Archive pour la catégorie ‘research’

Good figures for active aging in Europe

Vendredi 13 janvier 2012

The employment rate for persons aged 60-64 increased from 23% in 2000 to 31% in 2010 and from 50% to 61% for those aged 55-59

The proportion of the population in the EU27 who are aged 55 and over rose from 25% in 1990 to 30% in 2010, and is estimated to reach around 40% by 2060. In connection with the demographic challenges presented by this increase, the European Union has designated 2012 as the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations1. Active ageing means that older age groups have the opportunity to stay in the workforce and share their experience, to keep playing an active role in society and to live as healthy and fulfilling lives as possible.

To mark the European Year, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, issues a new publication “Active ageing and solidarity between generations – a statistical portrait of the European Union 2012″2, prepared in collaboration with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and Eurofound, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. This publication presents data on topics such as demography, employment, transition from work to retirement, healthcare, living conditions and participation in society. In this News Release the most recent data on demographic trends and employment amongst the older population are presented, while more information on attitudes towards ageing and the participation of older persons in society can be found in a new Eurobarometer survey3 from the European Commission as well as in the Eurostat publication.

The share of those aged 55 and over varied between 21% in Ireland and 33% in Germany and Italy in 2010

The share of persons aged 55 and over in the total population increased between 1990 and 2010 in all Member States. In 2010, the largest shares of those aged 55-64 were observed in Finland (14.7% of the total population), the Czech Republic and Malta (both 14.1%), and the lowest in Ireland (10.1%), Lithuania (10.7%) and Luxembourg (10.8%). For the age group 65 and over, the highest shares were found in Germany (20.7%), Italy (20.2%) and Greece (18.9%), and the lowest in Ireland (11.3%), Slovakia (12.3%) and Cyprus (13.1%).

Employment rate for those aged 60 to 64 ranged between 13% in Hungary and 61% in Sweden in 2010

Employment of the older population has strongly increased over the last decade. While the employment rate4 for those aged 20-64 in the EU27 increased by 2.1 percentage points (from 66.5% in 2000 to 68.6% in 2010), the rates for older age groups rose more sharply, by 10.6 pp for those aged 55-59 (from 50.3% to 60.9%) and by 7.5 pp for those aged 60 to 64 (from 23.0% to 30.5%). The employment rate remained at around 5% for those aged 65 and over.

In 2010, the highest employment rates for those aged 55-59 were observed in Sweden (80.7%), Denmark (75.9%) and Finland (72.5%), and the lowest in Poland (45.8%), Slovenia (46.9%) and Malta (49.3%). For those aged 60-64 the highest rates were recorded in Sweden (61.0%), the United Kingdom (44.0%) and Estonia (42.8%), and the lowest in Hungary (13.0%), Malta (14.2%) and Slovakia (17.2%). For those aged 65 and over, the highest employment rates were found in Portugal (16.5%), Romania (13.0%) and Cyprus (12.9%), and the lowest in France and Slovakia (both 1.6%) and Hungary (1.9%).

From Warsow with love

Lundi 2 janvier 2012

The calendar year ended. As usual, the rotating presidency of the EU Council has changed hands. While the Poles say goodbye, the Danes took place for the first half of 2012.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

Everything good must eventually have its finale, and the six months of the first Polish Presidency of the European Union Council is finally coming to an end. For 184 days we have tried to serve the European Union and its citizens. Our holding of the Presidency came at a difficult time and one full of challenges, and we hope that we have been able to fulfil this task.

We would like to thank you sincerely for the interest and trust that you have bestowed on us by visiting the official website of the Presidency www.pl2011.eu and the good will you have shown. We express our gratitude for your support and commitment, as well as for your criticism and activity.

The year that is now coming to an end has been important for Europe. In the New Year wish all of you optimism and solidarity, and also what is expressed in the motto of our Presidency: ‘More Europe in Europe’.

Now the presidency of the EU Council passes to our friends from Denmark. And we guarantee - you can count on us. Good luck! I kan regne med os. Held og lykke!

Thank you and best regards,

The team of the Polish Presidency

And the European Capitals of Culture for 2012 are …

Lundi 2 janvier 2012

Two European Capitals of Culture were designated in 2012: Guimarães and Maribor. Discover these two cities, respectively Portuguese and Slovenian!

