On the last few meters, the EU and the UK have finally agreed on a post-Brexit framework – thereby sidelining Europe’s major youth exchange programs. Most likely, the whole UK will no longer participate in Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps (ESC). How will this affect the two programs? Is there still a chance for…
Semester abroad in Bucharest, Utrecht, Bologna or Malmö? Erasmus is mainly known as an exchange program for students. But under the name Erasmus+, the program has been offering the opportunity to promote various forms of exchange beyond the university since 2014. For example, for young trainees or sportspersons. Now people from disadvantaged contexts are getting better chances to participate in the program!
More money for exchange!
Erasmus is a European success story. The program has been around for over 30 years. More than three million participants have had the opportunity to get to know other European countries.
Today, Erasmus is bigger than ever. Under the name Erasmus+, a number of additional features have been added. And with 23.4 billion euros, more money than ever before is available for the 2021-2027 funding period.
A lot can be done with that. For example, we as the European Parliament have pushed through easier access for people from low-income families. In addition, non-university exchanges are now better supported.
However, the budget is only half of what the European Parliament had asked for. And it is nowhere near enough to achieve the ambitious goals that had been set. The future of a number of planned major projects is now uncertain:
- the “European universities” initiative
- the “Centers of Professional Excellence”
- the travel program for young people “DiscoverEU“
In the future, I will continue to work to further increase funding in order to
- give even more young people the opportunity to discover Europe
- make the program more inclusive and increase the amount of scholarships for people from low-income families
- enable participants in the program to reduce their carbon footprint, for example by subsidizing climate-friendly mobility