Today, the European Parliament’s (EP) Culture and Education Committee presented its draft Report on the Erasmus+ Programme authored by Milan Zver MEP, EP Spokesman on the issue.
“European programmes need to be equally accessible to all European citizens, regardless of their socio-economic background. My first goal is to make Erasmus+ the number one programme of inclusiveness”, said Milan Zver. “In the information age, applying for a student exchange or a project shouldn’t take longer than a few clicks on a smartphone. My second goal is therefore to make Erasmus+ as user-friendly as possible.”
He proposes concrete steps, point by point, to make the programme more accessible, more focused on European added value and much less bureaucratic.
The EPP Group supports the improved and upgraded components in the new Erasmus programme: the opportunities for language learning, facilitated mobility for schoolchildren, mobility for sports coaches, stronger focus on small-scale partnerships as well as on virtual and blended learning.
The Group also supports major new initiatives, among them the Centres of Vocational Excellence, the European Universities network and the DiscoverEU initiative, based on the successful Interrail pilot project.
Sabine Verheyen MEP expressed the support of the EPP Group for the increase of the overall Erasmus+ budget. She says that the Parliament is “not asking for a two times increase of the budget like the European Commission, but for a budget which is three times bigger. That is the only way the EU will be able to give more people the opportunity to participate in the programme and to increase its success rates for projects.”
The EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber is proud that the Group is preparing the legislation on the future Erasmus+ Programme: “We talk a lot about legislation in Europe, about EU standards and norms. We don’t talk enough about emotions, about what it really means to be European. The Erasmus+ Programme does. Since the first students went on Erasmus, millions of European students have become friends, have fallen in love, have discovered other countries’ languages, culture and beauty. One million Erasmus babies! This number speaks for itself! Erasmus+ is a huge success!”
Erasmus + is one of the most popular EU programmes as it reinforces the sense of European identity, increases employability and supports personal and professional development of young and older Europeans.