The Commission announced on 6 January the results of its latest round of applications for DiscoverEU that was launched in October 2021. From the 333,728 young people who applied for a travel pass, 60,950 young people will receive a free ticket to visit Europe.
1. Free railway trip
Successful applicants will travel alone or in a group of up to five people between March 2022 and February 2023 for up to 30 days. In line with the European Green Deal, participants will travel mainly by rail, with some exceptions to allow those living on islands to take part.
The boom of mobility for young people that represents these 60,000 travels passes offers great opportunities for young people to get pass these difficult times. 2022 starts off to a flying start. This will be the year of young Europeans.Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President for the European Way of Life
The October application round was open to young Europeans born between 1 July 2001 and 31 December 2003. Exceptionally, 19 and 20 year-olds were allowed to take part, since after their rounds were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Taking into account the uncertainty of travel rules because of the sanitary situation, all travellers will be offered flexible bookings through a new mobile travel pass.
2. DiscoverEU Ambassadors
On top of the free pass, the EU is inviting participants to become DiscoverEU Ambassadors and help further champion the initiative. They are also encouraged to contact fellow travellers on the official DiscoverEU group online to share experiences and exchange tips, particularly on cultural experiences, or on how to travel digitally and sustainably.
Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel said she wanted this year to be a “celebration of all young people” while announcing that the EU will “multiply opportunities” by launching another round of applications taking place in spring. For those who were selected recently, they will be able to ask questions related to their future trip during a live Q&A will take place on the European Youth Instagram account on 17 January 2022.
The Commission launched DiscoverEU in June 2018, following a proposal from the European Parliament. Since then, the programme funded around 130,000 travel passes. It has been formally integrated into the new Erasmus+ programme 2021-2027.