EU says no to free Interrailing for 18-year-olds

Campaigners want to give teens trips across the continent for their birthdays...

Proposals to give all teenagers free travel passes to explore Europe on their 18th birthdays have proved to be too good to be true (for now).

The plans - which were aimed at fighting Euroscepticism - have been rejected by decision makers in Brussels.

Virginia Mayo AP/Press Association Images

Citing multiple officials, The Financial Times, reports that this idea will not be happening for the time being - instead it will offer travel budgets to some academic institutions to fund class trips.

When the idea was first put forward last year, EU’s transport chief Violeta Bulc said, "We admire the boldness and the level of ambition - and we are ready to explore it further ...  the Commission likes this idea."

After looking into the scheme the Commission identified a number of logistical problems that it would cause, such as complicated negotiations with rail companies.

It also realised it could cost some €2bn per year to introduce the European travel perk.

The idea was put forward by the European People’s party (which Fine Gael is part of) - it now fears that only elite institutions will have access to this funding and says that it will continue to look for a one-off free pass for 18 year olds to explore the continent.

An Interrail pass for passengers aged between 12 and 27 for 10 journeys spread across 30 days costs €301.