Erasmus+ needs to have a bigger budget and be more inclusive, according to the Erasmus+ mid-term evaluation. Most countries agree on these issues and other key areas for improvement, but there are small differences. These nuances tell us more about the different priorities throughout Europe, but how do these compare and what do the national evaluations tell us about the status quo? Neth-ER takes you along the main points of the ongoing discussion in this editorial, which considers and compares 20 national evaluations.
On 25 January Neth-ER and VLEVA organised the event “Shaping the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation: From Horizon 2020 to FP9”. A keynote speech by Rosalinde van der Vlies from the European Commission and a speech by MEP Anneleen Van Bossuyt provided the basis for fruitful discussions between European stakeholder organisations about excellence, citizen involvement and synergies.
What do countries and other stakeholders want FP9 to look like? More budget, a focus on excellence or widening participation? Would the European Innovation Council be a useful initiative or does it only add to the complexity of the programme? A comparison of views expressed in different position papers gives us an insight in what FP9 should look like according to them.
FP9 should be part of a coherent ‘knowledge first’ policy in order for Europe to take a leading role and to optimally develop its knowledge-based society. This is one of the key conditions for FP9, according to Neth-ER. FP9 should have a budget of at least 120 billion euros to realise its ambitions concerning excellence, cooperation and impact.
Erasmus+’s successor programme ("Erasmus++") should focus on improving the quality of education in the EU, providing ample opportunities for intercultural experiences for all Europeans and stimulating innovation in education. These are the key principles for Erasmus++ according to Neth-ER. At least 3% of the EU budget should be attributed to the programme to achieve these goals.
It seems that 2017 will have a lot in store for DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion . Reason for Neth-ER to ask Michel Servoz, Director-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL), about his view on DG EMPL’s contribution in realising some of the major policy initiatives announced in the Commission Work Programme, especially those concerning youth. In this respect, the Commission has announced that it is a priority to help Member States to create the best possible conditions for young people to develop the skills they need and become active on the labour market and in society. This commitment has recently been fulfilled with the launch of the European Solidarity Corps, the ErasmusPro initiative and the call for Sector Skills Alliances.