Erasmus tells 9 million stories of success
More funding for the programme means less unemployment
Maria Koleva, Strasbourg
17 June, 2017
Erasmus+, the EU's iconic programme for education and training, youth and sport, has turned 30, and this anniversary was marked on 13 June at the European Parliament in Strasbourg with a series of celebrations, debates, exhibitions and conferences, dedicated to its future. Welcoming 33 Erasmus young people from each participating country, EP President Antonio Tajani stressed that Erasmus must be available as an opportunity to all young Europeans, regardless of their level of education or their family's income. He underlined as well the need of “EU budget with adequate resources” as “more funding for Erasmus means less youth unemployment.” EC President Jean-Claude Juncker emphasised on the fact that “every euro that we invest in Erasmus+ is an investment in the future — in the future of a young person and of our European idea.”
Indeed, along with the 28 EU countries, beneficiaries from the programme are young people from Turkey, Macedonia, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Erasmus students start their first job on average 3 months after they complete the programme training and one in ten creates a startup company.
For these three decades Erasmus became one of the biggest success stories of the Union. It has changed the lives and career path of 9 million young Europeans. The initiative funds grants for young people aged 13 to 30 to study abroad - students, teachers, trainers and apprentices to study in another EU country. It is eligible as well for youth leaders, volunteers and young sportsmen and at the same time master’s degree students can get cheaper loans to study in another EU country.
Tania Habimana, 27, is from the UK and with Erasmus she had the opportunity to go to Berlin eight years ago to study International Business and German. Now she runs Tailored Business, a TV show. Gellert Szo, 28, is from Hungary and his Erasmus+ vocational and educational training brought him to France four years ago to practice with famous local bakers. Just three weeks were enough to inspire him to create his own business. He is a proud owner of two pastry shops in Hungary. Those are just two stories out of 9 million. The European Parliament did its best in 2013 the money for Erasmus+ to be raised with 40% and for the current programming period 2014-2020 its total budget is €14.7 billion. The programme also supports new partnerships between teaching institutions and firms giving chances of new “knowledge alliances” and “sector skills alliances” to permit training in a real working environment, new teaching models and new courses tailored to the labour market requirements.
Commissioner for education, culture, youth and sport Tibor Navracsics focused on the fact that just as each Erasmus+ exchange delivers an enriching life experience, both professionally and personally, 30 years of mobility and cooperation have given Europe an open-minded and entrepreneurial generation of 9 million people “who are today shaping the future of our society.” The Commission has launched Erasmus+ Mobile App that will guide students, vocational learners and young people throughout their Erasmus+ experience, making the programme more accessible.