The EU awards 12,000 travel passes for 18 year-olds to explore Europe in 2019
|European Commission – Press release|
Brussels, 29 November 2018
The European Commission is launching a second DiscoverEU competition. From today (12:00 CET) until Tuesday, 11 December (12:00 CET), young people aged 18 can apply for a travel pass to discover Europe next summer.
This follows the successful first round which gave 15,000 young people the opportunity to travel around Europe between July and October 2018. Many of them participated in the events taking place during the European Year of Cultural Heritage.Commissioner Tibor Navracsics,responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “It is great to see that young people are embracing this new opportunity to explore European cultures and traditions, feel what European diversity means and to make friends they would have not met otherwise. The first round showed that young people gain self-confidence and skills, such as taking initiative and speaking other languages. DiscoverEU is about much more than travelling, it is about learning for life.”
Who can apply and how?
Any EU citizen born between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2000 will be able to apply for this round.
Those interested in taking part can apply via the European Youth Portal where they will need to register and share their travel plans. Applicants will be selected based on their replies to a quiz of five multiple-choice questions linked to European culture and diversity, EU initiatives targeting young people, the upcoming European Parliament elections and an additional question on a topic related to the second round.
Successful applicants can travel between 15 April and 31 October 2019 for between 1 and 30 days.
For this round the Commission encourages particularly people who have special needs or face social challenges to apply. For people with special needs, the Commission will put information and tips at their disposal and cover the necessary costs of special assistance (for example an accompanying person or a guide dog for visually impaired participants).
Successful applicants can travel alone or in a group of up to five people (all 18-year-olds). As a general rule they will travel by rail. However, to ensure wide access across the continent, participants can also use alternative modes of transport, such as buses or ferries, or, exceptionally, planes where necessary. This will ensure that young people living in remote areas or on islands which are part of the EU will also have a chance to take part.
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.
DiscoverEU was launched in June 2018 with a budget of €12 million. So far, it has given more than 15,000young people the opportunity to travel around Europe. The aim is to create fresh opportunities for them to explore the continent’s rich cultural heritage, get to know other people, learn from other cultures and experience what it feels like to be European.
Feedback from participants is positive. For many, it was the first time they travelled without parents or other adults, and the majority indicated that they had become more independent as a result. They also say that the DiscoverEU experience has given them a better understanding of other cultures and of European history. They feel that it has also improved their foreign language skills. Two thirds said that they would not have been able to finance their travel pass without DiscoverEU.
The European Commission proposed €700 million for DiscoverEU under the future Erasmus programme in the EU’s next long-term budget (2021-2027). If the European Parliament and the Council agree to this proposal, an additional 1.5 million 18-year-olds would be able to travel between 2021 and 2027.