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15,000 Discover EU travel passes up for grabs

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15,000 Discover EU travel passes up for grabs

Lauterbrunnental train - Photo ZachT

(BRUSSELS) - From today until 26 June, young people have the opportunity to apply for a DiscoverEU ticket which gives them the opportunity to discover the European continent from July 2018 until the end of October 2018.

The idea behind DiscoverEU, an EU initiative based on a European Parliament proposal, is to offer young people turning 18 a better understanding of Europe's diversity and cultural richness, as well as to make new friends and get a sense of their European identity.

Under the initiative, young people can travel as individuals or as a group of maximum five people. As a general rule they will be travelling by rail.

However, to ensure wide access across the continent, participants can, in special cases, use alternative transport modes such as buses or ferries, or, exceptionally, planes. This is to ensure that young people living in remote areas or on islands part of the EU also have a chance to take part.

As 2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage, those travelling will have the chance to participate in the many events that are being organised all over Europe.

How to apply

Applicants need to provide their personal data as well as details about the trip they are planning to make. They also need to complete a 5-question quiz, linked to the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, EU initiatives targeting young people and the upcoming European Parliament elections. Finally, they need to answer an additional question on how many young people they think will apply for this initiative. The replies is to allow the EU Commission to select the applicants. Once this is done, participants need to start travelling between 9 July and 30 September 2018. They can travel for up to 30 days and can visit up to 4 foreign destinations.

With a budget of EUR12 million in 2018, DiscoverEU is expected to give at least 20,000 young people the opportunity to travel around Europe this year.

Every EU Member State has been allocated a number of travel passes, based on the share of its country's population compared to the overall population of the European Union. The first application round, launched today, will allow at least 15,000 recipients to explore their continent. A second application round with at least 5,000 tickets will take place in autumn 2018. The Commission says it intends to develop the initiative and has therefore included it in its proposal for the next Erasmus programme. If the European Parliament and the Council agree to the proposal, an additional 1.5 million 18 year olds are expected to be able to travel between 2021 and 2027, supported by a budget of EUR 700 million.

Participants in DiscoverEU will be invited to report back on their travel experiences, for example through social media tools like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, or by providing a presentation at their school or their local community.

DiscoverEU travel passes - background guide

DiscoverEU travel pass

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