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HomeSociety and CultureCultureNew EU initiative to enable young people to discover Europe by rail
20,000 to 30,000 18-year-olds will have the chance to travel

New EU initiative to enable young people to discover Europe by rail

Thanks to backing by MEPs, between 20,000 and 30,000 18-year-olds will have the chance to travel in the EU by rail this year. In the future more young people will benefit from the Discover EU initiative, which was first proposed during Parliament´s European Youth Event (EYE) in 2014.

About 15,000 people will enjoy the chance to travel Europe by rail between 9 July and 30 September. Any European citizen who will be 18 on 1 July can apply for tickets online in the first round from noon CET on 12 June until noon CET on 26 June. A second call for applications will be launched later this year.

Participants will be able to travel up to 30 days to as many as four EU countries. 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.

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.

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