Member of Bremen Senate Ulrike Hiller (PES/Germany) presented today to members of the CoR's commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC) her draft opinion on the future Erasmus programme for education, training, youth and sport.
The European Commission proposes to double the funds for the programme period 2021-2027 to €30 billion across all sectors of education, including higher education, vocational training and adult education – and to introduce simpler application rules. In this way, the number of participants should be tripled, rising to up to 12 million people.
At the same time, the future programme will focus on promoting forward-looking study fields such as renewable energy, climate change, and environmental engineering, and promote a European identity with a travel experience through the new DiscoverEU initiative, which will give young people opportunities to travel and discover Europe's cultural heritage and diversity.
PES rapporteur Ulrike Hiller stressed: "The Erasmus programme is one of Europe's best success stories and needs to be further strengthened. It enables millions of young Europeans to study, train or learn abroad, creating thereby links with other Europeans. My main request is to make it more inclusive and accessible to everybody, and also give young people who are more disadvantaged the chance to experience Europe".
The rapporteur also underlines the importance of involving local and regional authorities in designing and implementing the measures foreseen by the programme and to take greater account of existing local and regional youth work bodies as potential beneficiaries.
Likewise, she welcomes the extension of learning mobility in the area of school education and the introduction of networks of European universities.
The draft opinion will be presented at the CoR's December plenary session.