Guimarães (Portugal) and Maribor (Slovenia) take over the title of European Capitals of Culture 2012 on 1 January. Both cities have a busy calendar of events planned for the year, with the aim of showcasing themselves to the world and building a lasting legacy for their citizens. The official programme of events begins on 13 January in Maribor and 21 January in Guimarães.

The official launch of Maribor 2012 will take place over the weekend of 13-15 January, with music, theatre and dance performances. Numerous and varied cultural events, combining traditional and innovative approaches, from carnival to contemporary dance, are planned throughout the year. Young audiences will be a particular focus of the events.

Guimarães will open its festivities on Saturday 21 January with a theatre and multimedia open-air show. Its programme for the year focuses on four themes: City, Community, Thought and Arts.

Representatives from Tallinn (Estonia) and Turku (Finland), the 2011 European Capitals of Culture, will attend the launch events in both cities to pass over the baton to the 2012 Capitals.

Background

Organisation and funding of the European Capitals of Culture are principally the responsibility of the cities and Member States concerned.

The European Commission has contributed with a €1.5 million grant to each city. Known as the Melina Mercouri Prize after the Greek Culture Minister who inspired the initiative, the grant is awarded on the basis that the city’s cultural programme meets three criteria: it highlights the European dimension, fosters the participation of the public, and is an integral part of the long-term cultural and social development of the city.

The European Capital of Culture title is an excellent opportunity for cities to improve or even transform their image, to put themselves on the world map, and rethink their development through culture. The title has a long-term impact, not only on culture but also in social and economic terms, both for the city and for the surrounding region. For example, a study has shown that the number of tourists staying for at least one night increased by 12% on average compared with the year before the city held the title; this figure was as high as 25% for Liverpool in 2008 and Sibiu (Romania) in 2007.

The current rules and conditions for hosting the title are set out in a 2006 decision (1622/2006/EC) of the European Parliament and Council of Ministers.

Following Guimarães and Maribor in 2012, the future European Capitals of Culture will be Marseille (France) and Košice (Slovakia) in 2013, Umeå (Sweden) and Riga (Latvia) in 2014, and Mons (Belgium) and Plzeň (Czech Republic) in 2015.

The EU is reviewing its trade priorities with the Balkans

Lundi 2 janvier 2012

Trade between the EU and the Western Balkans should grow by 2015. Member countries of the EU took advantage of the new year to review its trade preferences for the period.

The European Union today re-established the exceptional autonomous trade preferences, which it grants to all Western Balkan countries including Kosovo, until the end of 2015. Western Balkan economies will therefore continue as of 1 January 2011 to benefit from an unlimited duty-free access to the EU market for nearly all products originating in these countries and territories. Together with the bilateral Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAAs) in place with all Western Balkan countries except Kosovo, these trade preferences support economic integration with the EU and hence foster political stability and economic progress in the entire region.

The autonomous trade preferences should allow all Western Balkan countries to further benefit from the preferential trade regime, where this is more beneficial than the treatment foreseen in the SAAs. It should notably allow the customs territory of Kosovo to benefit from the current duty-free, quota-free treatment for almost all its exported products, since it does not have an SAA with the EU. Total exports of Kosovo to the EU amounted to about €147 mio in 2010.

Background
In 2000 the European Union established for the first time exceptional unlimited duty-free access to the EU market for nearly all products originating in the Western Balkan region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo) in Regulation (EC) No 2007/2000). Only wine, sugar, certain beef products and certain fisheries products enter the EU under preferential tariff quotas, as negotiated under the SAAs. The regime was renewed in 2005, and due to expire on 31 December 2010.

Therefore, on 22 February 2010, the Commission proposed to extend this autonomous preferential regime until 31 December 2015. The European Parliament voted in favour of the Commission’s proposal on 13 October 2011 and the Council adopted it on 24 November 2011. The tariff reductions under the new Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1215/2009, adopted today, are applied retroactively to allow exporters to claim compensation for the duties paid in 2011.

The European Union is committed more than ever to the Millennium Development Goals

Mercredi 21 décembre 2011

Additional support was given to 36 ACP countries in the fight against hunger, child mortality, maternal health and providing access to water.

This additional funding will focus on reducing hunger and child mortality and securing better maternal health and drinking water and sanitation facilities. With today’s decision the EU is delivering on its €1 billion MDG initiative, announced in September 2010, at the UN MDGs Summit in New York.

