MEP Marlene Mizzi called for a more inclusive and open Erasmus programme so that more young people can experience learning exchanges in Europe. She was speaking in the European Parliament at the plenary debate “Erasmus: the Union Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport”.

“Erasmus is one of the most successful European Union projects. It has helped millions of young people to benefit from learning and mobility opportunities. In the next seven years, we can only expect Erasmus+ to grow and expand. But for this to happen we need a budget that is sufficient and inclusive,” said MEP Mizzi.

Last week the European Parliament voted on the next generation of the Erasmus+ programme. Speaking in the plenary session, MEP Mizzi argued that in order to be able to deliver and make the new Erasmus+ more inclusive and fully accessible to young people around Europe, the proposed budget must be tripled.

“The current budget proposal may mean that vulnerable people would not have access to this important programme. This cannot be allowed to happen. I believe that by tripling the 2021-2017 Erasmus+ funds and by adapting the grants to the specific needs of the participants, Europe will be able to help more young people take part in the different learning mobility schemes,” said Marlene Mizzi.

The European Parliament’s main aim for the next generation of the Erasmus+ programme is to allow more young people to take part in the different learning mobility schemes. It therefore proposes a detailed set of measures to lift all economic, social and cultural barriers.

“The programme should focus on inclusiveness and in particular on providing better access for people with fewer opportunities, and those with special needs. Everyone should have the same prospects, but so far, the Erasmus programme has not been available to everyone,” said MEP Mizzi.

Marlene Mizzi concluded her speech by stressing that Europe needs a non-discriminatory and barrier-free access to Erasmus open to everyone in the society. “Investing in young people through Erasmus programme by providing better prospects and new horizons for them is in fact a direct investment in Europe and in the European project.”