What is the goal of the funding programme?
The goal of the Erasmus+ fund is to support education, training, youth, and sport initiatives in the EU It aims to enhance the skills and competencies of individuals, promote cooperation among institutions and organizations, and foster European values and citizenship.
How is the funding programme structured?
There are three key priorities:
- Inclusion and diversity: further stress on reaching people with fewer opportunities (due to socio-economic or to geographical constraints). This concerns people of all ages and backgrounds, people with disabilities, early school leavers, unemployed, living in remote areas, victims of exclusion and/or discrimination, etc
- Digital: increased access to digital learning, development of digital skills and hybrid programmes
- Green: cross-cutting topic towards the ecological transition, building an understanding and competences related to sustainability
What thematic areas are covered?
- Key Action 1: Mobility of Individuals. This is about providing opportunities for individuals (students and staff) to improve their skills, enhance their employability and gain cultural awareness.
- Key Action 2: Cooperation among organisations and institutions. This is about enabling organisations and institutions to work together and create partnerships in order to improve their provision for learners and share innovative and good practices.
- Key Action 3: Support to policy development and cooperation. This covers any activity helping to support public policy reform and modernise education and training systems
What is in it for the social economy?
Erasmus+ is one of EU’s flagship programmes providing numerous opportunities to support education, training, youth, and sport initiatives across Europe. While not targeting social economy organisations per se, its core objectives align perfectly with the values and the goals of many social organisations out there.
As a social economy organisation providing services and/or active in the education and training arena (formal, non-formal or VET), you may receive Erasmus+ funding to help you develop networking activities for your organisation or staff, to upskill/reskill your staff, build capacity, partner with organisations abroad, exchange best practices, etc.
Key Action 2 (Cooperation among organisations and institutions) is probably the most relevant stream of funding for social economy organisations or social enterprises. It is also very relevant for your beneficiaries. Keep an eye out for Key Actions 1 and 3 though as your beneficiaries might want to get involved!
Key Action 3 (support to policy development) may also fit your organisation’s objectives if you are looking at policy change in the field of education. Additionally, Erasmus+ has recently launched its “Partnerships for Innovation Alliances” which directly targets the social economy to develop skills blueprints by researching specific skill sets and testing new adapted curricula in higher education and VET.
Who is eligible to apply?
Any individual organisation of EU Member States; The Republic of North Macedonia; Iceland; Liechtenstein; Norway; Turkey; Partner countries. Eligible countries are divided into two groups: programme countries and partner countries. More information on eligibility here.
Beware: The eligibility of individuals and organisations depends on the country in which they are based!
How to apply?
The Erasmus+ programme offers funding to organisations through calls for tenders and grants. While the EC manages Erasmus+, it does not implement the programme directly. The Education, Audio-visual, and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) is responsible for Erasmus+ implementation at European level, while at the national level this is done by national agencies in programme countries, and national offices in some partner countries
Organisations should submit applications online to the National Agency in the relevant country, via the Erasmus+ forms website, or to the Education, Audio-visual and Culture Executive Agency.
You will find guidance on how to apply here.
Where to find more information?
- The European Commission's official website provides a comprehensive guide to the Erasmus+ program, including funding opportunities for social economy organizations. You can access the guide here.
- Each participating country has its own National Agency responsible for managing and implementing Erasmus+ projects. These agencies offer country-specific information, guidelines, and resources. You can find the contact details of your National Agency on the Erasmus+ website.
- The Erasmus+ Project Results Platform showcases the outcomes and results of projects funded under the Erasmus+ program. By exploring the platform, you can gain insights and learn from successful initiatives related to social economy organizations.
- Stay updated with the latest news, updates, and announcements regarding Erasmus+ funding for social economy organizations by following Erasmus+ on their social media channels. You can find them on Twitter (@EUErasmusPlus) and Facebook.
- Access the five-page fact sheet, that gives you an overview of the Erasmus+ programme here.
- For inspiration, you can find many examples of projects supported by the programme here.
- To find potential partners to team up with for Erasmus+ projects, check EPALE, the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe. EPALE exists in multiple languages and is a community for teachers, trainers, researchers, academics, policy makers and anyone else with a professional role in adult learning across Europe. It also includes Communities of Practice, that provide people from the adult learning sector to come together online, to exchange ideas, resources and best practices.
How to contact organisations who manage the programme?
The Erasmus+ programme offers funding to organisations through calls for tenders and grants. While the EC manages Erasmus+, it does not implement the programme directly. The Education, Audio-visual, and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) is responsible for Erasmus+ implementation at European level, while at the national level this is done by national agencies in programme countries, and national offices in some partner countries (list available here).
Organisations who provide support?
Explore peer learning platforms and networks that focus on social economy and entrepreneurship. These platforms often share valuable information about funding opportunities and best practices. Examples include Social Economy Europe and Euclid Network - the European Social Enterprise Network.
History of the programme
Erasmus+ was initially launched in 2014, combining several previous programs like the Lifelong Learning Program and Youth in Action.
Responsible Directorate-General in the European Commission
Erasmus+ is led by Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC). The European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) is responsible for its implementation.