Negotiations on the future Erasmus+ programme for 2021‒2027 progressed during the Finnish Presidency
Enhancement of the Erasmus+ programme has been one of the Finnish Presidency’s priorities in the education sector. In the autumn, Finland led the negotiations on the proposal for a regulation concerning the forthcoming programme period (2021–2027). The new programme will continue under its current name, Erasmus+.
“Finland welcomes the outcome. We achieved what was possible to achieve given the circumstances of a new Commission and an open financing package. At the same time, we were able to leave the Croatian Presidency a good basis for further negotiations,” says lead negotiator Johanna Koponen from Finland’s permanent representation to the EU in Brussels.
More inclusiveness in the new programme
It was agreed in the negotiations that the regulation will include a separate chapter on inclusiveness and that the opportunities of disadvantaged persons to participate in the programme will be improved. Each country must draw up a plan to encourage those who, for various reasons, have difficulties in participating, to become involved in the programme. The means available for this purpose include information, advice, peer support and additional financial aid, if needed. The countries can decide at national level which measures to select and which groups to target.
At the moment, the programme covers all levels of education from early childhood to adult education, youth work and sport. Among other things, Erasmus+ finances annually more than 20,000 learning periods abroad, making it the most important programme to fund international activities throughout Europe. In addition to young people and students, Erasmus+ also supports international cooperation projects between teachers, educators and youth workers.
International study periods and cooperation to remain programme cornerstones
At the same time, the regulation was clarified to enable the programme to provide more opportunities for virtual cooperation and virtual learning in the future. Virtual cooperation offers people who, for one reason or another, cannot participate in the study periods abroad the opportunity to gain international experience.
Some of the issues related to the programme remain open for the next presidencies to solve. These include the budget, governance model and new activities that will be included in Erasmus+. The articles on participation of non-member third countries in the programme await further information on Brexit.