Issue 530 | 15 February 2021

Gracing the cover this issue is Hungarian S&D deputy István Ujhelyi. The Transport and Tourism Committee vice-chair tells deputy editor Lorna Hutchinson why he is confident that the future of the Coronavirus-ravaged transport and tourism sectors will see positive and sustainable change.

Staying on the topic of transport, in our first feature, we look at the European Year of Rail 2021 and the European Commission’s proposed Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy. Talking up the potential of the rail sector in decarbonising European transport are Parliament’s rapporteur on the European Year of Rail report Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg (DE, Greens/EFA) and REGI Committee opinion Rapporteur Martina Michels (DE, GUE/NGL), while shadow rapporteur for the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, Barbara Thaler (AT, EPP), explains why efforts to decarbonise the sector must be a win-win for citizens if it is to succeed in meeting its targets.

In our second feature, we look at the precarious working conditions facing Europe’s digital platform workers. Featuring rapporteur on the report on working conditions, rights, & social protection for platform workers, Sylvie Brunet (FR, RE), and EMPL Committee member Leïla Chaibi (FR, GUE/NGL) who sets out how gig workers’ rights can be strengthened across Europe.

Elsewhere, Sirpa Pietikäinen (FI, EPP) calls for urgent action to address the connection between endocrine conditions and viruses such as COVID-19, while EPP Group Vice-President, Paulo Rangel (PT, EPP), explains why the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe should place citizens front and centre. Former British APA Alex White reveals what happened to UK MEPs’ parliamentary assistants following their departure from the European Parliament, this time last year.

Also inside, co-rapporteur of The Role of the EU’s Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance, Hildegard Bentele (DE, EPP), and DEVE Committee vice-chair, Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana (DE, Greens/EFA), urge policymakers not to forget the challenges facing the developing world during the Coronavirus pandemic. Director of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Irene Norstedt, and MEPs Maria da Graça Carvalho (PT, EPP), Frédérique Ries (BE, RE), David Lega (SE, EPP), Tomislav Sokol (HR, EPP) discuss and raise awareness of Rare Disease Day 2021 which this year falls on 28 February.

Answering our five questions this issue is German Greens/EFA deputy Rasmus Andresen.