Statement on Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps

The UK government has decided to drop out of Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps (ESC). This decision will deprive young people of opportunities, damage the UK’s cultural relations and undermine the principles of inclusion, mutual benefit and intercultural learning. We unequivocally condemn this policy.

The government has announced a new scheme called the Turing Programme. This has been conceived hastily and with minimal consultation. It is not an adequate replacement for Erasmus+ or ESC. It appears to be designed only for universities, colleges and schools. As far as we know, there is no provision for non-formal education, youth, sport, lifelong learning or volunteering. To a significant extent, disadvantaged young people will be excluded from the scheme. It will also be a one-way programme, for UK students to study in other countries. It does not offer any opportunities for young people to come to the UK or the lasting mutual benefit which arises from this. 

Continuing partnerships

The UK will continue to participate in all activities of Erasmus+ and ESC which have been funded from the 2014-2020 programme. Therefore our cooperation with our partners around Europe will continue on all current and newly approved projects. Young people are still able to apply for open opportunities on ESC volunteering projects, and we will encourage them to do so. We will be a sending organisation for everyone who needs us. 

Travel and visas

There should be no change for short term activities. If you needed a visa before Brexit, you will still need one (a standard visitor visa). If you did not need one, you will still not need one. However, we will issue invitation letters for all visitors on our projects, to show at passport control if needed.

Long-term ESC volunteers coming to the UK will require visas, and it is likely that there will be a reciprocal requirement for UK young people volunteering elsewhere. We await further detailed guidance from our National Agency.

If you are a coordinating / hosting organisation for UK volunteers in your country, it will be your responsibility to check what the new rules are, from your NA, MInistry of Interior or other relevant authority.

We will provide more information whenever we can.

Our future plans

Momentum World is absolutely committed to continuing our cooperation with our partners in Europe and around the world. We will remain in all the formal and informal networks of which we are members, and we will join any others for which we are eligible.

We are starting a consultation with UK and other stakeholders, with a view to developing new forms of collaboration and projects outside the formal programme frameworks, in order to ensure that young people in the UK can continue to get life-changing international opportunities.

In every way possible, we will align our future activities with Erasmus+ priorities and projects. We will carefully monitor the development of the new 2021-2027 programme. We will look for ways to co-finance “parallel participation” in European projects. We will develop additional online intercultural learning activities. Meanwhile we shall continue to argue for the UK to rejoin Erasmus+ and ESC as a programme country.

We will continue to facilitate the EuroPeers UK network and support its links with EuroPeers in other countries, and other international youth networks.

We will advise and help anyone who wants to build new partnerships between educational and youth organisations in the UK and other countries.

How you can help us

Partnership has always been fundamental to our work. Now it is more important than ever. Please talk to us, share your ideas and invite us to participate in your networks, meetings and projects. If you can, please support us financially.

Never stop campaigning for the UK to return to Erasmus+ and ESC. Never stop promoting solidarity among all young people.

Contact us.