EU gives 12,000 additional free tickets for 18-year-olds

The Commission launches second DiscoverEU competition for free travelling

Photo: European Commission Commissioner Tibor Navracsics

Following the great success of the first round of DiscoverEU, the EU Commission announced today that it will launch a second competition for free tickets on 29 November 2018. All 18-year-olds in the EU will then have until 11 December 2018 to apply for a free ticket, giving them the opportunity to travel around Europe between 15 April and 31 October 2019.

The launch of the second round was announced by Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics at a stakeholder meeting on Wednesday, in front of representatives working in the youth, education, transport and tourism sectors, and young people who took part in the initiative this summer.

“This summer, around 15,000 18-year-olds were able to travel across the EU. They experienced first-hand what it feels like to be European. They got the opportunity to discover Europe's diversity and cultural richness as well as to meet people from all over the EU," he said. "We have heard so many fantastic stories from those who took part, and I am delighted that we are able to offer this experience to more young people next year!"

To apply to the second round of DiscoverEU applicants must be 18 years old on 31 December 2018 and be prepared to travel between 15 April and 31 October 2019 for a maximum period of 30 days.

Those interested in taking part need to apply via the European Youth Portal. An evaluation committee will then assess the applications and select the recipients.
Successful applicants will be able to travel individually or in a group of up to five people. As a general rule they will be travelling by rail. However, to ensure wide access across the continent, participants can also use alternative transport modes, such as buses or ferries, or, exceptionally, planes. This will ensure that young people living in remote areas or on islands part of the EU will also have a chance to take part. 

DiscoverEU was launched June, with a budget of €12 million in 2018. Based on the overwhelming interest in DiscoverEU and the experience it offers young people across the EU, the European Commission has proposed €700m for the initiative under the future Erasmus programme in the EU's next long-term budget after 2020. If the European Parliament and the Council agree to the proposal, an additional 1.5m 18 year olds will be able to travel between 2021 and 2027.

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