EU Launches Free Interrail Passes for 18 Year Olds

The European Commission took its first steps towards implementing a scheme that will give 15,000 teenagers a free Interrail pass once they turn 18 at the start of 2018.

This proposal has now come to fruition and the DiscoverEU initiative will open for applications in June.

From June 12-26 this year, young people who are 18 years old as of 1 July 2018, will be able to register their interest for a free pass as an individual or as groups of up to five.

A selection will then take place by a jury of European Commission officials, which will start on June 27.

Winners will be notified in early July.

The pass will afford the lucky winners the right to travel between July and September 2018 for up to 30 days.

Their journey must start in one of the EU’s 28 member states and they can travel to between one and four cross-border destinations.

The train ticket, worth up to €510 ($608) for a month’s travel, grants holders the chance to journey across 30 countries in Europe at almost no extra cost on 32 rail networks.

The European Parliament proposed the scheme in 2016 to encourage young people, especially those on low incomes, to explore the continent and “foster a European identity”.

It was initially hoped 20,000-30,000 teenagers would benefit from the scheme.