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France aims to create “European culture pass”

France and Italy look set to create a “European culture pass” based on a system currently in place for young people in Italy.

French culture minister Françoise Nyssen met with her Italian counterpart, Dario Franceschini, to discuss the idea of a European pass this week after Nyssen confessed she was very interested in the existing scheme already rolled out for Italian young people.

The “culture bonus” scheme currently allows all young Italians to receive €500 in the year after they turn 18, with all the money to be spent on cultural activities, such as tickets to the cinema, a concert, theatre production, or cultural books.

During his presidential campaign, French President Emmanuel Macron promised a similar system would be put in place in France, and in early July, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe confirmed his wish to give young French people more access to culture in a similar scheme.

However, the success of the Italian scheme has been called into question by critics, who point out that only 60% of eligible young people took advantage of the offer, and other reports suggesting that some young people - with the collaboration of shop owners - were even able to exchange their €500 pass for a smaller amount of cash.

This has not appeared to deter Philippe and Nyssen, however, who look set to continue with the idea for France.

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