Examples of actions to be financed under the MDG initiative include:
- ensuring better access to food for the poorest households in Haiti
- providing milk to children in nurseries and primary schools in Rwanda
- increasing the number of healthcare professionals in Ghana to reduce maternal mortality
- improving access to save water in Samoa, mainly through rainwater harvesting and better sanitation facilities
The MDG initiative focuses on those African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries that have designed projects of high quality to achieve results in the areas where progress is most needed: hunger, water and sanitation, maternal health and child mortality. Today’s allocation amounts to 700€ million. Project proposals have been identified in partnership with the respective countries and are fully results-oriented: they put clear and measurable indicators in place to secure the benefits of the additional money.

Background
The MDG Initiative

The MDG initiative mobilises money from one of the EU’s main instruments of development aid, the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). It envisages a total extra financial effort of €1 billion. Regarding today’s allocation of €700 million, the European Commission and the EU delegations, in coordination with EU Member States representations and national authorities in the partner countries, will soon start working on the preparation of detailed project designs and specific financing proposals for all the actions to be supported by the MDG initiative, with a view to starting the implementation of most projects by the end of 2012. (For a full list of countries and targeted MDGs, see MEMO/11/930).

In parallel to today’s decision, approximately €300 million of the MDG initiative are in the process of being allocated as a reward to 18 well-performing countries, in the framework of the 10th EDF Mid-term Review.

Progress on the MDGs
The UN Millennium Goals Report 2011 confirms that the world has made significant progress on some of the goals. By 2015, global poverty is currently expected to fall below 15%, which is well below the target of 23%. Increased funding and intensive control efforts have led to a reduction of 20% of global deaths from malaria; HIV infections have been declining steadily and the availability of retroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS has increased massively in recent years. Important steps have been made globally towards providing universal primary education.

The European Commission announces the resources allocated to Eurostat for the next 5 years.

Mercredi 21 décembre 2011

Good statistical studies are essential for European democracy.

In order to ensure reliable, comparable and cost-effective statistics in the years ahead, the Commission today adopted a proposal for the European Statistical Programme 2013-17. With a budget of €299.4 million, the programme will run for 5 years from 1 January 2013. European Statistical System (Eurostat and national statistical institutes) will be responsible for implementing the multiannual programme, in accordance with the European Statistics Code of Practice and respecting the principles of independence, integrity and accountability. A large proportion of the budget will be allocated to the Member States in order to support the implementation of the Programme at national level.

The European Statistical Programme sets out 3 overriding objectives for 2013-17, namely:

- To provide high quality statistics to better design, monitor and evaluate EU policies.

- To implement more efficient methods of producing European statistics-

- To strengthen the leading role of the European Statistical System in official statistics worldwide

The Programme breaks these general objectives down into more specific headings, with details on how they will be implemented. An annual work programme will be drawn up each year with concrete actions to meet these objectives. The need for information must be weighed against the resources available and the burden placed on businesses and citizens in responding to the necessary questionnaires and surveys to compile statistics. Therefore, the European Statistical Programme highlights certain areas which will be given priority focus. These follow the EU’s broader priorities, such as Europe 2020, strengthened economic governance, climate change, growth and social cohesion, people’s Europe and globalisation.

While EU policy-making will largely influence the work of the European Statistical System in the coming years, any statistics produced under the new Programme will also be available to other decision-makers, researchers, businesses and European citizens on an equal basis.

Background
The European Statistical System (ESS) has been faced with a number of challenges in recent years. The demand for high-quality, timely, and ever more complex statistics is increasing, while the resources available to produce and disseminate these statistics have become more limited. Increased efficiency and flexibility are required of the ESS, to respond to these challenges and contribute to the successful development and implementation of EU policies. These challenges were addressed in the Commission Communication on the production method of EU statistics and the ESS strategy for its implementation. Implementation of the Communication and strategy are the core of the European Statistical Programme.

The European Statistical Programme starts already in 2013 because it will follow up the current programme which will finish in 2012. Under the current rules, the European statistical programme can not exceed a period of five years and will therefore end in 2018.

Next Steps
The draft Regulation will now be discussed by the Council and the European Parliament, with a view to adoption by the end of 2012, so that the new programme can start on 1 January 2013. Negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework for the whole EU budget will continue in parallel.

The European Union calls for a reduction in youth unemployment

Mardi 20 décembre 2011

21% of young Europeans are unemployed, Europe demands an immediate response of the States.

