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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: CDU CSU

Mister President! Dear Colleagues! Like most of this house, I stand here as a convinced European. During my studies, two stays abroad at European universities in Sweden and Italy had a major impact on me, and I am grateful to be part of the Erasmus generation. These were both professional and personal experiences that were good, instructive and probably even the best to date. Like me, a lot of fellow students who were abroad felt the same way. That’s why I’m convinced of it. And of course: We cannot do enough for the basic idea that the Erasmus generation is strengthening the European idea, carrying it further, and also carrying it back to the nation states, that we are working against division in Europe, especially in times of increased populism. That is why it is right to stand up for it.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)

Therefore, dear FDP, I can understand the basic idea of ​​the application really well. The concern that as many young Europeans as possible should have access to a high-quality exchange of good higher education is correct. And it is also right to strengthen digital formats. But as nice as the idea sounds at first glance, it has many flaws – very important points have already been mentioned here – on the one hand, that many of the measures are already being addressed within the framework of existing initiatives or have already been implemented, on the other hand of course that the EU must set clear priorities in terms of funding.

In this respect, it must be said: The interlinking of universities in a European network has long since begun. They already existed before 2017. But they have now also been reinforced and different from what you claim in your application. Following Macron’s demands in his 2017 speech, the EU reacted accordingly. Since 2019, a total of 114 universities have been funded in 17 networks, and 24 member states are included, plus Norway. In Germany – my colleague Steier already mentioned it – numerous universities participate in a total of 14 networks.

Innovative, cross-location concepts are already being developed in these networks. Of course, digital learning formats are also being developed. And new courses are being set up and teaching content is coordinated. It also ensures that academic achievements are better recognized overall. The Commission’s proposal for an action plan for digital education to strengthen a European education area has been in existence since the end of September. It also contains numerous ideas that you should perhaps take a closer look at when you get the chance.

First there is the idea of ​​Erasmus academies for lecturers, then the idea of ​​an “EU Student eCard” – so that online services of the host university can be better accessed during a semester abroad – and then – very central, I believe – the creation of even more and better European interlocking degrees; Here too the action plan has corresponding priorities.

The federal government has now also given this topic high priority and, together with Portugal and Slovenia, set itself the goal of realigning the topic of research as part of the trio presidency. That is why it is simply not true that, as you write, the government is not active here, but rather, I believe, we have to see clearly that this subject is right at the top of the agenda; That is something that can be emphasized in such a debate, dear colleagues.

The second point that was also raised: you want to finance the whole thing at the expense of Erasmus +. I believe that if we basically agree that we not only want to keep the digital formats after Corona, but also want and have to expand them, that cannot be at the expense of personal encounters. The personal encounter on site, the language acquisition on site, the fact that fellow students become international friends in the end – the Erasmus babies mentioned above are not created digitally either – that’s why I unfortunately have to tell you at this point that your application is simply not thought through. The Federal Government has the Erasmus + topic at the top of the agenda during the German EU Council Presidency.

Therefore, in conclusion: We agree on the goal – but please with focused measures instead of start-up campaigns or castles in the air. Therefore we will reject the application.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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