The idea of giving every young European a free rail-pass on their 18th birthday was launched by two young German activists, Vincent-Immanuel Herr and Martin Speer, and it was quickly supported by several political groups in the European Parliament. This will provide an opportunity to strengthen cultural relations between EU member states and foster a true European identity for every participant.
S&D MEP István Ujhelyi was the first politician to react and mentor the project in the European institutions until its final success: The initiative is now fully operational with more than 30.000 young Europeans able to travel free of charge starting this year.
Istvan Ujhelyi said:
“The programme starts on Tuesday. This is the hard work of the past long years for many of us, of which I am really proud, that I was among the first who helped the initiation of the two German activists Herr and Speer and have become the mentor of this programme.
“This initiative is not only about free travel, but the strengthening of the European community, the better acceptance of each other and learning more about the culture of all EU member states.
“We need these programmes to reunite our European communities, where these kinds of European ideas overarch the political groups, and different ideologies. I ask all the governments to support the promotion of the programme, getting as many 18-year-old Europeans as possible to be involved. The programme should be maintained and expanded over the long-term. We continue working on this.”
Brussels, 10 June 2018