Free travel passes to enable young people to discover Europe 

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Young people can again register for free rail tickets from 2 May until 16 May, thanks to the Discover EU initiative, supported by the European Parliament.

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Thanks to backing by MEPs, 30,000 18-year-olds enjoyed the chance to travel in the EU for free in 2018. An additional 20,000 will now also be able to benefit from the Discover EU initiative, which was first proposed during Parliament's European Youth Event (EYE) in 2014.

 

How it will work

 

About 20,000 people will enjoy the chance to travel Europe by rail between 1 August 2019 and 31 January 2020. Any European citizen born between 2 July 2000 and 1 July 2001 can apply for tickets online from noon CET on 2 May until noon on 16 May.

 

Participants will be able to travel up to 30 days to at least one foreign country. Travel will be mainly by rail, but also by bus and ferry to ensure wide access. Flights will be allowed in exceptional cases where no other form of transport is available. This could be for example for people coming from remote areas or outermost regions.

 

Participants with reduced mobility or special needs may be eligible for extra help, for example support with the costs for an accompanying person or dog for those with a visual impairment.

 

More information on the initiative is available on the European Youth Portal.

 

Parliament support

 

The Parliament has been a strong advocate of the idea of free rail tickets for 18-year-old Europeans, adopting three resolutions backing the initiative.

 

MEPs believe the initiative will allow young people to experience Europe’s diversity, better understand each other and learn more about Europe. They expect encouraging young EU citizens to travel in the EU and meet people from other countries will foster European identity and reinforce common EU values.