Ninety representatives of 54 national agencies from 35 countries implementing the Erasmus+ Programme and the newer European Solidarity Corps took part last week (9-12 April), in Bucharest, in a working meeting.
The objective of the event, organised in the context of the Romanian Presidency to the Council of the European Union, was to discuss the options for harmonising the different national perspectives in the thematic areas being addressed, so that education and youth programmes can contribute in the future, as effectively as possible, to a real progress (personal and professional) of all the European citizens.
General themes, such as the inclusion of different categories of persons, particularly of young people with fewer opportunities, but also technical subjects, strictly linked to the optimisation of the two programmes (simplification of applications, evaluation of projects or the need that they still produce sustainable effects, even after the funding period comes to an end), have led to a constructive dialogue. The discussions made possible the presentation and promotion of successful elements as well as of several challenges encountered by the teams in the participating countries together with the solutions that were applied.
„The Erasmus+ Agency in Romania is one of the institutions managing both the Erasmus + Programme, for all sectors covered by it, and the European Solidarity Corps, and this is why it is constantly up to date in regard to the challenges, solutions and events occurring in the national education system, but also in regard to those referring to the sector of youth and non-formal education that present a very high level of diversity.
The great advantage of the meeting in Bucharest was that it allowed a very lively and open dialogue, which has reached a very broad range of topics. However, while the national and institutional perspectives are quite different, we have focused more on those ones that are a common concern and bring us together. Therefore, we hope that the new generation of programmes, which will be launched in 2021, will be more efficient, more open and will offer more opportunities to all of those who know and understand that they will progress only by learning!”, said Monica Calota, Director of ANPCDEFP Romania.
The 90 participants were also joined by Augustin Mihalache and Lucian Mircescu, attaches to the Permanent Representation of Romania to the European Union, who spoke about the importance of European and international education that “connects” people and about the importance of the triad: inclusion — mobility — excellence, the motto under which the programme of the Romanian Presidency to the Council of the European Union is held in the field of education.
Representatives of the European Commission, Marta Gutierrez-Benet, Robert France and Jose-Manuel Fernande-Arroyo spoke about the role, importance and priorities of the new post-2020 Erasmus programme and responded to the many questions that came from the public.
On the last day of the meeting, Audrey Frith, the EURODESK Director, outlined the way the network supports the European Commission in promoting and implementing its programmes specifically those that are dedicated to youth.