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Document 52011AR0400

Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on ‘Erasmus for All’

OJ C 225, 27.7.2012, p. 200–210 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

27.7.2012   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 225/200


Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on ‘Erasmus for All’

2012/C 225/15

THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

strongly supports the increased budget proposed for the programme. Funding should be distributed between the various educational and youth sectors such that all areas benefit from budget increases;

underlines the importance of lifelong learning, and therefore of the programme supporting all age groups and types of learning equally;

feels that support should be most generous where the need and chances of impact are greatest. This should mean a clear relocation of funds to projects aimed at people who currently have little contact with mobility programmes, such as schools, young people not in formal education, and adults in training and further education;

believes that if the big challenges can be met at local and regional level, people will be prepared for a future characterised by flux. They will be equipped for lifelong learning, and more and more will complete their studies, go through higher education and identify opportunities to complete phases of their education in different parts of Europe and also see the whole of Europe as a potential work location;

can see advantages in institutional cooperation, including for mobility projects. When mobility occurs within an institutional framework, it may provide a more solid foundation for higher quality and more sustained, strategic impact;

notes its positive experience with parts of previous programmes, such as Comenius Regio, that provide opportunities to involve institutions other than educational ones, and which are aimed at promoting European cooperation in education at local and regional level.

Rapporteur

Yoomi RENSTRÖM (SE/PES), Member of Ovanåker Municipal Council

Reference document

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing Erasmus for All, the Union Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport.

COM(2011) 788 final

I.   POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

Major challenges

1.

notes that Europe faces mounting challenges as a result of the financial and economic crisis. Structural problems have become increasingly manifest, in terms of low productivity growth, large groups of people that are outside the labour market, the growing demand for welfare services due to an ageing population, and fiscal deficits;

2.

sees widening economic gaps as a fundamental issue that is becoming more and more pressing and presents challenges for democracy. Far too many young people are finishing their education without the skills needed to take part in the democratic process and have a good working life that will be characterised by variety. The opportunity for everybody to benefit from lifelong learning is a basic precondition for a robust democracy and future growth. To break the cycle of unemployment and exclusion we also need to break the cycle of a gender-segregated labour market;

3.

considers education to be a key instrument with which the EU should be able to meet these great challenges and ensure that the knowledge society includes everyone; takes note of the Commission's proposal for a new programme to replace and merge the current education and youth programmes. The programme should strengthen EU citizenship by emphasising the European dimension and promote social cohesion by ensuring that more and more people have access to high-quality education over their lifetime. It is important to ensure that all target groups from previous programmes have adequate opportunities to continue to receive EU support;

4.

fully supports the two headline targets of the Europe 2020 strategy that are most relevant to the proposed education programme: (1) reducing the share of early school leavers to less than 10 %, and (2) ensuring that at least 40 % of 30-34–year-olds complete third level education. If these goals are to be achieved, education programmes must be organised and run differently from the way they were when only a small minority received an education. This creates new requirements for action at local and regional level to raise quality and accessibility so as to include everybody;

5.

believes that the big challenge of reaching everybody, which is also pointed to in the explanatory memorandum, means that schools should adopt a different way of working. High-quality education that starts with an extensive pre-school system will facilitate an approach that maintains and increases children's curiosity and interest in learning from when they are small; notes that promoting lifelong learning not only requires opportunities for education, continuing education and possibilities for career change over a whole lifetime, but means also seeing the education of children and young people as a first phase in lifelong learning;

6.

holds that access to university must become more democratic, so that universities are open to as many people as possible. Moreover, the labour market of tomorrow will set new requirements, which means that efforts to better match skills with work opportunities must be continued and stepped up, at EU level, in the Member States and at local and regional level. It is therefore important to bring together the different Europe 2020 initiatives and to make it clear that the priorities of the education programme support all the relevant initiatives (1);

7.

considers that a broad range of education opportunities are needed so as to reach everybody. For example, technology (ICT) should be fully exploited, regional higher education should be accessible to a wide target group, and informal and non-formal learning should be promoted for young people and adults to make it easier to return to education while creating the necessary conditions that ensure the completion of education and facilitate lifelong learning;

Local and regional remit

8.

