Today, the Commission is launching a new application round for DiscoverEU travel passes, which allows participants to travel across Europe, learn about its cultural heritage, whilst developing their own knowledge and skills. All 18-year-olds in the European Union have until 28 November 2019 (12.00 CET) to apply for the opportunity to discover Europe between 1 April and 31 October 2020. So far, the Commission has awarded 50,000 travel passes through three application rounds for which 275,000 young people applied. The new round will allow another 20,000 young people to be part of DiscoverEU.
Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “Over one and a half years, DiscoverEU has been creating new opportunities for Europe’s young people to discover their continent. I am very pleased to see how enthusiastically they have responded, forming a true community with their fellow travellers and others. I invite young people from every region in Europe to apply for this new chance to experience the freedom to move across our Union, to develop important skills, to discover our rich cultural heritage and to make new friends.”
Interested DiscoverEU participants can also take part in a number of organised meet-ups and events during their trips and receive a travel journal to write down their experiences. Every year, DiscoverEU activities are organised around a dedicated theme related to the European Union’s priorities. The theme for 2019 is “learning about Europe”. The theme for 2020 will be “Sustainable Green Europe”.
Who can apply and how?
Applicants must be 18 years old on 31 December 2019, EU citizens and be prepared to travel between 1 April 2020 and 31 October 2020 for a maximum period of 30 days. Those interested in taking part can apply via the European Youth Portal until 28 November 2019. An evaluation committee will assess the applications and select the winners. Applicants will be notified of the selection results in January 2020, based on a quiz on general knowledge about the European Union.
Successful applicants will be able to travel individually or in a group of up to five people. 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. This will ensure that young people living in remote areas or on islands will also have a chance to take part.
Following the new round launched today, the Commission is planning to launch a further application round in the first half of 2020.
The Commission launched DiscoverEU in June 2018 following a proposal from the European Parliament for a Preparatory Action with an initial budget of €12 million; the budget for 2019 is €16 million and the expected budget for 2020 is €25 million. DiscoverEU brings together thousands of young people building a community across Europe. Participants who had never met before linked up on social media, exchanged tips or offered local insights, formed groups to travel from city to city or stayed at each other’s places.
For more information
Further information is available on the European Youth Portal, on the European Youth Facebook page as well as on the European Youth Twitter and Instagram accounts.
• Nathalie VANDYSTADT (+32 2 296 70 83)
• Joseph WALDSTEIN (+ 32 2 29 56184)