Germany has joined three other EU nations in providing a culture pass for young people.
The Kulturpass will give every German that turns 18 in 2023 the sum of €200 to spend on cultural goods, experiences and events.
The scheme could reach 750,000 Germans. It is aimed at getting young people out of the house after the pandemic, as there are concerns that lockdown habits have stuck with some teenagers, who spent their formative years indoors due to COVID-19.
Another motivation is stimulating the German arts scene.
The voucher, which is available to use via an app, can be spent on a wide array of things including music, theatre, concerts, and books. However, spending the entire €200 on one expensive gig ticket is not permitted and big name brands like Amazon and Spotify are excluded. Instead, the app directs users towards independent cinemas and small bookshops.
If the scheme is a success, it may later be rolled out to other age groups, possibly those aged 15+.
On announcing the scheme, Germany’s Culture Minister Claudia Roth said the cultural passport was the “equivalent of a birthday present”.
Which other European countries have a cultural passport?
Germany is not the first to tempt it's teens to the theatre with this kind of offering.
Last year in Spain, the leftwing coalition handed out a €400 voucher to children turning 18, a deal which was taken up by 57.6% of those eligible.
In neighbouring France, the scheme is worth €300 to young people, whose options for spending includes classes, art supplies, and french media platforms like Canal Plus. That scheme has since been extended to give €25 - €30 to over 15s, on top of a collective allowance to be spent by their schools.
Italy’s ‘culture bonus’ of €500 for 18-year-olds, rolled out in 2016, has proved popular and survived the country’s chaotic government changes. Books, music and concert tickets have proven the most popular with participants.