How will Brexit impact the Erasmus+ programme?
Whatever the outcome of the ongoing negotiations between the EU and the UK, Brexit is expected to lead to many changes for Erasmus+. The outcome of the negotiations is not yet known, but here you will find the latest information on how Britain's exit from the EU can affect organisations and individuals.
Erasmus+ learning mobility activities
On 19 March 2019, the Council and Parliament adopted a Regulation to avoid the disruption of Erasmus+ learning mobility activities involving the United Kingdom in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal (“no-deal scenario”).
The Erasmus+ Contingency Regulation covers ‘learning mobility’ as defined in the Erasmus+ Regulation. This means:
- the mobility of students in all cycles of higher education and of students, apprentices and pupils in vocational education and training;
- the mobility of young people in non-formal and informal learning activities and in volunteering activities;
- the mobility of staff in the field of education and training;
- the mobility of persons active in youth work or youth organisations and youth leaders.
The Regulation ensures that people who are abroad through an Erasmus+ funded learning mobility activity on the day the UK leaves the European Union will not see their mobility period interrupted.
This applies for example to a French higher education student on an Erasmus+ mobility in London, but equally to a UK student in vocational training taking part in an Erasmus+ traineeship in Budapest.
These measures will apply until all Erasmus+ learning mobility activities that started before the date on which the UK leaves the European Union have been completed, taking into account that these mobility activities can have a duration of up to a maximum of 12 months.
It is applicable to all Erasmus+ programme countries, i.e. EU Member States, plus Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Turkey, North Macedonia, Serbia and the UK.
All ongoing Erasmus+ mobility activities, including international activities that started before the date on which the UK leaves the European Union, will be covered by the Erasmus+ contingency measures.
All ongoing Erasmus+ exchanges that started before the date on which the UK leaves the European Union will be covered by the Erasmus+ contingency measures.
Through their national Erasmus+ contact points: the Erasmus+ National Agencies established in each Erasmus+ programme country.
The Erasmus+ contingency regulation aims to avoid the very disruptive impact a “no-deal” scenario would have for citizens who are abroad on the day the UK leaves the Union. It is an immediate solution, to the most immediate problem. Therefore, this Regulation does not cover mobility activities starting from the date of withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
At the same time, the Commission proposed a horizontal contingency regulation (Regulation on measures concerning the implementation and financing of the general budget of the Union in 2019 in relation to the withdrawal of the UK from the Union). If adopted by the Council, this horizontal regulation would cover learning exchanges starting after the date on which the UK leaves the European Union under certain specific conditions and in a more restrictive way.
The Union contribution to the ongoing mobility activities covered by the Erasmus+ contingency regulation was already provided for in the general EU budget.
Under the Erasmus+ contingency regulation, the UK National Agency will carry out the ongoing learning mobilities which started before the date on which the UK leaves the European Union.
We cannot speculate on the fate of the UK National Agency beyond this point.
Under the Erasmus+ contingency regulation, the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education will apply to UK universities until they carry out the ongoing learning mobilities which started before the date on which the UK leaves the European Union.
No formal recognition is automatically linked to a learning period abroad. This is up to Member States and the academic institutions.
This is beyond EU competence.
The Erasmus+ contingency regulation covers activities funded through the Erasmus+ programme. This includes volunteering mobility activities financed under the Erasmus+ programme and starting before the date on which the UK leaves the European Union. European Solidarity Corps activities are covered by the proposed horizontal contingency Regulation.
DiscoverEU is not financed by Erasmus+, therefore it is not covered by the Erasmus+ contingency regulation.
A lot of European cooperation projects involve a UK partner or have a UK coordinator. The fate of projects contracted before the date on which the UK leaves the European Union will depend on the adoption of the horizontal Brexit contingency regulation on the EU budget for 2019 and whether the United Kingdom continues to honour its financial obligations under the EU budget. If the UK does so, funding can continue until end-2019.