DiscoverEU – Young People Discover Green Europe

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Wed 7, October 2020
11:00 - 12:00 CET
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DiscoverEU offers 18-year-old Europeans free travel passes to explore Europe’s heritage through sustainable travel, mainly by rail. Since the initiation of the Preparatory Action by the European Parliament in 2018, the European Commission has enabled more than 70 000 young people to go on a DiscoverEU journey and expand their horizons by exploring the cultural and natural diversity of Europe, tasting new foods and meeting new people. Join our session to witness through live testimonials how 18-year olds discover the European Union, how they learn about sustainability throughout their journey, and what the future Green Track entails. Discuss ideas with us and find synergies to increase DiscoverEU's green impact in the future through collaborative action between the EU, young people and regions.

The session will consist of three parts:

1. Introducing DiscoverEU: a staff member from DG EAC will give a PowerPoint presentation about the establishment and development of the initiative;

2. Testimonials from DiscoverEU ambassadors: testimonials from DiscoverEU travellers will be given, followed by a short video about one of the DiscoverEU meet-ups, which are organised three times a year and promote sustainable activities, such as cycling or tasting local foods;

3. Q&A: we will discuss opportunities for regions to receive a partnership label to offer travellers green activities and ideas on how to further enhance the green visibility of the initiative.

Mathieu Orphanides, Programme Manager DiscoverEU, European Commission - Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, Belgium.
Daphne Robberechts, Programme Assistant DiscoverEU, European Commission - Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, Belgium.
Laura Hommes, Bachelor student in Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges, Leiden University College, Netherlands.
Ella Mossop, Bachelor Student in Sustainability and Environmental Management, University of Leeds, United Kingdom.
Dan Voznak, Bachelor student in International Development Studies, Palacký University Olomouc, Czechia.
Q&A on presented theme
Empowering citizens
European Commission - DG EAC
English (EN)

Session summary

We had the pleasure to hold the session “DiscoverEU – Young People Discover Green Europe”. During the session, the “DiscoverEU” team presented the past, present and future of the initiative, as well as, the green dimension we strive to add to all aspects of the project. We were also very pleased to have with us three DiscoverEU ambassadors, Ella, Dan and Laura (ie young people who have been through the experience) and who shared with us their DiscoverEU story, and also some “green tips” for traveling more sustainably.

Furthermore, we had the honour to have a wide audience of more than 125 people registered, including representatives of different stakeholders like Eurodesk, various NGOs, rail and bus company representatives, young people themselves and others.

The session was concluded with a fruitful Q&A session, during which participants shared their questions in the chat, which then the DiscoverEU team addressed.

Take away message

The takeaway message would be the diversity of stakeholders involved and interested in DiscoverEU and its green dimension and thus the great potential that exists for collaborations, synergies and further development of the initiative.

Dan: “I was sleeping in campsites and in this way you can get much closer to the nature and also you are using your own soap, own towels, fork, knife, shampoo and everything. Cause when you are sleeping in a hotel you have everyday new sheets, towels. So like that, you are sustaining the nature”

Laura: “carrying a reusable water bottle, I think everybody should do it, regardless if you are travelling or not, as drinking is something we have to do everyday, .. we had 2 reusable bottles and we only bought 1 bottle in a shop for a whole month!..”

Ella: “Take a natural shampoo bar when travelling because they don’t have any waste packaging, … so it’s better for the environment and so much more”


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