EDF urges the decision makers to make the new Eramus+ programme (2021-2027) inclusive both in theory and practice. In order to achieve an inclusive and accessible Erasmus + for all young people and beneficiaries, including those with fewer opportunities, here are proposals for improvement in four main areas:
- Inclusion: It is essential that the definitions used are in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), signed and ratified by the EU and all Member States
- Accessibility: Erasmus+ Programme must actively remove barriers to participation through considering reasonable accommodation and making sure the online tools comply with the existing EU Web Accessibility Directive. Accessibility of online tools is crucial with the increasing use of virtual mobility within the programme.
- Funding: Adequate funding is essential for the correct implementation of measures to increase accessibility and advance inclusion. The regulation needs to recognise this and make sure that the cost of inclusion by itself cannot be a reason to deny someone the opportunity to participate in the new Erasmus+ Programme.
- National agencies: New regulation must encourage national agencies to support and select projects where the main actors are people with fewer opportunities. This means national agencies should receive training to increase their knowledge on inclusivity, which can be provided by NGOs representing and working with specific groups in the field. National agencies should also be adequately funded to avoid projects being refused due to increased costs related to inclusion.
EDF joined the Inclusive Mobility alliance and the Erasmus+ Coalition to join forces in advocating for inclusive mobility programmes. With the first group we produced recommendations for the decision makers on European and national level, for national agencies and beneficiaries.