IATE Term of the Week: European Mobility Week

September 20, 2019 12:04 pm

People who commute by car every day know the struggle: As soon as you come close to the city, you are stuck in traffic. It feels like hours of our lives are wasted and it is definitely not a pleasant start to the day. The tradition of the European Mobility Week started in 2002 and it takes place every year in September. Its goal is to promote sustainable transport in cities and clean mobility in general in order to improve public health and quality of life.

Etymologically, the term mobility derives from the classical Latin word mōbilitās meaning ‘ability to move, quickness of the mind or body.’ This year’s theme of the European Mobility Week complies with this meaning: ‘Safe Walking and Cycling.’ The theme aims to promote walking and taking the bike as a way of transportation. It is not only emission-free; it also saves a lot of money. Another great advantage of this means of transportation are the health benefits. In our fast-paced, stressful lives, most of us do not find enough time to exercise and keep an active life style. Instead, we find ourselves spending considerable parts of our day sitting in traffic. Walking or cycling to our destinations could be a smart way to include exercise into every-day life.

In 2018 almost 2,800 towns and cities took part in the European Mobility Week. It gives cities and communes the opportunity to show new alternative ways of cleaner and more sustainable transport and to inform the public about their benefits. Cities can also test new methods of transportation and receive feedback from their residents. Furthermore, within the European Mobility Week participating cities can explain to locals, which problems and challenges can occur when dealing with urban transportation. Authorities and other involved parties are encouraged to examine and discuss innovative ways to improve the air quality by reducing transport emission and motivating the public to leave their cars at home.

The most exciting and impressive mobility activities during this week are recognised with the European Mobility Week Awards. Cities larger than 50.000 inhabitants and towns smaller than that can earn these awards. Last year’s winners were Lisbon in Portugal and Lindau in Germany. Find out here if your city is participating in this year’s European Mobility Week.

If you are curious what else the EU does for commuters and cross-border commuters, click on the respective links.


About. EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK. http://www.mobilityweek.eu/the-campaign/. Accessed September 20, 2019.

European Mobility Week in Luxembourg. Luxembourg. http://luxembourg.public.lu/en/actualites/2019/09/16-semainedelamobilite/index.html. Published September 16, 2019. Accessed September 20, 2019.

Mobility. Oxford English Dictionary. https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/120494?rskey=re97Yj&result=1&isAdvanced=false#eid. Accessed September 20, 2019.

Theme 2019 – “Safe Walking and Cycling”. EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK. http://www.mobilityweek.eu/theme-2019/. Accessed September 20, 2019.

Written by Annemarie Menger – Communication Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg) and a student of the Master’s Program in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts at the University of Luxembourg. She holds a teacher’s degree in the form of the First German State Examination for Elementary Education, a BA in Cultural Basic Skills and an additional degree in Global Systems and Intercultural Competence from the University of Würzburg.

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