British youngsters born between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2003, are eligible to apply for a free travel rail pass given by the European Commission as a part of the latter’s DiscoverEU initiative.
This is the very last time that British 18 to 20-year-olds will be eligible to apply for such a pass due to Brexit, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“Under the terms of the United Kingdom’s Withdrawal Agreement from the European Union, UK citizens are eligible to participate in the 2021 round, as they were eligible for the cancelled rounds in 2020 whose budget has been transferred to 2021,” the European Youth Portal explains regarding the issue.
The portal emphasizes that as the UK left the EU block on January 31, 2020, British youngsters will no longer be eligible to apply for DiscoverEU in the following years.
On October 12, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that the EU Commission would give away 60,000 free travel rail passes for Europeans aged 18 to 20 years old, with the applications opening on the same day and closing on October 26.
Announcing the opening of the application period, the EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said that this is a chance for 60,000 young people across the EU to “discover the richness of our continent.”
“In the spirit of the Commission designating 2022 the European Year of Youth, DiscoverEU is back, bigger than ever, with new opportunities for young people to take a train, broaden their horizons, extend their learning, enrich their experiences and meet fellow Europeans while travelling by rail as of March 2022,” the Commissioner said.
The beneficiaries will be able to travel throughout Europe for up to 30 days from March 2022, which is the European Year of Youth, to February 2023.
Normally, only 18-year-olds are permitted to apply. However, since last year’s round was postponed due to COVID-19, this year, 19-year-olds and 20-year-olds were also permitted to apply.
Applicants can also apply in groups of five, yet, one group leader must be appointed, and the other four members should apply with his/her application code.
There is a quota for every EU Member State, as well as for the UK, which will be published alongside the selection results. In case there were fewer applicants for certain countries than the allocated travel passes foreseen, the remaining travel passes will be distributed between the countries where there are more participants than the quota.