EU Commission to Provide Additional 10,000 Free Rail Passes to Young EU Citizens This Year

February 16, 2022 by No Comments

The European Union Commission has revealed that this year’s youth travel programme, DiscoverEU, will provide 10,000 additional rail passes to young people aged from 18 to 20 years old and will include additional countries.

Until now, the EU authorities awarded 60,000 passes to young people of the EU. However, taking into account the number of additional tickets, the number of those who will be awarded a free ticket will be increased to 70,000.

The increase in the number of tickets awarded to young EU citizens was announced by the Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, who, among others, said that this year’s programme would include additional benefits.

Apart from increasing the number of tickets that are to be distributed to the winners, it has been announced that young people from additional six countries will also be able to participate as the list of eligible countries has been expanded.

According to an official statement made by Gabriel, young people from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey will also be able to apply this year, reports.

“In the spirit of the Commission designating 2022 the European Year of Youth, DiscoverEU is back, bigger than ever, with new opportunities for young people to take a train, broaden their horizons, extend their learning, enrich their experiences and meet fellow Europeans while travelling by rail as of March 2022,” Gabriel said last year.

The last round of applications for 2021 was open until the end of October, whereas the next round will open in April.

In line with the programme’s rules, youngsters can apply for the passes, provided that they are nationals of one of the EU Member States or one of the six other participating countries.

In addition, travellers are required to answer six questions right about the history and culture of Europe in order to be able to win the pass.

In order to make a fair selection of the participants, the Commission has explained that every country is allocated a specific number of travel passes based on its population, as a proportion of the overall population of the EU.

Successful applicants who are awarded a pass will be able to travel for up to 30 days. During this period, everyone will be able to share their culture and learn new things while protecting the environment.

This year’s applicants will receive discount coupons for the first time, which can be used when paying for food and other needed supplies.

The Commission has revealed that the applicants will be able to travel in groups and has strongly encouraged young people with special needs to participate. The Commission will cover the costs of special assistance.

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