Erasmus+ Residents’ Discussion board: concrete proposals for everybody to understand their “mobility goals”

On the occasion of its 35th anniversary, the Erasmus+ agency invited citizens to reflect on the future of its programme. High school students, students, apprentices, volunteers, teachers and young job seekers came up with a list of 35 proposals.

Moving forward instead of dwelling on the past is everythingErasmus+ Citizen Forum ambition. Since October 2021, the French agency Erasmus+ has gathered 70 citizens, beneficiaries or not of the program, to encourage them to reflect on the future of mobility. And more precisely, in “your dreams of mobility”. After several months of consultation, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Erasmus+, some of them came to present their ambitions for the coming years.

In total, 35 proposals were maintained around the right to mobility, the need to inform since high school and to better support mobility or evento guarantee favorable conditions for everyone, both material and financial, to encourage departures.

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Erasmus+, a program not just for higher education students

Sarah completed an internship in human resources. She always dreamed of going abroad. If this was not possible during her studies for financial reasons, it was only once in the job market that she managed to fulfill her dream: “I started working, but I always had this need to leave. I found myself looking for a job and it was my advisor at Pôle Emploi who told me about the Erasmus+ programme. I didn’t know anything that I was entitled to this“, says the young woman who was able to leave for Malta for eight months in 2020. “I just found work there in my area, human resources. I started in December!”, she celebrates.

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Professional opportunities that arise thanks to the Erasmus + program, a priori this is nothing too exceptional… “After each of my transfers, I was offered a job. So every time is a chance, but if we don’t know, we can miss a great opportunity“, highlights Rémi, 29, now a baker and pastry chef. As an apprentice, the young man managed to complete four Erasmus stays+ : three three-week mobility in Frankfurt and an eight-month stay in Cambridge. “England was my dream. I couldn’t have hoped for better. I won’t hide the fact that I’d like to stay there, but you never know…”

He also always had a taste for adventure, but believed that the Erasmus+ program was intended only for higher education students. This lack of information is also what is most lacking in the program, plagued by the clichés of the movie “The Spanish Inn”. “Today, I want to show that this mobility is possible, even as an apprentice. I think there are no obstacles to mobility, but more fears that must be overcome“, Remi continues.

Among the proposals adopted in this regard: create Erasmus+ spaces in establishments, create a network of Erasmus+ delegates, create a network of Erasmus+ ambassadors and, finally, create an online forum to allow exchanges between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries.

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Making mobility a lifelong right for everyone

A need for information that must start very early, in schools. For Camille, 21, currently in CAP fur clothes in Paris, the most important thing would be to recognize the right to mobility. That everyone can go abroad at least once in their lives between “kindergarten and studies. And even later: throughout life”, details who carried out two mobilities: in Berlin for five weeks at the terminal, then in Rome, four weeks, once at the university.

A right to mobility that must be part of the various training courses and be recognized as such. it passes the “mobility option” accessible to high schoolwhich today concerns only apprentices, but which should be extended to general and technological second year students from the beginning of the 2022 school year, as announced by the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer. Another proposal: to promote mobility achievements thanks to Europass Mobility to recognize your professional, academic and transversal skills in mobility.

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Lift financial, material and self-censorship barriers for mobility candidates

In general, forum participants are asking for a better mobility support. also about the financial aspect (create a mobility assistance simulation system, finance the return home during a long stay, refine the calculation of grants according to the cost of living in cities and not countries), access to housing but also departure preparation. The proposals thus encourage the development of a sort of “Erasmus+ Backpacker’s Guide”, the increase in language courses, the appointment of Erasmus+ interlocutors to provide resources or the creation of a toll-free number.

These 35 proposals were presented to the government. In particular, Clément Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs and an expert on the Erasmus+ programme, as he himself benefited from mobility in Dublin during his studies. According to him, three main obstacles still need to be removed: financial and material obstacles (access to housing) and self-censorship. “You have to deal with these three problems together. Bad information is still circulating today. There are efforts to be made to break self-censorship. It’s more than a matter of means. We will have to find solutions but it will take time to configure everything“, warns.

Next May, the proposals will also be taken at European level by the various directors of the Erasmus+ agencies. “We realized that even with a great diversity of profiles in this consultation, we all had the same fears and the same expectations“, says Camille. Same observation for Sarah: “I wanted to give my feelings and it was enriching to see that we were all on the same wavelength.. I felt useful, our voice counts.” “In addition to the proposals, during this forum, we also said everything that was happening because we have everyone got something positive out of our mobility“, concludes Remi.

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