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EU Commission to Provide 60,000 Free Rail Passes to Young EU Citizens

The European Commission has announced that 60,000 young Europeans between the ages of 18 and 20 will get free rail tickets thanks to DiscoverEU, an initiative that offers the opportunity to discover the European Union through learning experiences.

According to a press release from the European Union Commission, applications are open from today, October 12, and will close two weeks later, October 26, reports.

This application round is open to all European youth born between July 1, 2001 and December 31, 2003. Exceptionally, children aged 19-20 will also be allowed to apply as their rounds have been postponed due to COVID-19 illness.

“In the spirit of the commission that designated 2022 as the Year of European Youth, DiscoverEU is back, bigger than ever, with new opportunities for young people to ride the train, broaden their horizons, broaden their learning, enrich their experiences, and meet fellow Europeans while they work,” said the Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. , Maria Gabriel, Rail travel as of March 2022.

Except for the age requirement mentioned above, in order to be eligible for a free travel pass, applicants must also meet the following two conditions:

Be a citizen of an EU Member State at the time of the award decision, correctly complete the identification number or passport number in the online application form

The Commission noted that “a number of travel permits is allocated to each member state, based on its population, as a proportion of the EU’s total population”.

Successful applicants will be able to travel for up to 30 days between March 2022 and February 2023. It has been emphasized that since the development of the COVID-19 pandemic remains unknown, participants will be able to make flexible bookings through a new mobile flight app that allows them to change their departure date Until the moment they leave. Mobile travel permits have a validity period of one year.

Furthermore, UNHCR has strongly encouraged young people with special needs to participate in DiscoverEU. UNHCR will provide additional advice and information as well as cover the costs of special assistance, such as a service dog or accompanying person.

Through the same press release, the commission revealed that applicants will be able to travel alone or in groups of people provided that all meet the age requirement.

In addition, it was noted that in order to promote sustainable travel and support the European Green Deal, DiscoverEU participants will travel by rail. However, to ensure wide access to the various EU countries, participants can also use other modes of transport, such as ferries or buses, or exceptionally planes.

DiscoverEU was launched back in June 2019 by the Commission in line with a proposal from the EU Parliament and is officially integrated into the new Erasmus+ programme.

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