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EP strongly supports an increase in Erasmus grants and Comenius mobility flows

The EP voted on October 25 on the Commission’s Proposal for the New Integrated Life-long Learning Programme. An overwhelming majority of MEPs backed the report prepared by the Education and Culture Committee, which gives priority to the Erasmus and Comenius sub-programmes. The financial aspects of the programme are subject to the final outcome of the multiannual financial framework for 2007-2013, which is scheduled to be settled in December. Going beyond the Commission’s proposal, MEPs pleaded for Erasmus grants to be raised to 210 € in 2007 and 300 € in 2013, and supported a further increase in the number of primary and secondary school students involved in Comenius mobility. In order to finance these new arrangements, the report suggested an increase of 980€ million in the overall budget, which was finally reduced to 757 € million in the final voting. The suggested overall budget for the progamme rises from 13,620 € million to 14,377 € million.  Additionally, MPs propose a  small decrease in the share of the budget of the Leonardo sub-programme. EP considers unrealistic the Commission’s proposal of increasing the number of Leonardo placements from 45,000 to 150,000. These grants are much more costly than Erasmus ones and private companies would have difficulty absorbing three times as many students as they do today, the report points out.  EP Press Release