Student Euro ID card mooted

April 9, 1999

Plans for a new student card to cover the whole of the European Union are being encouraged by MEPs.

The card would give holders an officially recognised form of identification and access to a range of discounts on cultural and educational events and activities throughout member states.

It would help students to move between countries for courses, training and exchange programmes as a proof of their status and their entitlement to concessions on air, sea, road and rail travel. Cultural discounts could cover theatre, music, cinema, art and possibly museums or tourist attractions.

The European Parliament wants a feasibility study carried out to examine how the card could be introduced and what benefits it would bring for students. Details of how to get the ID and what discounts would be available within different member countries could be placed on an internet website.

A parliamentary spokesman said: "Although a variety of cards or passes already exists for students and young people, there is still no official European Union student card.

"National or regional cards or passes may identify the holder as a student, but these are not always respected or acknowledged when young people are trying to access travel or cultural concessions."

Within the UK the National Union of Students has a discount card scheme and across the world young people can use the internationally recognised ISIC card.

An NUS spokesperson said: "We already have a national card scheme, and ISIC is also available to students worldwide, but we are fairly supportive in principle of a EU card. Any development of this kind can only be a good thing for students in the UK and other countries."

The European Parliament wants the European Commission to carry out the feasibility study and examine alternatives such as incorporating an official EU logo on national ID cards.

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