Uutiset

Happy Birthday, Erasmus: a European success project turns 30

Meike Bogdan
1.2.2017 - 18:30
Milan Zver MEP

The Dutch humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam is not well known although he is the eponym of the best-known exchange programme in Europe: Erasmus! Since the start of the exchange programme in 1987, more than three million young people have become part of this success project and have travelled abroad. The Erasmus programme is the European Union's way of passing on the European idea.

Investing in the European idea living on

"Young people who have grown up in a united Europe should become as enthusiastic as possible about Europe. Nearly everyone who has done it says that their experience with Erasmus has encouraged them to be more open-minded and open to different countries and cultures," says our MEP Milan Zver, Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education.

It is of paramount importance that young people not only read about Europe but experience it! Milan Zver

Since 2014, Erasmus isn't a programme for students and trainees only anymore. With the expansion of the umbrella programme from Erasmus to Erasmus Plus, all projects now fall under one roof: Erasmus+ is the EU's programme for supporting education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget of €14.7 billion will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain experience and volunteer abroad until 2020.

Erasmus+ is the EU's programme for supporting education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget of €14.7 billion will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain experience and volunteer abroad until 2020.

Although Erasmus was a successful and well-known project among students, the expanded Erasmus+ reached only 1% of all young people during the first two and a half years of its existence.

"This is not enough. The programme is for sure the best investment in young people and the European future. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that young people not only read about Europe but experience it! If we want Erasmus+ to remain, we have to improve the quality and the visibility of the programme," emphasises Zver, who is the lead negotiator (Rapporteur) on the Parliament's Implementation report on Erasmus+.

These young people benefit in many other ways later on in life: they have better language skills, they work better with people from other cultures and they accept challenges more quickly

The conclusions and recommendations of Parliament's report should feed into the programme's mid-term evaluation report to be submitted by the European Commission at the end of 2017.

Bringing Europeans closer together

Erasmus not only widens horizons but it also brings people from different countries closer together.

Here is another fact: every fourth Erasmus student has also found love in their semester abroad, whereas in general only every eighth partnership is bi-national. A real open-minded "Erasmus generation" has been born with, as a result, more than one million Erasmus babies.

Every fourth Erasmus student has also found love in their semester abroad, whereas in general only every eighth partnership is bi-national

What’s more, these young people benefit in many other ways later on in life: they have better language skills, they work better with people from other cultures and they accept challenges more quickly.

We live in historical times. It is important that we don't stop believing in Europe, like Erasmus of Rotterdam.

Europe's future is at a crossroads - like it was in Erasmus of Rotterdam's lifetime. But although Erasmus of Rotterdam recognised the risk of its fragmentation, he never stopped believing in Europe. He was a real European in a spiritual sense, which is one of the main reasons the exchange programme is named after him.

"We live in historical times. It is important that we don't stop believing in Europe, like Erasmus of Rotterdam. That is why we have to highlight European flagship programmes like Erasmus. It is one of the EU projects that embodies all the benefits of the EU. Therefore let us spread the positive news and celebrate the 30th birthday of Erasmus: Happy Birthday!"

Engineer sitting at control panel of nuclear power station
12.12.2017 - 16:29

Europeans expect more foreign policy and defence cooperation

“Permanent Structured Cooperation should be funded from the EU budget whereas Federica Mogherini needs to assume her responsibility as Vice-...
Isolated Airplane
12.12.2017 - 13:58

In case of hard Brexit, UK aviation cannot benefit from ETS

EPP Group in favour of preparing EU for a hard Brexit also within environment domain The EU Institutions have agreed to introduce a safeguard...
Savings
12.12.2017 - 13:32

EFSI 2.0 will boost sustainable investments in Europe

Today, the European Parliament approved the extension of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, referred to as EFSI 2.0. This extension...
Cinema
12.12.2017 - 12:57

MEPs defend European cinema by confirming CabSat mandate

The European Parliament today confirmed its position regarding the modifications to the so-called CabSat Regulation. New rules on the exercise of...

Viikon kohokohdat

11.12.2017. - 15.12.2017.
Brexit Direction Sign

Brexit negotiations

The key debate on Wednesday will focus on the Brexit negotiations and preparations of the next Council meeting. "We will only accept a...
Protesters in Venezuela

2017 Sakharov Prize Award

The 2017 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought will be awarded to the Democratic Opposition in Venezuela during the ceremony in Strasbourg on...
Picturesque patchwork quilt farmland aerial view over fields rural villages

Common Agricultural Policy: mid-term reform

A debate on rules to simplify EU farming policy, boost farmers’ bargaining power and better equip them to face risks will take place on Monday...