The negotiations over European Union´s new Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport are progressing. The final decision will be done earliest in May.
The trilogue negotiations between European Parliament, European Commission and EU Council have not been easy, but according to Mikko Nupponen, Assistant Director of the European Department of the Finnish National Agency for LLP CIMO (Centre for International Mobility) the negotiations have entered a more compromise-seeking phase.
Mr. Nupponen spoke in CIMO's Conference on Adult Education in Helsinki on 16 April 2013. He pointed out that no decisions have been made and everything can still change.
According to the European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL) the final agreement should be found in May. Also Mr. Nupponen is hopeful that the decision will be found latest during the summer.
The latest news concerning the programme´s name is that it will remain to be called 'Erasmus for All'.
"The Commission does not want to give up on the name. The Parliament seems to agree if the existing sectorial brand names; Grundtvig, Comenius, and so on, will remain also in the new programme," Mr. Nupponen tells.
EUCIS-LLL tells that according to EC´s latest calculations, the programme should now get 13 billion euros. In addition it would get 1.18 billion in a different EU budget line for international cooperation. Commission´s initial proposal was 19 billion.
Mikko Nupponen says that in the first year of, 2014, the annual budget of the programme might be same as in 2013.
"But in 2020, the last year of the seven-year-programme, the original plan of increasing the budget with 70 percent in comparison to the current LLP can possibly be reached," he says.
Sectorial allocations are yet to be discussed.
"Adult education, however, will have an own budget and an own sector," Mikko Nupponen confirms.
New programme still seeking its form
The final form of the new programme is yet to be decided upon, but Mr Nupponen gives an outline how it will look.
"The programme will have three main activities: mobilisation, policy cooperation and tools and networks. All the sub-activities are organised under them," he tells.
The current Grundtvig programme has seven different activities. Some of them will end and some of them will be merged with others.
Workshops and Senior Volunteering are almost certainly ending, Assistantships and Visits and Exchanges might still be included, but it is not sure. Learner mobility will be possible as a part of project funding.
Text: Aura Vuorenrinne
Next trilogue meetings between the European Parliament, the EU Council and the European Commission is held on 23 April and 14 May.
Operating grants are administrative support given to European civil society organisations under the current programme (Jean Monnet). In the coming programme, the Commission proposes to finance only civil society organisations´ projects, turning them into service providers. Project running on very specific actions cannot replace civil society organisations´ policy monitoring and advocacy mission. This would seriously jeopardise EU civil dialogue.
EAEA calls its members and partners to defend operating grants for civil society organisations. According to the EUCIS-LLL most EU Member States they have met with seem flexible on this point. Also the Parliament supports Operating Grants, but trade-offs must be made at some point and it is uncertain that the mention of the operating grants will be kept within the final decision.
Operating grants will be discussed in trilogue meeting of 23 April.