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Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget of €14.7 billion will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, and gain experience abroad. A project credited to the ‘mother of Erasmus’, Sofia Corradi, who first had the idea of a European student exchange back in the 1960s.

We the European Democrat Students, are part of this project and stand by the side of each European Student who is eligible to participate. This project is a European founded one but is not excluding anyone, many times we see non-European citizens coming by their home universities to take part in it, as it is well said it’s a common project for the evolution of the entire youth. It has opportunities for people of all ages, helping them develop and share knowledge and experience at institutions and organisations in different countries. Nevertheless, it has opportunities for a wide range of organisations, including universities, education and training providers, think-tanks, research organisations, and private businesses.

The aim of Erasmus+ is to contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy for growth, jobs, social equality and inclusion. Moreover, it promotes the sustainable development of its partners in the field of higher education, and contribute to achieving the objectives of the EU Youth Strategy.

Specifically it tackles issues like youth unemployment, promotes cooperation and mobility with the EU’s partner countries and lifelong learning, encourages youngsters to take part in European democracy, supports innovation, cooperation and reform, reduces early school leaving, as you can see combines many areas but on each case focuses education.

Worthy of mention, are the expressions of the following European Union Leaders:

«It is an honour to receive this prize as President of the European Commission and for the ten million Europeans who have taken part in the Erasmus programme since its inception. It is a prize to the students, the teachers, the dreamers who have made this European miracle come true.»

Speech by European Commission President Mrs. Ursula Von der Leyen at the Empress Theophano Prize award ceremony, on October 7th, 2020.

«Erasmus mobility prepares our young people to new environments, to new challenges. It increases skills and competences, building the confidence they need to be more entrepreneurial. This should not be a luxury for the few. A bigger and stronger Erasmus will help young people from all corners of Europe to study and work abroad, irrespective of their social background.»

Speech by Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mrs. Mariya Gabriel on the Online Stakeholder Consultation, on July 9th, 2020.

«The Erasmus programme is a great European success story — almost 4 million students have participated. An impressive statistic. But there’s another statistic I prefer.  Around 1 million babies have been born to Erasmus couples. And who knows, maybe some of you will add to this statistic in the future!»

“Common sense, common Europe”, speech by European Council President Mr. Charles Michel at the University of Amsterdam, on November 20th, 2019.

As a European student organisation we addressed issues about the programme on collaboration with the proper Working Groups on Higher Education & Research and Policies for Europe, caused due to the unprecedented pandemic and epigrammatically we call upon: invest in the digitalisation of higher education; adapt all student services to telecommunication; ensure students, who need financial support for their accommodation and basic needs, receive it; repatriate exchange and international students or ensure their basic needs are met should they stay abroad; and equivalency of Erasmus programmes. To sum it up, the Erasmus Programme is a horizon of the worldwide students community, to my end as I have experienced a mobility of that type, I would encourage more and more students to enrich their academic background being part of this project and expanding European ideals such as free education, decrease of illiteracy, and students mobility.

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Vasileios S. Kesidis
Vasileios S. Kesidis (23) was born on October 22, 1997 and grew up in Ancona, Italy. Holds a degree in Maritime Management & Finance and gained work experience by a worldwide shipping company. Currently is BSc student of Italian Language & Literature at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and exchange Erasmus+ BSc student at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, on Linguistics, Roman & Modern Languages and has also completed a BSc Erasmus+ programme on Language, Literature, Linguistics, History & Philosophy at the Università degli Studi di Padova. Addingly is Associate Researcher of the Hellenic Optical Character Recognition Team, a scientific crowdsourcing initiative for the processing and analysis of parliamentary data and is currently working at the European Parliament. Active in politics since 2015 as member of the Social Media Team of the nowadays Hellenic Prime Minister & President of “Nea Demokratia” mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Kesidis has political experience in Universitarian, Municipal and Prefectural level. Nationally is Member at the Executive Office and elected Member at the Central Committee of the Youth Organisation of “Nea Demokratia”, ONNED. Moreover, holds key responsibilities in the sector of the International Relations as currently serves as the Dep. International Secretary of ONNED. In European Democrat Students served as Co-Chair for the Working Group of European Elections 2019 during the Working Year 2018-19, having introduced the role of the ‘European Elections Ambassadors’ and representing DAP-NDFK, the Student Organisation of “Nea Demokratia”, as the Head of Delegation. Has now been re-elected as Vice Chairman of the Official Student Organisation (EDS) of the European People’s Party in charge of EDS-USA relations, membership applications & communications / social media and is also contributing to “BullsEye”, the only political centre-right magazine in Europe. Speaks native Italian & Greek, full professional proficiency English and limited working proficiency French. From the age of 5 interested in football and today athlete of JUDO (Japanese Martial Art). Activities during spare time are poetry, reading of literary, historical and news articles. Characterised by capacity - determination, endurance and faith in achieving goals. Supports the virtues of Freedom, Meritocracy and Democracy.