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60,000 free travel passes for young people in EU and UK

Young backpackers on a platform. Credit: Belga

Young people aged between 18 and 20 living in the European Union and the United Kingdom will be given the chance to receive one of 60,000 free travel passes to discover the EU by train.

DiscoverEU, a European Commission initiative offering young people the opportunity to travel Europe through learning experiences, will open up applications for the pass, which aims to encourage young people to “broaden their horizons and meet fellow Europeans.”

“Over the past 18 months, in a true spirit of solidarity, our young people have sacrificed valuable defining moments of their lives,” said Vice-President for the European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, which is why the Commission is creating a “European mobility boom with the 60,000 train passes.”

Normally, applications are only open to 18-year-olds who live in an EU Member State, twice every year. Because 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, can also apply for this round.

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The passes will allow young people to travel for a minimum of one day and a maximum of 30 days between 1 March 2022 and 28 February 2023. For those who want to travel with friends, up to four additional people can be added to a group when applying, provided they meet the conditions.

Bearing in mind that the evolution of the pandemic remains unknown, all travellers will be offered flexible bookings when receiving the passes.

Applications open on 12 October at noon and close on 26 October at noon. Another application round will take place between Tuesday 12 October 2021 and Tuesday 26 October 2021.

If you were born between 1 July 2001 (included) and 31 December 2003 (included) and have the nationality of one of the EU Member States (or the UK), do the quiz on the DiscoverEU website to stand a chance to win a pass.

In 2018-2019, the year the initiative was launched, there were around 350,000 applicants for 70,000 available passes.

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