Call to create community of 10,000 ambassadors DiscoverEU Iasi-Chisinau-Odessa

The Institute for the Development and Expertise of Projects Moldova (IDEP) calls on the Government of the Republic of Moldova and on the Government of Romania to support the extension of the emblematic European initiative for creating the community of 10,000 ambassadors DiscoverEU Iasi-Chisinau-Odessa. The initiative provides that 10,000 young people from Odessa, Iasi and the Republic of Moldova will be able to get travel permits subsidized by the EU on this railway segment. Later, they will travel by train and will contribute to popularizing the regular train route Iasi-Chisinau-Odessa.

“We hope the two Governments that will meet in Chisinau on February 11, realizing that the young people are our future, the future of countries and of the current leaders, are those who will be future leaders here, at home, or in the diaspora, will join forces for a very modest, but extremely important program – DiscoverEU Iasi-Chisinau-Odessa,” IDEP Moldova programs director Iurie Calestru stated in a news conference at IPN.

Iurie Calestru said that a working group led by Moldova’s Railways, together with the Employers Association of the Tourism Industry (APIT) and IDEP Moldova, was set up in September 2021 for launching and promoting the regular train route Iasi-Chisinau-Odessa. The working group set the goal of developing this rail corridor. This way, it was decided to synchronize the timetable of the new train route Iasi-Chisinau-Odessa with the existing Chisinau-Odessa route so as to ensure a higher number of passengers are interested in visiting three neighboring cities for short trips of city break type.

“Owing to this increased interest, we will be able to ensure the sustainability of the Iasi-Chisinau rail route and of the existing Chisinau-Odessa route. This proposal was even more topical from the viewpoint of the working group, knowing that tourism is the most affected area owing to the travel restrictions due to COVID-19. By such a type of regional tourism that hasn’t been exploited earlier, it is opportune to save workplaces by bringing tourists during these difficult times. As a result of consultations held in Iasi, Odessa, Chisinau and Brussels, there was developed a concept that suggests extending the emblematic European initiative #DiscoverEU between Iasi, Chisinau and Odessa, offering travel permits subsidized by the EU,” explained the programs director.

According to him, for validating and developing this extension of DiscoverEU, letters co-signed by 31 MEPs and the administration of the European Parliament were sent to three European Commissioners. There were also registered written questions of four MEPs to the European Commission. “We inform you that we are in the process of promoting the extension of DiscoverEU between Iasi, Chisinau and Odessa and a motion for a resolution in the European Parliament will follow, as will an event in Bucharest on January 31, 2022 and other actions for validating the extension of DiscoverEU,” noted Iurie Calestru.

“Knowing that a joint meeting of the Governments of Romania and the Republic of Moldova will be held on February 11, 2022, we proposed that those who will attend the meeting should discuss the opportunity of introducing the given subject with Minister Spînu so that the two Governments unite to contribute together to the creation of the community of 10,000 ambassadors DiscoverEU Iasi-Chisinau-Odessa. If Romania, as an EU member state, demands this openly through its representatives and delegates in the EU institutions, such as the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union, for the benefit of the 10,000 young people from the three countries, the leaders will show their capacity and wish to combine forces for the benefit of the young generation in 2022, which is the European Year of Youth,” stated Iurie Calestru.

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