Brussels, 9 April 2014
Renzi and Vassiliou to launch Erasmus+ in Italy
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will launch Erasmus+, the EU's new funding programme for education, training, youth and sport, in Florence tomorrow (10 April). Stefania Giannini, the country's Minister of Education and Research, and Giuliano Poletti, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, will also take part in the event. Erasmus+ will have a total budget of €14.7 billion over the next seven years – 40% more than under previous programmes. Nearly 330 000 Italians are expected to receive Erasmus+ grants between now and 2020.
"Investing in education and training is the best choice we can make for Europe's future and its young people. I am delighted that Prime Minister Renzi is putting his political weight behind Erasmus+ and that his government is committed to implementing education reforms which will increase skills and job creation. The international experience gained through Erasmus+ also boosts employability by improving young people's proficiency in foreign languages and their adaptability," said Commissioner Vassiliou.
Who benefits from Erasmus+ in Europe?
Who benefits from Erasmus+ in Italy?
Between 2007 and 2013, nearly 220 000 Italian students, young people and education, training and youth staff received funding from the EU's former Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes. It is estimated that nearly 330 000 will benefit from Erasmus+ over the next seven years.
In 2014, Italy will receive €124 million from Erasmus+, a 12% increase compared with the funding it received last year from the Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action Programmes. It is envisaged that the amount Italy receives will increase each year up to 2020. Italians can also benefit further from the Jean Monnet action for European integration studies in higher education and grants for transnational sports projects.
Erasmus+ is being launched at a time when 26 million people across Europe are unemployed, including nearly 6 million young people. The unemployment rate of graduates in Italy reached 19% in 2012.
At the same time, across Europe, there are over 2 million job vacancies, and a third of employers report difficulties in recruiting staff with the skills they need. Erasmus+ will help to address this skills gap by providing opportunities for people to study, train or gain experience abroad.
Giving students and apprentices the opportunity to study or train abroad also makes it more likely they will want, or be able, to work abroad in future, thus increasing their long-term job prospects.
As well as supporting mobility opportunities for individuals, Erasmus+ will support measures to increase the quality and relevance of Europe's education, training and youth systems through support for training of education staff and youth workers, as well as stronger partnerships between education and employers.
The €14.7 billion budget takes account of future estimates for inflation. Additional funds are expected to be allocated for higher education exchanges and administrative support involving non-EU countries; the decision on the amounts of extra funding available is due to be confirmed later in 2014.
Erasmus+ for the first time includes support for sport. It will allocate around €265 million over seven years to help address cross-border threats such as match fixing and doping. It will also support transnational projects involving organisations in grassroots sport, promoting, for example, good governance, gender equality, social inclusion, dual careers and physical activity for all.
For more information
European Commission: Education and training
Twitter: Androulla Vassiliou @VassiliouEU