notes that local and regional government has a key role to play in implementing both the EU's education programmes and other relevant European initiatives, since in many European countries the main responsibility for general and vocational training at primary and secondary level, as well as for adult education, lies with local and regional authorities;

9.

observes that local and regional authorities coordinate local and regional development and growth, and therefore have a stake in also developing workforce skills. New skills needs on the labour market are identified first and most clearly at local and regional level, which is where an effective skills-matching process can take place that includes continuing learning for the individual;

10.

points out that many local and regional partnerships exist now to promote innovation and know-how, in which public authorities, local businesses, youth organisations, regional higher education bodies and other education providers are developing different types of cooperation opportunities. Such partnerships can effectively align education programmes with the needs of society and work, as well as the specific needs of regions facing similar challenges. The National Agencies must therefore seek cooperation with these partnerships in order to implement EU education programmes because such partnerships are of strategic importance since they foster cross-border cooperation and knowledge transfer between local and regional authorities;

11.

notes that another reason to ensure strong local and regional participation in education programmes is its relevance to an important aspect of democracy, namely the possibility to be part of, grow within and uphold a democratic society;

12.

remarks that local and regional government is also the level that is most relevant for recent immigrants and that supports their integration into the host country. Education – for both children and adults - plays a critical role here, and the situation can vary widely within a country;

General considerations on the proposed programme

13.

notes that the EU's education and youth programme, Erasmus For All, is intended to improve the quality of education and learning and promote the European dimension of education through internationalisation. The Committee endorses this overarching goal and thinks that the Commission's proposals are a good basis for achieving real changes. More exchange will mean that good ideas and methods are spread more widely and will underpin the reforms needed for modern education systems;

14.

believes that the programme could contribute very significantly to efforts to mobilise all the relevant stakeholders with a view to spurring change in education systems and in work with young people, making it possible to meet the needs of the new knowledge economy as well as Community objectives for individual participation and responsibility in society;

15.

emphasises that periods of general education, vocational training and practical experience abroad are particularly effective approaches which help people to develop and provide useful experience for continuing education and working life. Applying skills in a new environment involves developing not just specialist and general knowledge but also autonomy and communication skills;

16.

is convinced that, at a time of accelerating globalisation and cross-border networking of all areas of life and work, intercultural competences, language skills and international knowledge are continuing to grow in importance;

17.

agrees with the Commission that youth mobility and international projects can encourage a deeper understanding of Europe's identity and a sense of European citizenship, while helping to combat xenophobia;

18.

reiterates its belief that specific measures must be taken to ensure equal access to mobility for all target groups addressed by the programme, irrespective of the geographical location of the region they come from (2), and not least for those living in sparsely-populated areas, on islands, in mountain regions and in the outermost regions;

19.

believes that if the big challenges can be met at local and regional level, people will be prepared for a future characterised by flux. They will be equipped for lifelong learning, and more and more will complete their studies, go through higher education and identify opportunities to complete phases of their education in different parts of Europe and also see the whole of Europe as a potential work location;

Different objectives and broad role of education

20.

fully endorses the goal of improving people's knowledge, skills and experience so that it is easier for everybody to enter the labour market and improve their employability, while pointing out that education is not just about improving employability but must also serve the overarching goal of personal growth; also underlines the importance of lifelong learning, and therefore of the programme supporting all age groups and types of learning equally;

21.

also notes that education should stimulate individual creativity and innovation potential, as well as providing intellectual and social enrichment. In times of economic crisis with high unemployment it is easy to focus primarily on the role of education in promoting employability, whereas the Committee would point out that during crises there is still a need to ensure positive development over the longer term so that Europe is stronger in the future. This means promoting an inclusive education system designed to look at the whole person and develop lifelong learning systems;

22.

stresses the importance of specifically seeing vocational training as an element of lifelong learning. Concepts such as knowledge and education are important aspects of this, and the world of work is now more demanding, e.g. as regards language skills. It is important to bear in mind that vocational training is very broad in scope and plays a key role in terms both of integrating people in vulnerable situations and of excellence within different professional fields;

23.

