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Erasmus+ Work Programme 2018 & European Parliament Resolution

The 2018 annual work programme of Erasmus+ has been published by the European Commission in August. One of the most significant changes concerns the level of investment, which will be increased due to the new budgetary profile of the programme that enables potential stakeholders to fully exploit the opportunities offered by the programme. The total expenditure for the next year amounts to about EUR 2 billion. Yet, part of this budget will be affected by the European Commission’s decision to implement, by the end of 2017, the European Solidarity Corps initiative (ESC) under a separate framework. Accordingly, the European Voluntary Services (EVS), that are now part of the Erasmus+ programme, will be integrated in the ESC, and this will result in the redeployment of EUR 197.7 million from Erasmus+ to the ESC. Concerning initiatives with a strong work-based component like the ESC, it is worth noticing that the 2018 Erasmus+ annual work programme foresees, for the first time, the introduction of the so-called “ErasmusPRO”, whose goal is to boost long-duration mobility of apprentices, so as to increase support to mobility experiences of vocational education and training (VET) learners.

In the field of higher education, the 2018 programme gives priority to actions that aim at strengthening the collaboration between higher education institutions located both in programme and partner countries. To this end, the European Commission is committed to promote internationalisation and mobility, supporting changes in line with Bologna principles and tools, and considering the opportunity of implementing, through the Erasmus+ Student Loan Guarantee Facility, cooperation projects involving universities, research institutes, university networks and possibly private or non-profit actors. These actions are in line with the challenges identified in the Renewed EU Agenda for Higher Education.

Notwithstanding the release of the 2018 work programme, the future of Erasmus+ is also the main topic of a resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 14 September. The resolution stresses, inter alia, that one of the main obstacles to international student mobility is the lack of a regular and unique system recognising the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits gained during the mobility period. Regarding the financing of the future Erasmus+ programme, the Parliament encourages the use of regional and social funds to increase the financial contribution of Member States to Erasmus+ mobility grants. Moreover, the resolution recalls the 30th anniversary of Erasmus+, and invites to consider it not only as a moment of celebration, but especially as an opportunity to reflect on the future of the programme. To this end, the European Commission has already launched the Erasmus+ Online Meeting Point, a virtual place where ideas are stored and collected to eventually result in a series of proposals forming the Erasmus+ Generation Declaration.

2018 Erasmus+ Annual Work Programme European Parliament Resolution Erasmus+ Generation Meeting Point