Almost 61,000 young Europeans to receive free travel passes

Almost 61,000 young Europeans to receive free travel passes
Young backpackers on a platform. Credit: Belga

Around 61,000 young people aged between 18 and 20 will soon receive free travel passes to explore Europe alone or in a group of up to five people.

Young people living in the European Union and the United Kingdom could apply for these passes in October 2021 as part of the Commission's DiscoverEU project. It announced on Thursday that the 60,950 successful applicants will be able to travel for free for up to 30 days between March 2022 and February 2023.

"We will multiply the opportunities for young people throughout this year, for example by increasing the number of tickets for DiscoverEU in the next round that will take place in spring 2022," Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, stated in a press release.

A mobile travel pass will be implemented, as the evolution of the pandemic remains unknown. This will allow them to flexibly book their travels.

People who receive the passes will be expected to travel mainly by rail, however, some exceptions will be made to allow those living on islands to take part.

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DiscoverEU aims to encourage young people to "broaden their horizons and meet fellow Europeans."

Normally, applications are only open to 18-year-olds who live in an EU Member State, twice every year, however, as both rounds were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, those who were eligible under those rounds, which includes 19- and 20-year-olds and UK nationals, were also able to apply for the latest round.

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