Europe will hand out free train tickets to young Europeans aged 18 from next year. A pilot project costing 12 million euros will be launched in 2018 and the free Interrail Pass should be definitively launched in 2020. N-VA EMP Anneleen Van Bossuyt says Europe is “playing Santa Claus”.
Giving a free train ticket to every 18 year old European is not a new idea. The PPE group submitted it to the European Parliament last year. The idea was that every European got an Interrail ticket for their 18th birthday, so they could discover Europe.
The original idea has been changed slightly. The European Parliament has agreed to a pilot project, which has been allocated 12 million euros. Based on the results of this project, the Interrail Pass should be definitively launched in 2020.
N-VA EMP Anneleen Van Bossuyt remains critical of the project. She thinks Europe is “playing Santa Claus”. “It’s good that Europe wants to invest in our young people. But the Erasmus program, for example, provides many more opportunities than a free Interrail Pass”, she said.