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Apply for a free pass to travel around Europe

Second round applications are now being taken for the chance to inter-rail around Europe


Written by Gráinne Jones and posted in news


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The European Union have launched the second round for applications to the DiscoverEU scheme. The scheme encourages young people to experience freedom of movement, understand Europe’s diversity, enjoy its cultural richness and make new friends, by offering 18 year olds a free European travel pass.

100,480 young citizens applied during the first application round in June 2018 and at least 15,000 young people were awarded the travel passes. In total 108 tickets will be awarded to Irish travellers. 

What is the free European travel pass?

The European travel pass is mainly for use on the InterRail (train) system, but pass holders will also be able to use buses and ferries at certain times to help make travel across Europe easier.

In some circumstances, and when no other ways of travel are available, the pass will be able to cover plane travel as well.

This year is the European Year of Cultural Heritage, so there will be many events taking place all over Europe to celebrate the EU’s fantastically diverse cultural heritage.

Who can apply?

You can apply for the passes if you are:

  • 18 years old on 1 July 2018 (born between 2 July 1999 and 1 July 2000 included)
  • A national of one of the 28 European Union (EU) member states
  • Interested in travelling around Europe this year
  • Would like to visit between one and four European countries
  • Would like to be an ambassador for the EU

How to apply

  • You can apply by yourself, or with a group of up to five people
  • You will take part in a short quiz that is based on the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage and EU youth initiatives targeting young people
  • You will also answer a tie-breaker question, which will help the European Commission to rank the applicants in case too many people apply

Applications for the travel pass are open from 29 November to Tuesday the 11 December at 11 o'clock, and you can find the application here.

If you are one of the people selected for the free travel pass, you will have to start travelling between 15 April 2019 and the 31st October 2019 which is the last return date. 

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Published June 12th, 2018
Last updated December 10th, 2018
Tags eu european union travelling travel
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