Erasmus+ is the European Union's programme in the fields of education, training, youth, and sport for the period 2014-2020. It is designed to fall within the ambitions of the 'Europe 2020' strategy for intelligent, sustainable and inclusive growth; it combines the former programmes Comenius (school education), Leonardo da Vinci (vocational education and training), Erasmus (higher education), Grundtvig (adult education) and Youth in Action (young people).
Erasmus+ emphasises firstly the provision of financial support for learners (pupils, students and young people). Nevertheless, the core of the programme also includes the possibility of mobility and cooperation for people working in the fields of education, training, and youth, playing a prescriptive role for young learners and adults.
Private individuals are not allowed to apply personally to take part in the programme, unless they are applying on behalf of a group of young people active in the field of socio-educational leadership. The institutional procedure involves making the Erasmus+ project part of their organisation, which then heads the project and obtains funding.
01 Key actions
The Erasmus+ programme focuses on three key actions.
Key Action 1 - personal mobility for educational and training purposes
Mobility in the fields of education, training, and youth gives people of all ages and every level of training and education an opportunity to take an active part in the labour market and in society in general.
The programme is for:
People working in the fields of education, training, and youth, for teaching or training missions and staff training activities.
Students and recent graduates, for study periods or placements abroad (either within the EU or in non European countries).
Apprentices, learners and recently qualified people in the vocational training field, for placements in businesses or professional institutes throughout Europe.
Young people outside the education system, for youth exchanges and volunteer activities.
Professionals and decision-makers in the youth sector, for training and networking activities.
Key Action 2 - strategic partnerships in the fields of education, training, and youth
Strategic partnerships respond to the needs of innovative practices, cooperation and the pooling of experience at the European level. There are two types of strategic partnership, according to their objectives and their composition:
Strategic partnerships that support innovation elaborate innovative productions and are involved in the intensive circulation and use of new and existing products and innovative ideas.
Strategic partnerships that support the exchange of best practices aim to enable organisations to implement and strength their networks, increase their ability to operate at the transnational level, and share and compare ideas, practices and methods.
Key Action 3 - structured dialogue: meetings between young people and decision-makers in the youth sector.
Meetings between young people and decision-makers in the youth sector promote the active participation of young people in democratic life and foster debate on topics involving the subjects and priorities defined by the structured dialogue and the renewed political framework in the youth sector.
These projects may include several activities: national meetings and transnational/international seminars, events encouraging debate and information on youth policy topics related to activities organised during European Youth Week, youth consultations (online consultations, opinion polls, etc.), meetings and seminars, information events and debates between young people and political decision-makers/youth experts on the theme of participation in democratic life, simulations of the functioning of democratic institutions and of the roles of political leaders in these institutions.
Personal mobility for educational and training purposes (Key Action 1 - Vocational training)
Nathalie is 19. She is attending the Lycée Technique Agricole (LTA), an agricultural secondary school preparing for a technician's diploma. The training syllabus in the agricultural department includes a compulsory placement abroad, supplementing the initial vocational training received at the secondary school.
Nathalie is interested in acquiring initial vocational experience in the equestrian sector, and would like to do a two-month placement at an equestrian centre in Ireland. She contacts the placement office at her school to find out more about the organisational aspects of the placement, and the possibility of a scholarship. Thanks to the Erasmus+ mobility project the LTA has devised, Nathalie will be able to receive an Erasmus+ scholarship of nearly 3,500 euros, which will help to cover the cost of her stay abroad.