Last week we submitted a petition to the European Parliament (German version, English version, French version and Italian version). In it, we express our concern that more than 75 per cent of the 335,600 Erasmus+ students in 2018/19 took the plane to travel to and from their exchange destination. The Erasmus+ programme thus contributes significantly to the European Union’s already substantial CO2 emissions and does not use its full potential for European cohesion. The current status quo reduces the credibility of the European Union in terms of its sustainability efforts and particularly affects socio-economically disadvantaged students. In its resolution of 15 September 2020, the European Parliament has already called for Erasmus+ students to be encouraged to choose the least-polluting means of transport, such as the train, and for any resulting additional costs and journey times to be fully reimbursed. As the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme Guide of 25 March 2021 is insufficient against this backdrop (see below), we call for free Interrail passes for all Erasmus+ students. This creates an effective incentive and means little bureaucracy both for the International Offices and the students. The European Year of Rail is the perfect time for this!
Resolution of 15 September 2020