日期:2016-12-03 16:59





It sounds too good to be true. Convince young people to embrace the European Union by giving all 18 year-olds a free pass to travel around the continent by train, a pass worth up to 500 dollars. The idea has been gaining currency after a speech last week by a German MEP who made the suggestion in what seemed to be a throwaway comment. Italy's Prime MinisterMatteo Renzi supports it. However, it's not brand new. James spoke to writer and activist Vincent who says he originally came up with the idea two years ago.
We were on an interrail trip ourselves. We traveled 14 European countries, interviewing about200 young people about their perspectives on the EU. And we weren't noticing which we thinkfirst of all that we didn't really know Europe before this trip. The diversity, all the friendships we made, the spontaneous meetings were just fascinating and amazing. Second, we also noticed that a lot of young people don't have that access, that they can not really experience Europe and all this diversity. So for them, Europe is just a theory. So we came up with the idea, wouldn't it be great for all of Europe, or for the EU to provide EU youth with free access to Interrail Passes so that they can actually experience Europe and bepart of it and not just hear about it in school.



Is the problem then that many young people just simply don't have the money for this for of pass? Is that why it needs to be free?
I really think so. I think that's a big thing. I mean, when the global one-month interrailpass costs 479 euro, so it's a lot of money, for Germans, this is one thing, but let's take for example for Bulgarians, it's a totally different thing, right? So it's also there are big national differences. What I see in my generation is there's a lot of young people who travel, who have friends overseas are just very well versed in this international community. And there's a lot of young people who don't do that at all. And there is a huge disconnect and I think this disconnect threatens to divide all of Europe in the long term ifjust some people are part of Europe but others are not.
There is a question of course which will be on everyone's mind, which is, you know, does the Europe Union have the sort of money to do this? Is it money well spent? I mean we are talking about potentially, you know millions and millions of Euros, aren't we?
Actually, it will be more. If all young people would actually use this voucher for this interrail pass, we are talking about more than two billion Euros a year, however, our point is that this investment is probably the best investment the Europe Union can make right now.So if you wanna kind of continue on a good European integration path and really strengthen the unity of the continent, I don't think you can make any better investment.


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