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European Commission to provide travel opportunities with educational and cultural value for young people
The European Commission has taken first steps to implement the European Parliament's proposal for a "Free Interrail pass for Europeans turning 18" by adopting a Financing Decision. With a budget of EUR 12 million in 2018, this action is expected to give an estimated 20,000-30,000 young people a travel experience that would help foster a European identity, reinforce common European values and promote the discovery of European sites and cultures.
This proposal fits well with the EU's ambitions to promote learning mobility, active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity of all young people. Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said: "It is important that we offer all our young people the opportunity to broaden their horizons by experiencing other countries. Education is not only about what we learn in the classroom, but what we discover about the cultures and traditions of our fellow Europeans."
The action will seek to offer young people, regardless of social or educational background and including people with reduced mobility, a chance to travel abroad. A promotion campaign to inform young Europeans turning 18 about this new opportunity will be organised and may include an open competition to select the first young people who will be travelling. The first participants are expected to travel this summer. They will do so by rail as a general rule, but alternative modes of transport should be available where necessary, taking into account environmental considerations, as well as time and distance. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel. +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein – Tel. +32 229 56184).