More than 14,500 18-year-olds have been given the chance to explore Europe later this year, after being awarded travel passes in an EU giveaway.
The winners were chosen from almost 80,000 applicants, the European Commission said in a statement on Monday. They will now be given a DiscoverEU pass, entitling them to free travel in the region for up to 30 days, between April 15 and October 31.
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Each of the EU’s 28 member states had a quota of tickets based on the share of the bloc’s population that they account for.
Participants were required to be EU nationals and were allowed to travel individually or in a group of up to five people. Most are expected to travel by train, but alternative modes of transport can be used in “exceptional cases”, the commission said.
The scheme previously saw 15,000 European teens enjoy free travel around the region last summer.
“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,” Tibor Navracsics, commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said of the €700 million initiative.
The commission said the winners of the second round will now be contacted so they can begin booking their trips.