Hungarian Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi, who is also a Senator of the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation, was elected as the first vice-chair of the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee for another two and a half years, which makes him the highest-ranking Hungarian MEP in the European Parliament.
In the previous parliamentary term, the MSZP MEP was the third vice-chair of the EP’s TRAN committee for several years, and was elected to the post of first vice-chair two years ago in recognition of his work – he was re-elected to this post with unanimous support at the mid-term elections. Following the expulsion of Fidesz MEPs from the EPP, who lost their influence and committee posts, with his first vice-chair position Ujhelyi is now the highest-ranking Hungarian politician in the European Parliament.
After the vote, the Socialist MEP stressed that the transport and tourism sectors are going through an extremely important period of European reforms, and that the TRAN vice-chair post therefore brings with it much more responsibility and even more opportunities than in previous periods.
In the transport field, Ujhelyi cited as examples the climate change package, the issues of digitalization and automation, changes in intelligent transport systems, or the priorities for urban mobility and the development of rail transport.
“Before the coronavirus, the tourism sector provided jobs for more than 27 million people, of which at least 6 million have been permanently under threat in the last year and a half. Before the pandemic, tourism was responsible for around 10% of GDP in the European Union, but this has now fallen substantially as a result of the crisis. One of the most important challenges ahead will be to responsibly re-launch the tourism economy, to focus on education and sustainability issues, and to develop digital training systems,” said István Ujhelyi after the TRAN Committee meeting.