The Commission has opened the second round of DiscoverEU, with over 12,000 travel passes available for 18-year-olds in the EU to explore Europe in 2019.
What is DiscoverEU?
DiscoverEU is an EU initiative which offers 18-yearolds a travel experience that will enable them to take advantage of the freedom of movement in the European Union, discover the diversity of European regions, enjoy its cultural richness, and connect with people from all over the continent. At the same time, they will have the chance to learn more about themselves, gain self-confidence and improve key competencies such as problem-solving and foreign language skills.
Any EU citizen born between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2000 will be able to apply for this round.
Why don’t you offer this opportunity to all 18-year-olds?
The aim is to give as many young people as possible the chance to benefit from DiscoverEU. However, with a current budget of €12 million, it is not possible to offer travel passes to all 18-year-olds in Europe.
Following the huge interest this summer and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants, the Commission wants to develop DiscoverEU, further strengthening the initiative’s outreach to disadvantaged groups and learning dimension in line with the general objectives of the future Erasmus programme. Therefore, the European Commission has proposed to allocate €700 million to the initiative under the future Erasmus programme (2021-2027). If the European Parliament and the Council agree to the proposal, an additional 1.5 million 18-year-olds will be able to travel between 2021 and 2027.
Will there be a quota per country?
A quota of travel passes is set for each Member State based on the share of its population compared to the overall population of the European Union. In case there are fewer applicants in certain countries than their fixed quotas, the remaining travel passes will be distributed among the countries where there are more applicants than their quotas.
Who can participate and how?
All EU nationals who will be 18 years old on 31 December 2018 can apply. This means that young people born between 1 January 2000 (included) and 31 December 2000 (included) are eligible to participate. Young people have to submit their application online through the European Youth Portal during the application period from Thursday 29 November 2018 at 12:00 (midday) CET to Tuesday 11 December at 12:00 (midday) CET.
Why is the initiative only accessible to young people aged 18?
DiscoverEU is an initiative originally requested by the European Parliament with the objective of providing travel and mobility opportunities for young people turning 18. The programme specifically targets 18-year-olds, as this age marks a major step to adulthood which should go hand in hand with an increased understanding for Europe in all its diversity.
For how many days are participants allowed to travel?
Young people can travel for a minimum of 1 day and up to 1 month. They should visit at least one Member State in the European Union other than their country of residence. The trip must start between 15 April 2019 (first departure date) and 31 October 2019 (last return date)
What modes of transport can be used?
As a basic rule, participants will travel by rail. Nevertheless, in order to ensure the widest possible access — for instance among young people with special needs, or those living in remote areas — alternative transport modes can be offered, such as buses or ferries, when necessary and taking into account environmental, travel and distance consideration. Travel will be in second class.
Can a participant travel alone or in a group of friends?
The project foresees that participants can travel either individually or in a group of maximum 5 people. In the case of a group, a group leader must be appointed on the group’s behalf. The group leader will fill in the application form and respond to the quiz and subsidiary question. S/he will receive a code in the confirmation email when submitting the application and should communicate this code to the group members in order to allow their registration. Based on the code provided by the group leader, the remaining group members will be able to register online and fill in their personal data.
If a group application is successful, will all group members be able to participate?
Yes, a group application will be assessed as one single application.
How are the young people selected?
The selection of applicants will take place via an online application tool available on the European Youth Portal. Applicants will first have to pass the eligibility criteria check. Then, all applicants will need to complete a quiz. They must answer 5 multiple choice quiz questions linked to the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, other European Union initiatives targeting young people and the upcoming European Parliament elections. Finally, they will need to answer an additional question related to the current application round. The correct replies to the quiz and this final question will allow the European Commission to make the selection and to rank the applicants in case there are more applications than the budget can cater for.
What about young people with reduced mobility and/or special needs?
Young people with special needs (such as reduced mobility, visual impairments) may be entitled to receive appropriate additional support. Those costs will be assessed on a case-by-case basis according to their needs and based on appropriate documents, as required under the national law of the Member State of residence. In this respect, costs of special assistance (for example an accompanying person, a dog for visually impaired participants) might be covered. The Commission strongly encourages young people with special needs to apply.