Alan Osborn. Last-minute efforts are under way to rescue the European Union’s Erasmus student exchange programme, which has been threatened – along with other EU activities – by budget cuts ordered by the EU Council of Ministers.
The key date is 9 November, when representatives of the council will conclude 21 days of negotiations with delegates from the European parliament in a ‘conciliation council’ to see if funding can be restored.
Supporters of Erasmus have been heartened by an overwhelming vote in the parliament this week to reverse the cuts made by ministers in July.
MEPs voted by 492 to 123 to put back the €1.9 billion (US$2.5 billion) slashed from a number of key projects including Erasmus Mundus, Lifelong Learning and the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development.