France, which will take over the rotating presidency of the European Union (EU) in the first half of 2022, intends to defend this objective: “Allows half of an age group to have spent, before the age of 25, at least six months in another European country. “ Emmanuel Macron will then be in the midst of the campaign for his re-election, and will be able to underline the unprecedented means allocated to Erasmus +, the European program, by far, which enjoys the best sympathy rating.
By voting this week for the 2021-2027 budget, MEPs will definitively adopt an envelope of 23.4 billion euros over seven years, almost 10 billion more than during the previous year. This is less than the amount recommended in May by the European Commission (24.6 billion euros), but more than what the Council recommended (21.2 billion euros). Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Education, plans to “Reach 10 million more people over the next seven years “. And Laure Coudret-Laut, director of the Erasmus + France Agency underlines a « great opportunity ».
Reaching a fragile audience
This expansion should first of all make it possible to reach audiences, including those who are vulnerable, who until then did not benefit, or only too little, from the possibility of international mobility (apprentices, adults in reintegration, people with disabilities).
In secondary school, students will be able to participate in the program from middle school, vocational high school students will be able to do internships outside Europe, in the same way as students.
Towards a European diploma
The new Erasmus + budget also establishes the creation of “European universities” advocated by Emmanuel Macron during his speech at the Sorbonne. This is how 41 alliances between 294 European higher education establishments (18% of EU students) will be able to emerge with the ultimate aim of delivering a true European diploma.
With the pandemic, the European Commission has focused on a new offer, “Hybrid mobility”, which consists of combining distance lessons and physical mobility, provided the health situation allows it. This option should also be extended in the future. She has already proven herself during the first confinement. According to a study published last July, of the 107,000 participants affected by the containment measures, 80,000 returned home, and 45,000 were able to take distance courses or work from home.