The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) expresses its concerns about the still unsolved budget deficit of the Erasmus programme in 2012 and 2013. ESN urges the European Parliament and the Council to agree on a viable budget for the Erasmus programme in particular and the Lifelong Learning Programme as a whole to fulfill the obligations towards current and future exchange students.
 
It has been more than two months since the looming budget deficit became known to the wider public. According to the European Commission, the Erasmus programme costs €480 million in 2012 and the estimated costs for 2013 are €490 million which represents only around 0.35% of the whole EU budget.
 
The Erasmus programme is one of the most cost-effective and successful EU programmes and should not be subject to cuts.Mobility is an integral part of the Europe 2020 strategy and the projected funding levels need to be maintained to achieve the set goals. The continuing insecurity around the funding of the Erasmus programme increasingly affects prospective exchange students and creates concerns among current exchange students. The current situation mostly affects students from lower socio-economic backgrounds as they often have to rely on the financial support from the EU funded programme.
 
ESN welcomes the new proposal of the European Commission to bridge the differences between the political actors. ESN strongly discourages policy makers from endangering the achievements of one of the most successful and well-known European programmes. The short and long term personal, economic and societal benefits of the Erasmus programme are undisputed and also confirmed by the popular reaction to the funding problems in media and civil society. Emanuel Alfranseder, President of ESN, says: “We call upon decision makers to consider the impact of the Erasmus programme on the future of mobility and European identity and to not jeopardise the trust and reputation the Erasmus programme has gained over the past 25 years. Action has to be taken now”.
 
For more information please contact:
Emanuel Alfranseder, President, ESN AISBL, Tel: +32 477 567889, president@esn.org
Juan Colino, Communication Manager, ESN AISBL, Tel: +32 470 472 225, communication@esn.org
 

 
Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is one of the biggest non-profit interdisciplinary student associations in Europe, founded in 1989 to support and develop student exchange. ESN is present in more than 420 Higher Education Institutions in 36 countries involving around 29,000 young people offering its services to 160,000 international students. ESN works for the creation of a more mobile and flexible education environment by supporting and developing student exchanges on different levels and provides an intercultural experience also to those students who cannot access a period abroad ('internationalisation at home').