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Free ticket for 18-yr-olds in EU to discover Europe

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Free ticket for 18-yr-olds in EU to discover Europe

Lauterbrunnental train - Photo ZachT

(BRUSSELS) - Following the success of the first round of DiscoverEU, the Commission announced Wednesday it will launch a second competition for free tickets for students to travel around Europe on 29 November.

All 18-year-olds in the EU will then have until 11 December 2018 to apply for a free ticket, giving them the opportunity to travel around Europe between 15 April and 31 October 2019.

DiscoverEU was launched June, with a budget of €12 million in 2018. So far it has given more than 15,000young people the opportunity to travel around Europe.

The first round of DiscoverEU brought together thousands of young people building a true community across Europe. Participants, who never met before, linked up on social media formed groups to travel from city to city or stayed at each other's places.

Those 18-year-olds were able to travel across the EU this summer, to experience "first-hand what it feels like to be European," said Education Commissioner Tibor Navracsics: "They got the opportunity to discover Europe's diversity and cultural richness as well as to meet people from all over the EU."

Who can apply and how?

  • Applicants must be 18 years old on 31 December 2018 and be prepared to travel between 15 April and 31 October 2019 for a maximum period of 30 days.
  • Those interested in taking part need to apply via the European Youth Portal.
  • An evaluation committee will assess the applications and select the recipients.
  • Applicants will be notified about the selection results mid-January 2019.

Successful applicants will be able to travel individually or in a group of up to five people. As a general rule they will be travelling by rail. However, to ensure wide access across the continent, participants can also use alternative transport modes, such as buses or ferries, or, exceptionally, planes. This will ensure that young people living in remote areas or on islands part of the EU will also have a chance to take part.

Based on the overwhelming interest in DiscoverEU and the experience it offers young people across the EU, the European Commission has proposed €700 million for the initiative under the future Erasmus programme in the EU's next long-term budget after 2020. If the European Parliament and the Council agree to the proposal, an additional 1.5 million 18 year olds will be able to travel between 2021 and 2027.

DiscoverEU - background guide

European Youth Portal

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