A total of 14 536 young citizens of European Union countries have been chosen to get free trips within the EU in 2019, in the second round of the European Commission’s DiscoverEU initiative, the Commission said on January 14.
Those chosen were selected from close to 80 000 young people who applied ahead of the December 11 2018 deadline, the Commission said.
The winners were chosen according to the award criteria and taking into account the quota set for each EU country.
Quotas are based on the percentage of the EU population that each country makes up. The quota for Bulgaria, which has 1.4 per cent of the EU population, is 168 tickets.
European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “It is wonderful to see how young Europeans are using DiscoverEU to get to know their continent.
“In total, almost 180 000 young people from all over Europe have applied during the two rounds in 2018; and thanks to this initiative, we will have so far given around 30 000 young people the chance to explore Europe’s cultures and traditions and connect with other travellers, as well as the communities they are visiting.
“It is inspiring to see how young people are exploring Europe through a personal journey. DiscoverEU allows them to plan their own trips, share their stories on social media and make new friends,” Navracsics said.
The winners of the second round will now be contacted so that they can book their trips.
They will be able to travel, alone or in groups of maximum five people, between April 15 and October 31 2019 for up to 30 days.
DiscoverEU was launched in June 2018, following a proposal from the European Parliament for a Preparatory Action with a budget of 12 million euro in 2018.
The first application round gave about 15 000 young people the opportunity to travel around Europe.
For 2019, the European Parliament has approved 16 million euro for DiscoverEU. The Commission is planning to launch the next application round in summer 2019. Specific dates and further information will be announced on the European Youth Portal in due course, the Commission said.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)