Reflections on EDC: Erasmus+ by Daniel Schmid Holz

Erasmus+

The new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport – Erasmus+ – started in January 2014 and will run until 2020. Erasmus plus follows on from “Erasmus for All” which ended in 2013. The ‘plus’ of Erasmus plus signifies the addition of sport and the inclusion of better possibilities for co-operation. The admission and administration procedures have been simplified. There is a budget of 14,7 billion euros, 40% more than in the previous  programme.

The fields of education, training, youth and sport can make a major contribution in helping to tackle the key challenges that Europe faces now and will face in the next decade. Within the Europe 2020 Strategy these areas have been recognised as vital in the drive to overcome the socio-economic crisis, boost growth and employment and foster social equity and inclusion.

The programme will also seek to address the social challenges presented by the oft-mentioned economic crisis: the development of social capital among young people and enhancement of their ability to participate actively in society. This goal is in line with the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty which aim to “encourage the participation of young people in democratic life in Europe”.

This issue can be targeted (especially by the churches) through non-formal educational activities, designed to improve the skills and competences of young people, as well as encouraging active citizenship.

You can apply for new projects once a year. The deadline for applications for mobility projects was March 24 2014. The deadline for cooperation projects is April 30. 2014. In addition to the EU member states the following countries can take part under certain conditions. These countries are:

•Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, subject to an EEA Joint Committee Decision

•the Swiss Confederation. As a consequence of the vote of February 9 2014 Switzerland is no longer on an equal footing with member countries of the EU but is seen as a partner country. (This means the Swiss do cannot have the position as team leaders, their European partners have to apply for Swiss teams in a European country, give proof of the added value of Swiss partners, no congress to be held in Switzerland and restrictions apply on the stay of Swiss workers in a European country.)

•Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are subject to the signature of an agreement between the Commission and the competent authorities in each of these countries.

Further information and application forms can be found on:

http://ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus/na

We warmly recommend taking part.

Daniel Schmid Holz

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