On Monday, we were invited as guest lectures for a seminar at the Lübeck Academy of Music (MH Lübeck) to talk about our book #TunWirWar, change-making, activism, and the power of ideas. We particularly talked about our learnings from both the #FreeInterrail campaign and our #EsIstZeit open letter on marriage equality. The entire event happened online and featured a wonderful and lengthy discussion with the BA and MA students attending. Thank you for this great experience, we
On 25th of January 2021 our #FreeInterrail initiative and work received a special accolade at the 2021 European Railway Award for being an ‘outstanding citizen’s initiative‘. The award aims to honor “bright ideas, ingenious innovation and bold policy initiatives devised to enhance, grow and strengthen the rail mode today and for the future.” The jury highlighted, that “the FreeInterrail initiative has made rail travel and the fascination for Europe a dream for the young gener
Back to Brussels we went yesterday. After the first three successful rounds of the DiscoverEU pilot project -- based on our #FreeInterrail proposal -- the European Commission is now zeroing in on the next steps of this program and how to make it available to even more youth in the future. We were invited to share our thoughts and proposals with relevant stake-holders in the Commission and devise ideas for the future of this idea. As always, it is a joy to get to interact with
On Monday, Martin joined the launch of a new series in Gütersloh ("Gütersloher Debatten") to discuss the future of Europe, youth empowerment, and economic developments in Europe. Our friends and #FreeInterrail Ambassador Robert Peter co-organizes this series. Keep up the good work!
The DiscoverEU pilot project -- based on our #FreeInterrail idea and compaign -- went into its third round in early May. Now, the European Commission anncounced that more than 94,000 EU youths applied for the 20,000 or so tickets. Most applications this time came from Italy. This brings the total number of tickets issued so far to almost 50,000 (with around 275.000 applicants so far). We are so grateful that this idea continues to sparks enthusiasm with EU youth and the Europ
In March, German national broadcaster ZDF accompanied us recently while traveling Europe. Now, after being streamed on TV, the documentary is also available online. The article and video highlights our work for #FreeInterrail, European integration, and youth participation and shows some of our experiences while on the road. Find the full German article and video here.
We were interviewed by an ARD (national German TV) team on our work as part of a larger documentary highlighting young pro-European activists in various countries. We got to share more on the #FreeInterrail story and got to highlight why youth mobility is an important factor in promoting a more united Europe. The documentary was first aired on May 6th. You can watch the full German video here.
Since May 2nd, DiscoverEU -- the EU pilot project based on our #FreeInterrail proposal -- has launched its third round of applications. 18 year old EU citizens can again apply to receive one of 20,000 tickets to travel and explore Europe on their own. We are really grateful for all the good work that has been going into this program and its positive effects on so many young people in Europe. However, we do maintain that the EU would do well to introduce free Interrail tickets
Monocle magazine accompanied us for one day in Riga, Latvia last month, where we got to talk about #FreeInterrail with a group of high-school students among others. The full article can be read here (a subscription to Monocle is needed).
Between March 11 and April 16, the two of us will travel 12 European and neighboring countries, interview young people, experts, and be part of events and discussion groups on the topics of #FreeInterrail, gender equality, and the European Parliamentary Elections. We will report on our findings in our social media and are particularly excited to be partning with jetzt.de to write a series of articles (in German) based on our insights and experiences. The trip and the research
Vincent was invited to hold the keynote at a European Election event in Göttingen's Old Townhall this Tuesday. His talk focused on 9+1 theses on the EU and her citizens. He highlighted lessons from our #FreeInterrail work and made a case why each and every European has to find their own way of contributing to a better European future. The local radio station did a piece on the event - it can be found here (in German). Photo Credit: StadtRadio Göttingen
This weekend, we joined the re:claim public discourse conference in Hamburg. We were asked to share takeaways from our #FreeInterrail campaign and enjoyed some good discussions and feedback. The event was held at the Spiegel HQ in the city's Speicherstadt. Thank you to all the journalists who attended and shared ideas.
We wrote a short piece on our vision for Europe and why #FreeInterrail is indeed needed to build and strengthen a European identity. In total, 10 active young Europeans were asked to contribute. We did so happily and, looking at the other authors, feel in good company. The whole article (in German) can be found here.
Today, Pulse of Europe kicked off election season 2019 with a major showing on Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt. EU politicians Margrethe Vestager and Guy Verhofstadt gave passioned speeches on the future of Europe. The two of us also were invited to speak on our #FreeInterrail proposal and its next steps. Thank you to everyone who showed up and to the organizers of Pulse of Europe in particular for the hard work and the invite.
We are so grateful to witness this idea unfolding further. Yesterday, another 14,500 EU youth were issued #FreeInterrail / #DiscoverEU tickets to discover this continent. We will keep working to ensure a future universal implementation.
Today, we had a nice radio interview with a journalist of #SWR. We got to talk at length about our books (#TunWirWas, #WhoIfNotUs), #freeinterrail, and our ideas for European integration. The piece should be on the air in April.
After several years of work as change-makers and activists on a part-time and volunteer basis, 2019 will be a major new step for us. With the support of Stiftung Mercator & Schwarzkopf-Stiftung Junges Europa, we will - for the first time - be able to devote significant time and resources on our #FreeInterrail work. So far, we had jobs and our activism on the side - now our activism will be our job. As a result we will devote decisively more time in promoting our idea in Berl
Our #FreeInterrail campaign was awarded one of the 2018 Good Lobby Awards. The efforts to push for universal European youth mobility were recognized in the main category of "Citizen Lobbyists." Thank you so much to the whole team of the Good Lobby and particularly to Alberto Alemanno for his important work in connecting change-makers across Europe to make a difference.
Our #FreeInterrail campaign has been awarded the 2018 Jean Monnet Prize for European Integration, given out by European Constitution in cooperation with the Representation of the European Commission in France. We and the whole team behind #FreeInterrail feels deeply honored to have been selected for a prize named after the man who effectively invented the concept of European integration. The award encourages us to keep purusing our campaign and goals. Thank you so much!
Our new book, #TunWirWas, hit bookstores in Germany today. The book encourages young people to realize their potential in changing our world for the better. It shows that everyone can and should become a change-maker and make a difference in small or big ways. We draw on our experiences with #FreeInterrail, #EsIstZeit, and other campaigns and highlight specific steps everyone can take easily.