'Generation 112': the civic erasmus programme

Article published on Jan. 26, 2010
Article published on Jan. 26, 2010
The 'euro-militants' of this French initiative feel the need to expand the erasmus student exchange programme, by adding a spirit of civic service

'Our idea is to change the traditional obligatory military service to a voluntary civic erasmus programme which is open to both men and women. If, on the path to autonomy, it’s not possible to have a six to twelve month break from a first job or an internship in order to have a 'beneficial break', then let’s adapt it to be included in the European university curriculum. Students will spend four or five hours giving lessons at a sports or cultural club or helping out a disabled youth or an elderly person… There are many opportunities to get engaged in a local programme with a human dimension.

With this scheme, we will manage to break through the erasmus bubble: currently, Erasmus students often end up socialising with their fellow citizens without making real contact with locals. There will be two fundamental conditions when this scheme is put into place in Europe: introducing the programme with bursaries for those who most need them, and making sure that apprentices and young farmers are included. Generation 112 will be able to take advantage of the initiative included in article 11 of the Lisbon treaty, the end goal being that the European commission will put the civic erasmus programme in place.'

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