On Saturday 9 May 2020 garagErasmus organised two online debates on the successes and future perspectives of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Over 40 people took part in the two panels, held at 11:00 and 16:30 CET. Both discussions were very fruitful, and offered the perspectives of different actors involved in the most emblematic programme of the European Union from different perspectives: policy-makers, universities and members of the Erasmus Generation working to develop projects with an enormous social impact.

FIRST PANEL DISCUSSION:
ERASMUS+ FUTURE PERSPECTIVES

Sara Pagliai (Erasmus+ National Agency INDIRE / Italy) and Toñi Caro (Head of the International Research Project Office, University of Deusto / Spain) discussed in a round table moderated by our CEO Fabrizio Bitetto how the COVID crisis is affecting both policy-makers and universities.

Pagliai called on EU institutions to keep their promises of doubling funding for the next 2021-2027 Erasmus+ Multiannual Financial Framework, which could be at risk due to the COVID19 crisis. All the programme’s content is technically ready but its budget has not yet been approved.

From the point of view of the academic world, Caro insisted on the importance of Erasmus+ as a tool to build our common European project. She called on all the parties involved in the programme to be creative and maintain a positive mindset, despite the many difficulties uncertainties posed by the current situation.

SECOND PANEL DISCUSSION:
ERASMUS+ FUTURE PERSPECTIVES

President of gE4Silesia Marco Cillepi presented the Katowice Internationals World Cup, bringing international residents in Silesia together to play football, an outstanding project helping players – as well as their social circles – to build a sense of community and meet other expats. 

Konstantinos Maragkos (gE4Athens) introduced us to the WE Afrihug project, focusing on raising awareness of Erasmus+ opportunities among African youth and helping them bring the value of these experiences back to their communities. 

Both panelists, moderated by gE Director Carlo Bitetto, stressed how important it is for our community to adapt our future projects to the current crisis, with flexibility and a positive attitude in order to make the best out of it: this rapidly-evolving situation may offer opportunities when we least expect it, and we should be open to identifying and seizing them.