The negotiations on the future Erasmus+ programme are going at a good pace, without major changes in the timeline so far. The EU Council approved their partial agreeement (ie. without the budget) on November 19th.
The European Parliament is also on track with their side of the procedure. The BUDG Committee voted on its opinion mid-November and the EMPL Committee will vote on its opinion on 3 December. The CULT committee, which is the lead committee on this file, is currently working on its compromise amendments. You can find the current draft report by MEP Milan Zver here, and the tabled amendments here and here. The final vote is scheduled to take place January 22nd 2019. The final EP position will be voted in Plenary on 11th March (tbc).
We are glad to see that the EP calls on the adoption of easier application and quality assurance procedures through the tool of so-called ‘Charters’ as EFIL, EEE-YFU, OBESSU and ATEE have advocated for. Moreover the European Parliament calls on the new programme to support Member states in implementing the automatic recognition of learning periods abroad. Amendments have been submitted by MEPs to ensure a cross-sectorial approach in the implementation of the programme, allowing for the cooperation between formal and non formal education.
Both the Member states and the European Parliament support the proposal of the European Commission to increase pupil mobility and include it under Key Action 1 in order to make access to funds easier for organisations applying. Moreover, inclusion is a priority for both institutions. The EP is pushing the creation of an Inclusion Chapter in the legal base with concrete measures on how to support young people accessing the programme, simplify application procedures and harmonise approaches to inclusion across NAs.
The EP is asking for 3 times more funding for Erasmus+ compared to the current programme and it is still not clear whether the Member states will all support the doubling of the budget for Erasmus+ and this will all depend on how the overall EU budget negotiations will go.
Member states wish that most of the funding will be managed by Erasmus+ National agencies (75%), and the European Parliament has put forward amendments which refer to improved access to funding for EU-networks and INGOs.
Within the Erasmus+ proposal the Commission included the programme Discover EU for a total budget of 700.000 million euros, and this remains a controversial initiative. The Council has postponed the decision on this part of the programme to the time when the overall EU budget will be negotiated. The European Parliament supports DiscoverEU as an action but they all agree that there should be a reasonable learning component, in fact at the moment it only includes Interrail passes. The programme is running now as a Pilot Action and foresees to involve 20.000 people in 2019.
The European Solidarity Corps, former European Voluntary Service which used to be a part of Erasmus+, is now a separate programme and negotiations on it are carried on in parallel. Here you can read the draft position of the European Parliament and the adopted general agreement of the EU Council on the Commission’s proposal for the programme which will start in 2021.
The negotiation between the three institutions on the final text of the future Erasmus+ programme and the European Solidarity Corps are likely to start when then new European Parliament and European Commission will start their mandate, in September 2019.
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