Edition 186 - October 2016

EU steps up support for Tunisia’s participation in Erasmus+

To raise the number of student and staff exchanges between Europe and Tunisia under Erasmus+, the EU has confirmed to back this goal with additional funding. Over the next two years, extra assistance worth EUR 10 million is to be spilled out to Tunisia, in support of study, training or teaching endeavours abroad. In the frame of the annual Erasmus+ budget for EU-Southern Mediterranean cooperation, that includes Tunisia and nine other regional recipients, the additional support will boost the current average of around 640 students and staff benefitting from the programme to about 1,200.   

These developments take place in light of increased EU support pledged for Tunisia’s transition ‘towards greater democracy, freedom and social justice’, that followed the aftermath of the 2011 revolution. Against this backdrop Tunisia and the EU established a year later in 2012 a ‘Privileged partnership’. Since 2011 the EU has doubled its financial contribution and cooperation with Tunisia, making it the principle beneficiary of the ‘umbrella programme’ in the Southern Neighbourhood, and distinguishing the country’s democratic and human rights progress. The recent developments in Erasmus+ go hand in hand with a joint communication adopted end of September, which calls for "strengthened EU support for Tunisia".

The additional funding worth EUR 10 million will be distributed across a range of activities. EUR 3 million will be allocated to higher education capacity building projects, supported by one call that will establish around four new projects. A bulk of the funding, worth EUR 6 million, will go to credit mobility in higher education, with two calls that foresee around 1500 mobilities. Capacity building of youth organisations is to receive EUR 1 million, to back around 20 selected projects in two calls.  Measures will advance cooperative efforts between EU and Tunisian  institutions and promote modernisation. Cooperation between youth organisations through informal education activities will be stepped up, and culture and creativity is supported by encouraging participation in EU programmes as Creative Europe.  

Education is thus an integral part of advancing an emerging EU-Tunisian partnership, where scaled up participation in Erasmus+ will provide momentum for strengthening cross-country and inter-cultural ties in the student, academic and scholarly communities.

Erasmus + Press release
European Commission – Press release (EU policy framework to support Tunisia)   

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