EU to test scheme which will provide free Interrail tickets to citizens on their 18th birthday

EU to test scheme which will provide free Interrail tickets to citizens on their 18th birthday

The European Parliament has made progress on a plan to provide all EU citizens with free Interrail tickets on their 18th birthday.

A pilot initiative has been set up which will see 20,000 tickets offered next year and if successful the scheme will be expanded in 2019.

Welcoming the move, Dublin MEP Brian Hayes said the program is a "great idea" that comes as another way young people can benefit from the EU.

He said the move will enhance social cohesion and promote tourism.

"It will also allow young people learn about other countries, make new friends and discover new opportunities," he said.

"Europe badly needs to dream again and celebrate the common bonds that tie us together. We need to move on from the failure of Brexit. We need to invite young people to travel across Europe – their European Union and experience the idea of unity through diversity," he added.

The program falls in line with heavy investment from the EU in railway infrastructure.

By 2020 almost €30 billion will have been invested, according to Mr Hayes.

"It makes perfect sense to encourage the use of this network. Almost every EU Member State is connected to the rail network," he added.

“The “18th Birthday Interrail Pass for Europe” would give all young people, regardless of their social and educational background the opportunity to discover Europe,” he said.

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