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Who can participate?

All young people who will be 18 years old on 1 July 2018 can apply. This means young people born between 2 July 1999 (included) and 1 July 2000 (included) are eligible to participate in this initiative. Applications must be submitted through the European Youth Portal during the application period (from 12 June 2018 until 26 June 2018).

Why is the initiative only accessible to young people aged 18 years old?

The European Parliament Preparatory Action as agreed in the 2018 EU budget chose to focus on young people turning 18, as this age marks a major step to adulthood and to European citizenship.

For how many days are participants allowed to travel?

Young people can travel between a minimum of 1 and up to 30 days inclusive. They can visit from 1 to 4 foreign country destinations (only EU 28 Member States) with a travel trip arranged back home. The travel trip must start between 9 July 2018 and 30 September 2018.

Will young people always travel by rail?

Participants will, as a basic rule, travel by rail. The scenery from European trains gives an ever-changing, endlessly entertaining variety of towns, countryside and landscapes that can promote discovery and a better understanding of Europe.

Nevertheless, in order to ensure the widest possible access, the project will offer alternative transport modes, such as buses or ferries.

The use of flights will only be considered on an exceptional basis, for those young people residing:

  • in the nine outermost regions (i.e. Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, la Réunion, Mayotte, Saint-Martin, Madeira, Azores and Canary Islands);
  • in countries/regions which are not accessible by the previous mentioned transportation means (rail networks, ferries and buses);
  • when young people have to travel more than 18 hours via land or sea transport before crossing the border of the country of departure.

Only one round trip can be a flight. Afterwards, the young people are required to travel by rail or other alternative modes (except private cars and chartered buses).

Can a participant travel alone or in a group of friends?

The project foresees that participants can travel either individually or in a group of maximum 5 persons. In the case of a group, a group leader should be appointed on the group's behalf. The group leader fills in the application form. S/he will receive a code when submitting the application, which s/he should then communicate to the group members in order to allow their registration. Based on the code provided by the group leader, the remaining group members can then register online and fill in their personal data.

Will all group members be selected?

Yes, a group application will be assessed as one single application.

How are the young people selected?

The selection of applicants will take place via an online registration tool available on the European Youth Portal. Applicants must answer 5 quiz questions and one subsidiary question, which will allow the European Commission to rank the applicants in case there are too many applications as opposed to the available budget. Applications can be submitted during the two-week application round in June 2018. Young people with special needs (e.g. reduced mobility, visually impairments, etc.) will be entitled to receive appropriate additional support. Around 15,000 young people will be selected during the June 2018 application round.

Will there be a quota per country?

The selection will be carried out by country in accordance with the number of travel tickets allocated to each country. This allocation is based on the share of each country’s population compared to the overall population of the European Union. In case there are fewer applicants for certain countries than the allocated travel tickets foreseen, the remaining travel tickets will then be distributed among the countries where there are more participants than the quota foreseen. The quota per country is published as annex I under the rules and modalities.

Will there be a second round of applications in the year 2018?

The European Commission is looking into the possibility of organising a second round of applications in autumn 2018.

Should the selected participants book the travel tickets themselves?

No. Selected participants shall not book their travel tickets themselves, as tickets purchased separately shall not be reimbursed. Travel tickets for the selected participants will exclusively be booked, purchased and delivered by the external contractor designated by the European Commission.

What is the value of the travel tickets?

The basic rule is that each participant will be entitled to a travel ticket worth (on average) EUR 255. Travel will only be in 2nd class. However, this amount can be higher in the exceptional cases referred to below:

  • For participants travelling from the outermost regions (i.e. Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, la Réunion, Mayotte, Saint-Martin, Madeira, Azores and Canary Islands) to mainland Europe. Once the participants land on the continent, the basic rule applies.
  • For participants outside the above-mentioned outermost regions who are entitled to travel by plane to mainland Europe. Once on the continent, the basic rule applies.
  • For participants with reduced mobility and/or special needs. Costs to be assessed on a case by case basis according to their needs. Costs of special assistance (accompanying person, dog for visually impaired participants, etc.) might be covered.
Can a relative or friend older than 18 travel with the participant?

Yes, as long as they book and pay for the travel costs themselves.

Is the travel ticket transferable to another person?

No. Each travel ticket will be nominative and cannot be transferred to another person under any circumstance. The name on the travel ticket cannot be changed.

What if the participants have to cancel their trip or need to modify it?

Any potential cancellation or modification fees will need to be covered by the participants. There is no extra budget foreseen to cover expenditures of this kind, whatever the reason.

Are any of the following expenses included: travel insurance, accommodation, subsistence or any other expenses related to the trip?

No. The initiative does not include any travel insurance. Insurance coverage is the sole responsibility of the participant. Moreover, accommodation, subsistence, travel supplements to be paid during the trip or any other expenses related to the trip shall be covered by the participants.

The participants should acquire appropriate health and travel insurance for the whole duration of the trip. Basic health insurance coverage is usually provided by the participant's national health insurance during his/her stay in another EU country through the European Insurance Card. However, the coverage of the European Health Insurance Card or private health insurance may not include all possible cases, especially if repatriation or specific medical intervention is needed. In that case, a complimentary private insurance is advisable.

Will the European Commission help participants with booking accommodation?

No. Booking accommodation is the sole responsibility of the participant.

Will the European Commission give preference to specific transport operators?

No. The contractor who will book the trips can select any public transport mode and any operators or lines (private cars and chartered buses are, as a general rule, excluded).

How can participants prepare their travel?

The European Commission will provide an information pack to the selected participants with useful tips for travelling. Participants must possess their valid travel document/ticket during their journey. Anything related to such a document (validity, etc) is the participant's responsibility.

Young people are highly recommended to be in the possession of a valid passport or ID card when travelling in the European Union. Anything related to such a document (validity, etc) is the participant's responsibility.

What is expected from the selected participants?

The European Commission would like to hear back from the young travellers and will encourage them to share their experiences and adventures. That is why, once selected, the participants will become Ambassadors of the initiative. They will be invited to report back on their travel experiences, for example through social media tools like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, or by providing a presentation at their school or their local community.  A Facebook Group will be set up and participants will be welcomed to join it.

Given Brexit, will young people with UK nationality be able to participate?

Young people with the UK nationality aged 18 will indeed be able to participate in this initiative as long as the UK remains a Member State of the EU with all its rights and obligations. Selected participants can also choose the UK as one of their travel destination.

Where can I find more information on the rules of the contest?

The rules of the contest are published on the European Youth Portal, and it is the reference document setting the rules.

I do not have an e-mail address. Can I apply for DiscoverEU?

If you want to travel with a group of friends, only one member of the group – the group leader – must have an e-mail address. You can apply as a group member! If you want to travel alone, unfortunately you must have an e-mail address. There are many free e-mail providers you can use!