The European Commission announced this Monday that it will offer 60,000 train tickets, of which 5,529 will be for Spain, to young Europeans between 18 and 20 years old to undertake a 30-day rail journey through Europe.
Europe by train: guide to traveling with an Interrail ticket
It can be requested to travel alone or in groups of up to five people. The initiative continues a program launched in 2018, which was interrupted by the travel restrictions of the pandemic in the last two years.
For this reason, the Commission will allow not only those who turn 18 years of age to participate in the new call but, exceptionally, those who were born between July 1, 2001 and December 31, 2003.
Tickets can be requested through the DiscoverEU website between noon on Tuesday, October 12, and noon on the 26th of the same month.
The trip must be scheduled between February 2022, coinciding with the European Year of Youth, which will take over from the European Year of the Train, and March 2023.
“As the evolution of the pandemic is unknown, all travelers will be offered flexible reservations. To reinforce sustainable travel and support the European Green Deal, DiscoverEU participants will primarily travel by train,” the Commission says in a statement.
Each Member State is assigned a number of travel passes, depending on its population, as a proportion of the total population of the European Union, so that Germany will receive 9,708 tickets, France will receive 7,865, the United Kingdom 7,802 (despite not being a member state of the EU), Italy 6,940 and Spain 5,529, according to community sources.
They will be followed by Poland (4,424), Romania (2,248), Netherlands (2,036), Greece (1,249) Czech Republic (1,249), Sweden (1,209), Portugal (1,202), Hungary (1,138), Austria (1,041), Bulgaria ( 809), Denmark (681), Finland (645), Slovakia (637), Ireland (582), Cyprus (472), Lithuania (326), Slovenia (245), Latvia (222), Estonia (155), Luxembourg ( 74) and Malta (60).
European Youth Year
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, proposed in her speech on the state of the Union on September 15 that 2022 be declared the Year of European Youth. In addition to reactivating the DiscoverEU program, Brussels will also create the ALMA program, which will offer young people “the possibility of having a temporary professional experience in another Member State”.
“We have before us a highly prepared young generation, full of talent and with a strong motivation. A generation that has made enormous sacrifices to preserve the safety of others,” said Von der Leyen.
“Youth is, under normal conditions, the time of discoveries. New experiences are lived. They become friends for life. Each one is discovering their own path. But, what have we asked of today’s youth? social distances, that they remain confined and that they follow the classes from home. For more than a year. For that reason, everything we are doing – from the Green Deal to NextGenerationEU – aims to protect their future, “he said.