A Free Train Ticket Across Europe for Those Turning 18

To give young people the opportunity to travel across Europe as a birthday present.

The initiative is started by the European Commission, which will pay the tickets. However, only people turning the age of 18 can have this chance, reports Nova TV. The trips begin this summer and the main goal is for the teenagers to meet new people and discover different cultures. The tickets will mostly be interrail tickets, which allow access to the train networks of most European Countries - meaning that with the single ticket you will be able to visit many European countries.

There will be nearly 30,000 lucky ones who will travel freely by rail and will be selected through a competition.

Our country is also interested in joining the initiative. However, the BDZ have not yet decided exactly which destinations to take the young people. With the "Discover Europe" campaign, this pleasure will experience thousands of young people born in the first year of the new millennium.

"One-third of Europeans currently between 18 and 29 years of age do not actually have friends from and do not know any person from another Member State. The cost of such a ticket is between 350 and 500 euros, and now, with this program, it will be free of charge, "explains Eva Model, a member of the EP.

Participation in the "Discover Europe" initiative has already claimed more than 30 railway companies in Europe. For remote countries and islands, the train ticket can be replaced by a bus or ferry. The idea is to become a European tradition. And it is up to MEPs whether next year the budget will be even bigger.

The scheme is somewhat similar to Erasmus, in the sense that it is designed to improve cohesion across the EU. Erasmus is a program for university exchanges within the European Union. The idea is that through promoting intra-EU interactions, people will be more likely to consider themselves "European" and have a sense of "national" identity with their fellow Europeans. Erasmus is generally considered to be a success, as it has resulted in approximately one million "Erasmus babies" who were created by relationships formed during the program. Approximately 1/4 of those surveyed found their long-term partner while studying abroad on the program. Erasmus students are far more likely to have relationships with foreigners than those who do not participate (>30% vs 13%), and more likely to move after studies to another European Union country.

Bilyana Ninova

Bilyana Ninova is a Marketing specialist, content creator and hobby photographer.

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