Today, the European Parliament adopted a Report on the Erasmus+ Programme authored by Milan Zver MEP. Erasmus+ is one of the most popular EU programmes as it reinforces the sense of European identity, increases employability and supports the personal and professional development of young and older Europeans.
"Young people who have grown up in a united Europe should be as enthusiastic as possible about Europe. Nearly everyone who has done an Erasmus says that their experience has encouraged them to be more open-minded and confident in their newly-acquired skills", says Milan Zver.
Since 2014, Erasmus isn't only a programme for students and trainees anymore. With the expansion of the umbrella programme from Erasmus to Erasmus+, all projects now fall under one roof: Erasmus+ is the EU's programme for education, training, youth and sport. Its budget of €14.7 billion will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain experience and volunteer abroad until 2020. Zver's Report increases the budget to around €45 billion for the future period (2021-2027) and will thus enable participation in the programme to be three times bigger, that is to say around 12 million Europeans.
“European programmes need to be equally accessible to all European citizens, regardless of their socio-economic background. This is why we made Erasmus much more fair and inclusive. But the Parliament will have to fight for the tripling of the overall budget. This is why it is extremely important that we negotiated to achieve strong support from other political groups”, said Milan Zver.
The new Erasmus is, on the one hand, bringing big new initiatives like the European Universities Network, the Centres of Vocational Excellence and the DiscoverEU activities (based on the successful Interrail pilot project). On the other hand, it will improve and upgrade existing components of the programme: improved language learning opportunities, facilitated mobility for school children, mobility for sports coaches and young athletes, more focus on small-scale partnerships, and virtual and blended learning.
The EPP Group secured a number of important issues: “We have ensured that the funds for higher education mobility and the Jean Monnet Programme are not cut. At the same time, we have increased the budgets for VET, adult education, schools and sports. We also reinforced the idea of European added value. We secured the traditional parts of Erasmus+ whilst refusing some proposals to limit DiscoverEU and the EU Universities programmes before these initiatives even truly start”, concluded Milan Zver.
Erasmus has been the EU’s flagship programme for education, training, youth and sport since 1987. Millions of young people have enjoyed living in another country, seeing how different and diverse the EU is. This makes Erasmus one of the most popular European programmes and one of the EU’s success stories.
Following the adoption by the European Parliament today, negotiations with the EU Council will follow.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States