Erasmus program: Endangered species

Erasmus program: What Is it?

Erasmus program is the pearl of European education. It has just celebrated its 25th anniversary and it is the most successful student exchange program with more then 230 000 students going abroad every year. In 2007, Erasmus program became a part of the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme, covering new areas internships, university staff training and teaching for business staff. In order to find out more, please click here.

Erasmus program: Where is the problem?

The Erasmus program is endangered due to insufficient funding from the EU, warns the European Student’s Union.

“We urge the European Commission to make haste with their so called Global Transfer Proposal and solve the current financial shortcomings of the European Social Fund by using money from underspent EU funds,” says Karina Ufert, Chair of the ESU. The European Social Fund is used to financially support European students who go abroad for an exchange semester.

Karina Ufert adds that already the students who are going on Erasmus exchange in the second semester of the year 2012/2013 might not receive enough funding from their national Erasmus agencies. She calls for a prompt reaction of the Council and European Parliament, who need to make amendments to the budget. However, this hasn’t taken place yet.

Janusz Lewandowski, one of the Budget Commissioners, is about to ask the EU’s seven net contributors for “several billion” extra in the coming weeks to plug a deficit estimated at 10 billion euros. However, The Eubusiness.com informs that Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Finland, The Netherlands and Sweden – have already once refused to sign on to European Commission proposals to increase expenditure in the 2013 budget.

Erasmus program: Back up

Some of the artists, businessmen and intellectuals have also realized the importance off the Erasmus program.  They say that the threat to the program couldn’t come at worse time for Europe’s young people, referring to the European crisis and increasing unemployment. The signatories representing every member state of the EU sent an open letter to EU Heads of State and Government in support of the threatened Erasmus student exchange program. The signatories include the Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar, the president of FC Barcelona Sandro Rosell, Nobel Prize winner Professor Christopher Pissarides and several Olympic champions, reports ec.europa.eu.

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