ESU: ”Erasmus Lacks Funding”Politics
The European Student Union has expressed concerns over the funding of the European exchange program Erasmus for spring 2013. But the responsible department in Sweden, the International Program Office, does not share these concerns.
Last week Karina Ufert, chairman of the European Student Union (ESU), publicly announced a lack of EU-funding for the Erasmus Program for next year.
”We urge the European Commission to make haste with their so-called Global Transfer Proposal and solve the current financial shortcomings of the European Fund by using money from underspent EU funds”, she told news agency AFP.
The fundamental problem is the hole in the EU’s budget of 2012, a deficit close to 85 billion SEK. It is still unclear what consequences this may have.
At the administrative department, the International Program Office for Education and Training, the reaction to ESU’s statement is questioning.
The responsible administrator at the department, Jari Rusanen, sent an e-mail this weekend to all the Erasmus’-administrators at the Swedish faculties, writing that they ”cannot see any reason for the concern of the funding of the Erasmus Program.”
”We at least have not come across any distressing information”, says Jari Rusanen at the Department of European Cooperation.
Jari Rusanen is familiar with the general budget problems of the EU, but argues that they are broad and that there are no indications that the Erasmus Program would be specifically affected.
”We are currently attempting to find out from where the rumor originated”, says Jari Rusanen.
However, according to the chairman of the ESU, Karina Ufert, there are reasons for thinking the funding could be threatened.
”According to a statement from the budget commission of the EU there is insufficient funding for educational exchange programs like the Erasmus Program for the second term of 2013. This has also been confirmed in writing by the EU commission”, says Karina Ufert and continues:
”The Erasmus Program is facing a lack of funds, but we’re still going over the numbers”.
Text: Bengt Pettersson
Translation: Jesper Lodin