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On 30 November 2021, the European Commission published a long-awaited Erasmus+ call for proposals in the framework of the full roll-out the European Universities initiative, with the substantial overall budget of EUR 272 million.
Beyond the initiative’s overarching goal to support systemic, structural and sustainable transnational cooperation among diverse higher education institutions across Europe, covering all their missions, this year’s call has a twofold objective: to promote the development of both existing institutional partnerships and new European alliances, which is reflected in its two-tier structure:
Looking at the distribution of funding between the two topics, special attention is being paid by EU funders to further ensuring the sustainability of the ongoing partnerships and consolidating their cooperation efforts. The latter are given the option to expand through the inclusion of new members (up to nine per alliance) by means of additional funding. A substantially smaller budget has been reserved under the 2022 call for new collaborations, which means in practice significantly higher levels of competition under the second track. The applicants have now under four months to put together their ambitious proposals, i.e. by 22 March 2022.
The preparations for the 2023 call will start soon, based among others on the feedback received from the mid-term evaluation of the alliances selected in the first pilot call. In this context, ACA continues to stress the importance of a more balanced and fair approach to participation in the initiative, reflected in fair levels of competition for different groups, as well as the need for a timely and transparent communication on the planned calls, as outlined in its position paper of July 2021.