ERASMUS+ provides more opportunities for students all over Europe, say S&Ds
The European Socialists and Democrats today in Strasbourg welcomed the adoption of a new multi-annual programme: Erasmus+. The new umbrella programme covers separate activities on education and training, youth and sport and brings together the former life-long learning programme, Youth in Action and five international co-operation programmes. The aim is to improve efficiency and accessibility, simplify application rules and procedures, and avoid fragmentation and duplication.
S&D MEP and European Parliament shadow rapporteur Katarína Neveďalová said:
"With the vote today, we have given millions of students, young people, teachers and other staff the chance to benefit from wider travel opportunities, nationally and internationally.
"Our biggest ambition was to create a specific focus on youth, with a clear separate budget line. We managed to allocate 10% of the budget for various projects for young people, promoting non-formal education, youth work and supporting the youth sector.
"The new programme will have a stronger social dimension by improving the education and training opportunities for young people from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds, and from vulnerable groups. Moreover, the European Parliament won the battle to keep the established and well-known names of the programmes, helping to ensure that the scheme remains user-friendly.
"Despite plenty of rumours spreading misleading information about students getting into debt, the European Parliament supported the Student Loan Guarantee Facility. The facility will never be a substitute for grants available at local, national or European level. We managed to set relevant guarantees and safeguards for students, including a reduced interest rate, a possible 'payment holiday' period of up to 24 months and an option for interest deferral.
"The Socialists and Democrats also fought for administrative support for non-governmental organisations in the education sector and youth work, which can be seen as one of the S&D Group's most significant achievements."