EU Proposes Scheme to Offer FREE Interrail Pass for Every Eighteen Year Old…
After a year of bad news for the EU, Euroventure was pleased to finally see some positive news: The European parliament is proposing to give every 18-year-old a free interrail pass!
This weekend the European commission announced they’ll soon be launching their first trial. This summer, over 20 thousand Interrail Tickets will be winging their way to selected 18 year olds accross Europe!
This week it has been announced that the EU will set aside 12 Million euros to start the scheme this summer!
Applications for the 1st set of 15,000 tickets will take place between the 12th and the 26th June. This batch of applications will be open to teenagers from the EU who will be 18 on or by the 1st July (I.e who have 18th birthdays from 2nd July 2017 and 1st July 2018). If you don’t match these requirements, unfortunately you won’t be eligable this time, but keep checking for future batches of applications.
Around 1900 of these tickets are for British applicants, with similar numbers for France and Germany, and 140 for Irish applicants.
I’ll be 18 then! How do I apply?
To apply, you’ll need to head to the European Youth Portal from the 12th June. It’s likely that they’ll be oversubscribed, so the “winners” will be chosen by a pannel, and the winners notified in early July!
There are a few requirements to note when you apply, so make sure you get your application in tip top condition! According to the “DiscoverEU” official website, you’ll need to demonstrate the following:
- Motivation to visit at least one European Cultural Heritage site.
You will have to respond to a quiz on EU cultural heritage, European Parliament elections and Youth
- The desire to become a DiscoverEU Ambassador.
You’ll need to report on your travel experiences on social media and make any pictures available for the DiscoverEU anniversary photo exhibition at the European Parliament.
Want to be the first to find out more about the free Interrail passes? Sign up below for updates – we’ll be in touch with any further information, and we’ll send you a reminder on the 12th June so you can get your application in early!
The generous scheme, which intends to “foster a sense of unity” among EU 18 year olds, aims to provide every teenager with the iconic rail pass on their birthday. Since the 70s, Interrail’s rail passes have given travellers the opportunity to travel by train accross the continent. However, with a month long pass currently valued at around 500 euros, cost can often be an issue for backpackers.
Supporters of the scheme say that making the pass available for free would make eco-friendly travel more accessible. Encouraging unity is also an important factor – particularly in our often divisive political climate. It’s not yet clear if the full plan will go ahead, however top figures from EU-frontrunner Germany are said to be in favour of the proposal. Plenty of people in the know are hinting that this gives the free pass initiative a head start.
What about the cost?
While critics claim that the scheme is expensive – at over 1 billion euros – Euroventure reckons the EU’s priorities are in the right place. Philip Cabra Netherton, director, thinks the proposal is an important and positive step for young people across Europe, as well as for the travel industry:
“We were so pleased to hear about the scheme. Travel is such an important way for young people to discover other cultures, meet other people and dissolve prejudices.”
“Unfortunately, the expense often means that it’s the preserve of privileged young people. Anything that makes it more accessible for everyone is a great thing. We are passionate about helping everyone travel, and this will make it easier than ever for young people to get out and see Europe!”.
Europe and its travellers face a complicated world in 2018. We hope that with this announcement EU citizens will be glad to hear some good news from Brussels. Hopefully Europe’s teenagers can soon look forward to an extra special present on their 18th birthday. Watch this space for more information on how to bag yourself one!
Remember, if you find yourself unwrapping a pass and don’t know what to do next, we’re always here to help! With Interrail comes a whole load of planning, so we’re more than happy to help you sort reservations and accommodation to compliment your pass. In need of further information? Check out our top tips for your first time Interrailing…