DiscoverEU is an initiative of the European Union that gives 18-year-olds the opportunity to discover Europe by train. It aims to empower young European citizens to:
- experience and learn about Europe
- discover opportunities that Europe has to offer them
- connect with other young people from across Europe and share and celebrate European culture
- travel in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way
- grow in independence, confidence and openness to other cultures.
Selected applicants who are resident in Ireland can travel by plane to begin their DiscoverEU journey in a European country of your choice. You can start and finish your journey in two different countries!
There are two ways to take part, DiscoverEU and DiscoverEU Inclusion.
DiscoverEU is for 18-year-old legal residents of Erasmus+ programme countries who want to travel by train and experience the freedom of movement throughout 33 European countries. Irish citizens who live outside of Ireland - anywhere in the world! - can apply as long as they are 18.
DiscoverEU Inclusion is for organisations, or informal groups of young people, who want to run a funded, supported project with up to five young people who may otherwise experience barriers to taking part. Barriers can be experienced for many reasons and mean that these young people have fewer opportunities than their peers . The European Commission Inclusion and Diversity strategy has more information about who young people with fewer opportunities are in relation to these programmes. These young people should be 18-year-old legal residents of Erasmus+ programme countries who want the opportunity to travel by train and experience the freedom of movement throughout 33 European countries.
Why is the initiative only open to young people aged 18?
This was the decision of the European Parliament. When they established this initiative, they chose to focus on young people turning 18 as this age marks a major step to adulthood
There was however an exception in the 2021 application round. Both 2020 rounds had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This cancellation meant that young people who would have been eligible to take part in 2020 could apply in 2021, even if they were now older than 18. This exception applied to people born between 1 July 2001 (included) and 31 December 2002 (included).
Find Out More
Contact DiscoverEU Support and Development Officer for more information. Please see contact details below.