The new ‘Youth Opportunities Initiative’, adopted by the Commission today, calls on Member State to work on preventing early school leaving; helping youngsters develop skills relevant to the labour market; ensuring work experience and on-the-job training and helping young people find a first good job. The Commission is also urging Member States to make better use of the European Social Fund which still has €30billion of funding uncommitted to projects. In addition, the Commission has put forward a set of concrete actions to be financed directly by EU funds.

The Commission will also make funds available for technical assistance to help Member States make greater use of available EU funding - especially the European Social Fund (ESF) of which €30bn remains uncommitted to projects.

More details
The main actions financed directly by the Commission in the new ‘Youth Opportunities initiative’ are:

- using €4m to help Member States set up ‘youth guarantee’ schemes to ensure young people are either in employment, education or training within four months of leaving school.
- dedicating € 1.3 million to support the setting up of apprenticeships through the European Social Fund. An increase of 10% by the end of 2013 would add a total of 370,000 new apprenticeships.
- using €3m of the European Social Fund Technical Assistance to support Member States in the setting up of support schemes for young business starters and social entrepreneurs;
- gearing funds as much as possible towards placements in enterprises and targeting at least 130,000 placements in 2012 under ERASMUS and Leonardo da Vinci;
- providing financial assistance in 2012-2013 to 5,000 young people to find a job in another Member State through the ‘Your first EURES job’ initiative
- reinforcing the budget allocation for the European Voluntary Service in order to provide at least 10,000 volunteering opportunities in 2012;
presenting in 2012 a framework for high quality traineeships in the EU;
- ensuring around 600 further exchanges under Erasmus for entrepreneurs in 2012.
The actions proposed by the Commission will pave the way for Member States to develop further youth-related measures under the next generation of European Social Fund programmes and as part of the EU budget 2014-2020.

Background
There are 5 million unemployed young people in the EU today and 7.5 million young people between 15 and 24 are currently neither in employment nor in education or training. This concerns not only low-skilled young people having left school too early, but more and more university graduates who cannot find a first job.

The Commission wants to mobilise all actors concerned as well as available EU funding to take immediate measures that will enable smoother transitions between education and work as well as ease access to work for young unemployed across Europe. The aim is to help youngsters that are neither in education nor work to find a job, or return to training and to help those with a third level education find a first job.

The Commission will strongly support Member States in this endeavour by giving them policy guidance as well as concrete assistance. In the context of the Europe 2020 strategy, Member States are expected to address youth employment in their 2012 National Reform Programmes and youth policies and measures will systematically be addressed in the draft Country Specific Recommendations for 2012. The Commission will continue to assess and analyse measures taken by Member States to fight youth unemployment and will report on this to the informal Council of Employment and Social Ministers in April 2012.

European Commission simplifies regulation of services of general economic interest (SGEI).

Mardi 20 décembre 2011

The Commission adopted a new package of rules to introduce a diversified and proportionate approach about state aid.

Member States are largely free to define which services are of general interest. But, the Commission must ensure that public funding granted for the provision of such services does not unduly distort competition in the Internal Market.

The new rules, which replace the so-called “Monti-Kroes” Package of July 2005, clarify basic notions such as ‘economic activity’ to facilitate the application of the rules by national but also regional or local governments.

All social services become exempted from the obligation of notification to the Commission, regardless of the amount of the compensation received. The services concerned must meet “social needs as regards health and long term care, childcare, access to and reintegration in the labour market, social housing and the care and social inclusion of vulnerable groups”. Previously only hospitals and social housing were exempted. Other SGEIs are exempted provided the compensation amount is less than €15 million a year.

The Commission also proposes to set a minimum compensation amount for all other services below which the measure is deemed free of aid. The SGEI de minimis amount would be set at €500,000 over three years. This will reduce red tape for small SGEIs. A final decision will be taken in the spring.

On the other hand, in future there will be a greater scrutiny of other SGEIs involving compensation amounts of more than €15 million a year and where the potential for distortions of competition within the single market is higher. Whenever possible, the SGEI should be entrusted through an open and transparent public tender to ensure the best quality at the cheapest cost for taxpayers who pay for the services.

More information
The new package consists of four instruments that will apply to all authorities (national, regional, local) that grant compensation for the provision of SGEI:

A new Communication, clarifying basic concepts of State aid, which are relevant for SGEI, such as the notions of aid, SGEI, economic activity, convergence between public procurement procedures and absence of aid, etc.