notes that a crucial task for local and regional stakeholders is promoting young people's creativity and innovation potential, and providing opportunities for their intellectual and social development. This is of decisive importance for young people's personal development and social integration. It also requires measures that enable young people to combine education and career with family life;

24.

points out that higher education institutions are not just learning organisations but also important players in regional development and a key motor of future innovation. Higher education needs to be modernised. The Committee's views on what changes are required in higher education were transmitted to the Commission in February 2012 (3). It is important that the three parts of the knowledge triangle - education, research and innovation – should be explicitly linked. This both reinforces the regional level and is reinforced by it. Cooperation is called for here between the local, regional, national and EU levels, not least through local and regional partnerships;

25.

believes that adult education gives people opportunities to develop their abilities over their lifetime, supporting the changes of career path required in an ever more flexible and volatile labour market, while also providing significant added value in participants' social, professional, civic, cultural and economic life. Adult learning programmes based on partnership are a major source of individual and community influence, and it is therefore particularly important that a European education programme should support the development of adult education in the Member States and the regions;

Specific comments on the proposal

Basis in the treaty and subsidiarity

26.

agrees with the Commission that the proposed programme is based on the objectives laid down in Articles 165 and 166 of the TFEU and should be implemented in line with the principle of subsidiarity. It is therefore of utmost importance that local and regional authorities and decision-makers be active in designing, implementing and steering the presented measures; emphasises, in line with Article 174 on Territorial Cohesion, the need to fully consider the regional differences across the Union, as well as the fact that regions are differently placed to meet the objectives of Europe 2020;

Structure of the Programme

27.

stresses that the individual activities within the three main initiatives (mobility, institutional cooperation and policy development) should be organised in such a way that all target groups are in a good position to participate, enabling the programme's targets to be achieved. The proposed structure should aim at facilitating cross-sectoral cooperation and increasing the dissemination of good examples and results. The Committee notes, however, that the particularities of extracurricular and informal learning for youth need to be better accounted for, and consequently proposes the addition of a separate chapter on Youth, as is the case for Sports;

28.

notes that, in the new programme, it is extremely important to meet the various target groups' need for support so that they can take part. A coherent programme provides greater clarity and transparency for applicants. It is, however, important to organise activities such that they can be implemented in a way that is relevant to each target group. Conditions for participating in mobility and cooperation projects vary depending on what type of education or youth activity the participants are involved in. Account must be taken of the various target groups' need for information, application procedures and budgetary rules, as well as criteria for the various initiatives, for example by allocating a certain proportion of funding to participants from various target groups, establishing separate structures for different target groups, introducing initiatives that are particularly relevant to specific target groups, etc. It is also important to ensure that small institutions – which are primarily found in the school, youth work and adult education areas – have opportunities to participate. The Committee is particularly in favour of measures to promote participation by people who are disadvantaged in some way;

29.

welcomes the expressed objective of making the programme more effective and simpler for users, in particular. It is of utmost importance that administrative simplifications benefit users;

30.

can see advantages in institutional cooperation, including for mobility projects. When mobility occurs within an institutional framework, it may provide a more solid foundation for higher quality and more sustained, strategic impact. This may also help individuals – by simplifying accreditation, for example. It is, however, important for the design of this institutional framework to take account of the different types of organisation involved in the project;

31.

considers it a necessary part of work with mobility projects to create greater preparedness at national, regional and local level to sustain support for mobility after a project has ended, so that the structures and contacts forged therein can be maintained. Projects should help to eliminate barriers and stimulate ongoing exchange so that mobility remains part of regular activity after a project has run its course;

32.

considers it important that the forms of student finance used in different countries allow the possibility of completing part of one's education in another Member State;

33.

notes the Commission's proposal to create a European loan system for students together with the European Investment Bank, which would complement the systems in individual Member States; stresses that these loans must not contribute to a commercialisation of student mobility, and has reservations about basing the programme mainly on the EIB group, given that guarantee costs are considerable and need varies greatly from one country to the next;

34.

highlights, with regard to cooperation on policy development, the need for platforms for dialogue with key stakeholders within both education and business, and the key role of local and regional authorities in both the Open Methods of Coordination and implementing the programme;

Informal and non-formal learning – Youth and Sport

35.

