Students who go on an Erasmus exchange in the second semester of 2012-2013 might not receive enough funding from their national Erasmus agencies.

Karina Ufert, Chairman of the European Students’ Union (ESU), told AFP: “We urge the European Commission to make haste with their so called Global Transfer Proposal and solve the current financial shortcomings of the European Social Fund by using money from underspent European Union funds.” 

She added: “On top of this we need a long-term solution that protects funding for all next generations of Erasmus students. We call upon the EU member states to recognise the importance of European mobility programmes while deciding on the next multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020.”

Insufficient payments

The EU’s budgetary authority voted insufficient payments in the EU’s budget for 2012, affecting all spending of the EU. In order to secure funding for the EU funds, under which the Erasmus scheme falls, the Council and European Parliament (EP) need to make amendments to the budget. However, up until now, this did not take place, threatening future Erasmus grants.

The EU’s seven net-contributors, Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden, have refused to increase expenditure in the 2013 budget by 6.8%, which explains the current financial shortcomings of the EU Executive. According to AFP, the French center-right MEP Alain Lamassoure, chair of the EP’s Budget Committee, said on 2 October that "the ESF is bankrupt and cannot refund member states."

Problems for students

Students who go abroad during the first semester 2012-2013 will not have problems since National Erasmus Agencies already received enough funds from the Commission to cover their grants. However, if the lack of payment persists there might be a problem for students who are abroad during the second semester 2012/2013, the students' union said.

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