More ambitious and sustainable grant systems will lead the way to a more integrated Europe.

Oct 15, 2020

More ambitious and sustainable grant systems will lead the way to a more integrated Europe.

Gianluca Rossino,

Policy Officer for European Citizenship

Association des États Généraux des Étudiants de l’Europe

twitter: @AEGEE_Europe


More ambitious and sustainable grant systems will lead the way to a more integrated Europe.


AEGEE-Europe regularly joins efforts with several European student organisations to reaffirm the crucial importance of youth mobility and student exchanges.  As members of the Lifelong Learning Platform, our reflection on the #Erasmus500 campaign builds on the policy insight written by Brikena Xhomaqi, the director of LLLP.

EU institutions and Member States are called in these tense autumn months of 2020 to make decisive choices for the future of Europe, including how funds will be allocated within the next MFF (Multiannual Financial Framework). Many EU programmes were planned to receive a much larger budget to meet ambitious objectives in different policy areas, such as more inclusive, sustainable and participatory activities under the Erasmus+ programme. 

Since Covid-19 hit Europe, those positive predictions of many programmes became less likely. As these are the months of significant uncertainty, it is our duty as civil society organisations striving for a more integrated Europe to advocate for the principles we believe in.

On these premises, we also call on European institutions and the Member States to make it possible that learning mobility becomes a lifelong reality for all Europeans, no matter where they stand in today’s society.

Learning mobility should be indeed a right for all citizens, and it is especially meaningful for young people growing up and enrolling in higher education programmes, from high school to university. Data shows that in 2018, the average Erasmus grant was 336€/month, which is manifestly insufficient to cover even accommodation costs in many European cities.

Student exchanges are moreover one of the precious opportunities that fostered a stronger belonging to the European identity in the last decades. As young citizens mature, gain their independence, and discover the diversity of Europe, they should not be asked to invest significant resources to cover their semester or year abroad when it has already been funded by Erasmus+. A universal baseline of 500€/month for all students is, therefore, a fair step towards a more integrated and sustainable Europe, and this is a needed investment to be prioritised by decision-makers. 

AEGEE-Europe’s vision emphasises the importance of equal opportunities for all young people across Europe despite their social or economic background. Thus, we stand with the European University Foundation, the European Students’ Union, the Erasmus Student Network and their initiative to reformulate Erasmus grants into a simpler and more inclusive scheme and launch a universal baseline mobility grant of 500€/month from 2021 onwards. AEGEE-Europe firmly believes that this proposal will ensure an equal student mobility and will foster the construction and development of a more democratic, diverse, and borderless Europe.

15 October 2020

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