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Member of the European Commission responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth
Erasmus+ : 40% budget boost for the world's biggest and best mobility programme
Press conference on the adoption of Erasmus+ programme /Strasbourg
19 November 2013
I am very pleased that the European Parliament has adopted Erasmus+, the new European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020.
The €14.7 billion budget agreed today is nearly 40% higher than current levels. It means that we will be able to provide grants for more than 4 million young people and others to study, train, work or volunteer abroad.
This international experience will increase their skills and – crucially in the current economic climate – their employability.
The budget increase we have secured represents a massive expansion of the world's biggest and best mobility programme, and we should all take pride in that achievement.
I would like to thank the European Parliament and, in particular, Doris Pack, the President of the CULT Committee and rapporteur for Erasmus+, for her support and tenacity throughout the negotiations. Together, we have achieved a fantastic result.
Today's vote is proof of the EU's commitment to our young people through increased investment in education and training. Indeed, it has never been more important to invest in education, both formal and non-formal.
26 million people across Europe are unemployed, including nearly 6 million young people. Yet there are 2 million job vacancies and a third of employers report difficulties in recruiting staff with the right skills. Our new programme will help to address this skills gap.
Erasmus+ builds on the success of the Erasmus programme for higher education students and our other learning mobility programmes, including Leonardo da Vinci and Youth in Action.
By bringing them together under one umbrella we will make it easier for applicants to understand the range of opportunities available for EU funding in the education, training, youth and sport sectors.
Erasmus+ will provide more grants across the board. For example, it will support:
The advantages that mobility brings to individuals also benefits the EU economy as a whole.
Indeed, Erasmus+ is not just about learning opportunities for individuals. To address the EU's skills gaps effectively, we also need to improve the quality and relevance of our education systems and their links with the world of work.
That's why Erasmus+ will invest in partnerships between schools, educational institutions, youth organisations, businesses, local and regional authorities and NGOs. In all, over 125,000 organisations and institutions expected to benefit.
New forms of large scale partnerships, called 'Knowledge Alliances' and 'Sector Skills Alliances', will allow universities, training providers and enterprises to promote innovation, new curricula and qualifications that are more in line with the needs of the job market.
Erasmus+ funding for lecturers, teachers, trainers, education staff and youth workers will have a systemic impact by improving the quality of teaching across Europe.
Finally, Erasmus+ will also, for the first time, include a dedicated budget line for sport. It will allocate more than €33 million a year to contribute to developing the European dimension in sport by helping to address cross-border threats such as match fixing and doping. It will also support transnational projects involving organisations in grassroots sport, promoting, among other topics, good governance, social inclusion, dual careers and physical activity for all ages.
To conclude, Erasmus+ will make a difference to millions of lives. I am proud to have been a part of the creation of this programme.