There is more to this proposal than free train tickets. It is an investment in young people and in Europe’s future. It reinforces the main aim of the European Union: to bring people together. We want young Europeans to discover the EU is also about emotions, not just politics. We want to give them a taste of what it feels like, not only to be Slovak, German or Greek, but also European. And what better way than by taking the train?
Every country in the European Union invests a lot in their national identity. That’s how we know the tie originated in Croatia, or that Italy is world famous for its cuisine, or that French wines are among the best in the world. But what about our common identity? We need to make a similar investment at European level. The European Parliament has called for a specific budget to cover the free ticket programme and the European Commission is eager to explore the idea further. Naturally we are seeing enormous support for our initiative from youth organisations all around Europe.
A free Interrail ticket could help hundreds of thousands of young Europeans fulfil aspirations that are beyond their means. And funding travel costs is just the start. Regions and cities could follow up by welcoming young Interrailers with language-learning, cultural and social activities, or even targeted assistance for accommodation. The possibilities are endless. All you should need for Interrail is some spare weeks and lots of curiosity. And all we need for this project to become a reality is your help, your support, your say.
"It is so important to get familiar with your neighbours, to discover what Europe is all about. It’s all about you, it’s about people, who are so different and yet so similar. It is about getting to know one another. That's why Interrail is great. You get to travel all around Europe and find out how beautiful our continent is."
Manfred Weber, Chairman, Group of the European People’s Party
Make it around Europe.
Make Europe yours.