A new initiative to promote youth mobility was launched by the European Commission on Monday.
Brussels will select the best works presented in the eTwinning online learning platform and will reward its authors by paying their transport costs to another European country. In total, 5,000 to 7,000 European students aged 16 and up and that are attending secondary school can benefit from a free ticket to travel for no more than two weeks, although accommodation costs will be borne by the students themselves.
The project, called Move2learn, learn2move, pretends that the students know another State of the Union and if possible, visit in the destination country a class with which they have already worked via the Internet to interact with their students.
According to the European Commission, Free Interrail tickets could work against the populist boom in Europe. According to what the EU’s executive arm has made public, the maximum cost of the trip will be 350 euros per student, although it can be extended up to 530 euros in case the point of origin is an island like the Canary Islands, Cyprus or Malta.
All transport modes, operators and lines can be selected, taking into account sustainability criteria and points of departure and destination of the participating students. Some operators are supporting the initiative by offering a special rebate to the participants. These operators are: Aegean Airlines, Air Dolomiti, ALSA Grupo, Azores Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Comboios de Portugal, Croatia Airlines, Deutsche Bahn, Hahn Air, Iberia Express, Interrail, Luxair, Naviera Armas, Olibus, SNCF, Transferoviar Calatori, Trenitalia, Vueling and Westbahn.
While the Commission has planned to spend only €2.5 million from the Erasmus + budget on the travel of these more than 5,000 pupils, the Brussels calculations on what would mean offering the interrail ticket to all Europeans reaching the age of majority Place their cost between 1,200 and 1,600 million euros per year, a cost 500 times higher than they consider not feasible. “That budget is not currently available,” the Commission explains.
Weber still supports the “free internal for all young Europeans”
“Our proposal for a free interrail ticket for every young European who turns 18 is far from dead because he has a Great majority of support in the European Parliament,” said EPP Manfred Weber on the occasion.
“The European Commission could have used this occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome to present a Original and ambitious proposal that would once again excite people about Europe.”