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"Explore, dream, discover": the DiscoverEu initiative that allows young people to discover Europe with their own eyes for free

In a historical period in which we are increasingly questioning the meaning of Europe and how much value it has for young people, the European Union offers boys and girls between 18 and 20 years of age the opportunity to travel for free in European cities. through a quiz


A continent.

This is the answer that a student, little more than a teenager, would give to the question "What is Europe?".

Yet Europe is much more: it is a set of places, people, landscapes, cultures, traditions, habits, flavors, languages, histories and unique and different identities, single and collective.

Also called the "Old Continent" not surprisingly, Europe has given birth to the greatest exponents of all fields, and has shaped, for better or for worse, the world and society we know today.

Fragmented into multiple realities, this geographical area is synonymous with diversity thanks to the 47 countries that compose it, each with its own peculiarities, but with such an influence on each other that they are able to move the whole continent (unfortunately we are seeing in real time with the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine).

Here Europe becomes an ever stronger concept, but also a right for the young representatives of the future.

What better way to get to know it than to experience it? Here comes DiscoverEu, an initiative of the European Union that provides 70,000 passes, mostly rail, for young people between 18 and 20 years to travel for free between the various European countries on the model of the more famous Interrail, through a questionnaire on 'European Union.

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Un post condiviso da Interrail Official (@interraileu)

“Young people will discover the beautiful landscapes and cities large and small of Europe. This trip will also offer the opportunity to meet other young travelers moved by the same curiosity, to become more independent and self-confident and to explore their European identity" reports the official EU portal.

But let's go for points, who can participate?

To access the selection process and win the famous "passes" you must first be between 18 and 20 years old, this means that the opportunity is only open to people born between 2001 and 2003 - attention, usually only young people aged 18 years can participate, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the invitation has also been extended to those born in 2001 and 2002.

The second requirement is to have the citizenship of a member state of the Union, although from this year the candidacies are also open to Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey.

The total tickets are 70,000, initial 60,000 plus another additional 10,000 wanted by the EU commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, Mariya Gabriel, and all citizens of the countries participating in the initiative can participate. DiscoverEu as the tickets are divided and distributed equally between the various states.

Not only that, even people with disabilities or from remote islands and areas can access it thanks to the support of the project, the first with the addition of a companion.

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How, where and when can tickets be obtained?

Two rounds of applications are held every year on the official DiscoverEu page, where you can find the "Participate" button: the first will be in October 2021 and the second will be this spring (so stay tuned, especially in April!).

As for the questionnaire, participants must correctly answer a quiz of 5 multiple choice questions on general knowledge of the European Union and its initiatives for young people. If multiple candidates answer the quiz correctly, the platform will decide the winners in chronological order.

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Can I travel in a group with friends?

Absolutely yes: to make the travel experience more special, the program allows you to share it with loved ones. In fact, groups of up to 5 people can travel, all with the same requirements as individual participants, ie they are between 18 and 20 years old and be citizens of the European Union. To travel in a group, a group leader must be appointed who will answer the quiz questions and who will receive a code (in case of winning the passes) to be given to the other members with which they can then register on the site.

How long can the journey take and where can you go?

Mostly, the ticket provides travel by train between the various cities and states belonging to the Union for a duration ranging from one day to a maximum month.

Giving young people the opportunity to explore the reality they are part of by looking at it with new and enthusiastic eyes allows them to always discover new things and have different points of view, to find problems but also solutions, but above all to take a slice of the present to transform it into the future, a future in which Europe will not only be synonymous with diversity but also with community.

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