“The idea of the European Union is not based solely on politics, it is also a project that aims at bringing people together. We have to get young people enthusiastic about Europe again,” said Manfred Weber, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, on Tuesday, ahead of a plenary debate on a proposal to give free InterRail tickets to all Europeans on their 18th birthday.
“I am convinced that the '18th birthday' InterRail pass for Europe could become a true flagship project for the development of a common European identity in diversity,” said Manfred Weber.
“Many young Europeans do not know other countries or do not have contact with people from other countries. This is what we want to change. People all around Europe must get to know and learn to cherish each other. Our wish is that as many youngsters as possible experience the discovery of Europe’s diversity and beauty that they get to know other countries and make new friends,” he said.
“We will discuss how the idea can be implemented with other political groups in the European Parliament and with the European Commission. We also want to win the support of railway companies for this project. It will not be easy, but we believe it is an investment in young people and in Europe’s future.”