Culture Action Europe reports that the CULT Committee Chair, Sabine Verheyen (EPP, DE), Erasmus+ Rapporteur, Milan Zver (EPP, SL), Creative Europe Rapporteur, Massimilano Smeriglio (S&D, IT) and European Solidarity Corps Rapporteur, Michaela Šojdrová (EPP, CS) issued the following statement as a reaction to the revised proposal for the 2021-2027 budget for the Erasmus+, Creative Europe and European Solidarity Corps programmes.
“While the Commission’s proposed recovery plan has a lot going for it, the specific figures for the education, culture and youth programmes are deeply disappointing and simply not in line with the statement by the Commission President on the importance of future generations, along with education and culture.”
Figures far below the Commission’s original proposal
“What the Commission describes as ‘additional’ money for Erasmus+ and an increase for Creative Europe is only more money compared to the unacceptable baseline of the February proposal by Council President Charles Michel. The European Solidarity Corps does not even see an increase on the 20% cut in the Michel proposal. All figures are far below the Commission’s original proposal for the 2021-2027 budget. Since when does the Commission call decreases increases? Back in July 2019, when Commission President Von der Leyen addressed the Parliament’s plenary, she promised to back our call for tripling the Erasmus+ budget. What has happened? It is very unfortunate that the Commission is proposing lower numbers compared to its original proposal two years ago. Since then, the Von der Leyen Commission has created expectations that are not met by the proposal which is now on the table.”
“Young people are seeing their worlds turned upside down by the Covid-19 crisis. Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps are programmes designed to build Europe’s future. They help people learn new skills and gain invaluable experience. And they can do more – just think how Erasmus+ can support the digital transition in learning, for example, if we give it enough money. But this proposal drastically diminishes their impact and their reach. It’s bad news for young people across Europe.”
A terrible message for the cultural, creative and media sectors
“The Covid-19 pandemic has also ravaged the cultural and creative and media sectors across Europe, but the proposal – a decrease compared to the 2018 proposal – ignores this impact completely. Creative Europe is the only EU programme that provides direct support to these sectors. The European Parliament has called on the Commission time and time again to put in place an ambitious plan to help the sectors recover, but the Commission is missing this opportunity and sending a terrible message.”
“There is much to praise in the Commission’s recovery plan generally, but we must think again when it comes to the education, culture and youth programmes. The Committee on Culture and Education will continue to fight for a budget that shows the necessary ambition and can make a real difference to these sectors, not just now, but for the next seven years.”