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KulturPass: German minister wants to extend youth offer to France

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KulturPass: German minister wants to extend youth offer to France
The 'KulturPass' app on a smartphone. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jan Woitas

Germany's culture pass for teens could be extended - and used for books, concerts and other cultural activities in neighbouring France in future, Germany Culture Minister Claudia Roth has announced.

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Following the successful roll-out of the scheme in June last year, Roth said she wanted to combine Germany's offer for young people with a similar scheme in France. 

"We now want to make the culture pass Franco-German," the Green politician told German news agency DPA in Berlin. "We are in the process of working out how it will be possible for French culture pass holders to benefit from it in Germany and vice versa."

Under the 'KulturPass' scheme, all young people who turned 18-years-old in 2023 could register online and receive a €200 voucher for cultural products like concert tickets, books, musical instruments and film tickets. 

READ ALSO: What to know about Germany's youth culture pass

The project follows the blueprint of France's culture pass scheme, which was launched in 2021 for 18-year-olds and has since been rolled out for 15 to 17-year-olds as well. In the French version, teens get €300 to spend on cultural activities or products of their choice. 

Back in 2023, Germany's €100 million project was also supported by Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP), who described it at the time as "cultural start-up capital" for youths.

Roth is now hoping that there will be money for the pass in the new budget and that she can also shore up funding in other ways.

"I will also try to approach private sponsors," the Culture Minister told DPA. "Large companies, for example, who say: we could also give these young people, who we are urgently looking for in our companies, a bonus."

Half a million books sold to pass-holders

Since the project launched in June 2023, 750,000 teenagers have taken advantage of the offer, while 265,000 have already activated their pass.

"That's really good for the first six months," said Roth, adding that she hoped the Kulturpass could be fully financed in the coming years.

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"It is a new form of cultural promotion and reintroduces a very specific group to culture that has either not yet taken advantage of cultural offerings or has been weaned off experiencing culture locally due to coronavirus (restrictions)."

As well as supporting venues like cinemas, theatres and art galleries after the difficult pandemic years, the pass is also intended to support local book shops. 

So far, more than 500,000 books have been sold by high-street bookshops through the Kulturpass, equating to €8.2 million in sales. In order to support local retailers, the pass cannot be used to purchase books online. 

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