“We did it! I am incredibly proud and happy that, this year, 20 to 30,000 18 year-old Europeans will receive a free Interrail pass to travel throughout Europe. It starts this year and this is just the beginning,” said Manfred Weber, EPP Group Chairman, today at an event organised by the European Commission for the official launch of the DiscoverEU initiative.
This pilot project, which the EPP Group has been fighting for, will enable thousands of young Europeans to travel throughout Europe this summer.
“The DiscoverEU initiative is not about a free train ticket. It is about a new vision for Europe, a new way to really involve our young generations in the kind of Europe they want, to make Europe real in their daily lives,” Weber said.
"This project will enable young people from all the EU Member States to discover the beauty and diversity of our continent, to get to know and become friends with young people from other countries all over Europe and discover all the richness of their differences. It will also allow them to realise what unites them and contribute to a feeling of European identity."
"For once, it will show the European people that the European Union is much more than a law-making machine."
"This would never have been possible without the support of all the Europeans who contacted my colleagues and I to express their enthusiasm and who made this majority in the European Parliament grow. The commitment of the European Commission, especially Commissioners Navracsics and Oettinger, was also decisive," Weber said.
"Now we need to continue our fight to broaden the scope of the project and make it a reality for all Europeans turning 18. I am calling on all the youngsters who will receive a free Interrail ticket this year to join us in this adventure. When you travel this summer, share your experiences, your discoveries, with the hashtag #DiscoverEU and let everyone know, so that more people can benefit from your experiences next time! You can make it happen!"
For more information, check our dedicated website: www.youdiscover.eu
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 219 Members from 28 Member States