The legal act which established the Erasmus+ Programme foresaw that annual budgets would rise in the last years of the programme. This was indeed reflected in a budget proposal by the EU Commission in May of 2017, to which the European Parliament (EP) and the Commitee on Culture and Education (CULT) has now reacted.
- supports the 50 million Euro top-up for Erasmus+ in 2018, of which the sectors of education and training are to receive 12 million each, the remaining funds serving mainly to strengthen the youth part.
- demands more clarity from which source the ‘EU solidarity corps’, currently budgeted at 72.8 million, is going to be funded.
- also supports the budget increases for the ‘Creative Europe’ and ‘Europe for Citizens’ initiatives.
- further welcomed budget increases for the Horizon 2020 Programme.
- Criticised significant decreases for funds tackling migration and the refugee crisis.
Meanwhile, the process to decide on the successor programmes of Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 is getting started. The European Commission is currently carrying out the programme`s midterm evaluation, expected to be presented by the Commission at the end of 2017 or the beginning of 2018. The Commission’s evaluation report to the EP, the Council, the Committee of Regions and the Social and Economic Committee, accompanied by a ‘staff working document’, will be based on the reports of the national authorities from the ‘Erasmus+ programme countries’. The Commission will base its own report, as well as its future-related proposals, on the findings of these national reports, and on those of a European-level study, which it has commissioned from a consultancy firm. The EP is likely to produce an own-initiative report and, obviously, at the end of the day decide on the successor programme, together with the Council.
European Parliament – Press release
Committee on Culture and Education
– Opinion on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2018