The European Union Commission has just recently revealed the number of youngsters from each country selected to participate in the DiscoverEU, with those from North Macedonia remaining at the bottom of the list, among some others.
According to data provided by the Commission, of 153 applicants from North Macedonia, only 18 of them have been selected to participate in the programme, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The small number of selected applicants is linked to the low number of applicants as the participants should be selected accordingly but not exceed a specific number.
DiscoverEU is an Erasmus+ programme action that gives the opportunity to 18-year-old Europeans from all backgrounds to discover the continent through learning experiences.
The action also gives the opportunity to European youngsters to build new friendships, explore their European identity as well as learn more about other cultures.
Moreover, DiscvoerEU also enables youngsters from Europe to develop life skills, such as confidence, independence, as well as openness to other cultures.
The applicants who have been selected for this round will get to travel for free, mainly by rail, and they will also have the chance to explore various towns and cities.
“Travelling predominantly by rail (there are exceptions to allow those living on islands or in remote areas), you will discover Europe’s stunning landscapes and its variety of cities and towns,” the statement of the Commission reads.
In addition, selected participants will also receive a card that will permit them to have different discounts on learning activities, local transportation, cultural visits, food, and accommodation, among others.
The most recent round of applications for DiscoverEU was closed at the end of March, and applicants from all Erasmus+ participating countries have also already been selected.
The Commission explains that the selected applicants will have the chance to travel for a minimum of one day and up to 30 days within over a year – between June 15, 2023, and September 2024.
In order to be eligible for the next round of applications, all those who wish to apply must not be older than 18 years old. Moreover, to be eligible, everyone must complete the online application form correctly, which must include their correct identity, passport or legal residence card number and be a citizen of an EU Member State or of one of the third countries associated with the Erasmus+ programme.
While not a very high number of youngsters from North Macedonia were selected, the case is not the same for those from other countries.
Data provided by the Commission show that youngsters from Germany were issued the highest number of free travel passes for this round (6,072 passes). They were followed by youngsters from France, Italy, and Spain.
On the other hand, Turkish youngsters filed the highest number of applications. A total of 21,560 Turkish youngsters applied for the free pass, and 1,469 of them were selected.