The European Commission announced Thursday that it will allocate 12 million euros in 2018 to implement the initiative of the European Parliament to offer a free Interrail ticket to young Europeans who turn 18.
The EU Executive estimates that between 20,000 and 30,000 young people across Europe will benefit from this measure starting next summer, when the first selected will receive their tickets.
“It is important that we offer all our young people the opportunity to broaden their horizons through experiences in other countries,” said Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.
This travel experience will help to promote European identity, reinforce common values and promote the discovery of new places and cultures, according to Brussels. “Education is not only what we learn in class, but what we discover about the cultures and traditions of our European neighbors,” Navracsics insisted.
The Commission considers that this proposal fits well with the ambition of the EU to promote mobility in learning, active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity among all European young people.
LAUNCH A PROMOTION CAMPAIGN
The free Interrail ticket will be offered to young people who are going to meet or have reached the age of 18, regardless of their social or educational status and will include people with reduced mobility. Brussels will launch a promotional campaign on this new opportunity that could include an open contest to select the first beneficiaries.
The trips will be made by train as a general rule, but it is also planned that other means of transport will be made available to travelers when necessary, depending on environmental considerations, as well as travel time or distance.
The initiative of the European Parliament, which bears the name of ‘Interrail Ticket for Europe of the 18th Birthday’, was approved in September 2016 after the agreement between the two major political groups of the chamber, popular and social democratic.