Rejoin Erasmus+

We are rebooting our campaign for Scotland to rejoin Erasmus+, a world-class EU educational scheme worth €26bn over the seven years 2021-2027, by urging the Scottish Government to Unlock Erasmus – and thereby unlock opportunities for thousands of young Scots to learn, live and work in Europe.

The campaign relaunch in Glasgow on June 24 coincided with the Young European Movement’s summer social and a public meetying with Mike Galsworthy, the new EMUK chair, in Glasgow.

Our new campaign logo

We support ministers and their officials in their efforts, backed by over 100 MEPs and the Commons Scottish Affairs committee, to persuade EU-27 governments and the European Commission to allow young Scots to enjoy the full fruits of Erasmus despite the initial block by European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen.

These efforts are bearing some fruit with the German coalition government programme for Europe explicitly mentioning the idea of regions (or sub-states) taking part in the scheme. Others are also lending explicit and implicit backing for our campaign as dissatisfaction with the UK Government’s pallid replacement, Turing, grows. But Holyrood’s own efforts have flagged recently.

That’s why we’re also urging Scottish ministers and officials to put in place a new Scottish exchange scheme similar to that underway in Wales and costing £65m. We hope to see it and/or Erasmus+ in place in 2022. We want the Scottish Government to campaign more vigorously for the right of young Scots to be part of Erasmus and/or its Scottish equivalent.

Erasmus+ launch Birmingham 2014

Erasmus+ is the world’s biggest and most successful educational exchange programme for young people that the Johnson government had abandoned for entirely ideological (anti-EU) reasons, depriving thousands of young Scots and their teachers the right to study, train or work in Europe. Scots have been disproportionately represented on Erasmus schemes since its inception.

Cartoon of Boris Johnson and a student. Boris Johnson says: "We killed Erasmus but don't worry, you can still have year abroad with our new Turing scheme". The student replies: "But my dad's not a millionaire". Johnson replies: "Oh. Then you can't".

Its replacement scheme, Turing, is a pale shadow, worth just £110m in its first year and only guaranteed for those 12 months while available only for UK students and not young workers/apprentices or their teachers/trainers as Erasmus+ was/is. It simply fails to offer enough genuine opportunities to Scotland where the educational sector as a whole is a vital economic and social component.

European Movement in Scotland executive committee members and leading local group figures are active in the pan-UK Alliance for Erasmus+ which campaigns for young people in England, Scotland and Wales to be allowed to join the EU scheme. (Northern Ireland enjoys that right through funding from Dublin). We urge our colleagues throughout England and Wales to combine forces with us to reject Turing and rejoin Erasmus.

Scotland is suffering badly from the loss of freedom of movement under Brexit and our young people deserve the right to regain it, including via Erasmus+.

Support the Young European Movement’s Erasmus+ Campaign.

Join the Beyond Erasmus+ Network at the Centre for International Learning and Leadership.

More news and events about Erasmus+.

Cartoon courtesy of Richard Milne. Students pix CC BY-SA 2.0