Multilingualism is one of the founding principles of the European Union, but only one in five Europeans can speak two languages other than their own – even though the picture is improving. What really makes the difference is the effectiveness of language teaching and exposure to foreign languages.
It was 1972 when the first 87 thousand Interrail tickets were issued by rail companies in various European countries. Today, forty-seven years after its foundation, more than ten million people have chosen Interrail.
In the 2014 European elections, only 42.5 percent of people eligible to vote participated. From the economy to migration, by way of defence and climate change, European questions are now central to the public debate. While this might lead to some first steps towards changing the trend, it probably won’t be enough to entice a majority of European citizens to go to the ballot box.
Every year, tens of thousands of European citizens decide to avail of the Erasmus programme: students, lecturers, researchers, artists, athletes, volunteers and other citizens book their flights, pack their bags and leave for other countries, with grants supporting European mobility.