What will the future Erasmus+ Programme look like?
On 21st July 2020, EU leaders agreed on a recovery package and the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) (1) that will help the EU to rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic and will support investment in the green and digital transitions. The overall amount for commitments is EUR 1,074.3 billion
The Erasmus+ Programme was reduced by 3.4 billion euros compared to the last European Commission’s proposal of 24.6 billion euros
Based on the existing Erasmus+, the new programme is shaped to support learning and mobility opportunities for pupils, apprentices, young people, students and teachers. In addition, it will have a strong focus on inclusion of people with fewer opportunities and will strengthen transnational cooperation opportunities for universities, vocational education and training institutions. The Programme will continue to support cooperation in the field of sport.
The financial envelope for the implementation of the Erasmus+ Programme for the period 2021-2027 will be EUR 21 208 million. This means the budget has been decreased by 3.4 billion euros compared to the last European Commission’s proposal of 24.6 billion euros.
Taking into account the current and future consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure more equal access and participation, we need higher funding for Erasmus+.
Youth is one of the most vulnerable targets that has been hardly affected by the pandemic crisis, in terms of exclusion from the labour market and social inequalities. While a large part of the financial resources will need to be addressed to fight the consequences of the pandemic, youth development needs to be considered as a priority.
Many concerns and opinions have been expressed by the European Parliament and by youth organisations that give voice to millions of young European students who are advocating EU decision-makers to readapt the budget in order to implement more inclusive methods in education.
To bring an effective change, it is crucial to streamline important investments in youth programmes in order to address the immediate and medium impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth cannot be left behind. Thus, we need an Erasmus+ Programme that provides more funding to ensure participation and equal access in programmes across education, learning mobility and sport.
(1) The MMF is a seven-year framework regulating its annual budget, which is laid down in an unanimously adopted Council Regulation with the consent of the European Parliament and ratification by every Member State.
- Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, The Council, The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions, The EU budget powering the recovery plan for Europe. (27 May 2020) https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/about_the_european_commission/eu_budget/1_en_act_part1_v9.pdf
- Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – A Modern Budget for a Union that Protects, Empowers and Defends The Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 – (2 May 2018) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/communication-modern-budget-may2018_en.pdf
- Special meeting of the European Council (17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 July 2020) – Conclusions (EUCO 10/20) – (21 July 2020) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/45109/210720-euco-final-conclusions-en.pdf
Carlos Perez and Benedetta Pesce (ESU)