Sandro Gozi: 'Yes to expanding the Erasmus+ programme'
The article was published in Libertà, 9 June 2022.
The European Parliament is taking action to reform the Erasmus+ project, the university exchange that has introduced millions of young people to Europe. According to the European Parliament's Culture Committee, there are still "too many financial, technological and administrative barriers that limit participation in the Erasmus+ programme and which must be removed".
In a resolution adopted by the committee with 26 votes in favour, 2 against and 2 abstentions, MEPs call for an increase in the amount of scholarships to prevent the social exclusion of those families who have so far been unable to afford student mobility. Among the changes to be introduced, the resolution suggests increasing grants by income brackets as well as advance payments of grants to facilitate the participation of people with fewer opportunities or from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Among the report's proposals is also the linking of Erasmus+ with the Interrail programme in order to ensure better, greener and more accessible mobility options, as well as the integration of the EU action plan against racism and the EU LGBTIQ equality strategy into Erasmus+-related projects. The text also addresses the persistent problems with the Erasmus+ IT tools, which hinder the participation of smaller organisations, people with less IT capacity such as older participants or those with special needs, and asks the EU Commission to simplify the procedures for accessing funding.
In favour of extending the programme is the Italian MEP from Renew Europe, Sandro Gozi, according to whom "extending the principles of one of the most successful projects in the history of Europe, such as Erasmus, will give young people the opportunity to gain experience, including professional experience, in another EU Member State".