New generation of European programmes
In November 2011, the European Commission proposed to offer its education, training, youth and sports programmes from 2014 onwards under one umbrella programme, ERASMUS for All. This proposal has been debated in the Council and the responsible Committee in the European Parliament and is awaiting voting in the European Parliament.
In the process of developing the new programme, the Commission consulted various stakeholders in the field. The EAIE has so far contributed with input in the development phase by answering three different surveys. The aim was to address the interests of universities in addition to keeping a helicopter view of the implications for Europe and cooperation beyond Europe.
ERASMUS for All aims to add increased emphasis on youth and education initiatives and to strengthen synergies with overarching European policy priorities, such as the EU 2020 strategy. The programme aims to provide a more coherent approach to education and training. It will replace the Lifelong Learning Programme, Youth in Action, and five international cooperation programmes. The main objective will remain to facilitate mobility, improve employability skills, and modernise European higher education.
The Council of Ministers has reached a first general agreement on ERASMUS for All, supporting the fundamental aspects of the Commission’s original proposal. The Council nonetheless made certain amendments to the proposal, such as adding emphasis on youth matters, assuring minimum funding allocations to the different sectors involved, and giving Member States more freedom in setting up the management of the programme at a national level. The European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education has suggested several changes to the proposal including a new name ‘Yes Europe’, maintaining the current names of the sub-programmes, and detailed objectives for the education, training and youth sections.
Both the Parliament and the Council must agree on the proposal for it to be adopted. The Irish Presidency has expressed hopes for a deal to be reached by summer 2013 to allow for the new programme to be implemented in 2014. Negotiations for the 2014–2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, the EU’s long-term budget, are currently taking place and will hopefully be finalised by June 2013. The outcomes of these negotiations will impact the budget allocations for ERASMUS for All.