Erasmus for All is the new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport proposed by the European Commission on 23 November 2011.
Let's say bye bye to Comenius, Grundtvig, Leonardo da Vinci and all of these actions: the European Commission decided to stop using the different existing names of mobility programmes and gather all of them under the widely recognised "brand" of Erasmus - a name strongly associated with learning abroad and European cooperation. It's obviously considered to be a name that markets itself and could work as a sort of advertisement for the whole programme.
You can read more about this new action, including FAQs, key figures, and a short video presentation, at the European Commission - Education and Training website.
But - naming apart - what changes will be introduced by this new programme?
Difficult to say. Let's listen to the European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, who presented Erasmus for All and Creative Europe programmes, during a press conference in Brussels at the end of November.
Of course, we're just at the beginning of this new European journey and we can't judge something that is not even born. And please remember, this is just my very personal opinion. Anyway, I'm not sure that "financial austerity which all member states face" can be considered enough to describe what we are living now in Italy, Greece, and lots of European countries. And it's not enough to explain the crisis of the EU as a whole, the progressive lack of confidence and trust of common people, students and teachers and workers, European citizens - lack of trust in their national governments first, and then in the EU as an ideal, as a common cause.
I'm happy to know the EU is still willing to invest on the future - on learning, on youth - and I'm happy to know despite the crisis there will be a larger amount of money to support mobilities. People traveling, studying, working and having experiences abroad will help raise awareness about the importance of a strong, consistent, European Union.
But unfortunately, in my opinion, this is not enough. The educational world cannot fight on its own to keep Europe together, when European politicians fight each other every day to keep their countries apart.
Who knows, maybe next programme should be called "Less Selfishness for All"...