EAEA members greatly appreciate the Erasmus+ programme, which drives innovation, improves participation and quality of adult learning provision; the importance of the programme has been continuously highlighted by EAEA in its advocacy work. That said, non-EU countries in Eastern Europe still face barriers to access the Erasmus+ programme, especially if they work in the non-formal adult education sector.
As of 2022, only Serbia, Turkey and North Macedonia are third countries associated to the Programme and can access all its actions. Other countries, such as Western Balkans (Region 1) and Neighbourhood East (Region 2), can access certain actions, but not those in adult learning and education.
To better serve the needs of non-EU countries based in Eastern Europe, EAEA recommends the following improvements to the Erasmus+ programme:
- Third countries associated to the programme, including those from Regions 1 and 2, should be eligible to participate in actions on adult learning and education.
- Capacity-building actions in the Erasmus+ programme should also be open to adult learning and education.
- More support to Erasmus+ applicants is needed to better serve the needs of non-EU countries based in Eastern Europe.
- Non-EU countries based in Eastern Europe have specific needs that should be taken into consideration when assessing Erasmus+ applications.