considers it important that there be opportunities for mobility in all learning situations. One way of applying this approach is to highlight the importance of all forms of learning, including formal, informal and non-formal learning.; The Committee takes note of the Commission's ambition of including all forms of learning within the same programme. Underlines, however, that, given that the organisation of informal and non-formal learning outside educational establishments has altogether different requirements, this should be properly reflected in the structure of the programme. As part of this, it is important to take measures that harness and promote young people's own initiative;

36.

is especially in favour of measures that promote participation by people who are disadvantaged in some way; to promote social inclusion, grassroots sports, volunteerism, equal opportunities and health-enhancing physical activity through increased participation in sport, with a focus on disadvantaged groups such as people with intellectual or physical disabilities;

37.

believes that the structure of the programme could be useful to all types of learning. Emphasises the importance of enabling local and regional authorities to take part in shaping the implementation and monitoring of the project so that parts that prove problematic locally can be adjusted to best possible effect;

38.

sees the possibility of participation through smaller organisations and cooperation on a smaller scale as one example of an area in need of change and clarification, and one which is relevant above all for youth associations and adult education providers, but also in many regards for schools and pre-schools;

39.

points to the large amount of informal and non-formal learning that occurs within sport. There are also issues specific to sport, and which are particularly salient in policy cooperation, such as efforts to stamp out doping, violence and racism, as well as support for well functioning sport organisations;

40.

recognises the very positive results of measures to support political participation of young people in the current Youth in Action programme, especially the structured dialogue and the youth seminars on social, cultural and political issues of interest to young people; emphasises their importance and calls for them to be continued and further developed under the new-generation programme;

41.

therefore considers that as part of informal and non-formal learning, the programme should strongly promote mobility for leaders and educators based on commonly agreed standards and mutual recognition between regions and Member States;

42.

also welcomes the programme's support to transnational collaborative projects in terms of sport and considers the opportunity to carry out cross-border projects in all the fields covered by the programme a vital element of its European added value;

43.

welcomes the simplification that was introduced also with regard to the international dimension; agrees with the Commission on the need for support to capacity building in third countries, including enlargement countries, with a particular focus on neighbouring countries; underlines, however, that EU financial instruments earmarked for external cooperation must be fully used;

Budgetary issues

44.

strongly supports the increased budget proposed for the programme; the size of the budget will show the importance that the Commission attaches to improving the quality of education, which is a decisive factor in how well the EU meets its horizontal targets. Funding should be distributed between the various educational and youth sectors such that all areas benefit from budget increases;

45.

believes that EU funding should be spent efficiently to achieve the goals established for the programme, and feels that there should be opportunities to channel funds to areas where they have the most benefit and are used most efficiently, on the basis of transparent quantitative and qualitative criteria. Stresses therefore that regular monitoring of the programme at all levels is necessary to determine the extent to which funds should be redistributed. Moreover, it is important to take a local and regional view of redistribution, so as to take account of the distribution within a country. There need to be opportunities for redistribution of funds within a Member State, so they can be used most effectively according to local and regional conditions;

46.

feels that the structure of national agencies should be left up to the Member States as it is they who are responsible for the implementation and administration of devolved programme measures at national level;

47.

takes the view that, as part of this, the Commission should explain in good time prior to the programme's introduction how it intends to measure its efficacy and which indicators will be used for this purpose. Indicators and corresponding criteria must be clarified in advance so that Member States, local and regional authorities and participants know where they stand. In the view of the Committee of the Regions, these indicators should contain both quantitative and qualitative elements;

48.

notes the Commission's view that some of the activities that previously formed part of the Lifelong Learning Programme should in future be provided for by the European Social Fund. In order for this to work it must be allowed by the ESF's rules, and Member States and local and regional representatives must be aware of and endorse this change;

49.

is of the opinion that the administrative and accounting requirements should be proportional to the size of the grant. Smaller projects should not be subject to as extensive and labour-intensive checks as larger ones;

50.

notes at the same time that the conditions and capacity for taking part in programmes vary, which can affect costs. This may be bound up with, for example, unfamiliarity with study, disability, ability to cover travel costs and living expenses, or various regional conditions;

Key competences as the cornerstone

51.

