Starting from April 7, and until April 21, young people living in Erasmus+ countries can apply for one of the 35,000 free travel passes offered by the EU
In a statement issued today, the European Commission has announced that DiscoverEU, which allows 18-year-olds to explore Europe mainly by train, is opening the first round of applications for 2022, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to the Commission, this year’s round will mark DiscoverEU’s entry into Erasmus+, and for the first time ever, it will be made possible for youngsters from Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey to apply for the passes.
“With this change and through the exceptional funding under the European Year of Youth 2022, 70,000 travel passes will be made available in 2022: 35,000 in the application round announced today and another 35,000 in an application round foreseen for October,” the Commission notes in a press release issued regarding the opening of the application period.
It also states that eligible to enter are applicants who have successfully completed the selection quiz and are born between July 1, 2003, and June 30, 2004. The winners will have the opportunity to travel throughout Europe for up to 30 days during the travel period July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023.
Commenting on the opening of the application period, the EU Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, said that those who turn 18 in the second half of the year would be able to apply in the October round for the free passes.
“DiscoverEU gives more opportunities to travel to young people than ever before. With the European Year of Youth, we celebrate youth. We owe this to an entire generation that could not travel for the last two years. Good luck to all,” the Vice-President said.
To increase the learning dimension of the DiscoverEU experience, Erasmus+ National Agencies will facilitate meetings and information meetings to prepare new travellers for their journey and to create a learning experience with colleagues.
The Commission has also announced that DiscoverEU aims to promote discussions on sustainability, culture, and European identity, through these meetings.
In addition, participants who have disabilities or health problems will be able to accompany them during their journey.
The Commission, by encouraging sustainable rail travel, also makes exceptions for those who have difficulty reaching continental Europe to begin their train journey. To make this possible, special arrangements have been available for young people from more remote regions, counties and foreign territories, remote areas, and islands.