The EU will give away free travel passes to 15,000 young Europeans between June 11-26 as part of a wider strategy to strengthen cultural and communication links between the Member States.
Brussels’ €700 million DiscoverEU Project is part of the EU’s Multi-Annual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, with the pilot initiative set to run from July 9 till the end of September.
The Eurail youth pass allows travellers to use the train, ferry, and bus services in more than four foreign destinations within the bloc. The EU will encourage selected 18-year-olds, travelling in groups of up to 5 people, to share their experience on social networking sites, which could lead to their becoming ambassadors for the DiscoverEU programme.
“DiscoverEU offers an excellent opportunity to young people to explore Europe through a personal journey in a way that no book or documentary can. I am confident that this experience will have a positive effect – for the young people who are participating and for the communities they visit. What we are launching tomorrow is an opportunity for 15,000 unforgettable European stories to be followed by many more later this year and beyond,” said the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics.
The applicants will need to plan their trip beforehand and to complete a short questionnaire linked to the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage.
The 2018 budget for the pilot programme amounts to €12 million and will allow a total of 20,000 young Europeans to participate in the initiative. The second round of the initiative, with at least 5,000 additional tickets, is expected to take place in the autumn.