The European Commission is currently discussing future EU budgets. For the 2021-2027 period, the EC proposed to double the funding of the Erasmus program, to 30 billion euros.
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The Erasmus program allows students to study in different countries during a short period of time, making them discover other cultures or parts of Europe. The idea is for them to gain more experience and knowledge, as well as increasing their awareness of Europe.
Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the Commission for Jobs, Growth and Competitiveness, said that every euro invested in the program is a euro invested in our future: future of the person doing the Erasmus, the teacher/trainee and the future of Europe.
The proposal from the European Commission is to increase the budget to 30 billion euros for 2021-2027. 25.9 billion will go to education and training, 3.1 billion for youth, and 550 million for sport.
Doubling the budget would allow 12 million people to benefit from the program between 2021-2027, three times as many as now. The new budget would allow to reach more people, from different social backgrounds, as well as building stronger relations with the rest of the world. On top of this, the European Commission wants to focus on promoting forward-looking study fields, in other words, jobs that will be needed in the future, such as artificial intelligence or renewable energies.
The current Erasmus budget is of 14.7 billion euros, from the 2014-2020 budget. The European Commission claims that 9 million people have been able to benefit from the program so far, since it’s creation in 1987.
The detractors of the Erasmus program claim that it is just EU propaganda, and thus are uninterested in it. This claim comes from the idea that sending students abroad allows them to broaden their mind, thus making them feel more European, and reinforcing the EU ideology. But, as usual, nobody really takes seriously these detractors, due to the craziness of some of their claims.