition
  • Carlos Morais Pires and Rosina Tsoneva, Cabinet of European Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel
  • Petar Vitanov, Member of the European Parliament
  • Carlo Boselli, CEO of Eurail
  • Christophe Fanichet, CEO of SNCF Voyageurs
  • Emmanuelle Gardan, Director, Coimbra Group university network
  • Gereon tho Pesch, Head of Student Support, Erasmus by Train initiative