Serbia becomes the 34th Erasmus+ Programme Country

On 5 February 2019 Commissioner Navracsics signed the agreement with Serbia’s Minister for Education, Science and Technological Development, Mladen Šarčević.

This was the formal approval of the big step that Serbia has taken this year: to join the Erasmus+ Programme as a Programme Country.

Serbia has been gearing up to this new status over the last two years, and has been through a tough assessment procedure to ensure it is fully ready to join the other 33 Erasmus+ Programme Countries in Europe.
Erasmus+ is a worldwide programme, and over recent years, Serbian organisations have gained wide experience of taking part in Erasmus+ as a Partner Country. For example, since 2014, almost 7,000 Serbian students and staff have experienced a learning period abroad, and around 4,300 Europeans went to Serbia.

What does Serbia gain by joining the Erasmus+ Programme?

With the country joining the Erasmus+ Programme, Serbians can get involved in a much wider range of activities. Besides higher education and youth, the country can now enjoy wider participation in sport, vocational education and training (VET) as well as school and adult education projects for cooperation and mobility. In this sense, the Agreement will help build bridges and create more space for people-to-people contacts and mutual understanding between Serbia and the EU. It also means that Serbia can now reach out to partners outside Europe under international projects.

Serbia’s new status in Erasmus+ is also a clear outcome of the EU’s wider cooperation with the Western Balkans. As Commissioner Navracsiscs pointed out, it demonstrates the momentum of the EU’s relations with the region after the adoption of the new EU-Western Balkan Strategy and the Sofia Summit in 2018 to ensure the region's full participation in the Erasmus+ programmes in the coming years.

Watch the Signature Ceremony video here.

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