DiscoverEU restarts with more travel opportunities for young people
Utrecht, The Netherlands, 5 October 2021
60,000 young Europeans to get a chance to explore Europe by train in 2022 as DiscoverEU relaunches after a yearlong forced break in 2020
DiscoverEU is a European Commission initiative that provides young Europeans aged 18 years old with free travel passes. This round, young people who are now 19 or 20 years old can also apply, as a result of the initiative’s postponement due to Covid-19. The aim is to foster a sense of unity and solidarity across the EU through cross-border travel and intercultural learning. They must pass a six-question quiz on general knowledge about the European Union and on other European Union initiatives targeting young people to be eligible for a travel pass.
Participants are encouraged to travel sustainably by rail - though those living on islands or in remote areas may also use ferries and coaches or, in exceptional circumstances, air travel.
Successful applicants may travel for a period of up to 30 days and will have to take their trip between March 2022 and February 2023. As the trajectory of the pandemic remains unknown, all travellers will be offered flexible bookings through a new mobile travel pass. The departure date can be changed at any moment before they leave or until the one-year validity expires.
The latest application round is open to those born between 1 July 2001 and 31 December 2003. Applications will be open from Tuesday 12 October 2021 until noon Central European Summer Time on Tuesday 26 October 2021.
The initiative is highly sought after. In the two-year period 2018-2019, there were 350,000 candidates for a total of 70,000 travel passes available - 66% of whom travelled for the first time by train outside of their country of residence.
The initiative is returning bigger than ever after a forced one-year break: there will be 60,000 passes up for grabs in this edition. Selected applicants will get a chance to enjoy the experience they might have heard about from the enthusiastic tales of previous travellers:
“I had no idea that this journey could [give] me so much in so little... [Learning about] different cultures, seeing new places and meeting people from all over the world was simply extraordinary and it reminded me that despite the apparent differences, we all share one fundamental value: humanity. I will never forget this experience... and I hope that in the future, many generations will have the opportunity to do [the same]. I learned to have no borders and I felt European, more European than Italian, to tell the truth, and I did not think it would be possible.”
Fabio from Italy – travelled to Croatia, Germany and Spain
Since 2018, former and prospective DiscoverEU travellers now form a diverse and engaged community that meets on- and offline to share their experiences.
Participants are invited to become DiscoverEU Ambassadors to champion the initiative. They are also encouraged to contact fellow travellers on the official DiscoverEU Facebook group to share experiences and exchange tips, particularly on cultural experiences or on how to travel digitally and sustainably.
All participants are invited to attend DiscoverEU meet-ups either online or in person - as soon as it is safe and possible. Meet-ups deal with topics such as A Digital Europe - the DiscoverEU theme for 2021. Other activities include learning about volunteering opportunities and developing a green, sustainable itinerary for young travellers.
Find out more about DiscoverEU on the European Youth Portal.