Lifestyle

Interrail: Free train rides steer Europe to a brighter future

Article published on Dec. 6, 2016
Article published on Dec. 6, 2016

The EU gives each citizen a free interrail ticket on their 18th birthday: that way, Europeans will get to know their continent better, and the EU's battered image will be repaired along the way. The story of how two Germans turned this crazy idea into a pilot project. [TIMELINE]

"Our plan was a great hit," says Vincent-Immanuel Herr on the way back. Along with Martin Speer, he came up with the idea of giving all young Europeans Interrail tickets for their 18th birthdays. The pair are in their mid-twenties, and together they are developing Herr&Speer, a team of activists and authors. 

Herr himself is "totally surprised at how fast the project took off." He believes his success is due to the following: "The idea is clear and easy to understand. In addition, we were very lucky with the timing. Europe is at a point where big solution need to be found." With Brexit and growing right-wing populist movements, he says Europeans are more open to "looking at rather unorthodox methods." It's important to appreciate how much lobbying work both of them have undertaken over the past year and a half, in order to realise this project.