Erasmus+ Generation Declaration: 30 proposals on the future of Erasmus+
On November the 30th, at the closing event of the Erasmus+ 30th anniversary campaign, representatives of the Erasmus+ Generation presented the Erasmus+ Generation Declaration to EU decision makers in Brussels. The document contains 30 concrete proposals that reflect the Erasmus+ Generation's vision and priorities for the future of the programme beyond 2020 in six key areas: societal challenges, skills gap, civic engagement, inclusion, global dimension and simplification. The proposals are based on the ideas poured into the Erasmus+ Generation Online Meeting Point, where thousands of former Erasmus+ participants were active this year between September 19th and October 31st.
At midday, Mariana Pinto da Costa, from Portugal, and Tea Jarc, from Slovenia, both representing the Erasmus+ Generation, accompanied Tibor Navracsics, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, at the press point held at the European Commission. They presented the main messages of the Declaration to the media, highlighting how the programme can not only help Europe tackle the most pressing social challenges it faces today, such as climate change and the integration of migrants and refugees, but also how it can help bridge the skills gap and maximise learning outcomes; engage and empower citizens; foster inclusion and promote common values; benefit the most disadvantaged; and further support capacity-building in the developing world.
Larger and more inclusive
In the afternoon, another representative of the Erasmus+ Generation, Catherine Fox, from Ireland, engaged in a high-level debate at the European Parliament with Commissioner Navracsics, Petra Kammerevert, Chair of the Committee for Education and Culture of the European Parliament, and Mailis Reps, the Minister of Education and Research of Estonia. With the Erasmus+ Generation Declaration as a starting point, the future of the Erasmus+ programme after 2020 was discussed. A general consensus emerged among the panellists and the audience: the programme needs to build on the successes of the past 30 years, grow larger and become even more inclusive. To do so, it needs a larger budget and simplify some of its current procedures. Only this way will the European Union be able to achieve what EU Leaders pushed for at the social summit in Gothenburg last November: benefit the most disadvantaged and double the number of participants in Erasmus+ by 2025.
With these 30 proposals, the Erasmus+ Generation provides the ideal closing to a year that has looked back and reflected on the achievements of three decades of mobility under Erasmus+. The Declaration puts the spotlight onto the future, the new goals that need to be reached and the achievements to come.