considers it essential for further work that lifelong learning for all lie at the heart of the Commission's proposal, and stresses the importance of giving everyone a chance to acquire the basic skills and knowledge described in the recommendation on key competences (4);

52.

takes the view that the fundamental aim of the programme should be to support everyone's efforts to acquire these key competences. This means that children and teachers in schools, young people not in formal education, and adults who require further training and education are all key target groups;

Conclusions

Increase emphasis on early intervention and multipliers

53.

refers to an earlier CoR opinion (5) in which it stresses that willingness to go abroad for educational purposes must be encouraged at an early stage. Children and young people must be motivated early to take an interest in other cultures, and be given a chance to see the advantages of learning from one another. Early contact with European programmes supports both the willingness and the ability to study and work abroad, which in turn reinforces a common labour market, growth and Union citizenship; notes that younger children learn foreign languages more easily and effectively;

54.

stresses that a very high-priority issue for the CoR is social integration, through which the programme can have far-reaching impact. This concerns large, heterogeneous groups of students needing different types of support as a result of learning difficulties, social vulnerability and marginalisation, or of growing up in a country or culture that is foreign to them. At the moment, a large number of young people interrupt or leave school with inadequate basic skills. There should be opportunities to support development of methods and exchange of skills in order to support local, regional and national decision makers in this area;

55.

emphasises that, in this light, reaching parts of the population that are unfamiliar with study or financially disadvantaged is a major challenge that underscores the importance of intervening early with European projects at school and pre-school. These would reach all students and allow the programme to act as a compensatory force and strengthen the European dimension;

56.

agrees with the Commission on the importance of involving strategic stakeholders and people who are well placed to spread information and good examples. These may include teachers, trainers, youth leaders, tutors, former participants in mobility measures, school heads or decision makers; would like to see clear emphasis placed on these groups because they play a decisive role in promoting mobility;

57.

notes its positive experience with parts of previous programmes, such as Comenius Regio, that provide opportunities to involve institutions other than educational ones, and which are aimed at promoting European cooperation in education at local and regional level. Participants can cooperate on issues of common interest, exchange experiences and build a framework to sustain cooperation;

Primary target groups and focus

58.

feels that there should be regular monitoring of the programme at all levels to ensure it is helping achieve the horizontal targets. At the same time, it must remain possible in the new generation of programmes to promote initiatives whose impact is either difficult to gauge or can only be quantified over the long term – longer than the duration of the programme – and whose value is shown by other evidence. For example, the importance of early initiatives is known from other studies, and the CoR believes that this also holds true for promotion of the European dimension;

59.

has reservations about the current budget's excessive focus on mobility projects, which is also reflected in the programme's name; takes the view that quality gains in education and most added European value result from cooperative projects and institutional cooperation first and foremost, and that the budget should reflect this more clearly. This also makes it possible to support smaller cooperative projects that are better tailored to certain target groups, or which may be a first step towards cooperation on a larger scale;

60.

feels that the challenges described by the Commission in its introduction are adequately reflected in the explanatory memorandum to the proposal. They are not as clearly reflected in the proposed budget allocation, however. Instead, there is a strong focus on generously funding projects and mobility within higher education. European programmes should encourage desirable development and better quality, which means that support should be most generous where the need and chances of impact are greatest. This should mean a clear reallocation of funds to projects aimed at people who currently have little contact with mobility programmes, such as schools, young people not in formal education, and adults in training and further education;

61.

welcomes the Commission's plan to continue support for Jean Monnet teaching and research activities relating to European integration; considers, however, that this particular support should not be limited to the two institutions named in the Commission's proposal. Instead, the Committee emphasises that the six European universities supported by the Jean Monnet Programme 2007-2013 – the Academy of European Law, the College of Europe, the European University Institute, the International Centre for European Training, the European Institute of Public Administration, and the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education – should still be included so as to improve the geographic distribution and cultural diversity of these European centres of excellence;

62.

highlights the close link between poor attainment at school and socio-economic disadvantage, which are key determinants for the number of young people neither employed nor in education or training. Breaking this cycle is a challenge for regional and local authorities across Europe and should be seen as one of the programme's priorities, partly corresponding to its educational objectives and partly to its employment target, and supported by a number of flagship initiatives; would prefer to see this perspective given greater emphasis in the budget allocation;