A revised Decision, exempts Member States from the obligation to notify public service compensation for certain SGEI-categories to the Commission. The exemption is extended from hospitals and social housing to a much wider range of social services and a lower compensation threshold applies for triggering notifications for other SGEI activities. The notification threshold was lowered from €30 million to €15 million, taking account of stakeholders’ concerns that the previous ceiling withdrew very sizeable contracts in important areas of the Internal Market from the Commission’s scrutiny.

A revised Framework for assessing large compensation amounts granted to operators outside the social services field. Those cases have to be notified to the Commission and may be declared compatible if they meet certain criteria. The new rules introduce, in particular, a more precise methodology to determine the amount of compensation, a requirement for Member States to introduce efficiency incentives in compensation mechanisms, the requirement to comply with EU public procurement rules and equal treatment of providers of the same service for determining compensation. Moreover, the Commission may require Member States to adopt measures to reduce the anticompetitive effects of certain compensations that present a particularly strong potential for distorting competition in the Internal Market.

A new proposal for a de minimis Regulation, providing that compensation below a certain threshold does not fall under state aid scrutiny, is expected to be adopted in the spring of 2012, after a final round of consultation.

Background
In 2003, the European Court of Justice ruled on the assessment of public service compensations in the context of EU state aid rules (case C-280/00 Altmark Trans). To take account of this ruling, the Commission adopted the first SGEI package (also known as the “Monti-Kroes-Package”, see IP/05/937). The package entered into force in July 2005 and specified the conditions under which state aid in the form of public service compensation is compatible with the EC Treaty (now the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU).

In March 2011, the Commission launched a broad debate on the review of the package, which is due to expire at the end of 2011 (see IP/11/347). In September 2011, the Commission consulted stakeholders on the proposals for new rules (see http://ec.europa.eu/competition/consultations/2011_sgei/index_en.html). The Commission received valuable contributions from Member States, European institutions and stakeholders. Subsequently, the drafts were revised to take into account stakeholders’ comments.

The European Commission promotes the mobility of European highly skilled people

Lundi 19 décembre 2011

The working age population declines in Europe and demand for qualified professionals should increase to 16 million people in 2020.

If Europe is to meet this demand, gaps in labour shortages need to be filled – for example through mobile and well qualified professionals from other EU Member States. They can be a key source of growth, but only if they can easily go to where jobs are and this requires their qualifications in the EU to be recognised in a fast, simple and reliable way. That is why the Commission has today adopted a proposal for modernising the Professional Qualifications Directive (Directive 2005/36/EC).

Today’s proposal aims at simplifying rules for the mobility of professionals within the EU by offering a European Professional Card to all interested professions which would allow easier and faster recognition of qualifications. It also clarifies the framework for consumers, by inviting Member States to review the scope of their regulated professions and by addressing public concerns about language skills and the lack of effective alerts about professional malpractice, notably in the health sector.

Key elements of the proposal:
1. The introduction of a European professional card will offer to interested professionals the possibility to benefit from easier and quicker recognition of their qualifications. It should also facilitate temporary mobility. The card will be made available according to the needs expressed by the professions (for example, nurses and mountain guides expressed a strong interest in using such a card). The card is associated to an optimised recognition procedure carried out within the existing Internal Market Information System (IMI) and will take the form of an electronic certificate, allowing the professional to provide services or become established in another Member State.

2. Better access to information on the recognition of professional qualifications: all citizens seeking the recognition of their professional qualifications should be able to go to a one-stop shop rather than being passed around between different government bodies. This one-stop shop should be the Points of Single Contact (PSCs), created under the Services Directive, which will allow citizens to obtain information in one place about the documents required to have their qualifications recognised and where they can also complete all online recognition procedures.

3. Updating minimum training requirements for doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, veterinary surgeons and architects: the minimum training requirements for these professions were harmonised 20 or 30 years ago. They have been updated to reflect the evolution of these professions and of education in these fields. For example, the entry level for nursing and midwifery training has been upgraded from 10 years to 12 years of general education.

4. The introduction of an alert mechanism for health professionals benefiting from automatic recognition: competent authorities of a Member State will be obliged to alert competent authorities of all other Member States about a health professional who has been prohibited from exercising his professional activity by a public authority or a court. This is particularly important because there have been examples of doctors banned from practising in their home Member State, moving abroad to work, and other Member States were not aware of it.

