Happy 25th birthday to Erasmus!
Dear pan-European student exchange programme. Father Christmas came early. He left you a sack of 6 million euros at the bottom of the stairs. He thanks you very much for it; he has spent cold winters with warm Spanish, Portuguese, Irish and Greek friends in Finland. He has enjoyed the traditional Polish pancakes whilst studying in Wroclaw, dipping his toes into the sea off the coast of southern Italy whilst visiting friends, and stalking Loch Ness with his Scottish Erasmus girlfriend. Of course the European Union is his backer. The institutions have recognised that a quarter of a century of a remarkable programme has gone by and changed lives, opened spirits and spread languages. Some Scrooges hit out at this gift; if Erasmus was over as it was rumoured to be so in October, would the future generations really miss it, personally and professionally speaking? (Image: (cc) mikel_ee/ Flickr)
In her mind at least, Francesca has never left her 'erasmus' city, Paris. Back in Rome, the Italian languages and literature student has written this appeal to the erasmus generation; in its 25 years of existence the student exchange programme has moulded almost two million students across Europe, and is now threatened with closure
Once there was a boy from Holland and a girl from Portugal, or a girl from Italy and a boy from Spain…no, this isn’t the start of a crude joke. According to French newspaper Le Figaro, the student exchange programme will have been responsible for the birth of more than a million children in its 25 years of existence. Unfortunately not all erasmus love stories have such fairy-tale endings
The French head of state is to honour the invitation to Istanbul made by his Turkish counterpart this summer. Among the joyous topics for discussion will be Syria, the crisis and Europe – but only a little. Once a declared candidate for membership in the EU, Turkey no longer enjoys the popularity it once had, especially in France. What's worse, the Turkish application seems to have been shelved indefinitely. Whose fault is it?
It is rumoured that from October 2012, certain projects financed by the European social fund will no longer be covered. However corrective measures, expected to be announced on 23 October 2012, are likely to save the programme. At a time when figures matter, only a clear definition of the aims of the programme and its impact on students' careers will be enough to save it from future cuts