63.

fully supports the ambition stated in the Commission's memorandum to the proposal for a new programme in the field of education and youth, and its desire to include many different groups of people who can develop as individuals at different stages of their lives and gain a high-quality education. It is therefore crucial that the programme's objective be clearly communicated, so that all target groups feel involved. The name of the programme, Erasmus for All, instead suggests that the chief focus is on higher education. Given that this contradicts the stated ambition, and in order to most comprehensively meet the objectives of the 2020 strategy, the CoR recommends that the budget and name of the programme be adjusted.

II.   RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AMENDMENTS

Amendment 1

Title

Commission text

Amendment

REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

establishing ‘ERASMUS FOR ALL’

The Union Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport

REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

establishing ‘’

The Union Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport

Reason

The connotations of the existing Erasmus programme link it very strongly to higher education and to mobility. The new EU Programme has a much broader scope and the title ‘Erasmus for All’ could be misleading.

Amendment 2

Preamble

Commission text

Amendment

(3)

The widespread recognition among the general public in Member States and participating third countries of the ‘Erasmus’ brand name as a synonym of Union learner mobility pleads for a more extensive use of this brand by the main education sectors covered by the Programme.

Reason

Consistent with the request to change the Programme's name.

Amendment 3

Preamble

Commission text

Amendment

(27)

The need of establishing criteria of performance on which the allocation of budget between Member States for the actions managed by the National Agencies should be based.

(27)

The need of establishing criteria of performance on which the allocation of budget between Member States for the actions managed by the National Agencies should be based.

Reason

Regional disparities may have a considerable impact upon performance and hence, determine budget allocation.

Amendment 4

Preamble

Commission text

Amendment

(30)

The European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security policy, in their joint Communication on a new response to a changing Neighbourhood (6) outlined, inter alia, the aim to further facilitate Neighbourhood countries' participation in Union mobility and capacity building actions in higher education and the opening of the future education programme to Neighbouring countries.

(30)

The European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security policy, in their joint Communication on a new response to a changing Neighbourhood (6) outlined, inter alia, the aim to further facilitate Neighbourhood countries' participation in Union mobility and capacity building actions in higher education and the opening of the future education programme to Neighbouring countries.

Reason

The joint Communication explicitly provides for school cooperation through the eTwinning programme.

Amendment 5

Preamble

Commission text

Amendment

(33)

In order to ensure quick response to changed needs during the whole duration of the Programme, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of provisions relating to the performance criteria and on the actions managed by the National Agencies. It is of particular importance that the Commission carries out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing-up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and Council.

(33)

In order to ensure quick response to changed needs during the whole duration of the Programme, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of provisions relating to the performance criteria and on the actions managed by the National Agencies. It is of particular importance that the Commission carries out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing-up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and Council.

Reason

The Committee of the Regions should also be included in the consultation process, in accordance with Article 307 of the TFEU.

Amendment 6

Article 1.1

Commission text

Amendment

This Regulation establishes a Programme for Union action in the field of Education, Training, Youth and Sport called ‘Erasmus for All’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Programme’).

This Regulation establishes a Programme for Union action in the field of Education, Training, Youth and Sport called ‘’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Programme’).

Reason

Consistent with the request to change the Programme's name.

Amendment 7

Article 5c

Commission text

Amendment

To promote the emergence of a European lifelong learning area, trigger policy reforms at national level, support the modernisation of education and training systems, including non-formal learning, and support European cooperation in the youth field, notably through enhanced policy cooperation, better use of recognition and transparency tools and the dissemination of good practices;

Related indicator: Number of Member States making use of the results of the Open Methods of Coordination in their national policy developments

To promote the emergence of a European lifelong learning area, trigger policy reforms at national level, support the modernisation of education and training systems, including non-formal learning, and support European cooperation in the youth field, notably through enhanced policy cooperation, better use of recognition and transparency tools and the dissemination of good practices;

Related indicator: Number of Member States making use of the results of the Open Methods of Coordination in their national policy developments

Reason

This is consistent with the definition of lifelong learning (Article 2.1).

