Briefing 
 

MEPs to call for Erasmus+ funding for youth organisations and apprenticeships 

The EU Erasmus+ programme should give all young people a chance to learn abroad, not just university students, say MEPs in a draft resolution to be voted on Thursday. Erasmus+ budgeting needs to be made more flexible to offer equal opportunities to all and accommodate an increase in project submissions for youth organisations, they add. MEPs are also concerned that few apprentices take part.

Parliament asks the EU Commission to give national agencies more flexibility to move funds within programme’s key actions and thus enable quality projects in under-budgeted sectors to go ahead. MEPs also stress the need to to reduce bureaucracy, simplify application forms and increase up-front funding rates to make it easier for small organisations to run projects.


Student loan mechanism isn’t working


MEPs also urge the Commission to prepare a critical assessment of the functioning of the Students Loan Guarantee Facility, which is designed to help master’s degree students take up low-rate bank loans backed by the Commission as a part-guarantor against possible student defaults. Only 130 students and four banks have used this tool since its inception in 2015.


Background 

 

Erasmus+ is the EU’s umbrella programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020. It replaces previous EU programmes in these fields: Erasmus for higher education, Comenius for schools, Leonardo da Vinci for vocational education and training, Grundtving for adult education, the Jean Monnet programme, the Youth in Action programme and four international higher education programmes, Erasmus Mundus, ALFA III, Tempus and Edulink.

 

The first (Erasmus) mobility exchanges in education field began in 1987. The higher education programme has been the most successful one of the last 30 years.

 

Erasmus+ is organised around three key actions:

 

  • learning mobility for individuals (supports mobility projects in education, training and youth for students, staff and youth workers),

 

  • cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices (promotes strategic partnerships between organisations in the education, training or youth fields;  partnerships between organisations in the education or training and work fields; skills alliances; projects to develop youth organisations, volunteering, social and regional integration; and international cooperation), and

 

  • policy development (supports initiatives for policy innovation, stakeholder dialogues and policy and programmes promotion, cooperation in the field of recognition of skills, transfer of credits; research, teaching and debates at international level regarding education, training and policy making)

Sport is a new sector for Erasmus+. The programme supports projects addressing integrity in sport, fighting discrimination and intolerance, match fixing, dual careers for athletes, health-enhancing physical activities, voluntary activities and the European Week of Sport.


Procedure:  non-legislative resolution

2015/2327(INI)

Debate: Wednesday, 1 February

Vote:  Thursday, 2 February


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