The Committee for Education and Culture of the European Parliament is concerned about possible budget cuts for the 2021–2027 Erasmus+ programme generation. The committee chairwoman has issued two press releases criticising the current proposals of the European Council for the 2021–2027 EU budget.

Before the new Erasmus+ programme generation 2021–2027 can be approved, consensus must first be reached on the total EU budget, a struggle currently ongoing at the EU level. The Committee for Education and Culture of the European Parliament issued two press releases on 12 and 18 February, strongly criticising recent proposals by the Council, which include a reduction of the budget for Erasmus+: “The proposal by European Council President Charles Michel for the Erasmus+ budget for the next seven years falls significantly short of the expectations of European citizens.”

“We now have a proposal – for what is undoubtedly the EU’s No. 1 flagship programme – that falls 20% short of the Commission’s proposal and 48% short of the Parliament’s position and the request of European Commission President von der Leyen. This would be the end of the new comprehensive initiatives European Universities, Centres of Excellence for Vocational Training and Discover EU.”

The European heads of state and government will discuss the future EU budget during a specially convened summit on 20 February.

Erasmus+ trialogue

The European Parliament, Council and Commission are currently involved in the “trialogue negotiations” on the structure of the new Erasmus+ programme generation. However, negotiations have become gridlocked. The Parliament is making two main demands of its negotiation partners:

  • The Council must be willing to discuss the budget distribution within the Erasmus+ programme. In addition, the EU budget must be passed to provide a framework for the programme. The delegates again emphasised the significance of a sufficient budget for the overall programme.
  • They acknowledge the Commission’s request for greater flexibility in the implementation of the programmes, but demand co-determination rights in decisions that concern major changes or new initiatives within the programmes. The Commission is not to be given “carte blanche”. A suggestion is now needed of a suitable mechanism for involving the Parliament in important decisions during the 7-year implementation period.