Erasmus+ deserves expansion

2 February 2017
Erasmus+ deserves expansion

For the most part, the European Parliament has made a positive evaluation of the Erasmus+ start-up phase. Since 2014, Erasmus+ has been bringing together all EU exchange programmes for education, training and youth under one roof. “Over 678,000 people took part in Erasmus+ last year, which indisputably offers them better opportunities for employment,” says MEP Helga Stevens. “Nevertheless, we must continue to focus our efforts on a closer cooperation between education and the business world. One thing that is already good is that vocational training is also part of Erasmus+.”

The N-VA supports an increase in the financing for Erasmus+, which offers opportunities to a range of different groups: “An expansion of the Erasmus programme is a much better use of tax money than for example dishing out free Interrail passes. The European pluri-annual budget must focus on projects that make a difference for our citizens. Incidentally we don’t have to raise the EU budget to achieve this, we just have to move resources around prudently.”

Furthermore, Helga Stevens is pleased that the report calls out the importance of accessibility: “Even the most vulnerable in society must be able to take part in Erasmus+. Persons with a disability, such as the deaf and hard of hearing, have particular needs and requirements for specific support for instance. Here I am thinking, for example, of sign language interpreters. In the area of accessibility, Erasmus+ must do better.”

Finally, Helga Stevens also points to the need to get rid of bureaucratic obstacles as much as possible: “All too often, candidates have to wrestle through a mountain of paperwork to actually be able to take part in Erasmus+.”

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