The Erasmus+ programme contributes to the creation of a European Education Area, to support strategic European cooperation in education and training, to promote cooperation in the framework of the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 and to develop the European dimension of sport.
The Erasmus+ programme is managed by the European Commission (the EU's executive body), the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), a series of National Agencies in Programme countries, and a series of National Offices in some Partner countries.
Before telling you how the programme works, it is necessary to make some premises concerning the functioning of our European institutions.
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Do you want to know more about the functioning of EU decision-making?
The European Commission is the executive arm with the power of legislative initiative: it introduces legislative proposals to the European Parliament, taking into account the suggestions made by: citizens, Member States and the European Parliament itself.
The European Parliament first, and succesively the EU Council, revise the proposals and formulate amendments. The European parliament is a legislative body and is made up of the parliamentarians we have just voted on.
The EU council (not to be confused with the Council of the European Union and the Council of Europe) is made up of a representative of all member states, 28 today, 27 after Brexit.
Once the proposals are approved by Parliament and the Council, they are signed and formalized. Finally, the "European laws" defined so improperly, are divided into:
regulations: mandatory and applicable in all member states
directives: they bind the state to which it is addressed, with respect to a result to be achieved decisions: mandatory for the recipients
recommendations: they are not binding
Departments and Agencies
The European Commission is organised into policy departments, known as Directorates-General (DGs), which are responsible for different policy areas. DGs develop, implement and manage EU policy, law, and funding programmes.
In addition, service departments deal with particular administrative issues.
Executive agencies manage programmes set up by the Commission.
The European Commission handles the overall management of the Erasmus+ programme, including:
managing the budget
setting the priorities
identifying the programme's targets and criteria
monitoring and guiding the implementation
follow-up and evaluation of the programme
Since 2006, the European Education and Culture Executive Agency has been a catalyst for projects in education, training, youth, sport, audiovisual, culture, citizenship and humanitarian aid. On behalf of the European Commission, EACEA strives to foster innovation in these areas, always in a spirit of cross-border cooperation and mutual respect.
So, in a second time the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission is in charge of managing the "centralised" elements of the programme, including:
promoting the programme and opportunities
launching calls for proposals
reviewing grant requests
contracting and monitoring projects
communicating on results
The EACEA and Commission also carry out studies and research, as well as managing and financing the other bodies and networks supported by Erasmus+.
The National Agencies
In the EU countries, the Commission entrusts much of the management of Erasmus+ to National Agencies. Outside the EU, and specifically in the field of higher education, this role is filled by the National Erasmus+ Offices.
The Commission provides funding to the National Agencies, who use these funds to manage the programme's "decentralised" activities. This allows the Agencies to adapt the programme to suit their national education, training, and youth systems.
The National Agencies are responsible for:
providing information on the programme
reviewing applications submitted in their country
monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the programme in their country
supporting people and organisations taking part in Erasmus+
promoting the programme and its activities at a local and national level
These Agencies also support beneficiaries of the programme from the application stage to the end of a project.
They also work with beneficiaries and other organisations to support EU policy in areas supported by the programme.
National Erasmus+ Offices
Outside the EU, in the partner countries participating in Erasmus+ in the area of higher education, much of the work of the National Agencies is carried out by National Erasmu+ Offices.
These offices are the focal point for anyone intending to take part in Erasmus+, and are responsible for:
providing information on the programme and who can take part
advising and assisting potential applicants
monitoring Erasmus+ projects
supporting policy dialogue, studies, and events
maintaining contacts with experts and local authorities
For more information about Erasmus+ and the Turing Scheme, read our blogs on our website. If you wish a private chat with one of our experts, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are happy to help!