Amendment 8

Article 6

Commission text

Amendment

In the field of education, training and youth, the Programme shall pursue its objectives through the three following types of actions:

a)

Learning mobility of individuals,

b)

Cooperation for innovation and good practices,

c)

Support for policy reform.

In the field of education, training and youth, the Programme shall pursue its objectives through the three following types of actions:

a)

Learning mobility of individuals ,

b)

Cooperation for innovation and good practices,

c)

Support for policy reform.

Reason

The EU should guarantee access to mobility actions for all citizens on equal terms, regardless of their place of origin. Their enormous distance from the mainland restricts the opportunities for mobility of students from the EU's outermost regions. It is therefore necessary to put measures in place on the basis of Article 349 TFEU to encourage mobility, so that all young people can have access to these actions, which will receive 63 % of funds, on equal terms regardless of where they live. In line with the report on Europe's outermost regions and the single market: the EU's influence in the world, produced at the request of Commissioner Barnier by Mr Solbes, former Spanish Minister of Agriculture and of Economic Affairs and Finance and former Commissioner, we call for the reinforcement of ‘policies for the mobility of young people and university students by supplementing the funding of the Erasmus programme so as to cover the additional travel costs incurred by students between the OR they come from and the capital of their Member State and, for students from other Member States wishing to go on an Erasmus scholarship in one of the higher education establishments of the ORs, between the capital of the Member State concerned and the OR. To create favourable conditions for mobility projects for students from the ORs at more advanced stages of training, encourage and support, at national level, the teaching of languages and exchanges at younger ages’.

Amendment 9

Article 10c

Commission proposal

Amendment

(c)

support the following European academic institutions pursuing an aim of European interest;

(i)

the European University Institute of Florence;

(ii)

the College of Europe (Bruges and Natolin campuses);

(c)

support the following European academic institutions pursuing an aim of European interest;

(i)

the European University Institute of Florence;

(ii)

the College of Europe (Bruges and Natolin campuses);

Reason

The six European higher education institutions supported by the Jean Monnet Programme 2007-2013 should continue to be included in order to improve the geographic distribution and cultural diversity of these European centres of excellence.

Amendment 10

Article 16.4

Commission text

Amendment

The public and private bodies within the main education sectors covered by the Programme shall use the brand name ‘Erasmus’ for the purpose of communication and dissemination of information relating to the programme; the brand name shall be associated with the main education sectors as follows:

‘Erasmus Higher Education’, associated with all types of higher education, in Europe and internationally

‘Erasmus Training’, associated with vocational education and training and adult learning

‘Erasmus Schools’, associated with school education

‘Erasmus Youth Participation’, associated with youth non formal learning.

The public and private bodies within the main education sectors covered by the Programme shall use the brand name ‘Erasmus’ for the purpose of communication and dissemination of information relating to the programme; the brand name shall be associated with the main education sectors as follows:

‘ Higher Education’, associated with all types of higher education, in Europe and internationally

‘ Training’, associated with vocational education and training and adult learning

‘ Schools’, associated with school education

‘ Youth Participation’, associated with youth non formal learning.

Reason

This is consistent with the request to change the Programme's name.

Amendment 11

Article 18.3

Commission text

Amendment

The Programme shall support the cooperation with partners from third countries, notably partners from neighbourhood countries, in actions and activities as referred to in Articles 6 and 10.

The Programme shall support the cooperation with partners from third countries, notably partners from neighbourhood countries, in actions and activities as referred to in Articles 6 10 .

Reason

To allow for the participation of partners from neighbourhood countries in sport activities.

Brussels, 4 May 2012.

The President of the Committee of the Regions

Mercedes BRESSO


(1)  The Europe 2020 flagship initiatives that are most relevant here are Youth on the move, Agenda for new skills and jobs, Innovation Union and A digital agenda for Europe.

(2)  CdR 290/2011 fin.

(3)  CoR 290/2011 fin.

(4)  Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning (2006/962/EC).

(5)  Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on the Green Paper on promoting the learning mobility of young people; CdR 246/2009 fin.

(6)  COM(2011) 303 final, 25.5.2011.


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