Press release

Green MEPs call for free interrail tickets for 18-year-olds and private jet ban

24th May 2024
European manifesto launch

The Green Party’s election manifesto for the European elections calls for free interrail tickets for all 18-year-olds, a complete ban on private jets and new taxes on aviation fuel. The European Commission currently uses a lottery system to allocate interrail tickets to some 18-year-olds, but the party’s new proposals would extend this to all citizens in the year they turn 18.

The Green Party currently has two MEPs in Ireland, giving the Greens the same representation as Fianna Fáil and one seat more than Sinn Féin in Brussels. In Dublin today (May 24), the party’s two sitting MEPs, Ciarán Cuffe and Grace O’Sullivan, and Midlands-North-West candidate Pauline O’Reilly published a detailed manifesto for the next five years.

Ireland’s Green MEPs will work with fellow Greens from other European countries in the Greens–European Free Alliance group. This is the parliament’s 4th largest grouping and works together with other groupings to protect democracy and push back extremists on either side of the political spectrum who threaten to destroy society.

Grace O’Sullivan, MEP for Ireland South, said;

“When you vote for your Green Party candidate in this election, you are empowering a movement that spans every country in Europe. The Greens in the European Parliament are the most united, most cohesive political group, which gives us real impact - and myself and Ciarán Cuffe have played a key role over the last five years. By returning us to the Parliament - with Senator Pauline O’Reilly, you are ensuring climate action, nature restoration, and social justice remain at the core of European policy, at a time when progress is under threat. 

“The last 11 months in a row, global temperature records have been broken. Now is the time to double down on climate action. Not slide back. The clearest message you can send for more ambition is by voting Green.”

Ciarán Cuffe, MEP for Dublin, said;

“Five years ago, I launched my vision for a liveable and child-friendly Dublin and since then, I have put Europe to work for our city. I negotiated lower bills, safer streets, and cleaner air for all Dubliners, and I shaped Europe’s green deal to support Ireland’s leadership in renewables and deliver good jobs for Dublin’s economy. The people of Dublin and Ireland know they can trust that we’ll do what we say we’re going to do. 

The manifesto we’re launching today is more than a collection of policy proposals. It is a vision of a Europe that is fairer, safer, and greener. Ireland needs strong Green voices in Europe with the skills, the experience, and the drive to make this future a reality. I’m running for re-election because I want to make sure the people of Dublin get to see the benefits of what that future holds.”

Senator Pauline O’Reilly, MEP candidate for Midlands-North-West, said;

“We all agree that something needs to be done about climate change, but the Green Party is the only party getting things done. We are reducing emissions, expanding public transport and restoring nature. No other party is as committed to serious climate action or will work as hard to protect our environment. We are living through an era of record-breaking global warming and last year was the hottest year on record. On June 7th, we should vote as if the planet depended on it.”

Minister Ossian Smyth, Director of Elections, said;

“When you vote Green, you know what you are getting - better, cheaper public transport, a warmer home with lower bills, better quality of life.”

Other manifesto pledges include promises to;

  • Advance and defend the Green Deal
  • Push for a Green and Social Transition Fund to fund green infrastructure projects, public transport, renewables and energy grid connections
  • Fight for the passage and implementation of the Nature Restoration Law.
  • Push for free interrail tickets to all 18-year-olds every year.  
  • Investigate breaches of the EU Israel Association Agreement and insist on suspension under its terms until the current conflict is ended peacefully
  • Oppose the Mercosur trade agreement
  • Continue reform of the Common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies to ensure the best deal for small producers while protecting our soil, seas and climate.
  • Strengthen the European Parliament so it can initiate legislation and nominate the Commission President.
  • Stand for a humane, fair and effective migration and international protection policy that is human rights based, efficient and workable, embedded in European solidarity and safeguarded from abuses against the most vulnerable.
  • Continue support to Ukraine in their defensive actions against Russian aggression.
  • Create a single SailRail ticket to cover entire journeys to and from continental Europe across multiple transport modes. 
  • Create more liveable cities and towns with safe walking and cycling facilities, more tree planting, clean air and water.

The manifesto can be read here.

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