5. The introduction of common training frameworks and common training tests, replacing common platforms, should offer the possibility to extend the mechanism of automatic recognition to new professions. Interested professions could benefit from automatic recognition on the basis of a common set of knowledge, skills and competences or on a common test assessing the ability of professionals to pursue a profession.

6. Mutual evaluation exercise on regulated professions: a new mechanism is introduced in the Directive to ensure greater transparency and justification of the professions they regulate through a specific qualification requirement. Member States will have to provide a list of their regulated professions and justify the need for regulation. This should be followed up by a mutual evaluation exercise facilitated by the European Commission.

Background:
The Professional Qualifications Directive is essential to enabling professionals to start a new business or to find a job in another Member State requiring a specific qualification for a specific professional activity. The modernisation is one of the twelve levers for growth set out in the Single Market Act (IP/11/469).

The European Commission supports the Arab Spring with Erasmus Mundus

Vendredi 16 décembre 2011

Under Erasmus Mundus, the Commission has doubled the grant to the Maghreb and the Middle East countries.

Funding for a further 559 scholarships, on top of the 525 that were already planned for 2011-2012, are being allocated to Southern Mediterranean countries through ‘Erasmus Mundus’, the international version of the European Commission’s Erasmus student and staff exchange scheme. The recipients will be able to spend part of their studies, research or a teaching period in the European Union. The Commission is increasing its grant funding to encourage learning and training opportunities for individuals who are viewed as key to strengthening democracy in the region. The move is part of the EU’s strategic response to the Arab Spring.

Erasmus Mundus is open to applicants from all over the world, including the European Union. Since the launch of the scheme in 2004, more than 12 000 students, 300 doctoral candidates and 2 000 professors have received scholarships for joint Master’s degree courses or doctorate programmes.

In the 2011-2012 academic year, around 6 000 students and researchers from 150 countries have already received scholarships worth a total of €210 million. The Commission has provided an additional €10 million to fund the extra 559 scholarships for countries in the Southern Mediterranean. These countries are expected to benefit from further increases in funding for Erasmus Mundus scholarships and grants in 2012-13.

Over three-quarters of the grants offered through Erasmus Mundus since 2004 have been awarded to people in non-EU countries, including more than 3 000 from North Africa and the Middle East. The size of the scholarship depends on the length of study or training period, the educational level of the candidate and the country of origin. Non-Europeans studying in the European Union receive at least €1000 per month towards their living costs while European students studying outside Europe receive at least €500 per month.

Background

There are three broad target groups for Erasmus Mundus funding: students undertaking joint Master’s courses and doctorates, partnerships between universities; and projects aimed at promoting the European higher education sector.

Joint Master’s courses and doctorates

A consortium of at least three higher education institutions in Europe or beyond can apply for EU funding to offer scholarships to students enrolling on a joint Master’s degree course or doctorate. The programmes must demonstrate outstanding academic quality and include obligatory study and research periods in at least two universities. A ‘joint degree’ is an integrated study programme offered by at least two higher education institutions resulting in a single degree certificate. Students are awarded scholarships based on criteria set by the universities concerned.

More than 160 higher education institutions currently participate in joint programmes, including 25 institutions in non-EU countries. 131 joint Master’s degree courses and 34 joint doctorate programmes will be open for scholarship applications in 2012-2013, covering a wide range of subjects, from chemistry to computing and from criminology to choreography.

Erasmus Mundus partnerships

Grants are also provided through Erasmus Mundus partnerships. These enable students, researchers and staff to visit partner institutions abroad to study or teach for a period of between three months and three years. In July 2011, 46 new partnerships were selected for funding, with 369 EU and 450 non-EU universities involved. Consortia must include a minimum of five higher education institutions from at least three European countries and higher education institutions from non-EU countries. Special attention is given to disadvantaged groups and people in a vulnerable situation.

Promotion of European higher education

Support is also provided for projects that advance cooperation or promote the attractiveness of the European higher education sector. In 2011 seven such projects were selected, involving more than 100 non-EU partners, covering themes such as climate change, architecture and cultural tourism, and/or a strong regional focus.

Erasmus for All

Erasmus Mundus will be integrated into the Commission’s proposed new programme for education, training, youth and sport – Erasmus for All – which is due to be launched in 2014 (see IP/11/1398).