gE welcomes EC President Von der Leyen commitment to Erasmus+ programme and vows to triple its funding for the next period, but laments confusion over allocation of the portfolio. gE calls on Commission and Parliament to keep education and Erasmus high on the agenda.

Last Tuesday, during the official presentation of her team for the upcoming European Commission, EU Commission President-Elect Ursula von der Leyen declared herself to be a “big fan” of the Erasmus programme, giving it as the example of the most successful European programme.

On one hand, garagErasmus strongly welcomes Von der Leyen’s objective of tripling the Erasmus+ programme budget for the next 2021-2027 period she entrusted to the nominated EU Commissioner for Innovation and Youth Mariya Gabriel. We are looking forward to the translation of these promises into concrete action.

The Erasmus+ programme has shaped our lives, changed our vital perspectives from the educational, professional and personal perspectives. The returns to society of its benefits are worthwhile from an economic perspective and priceless at a human aspect.

However, on the other hand, garagErasmus laments confusion over who is in charge of education, starting from the worrying fact that no Commissioner is distinctively assigned to education. We call on the European Parliament committee for culture and education to stand by Erasmus and education to keep it high among the priorities of the Commission.

Moreover, Erasmus+ and Education competences have been split between two Commissioners considering that the overview is assigned to the Vice-President-designate for Protecting our European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas, an ambiguous and broad portfolio that does not convey a clear political view and priorities.

garagErasmus considers that the new programme should put the accent on increasing employability and entrepreneurship, in an inclusive manner.