You can now apply for a ‘DiscoverEU’ travel pass and travel Europe for free if you are 18-years-old and a National of one of the 28 EU member states.
The DiscoverEU initiative, which aims to foster European unity by allowing teenagers from the EU an opportunity to travel together around the continent, launched in 2018. The budget for the program has increased from €12 million to €16 million this year, reports the Irish Independent.
Some 30,000 young people were given a free Interrail travel pass last year, and a further 20,000 passes will be awarded this summer.
Out of 5,000 Irish applications last year, 314 were successful. There are 194 passes allocated to Irish 18-year-olds this year, The Irish Times reports.
Applications for the next round of DiscoverEU passes are now being accepted on the European Youth Portal and will close at 12.00 CEST on May 16.
To apply, you need to have been born between July 2, 2000 and July 1, 2001 and be a National of one of the 28 EU member states. Applications can be made as individuals or as a group of up to five people.
Winners are drawn at random, reports iradio.ie.
Winners, who will be notified in June 2019, will be able to travel around Europe for up to 30 days between next August and January 31, 2020.
Participants will be provided with travel tips and will receive a travel journal to record their experiences. They will also have the opportunity to participate in organized community-building events during their trips.
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune said: “The scheme is a great way to help young Irish people learn about and see other’s EU countries. There is so much to learn across Europe and a scheme such as this is very welcome in helping young people as they learn and develop. It is great to see so much interest from young people in the scheme and I would encourage the creation of more schemes like this.”
The European Commission is planning to launch another application round before the end of this year.
More information on how to apply can be found here: europa.eu/youth/discovereu_en