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Free EU rail pass for 18-year-olds

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Free EU rail pass for 18-year-olds

Lauterbrunnental train - Photo ZachT

(BRUSSELS) - DiscoverEU, a pilot project enabling 15,000 young people to travel free around Europe by train this summer, is to be rolled out by the EU Commission, acting on a European Parliament proposal.

The EU Commission has launched a website with details of the project, where young people from 28 EU countries can apply, between 12 and 26 June, for a travel pass. They should plan to start their journey between July and end of September 2018, to up to four foreign country destinations in the 28 EU member states.

Young people can travel between a minimum of 1 and up to 30 days inclusive. The journey must start in an EU country between 9 July 2018 and 30 September 2018.

All nationals of one of the 28 EU member states who will be 18 years old on 1 July 2018 can apply. This means young people born between 2 July 1999 and 1 July 2000 (included) are eligible.

Participants will, in principle, travel by rail. Nevertheless, in order to ensure the widest possible access, the project will offer alternative transport modes, such as buses or ferries, as required. The use of flights will only be considered on an exceptional basis for participants based in remote or outermost regions. See here for further information.

Those interested will need to apply for a first application round from 12 June at 12.00 noon CET to 26 June at 12.00 noon CET via the European Youth Portal. Applicants must be 18 years old on 1 July 2018, EU citizens, and prepared to start their travel experience between 9 July and 30 September 2018. An evaluation committee will make the final selection of the first 15,000 recipients expected for this first round. A second round of applications will be organised in autumn 2018.

In its proposals for the EU's long-term budget for 2021-2027, unveiled on 2 May, the Commission has also proposed to earmark another EUR 700 million for the initiative to be continued and developed in the future. This latest proposal will now need to be discussed by the EU member states and the European Parliament.

DiscoverEU travel pass

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