People from Erasmus+ countries are eligible to apply from noon today until noon on 25 October
Today, the Commission publishes the autumn call for the DiscoverEU action which will offer free rail travel cards to 35,000 young people to explore Europe and its rich culture.
People from Erasmus+ program countries have the right to apply from today at noon until October 25th at noon. To win the travel card, young people are asked to apply to the European Youth Portal, answer 5 quiz questions and one additional question. Applicants and applicants who answer the selection quiz questions correctly and were born between 1 January 2003 and 31 December 2004 will be able to travel to Europe for up to 30 days during the travel period between 1 March 2023 and 29 February 2024 .
The Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Ms Marija Gabriel, said: “2022 has been designated as the European Year of Youth and is a critical moment in European history. We need to focus our attention on the younger generations, offer them the possibility to expand their horizons to build a more connected and tolerant world. This is the DiscoverEU action. Through travel, it allows young people to discover our diversity, but also to see our many similarities.”
With the European Year of Youth 2022, the number of travel cards has increased. A total of 70,000 cards are offered this year. The DiscoverEU action is now part of the Erasmus+ program and therefore young men and women from Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey can also apply.
People selected to receive a travel card will also benefit from a discount card which offers more than 40,000 discount possibilities on public transport, cultural visits, accommodation, food, sports and other services available in the eligible countries.
In the framework of the European Year of Youth, the Commission launched the flagship initiative “Youth discover culture thanks to DiscoverEU in 2022”. This is how the DiscoverEU cultural route began on 25 May 2022. It combines various destinations and aspects of culture, such as architecture, music, fine arts, theatre, fashion, design and more. DiscoverEU travelers can visit Europe’s Capitals of Culture, destinations added to the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List or places awarded the European Heritage Label. They can also stop in cities that have received the Accessible City Award. These are cities that have managed to make themselves more accessible to everyone, regardless of age, mobility or ability.
National Erasmus+ organizations prepare young men and women for their trip with pre-departure information meetings. Through these meetings, the DiscoverEU action aims to promote, among other things, discussions on sustainability, culture and European identity. In addition, as part of the European Year of Youth, the organizations are organizing the DiscoverEU Meet-ups, an initiative launched in the summer of 2022 that includes an exciting cultural program of one to three days in all Erasmus+ countries. So far, 49 such meetings have been held and will continue in the coming years.
Since social inclusion is a top priority of the Erasmus+ programme, people with disabilities or health problems who will participate can be accompanied on their travels. In addition to travel expenses, additional personal assistance is also provided. This year Erasmus+ national organizations are also launching the DiscoverEU inclusion action, allowing organizations working with young people with fewer opportunities to apply for a grant.
The Commission encourages sustainable rail travel. Thus, special arrangements are made for young men and women from outermost regions, overseas countries and territories, remote areas and islands.
The Commission launched the DiscoverEU initiative in June 2018, following a preparatory action by the European Parliament. The initiative has been officially included in the new Erasmus+ program for the period 2021-2027.
As of 2018, around 754,000 male and female applicants have applied for 165,000 available travel cards: According to the previous travel survey, 66 % of applicants stated that they traveled by rail outside their country of residence for the first time. Also for many people it was the first time they traveled without parents or adult companions and the majority reported that they became more independent.
The DiscoverEU experience gave them a better understanding of other cultures and European history. It also improved their foreign language skills. Two-thirds of respondents said they would not be able to fund their travel card without DiscoverEU. Participants are invited to become DiscoverEU ambassadors to promote the initiative. They are also encouraged to communicate with other travelers in the official DiscoverEU online group to exchange experiences and advice, especially on cultural experiences or on digital and sustainable travel modes.
To apply, eligible people must answer a multiple-choice quiz with general knowledge questions about the European Union and other EU initiatives aimed at youth. In an additional question they are asked to make an estimate of the number of people applying in that round who were born on a Tuesday. The closer the estimate is to the correct answer, the more points the applicant will receive. The Committee will thus be able to rank the people who will submit an application according to the points they will collect. The Commission will offer travel passes to applicants according to their ranking until the available passes are exhausted.
For more information
European Youth Portal
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