Erasmus+: New Budget, Same Goals 2021-2027


By Gregory Clare

After the annus horribilis that was 2020, we embark on hopeful times. Vaccine productions in abundance, bitcoin is on the up, and our bad breakup with the United Kingdom is finally behind us. We are removing their pictures on our social media and unfollowing; it is time for the European Union to dust itself off and start anew. Will young people be the ones to take the European Union forward? The European Commission has always hoped that the young would be the glue that keeps the Union together. It is hardly surprising that the Commission proposed a significant enlargement of the budget for a programme shaped to benefit the young.

The name Erasmus alone resonates with a whole generation of European youth. The similarly named Erasmus (exchange) Programme has, since its inception in 1987, developed into a cultural phenomenon, sui generis, in which more than nine million students have participated. many hold fond memories of their Erasmus experience, that was filled with introductions to students from across Europe. The so-called ‘Erasmus Generation’ is studded with students from various countries who could be described as keen European integrationists.

It has therefore been hailed as one of the greatest projects of the European Union. The president of the Erasmus Student Network, Kostis Giannidis, referred to the Erasmus Programme as the answer to the radicalisation of young people in Europe. If there is ever to be an “ever closer union” it will happen through consolidating gains made with the Erasmus programme and in
extension the overarching Erasmus+ Programme, the Union’s programme for education, training, youth, and sport.

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