Student-led initiative which aims to link the Erasmus & Interrail programmes for a more sustainable and united Europe.
The current situation
The European Union’s Erasmus program allows several 100’000 people to travel to other countries every year and gain valuable experience.
Participants often take the plane, partly because it is cheap and partly because central organisations close to Erasmus, such as ESN, cooperate with airlines like Ryanair.
The Erasmus programme thus contributes to the EU’s high CO2 emissions, which runs counter to its obligations under the Paris Convention and its own sustainability efforts.
We call the EU to provide free Interrail passes for Erasmus participants for travel to and from the exchange location!
What we do
We provide information material such as brochures and flyers on sustainable travel in Europe.
We support Erasmus participants who want to travel by bus or train and provide – if our budget allows – financial grants.
Voice of civil society
We are lobbying the relevant authorities at university, regional, national and European level for free Interrail tickets for Erasmus participants.
We want to raise awareness among Erasmus participants about sustainable travel.
Let’s create a win-win-win situation for everyone
Many young people would like to travel more sustainably, but simply cannot afford expensive train journeys. The curiosity to get to know Europe in all its diversity is thus dampened – climate protection and the European idea become mind-bogglingly contradictory. This is changed by free Interrail tickets for all Erasmus participants – sustainable travel and Erasmus then go hand in hand. A positive side-effect: Up to now, the travel costs to and from the exchange location have had to be covered by the participants themselves. This financial obstacle would be overcome with free tickets, such that even more young Europeans can participate in the Erasmus programme.
The Erasmus programme is exceptional. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of students per semester currently use the plane to get to their exchange location. Flying is the most climate damaging form of travel: Airplanes not only emit massive amounts of CO2, nitrogen oxides, aerosols and water vapour – the substances emitted also have a greater impact on the greenhouse effect at flight altitude. This has drastic consequences for humans and nature. Free Interrail tickets will reduce air travel and strengthen environmentally friendly means of transport such as rail.
Europe and the European institutions
Erasmus and Interrail have been connecting Europe and its people for decades, thereby strengthening European cohesion. However, air travel from one metropolis to another and across the entire continent does not contribute to this. Free Interrail tickets to and from the exchange location, on the other hand, make the Erasmus journey a part of European exchange: the peace project EU becomes tangible with the landscapes, languages and people met on the train. Mutual understanding and cohesion are also the prerequisites for functioning European institutions. Credibility – especially in climate policy – is also a prerequisite. The European Green Deal should not stop at Erasmus.