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Education for kids must be part of EU’s emergency aid

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EPP Group logo 09.11.2021 11:56

Humanitarian aid

Help for schooling children and youngsters should be integrated into the EU’s emergency aid programmes, said Janina Ochojska MEP ahead of a vote in the European Parliament’s Development Committee on the Report on the ‘New orientations for the EU’s humanitarian action’.

“Integrating training and school programmes into emergency programmes is important to prevent children from dropping out of school, especially in cases of long-running conflicts. We do not want more lost generations. Children stand to lose the most when they cannot develop their knowledge and skills,” said Ochojska, who negotiated the parliamentary Report on behalf of the EPP Group.

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The document answers the European Commission’s plans for the EU’s humanitarian action and sets Parliament’s strategic priorities and policy recommendations for humanitarian aid ahead of the EU Humanitarian Forum, which will take place in January 2022.

Ochojska supports the European Commission’s proposals to reduce the administrative burden for the EU’s humanitarian partners. “Bureaucracy is a real problem, which wastes a lot of time and energy. Our suggestion is to enhance harmonisation and simplification of reporting requirements so that NGOs might focus more on helping rather than on paperwork,” Ochojska continued.

She also insists on the need to better coordinate the EU’s actions in the fields of development aid, humanitarian assistance and peace building.

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“As we are discussing new approaches to humanitarian actions, we should focus on the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. Disasters caused by natural hazards and conflicts pose a major threat to sustainable development and peace. The impact of such disasters and the complexity of humanitarian crises are growing, as climate change results in more severe and frequent weather-related events. Crises are becoming increasingly recurring and protracted. Therefore, in many cases, we are unable to make a clear distinction between humanitarian and development needs”, explained Ochojska. “In our view, humanitarian and development aid should be delivered in parallel and be supported by peace-building activities,” she concluded.

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Erasmus

Commission makes Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps more inclusive

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The Commission has adopted a framework which increases the inclusive and diverse character of the Erasmus + program and the European Solidarity Corps for the period 2021-2027. These measures give concrete form to the Commission's commitment to considerably strengthen these two programs, not only by opening up to a much larger number of people access to apprenticeship or volunteering in another country, but above all by reaching out to to a growing number of less fortunate people. With today's framework for inclusion measures, the Commission is giving strong impetus to improve equity and inclusion in the European Education Area and delivering on the promise made under Principle 1 of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which provides that everyone has the right to inclusive and quality education, training and lifelong learning. The Commission will closely monitor the implementation of these inclusion measures at national level through the national Erasmus + agencies and the European Solidarity Corps.

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Education

EU announces €25 million for education in crisis contexts and €140 million to support research in sustainable food systems

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Speaking at the Global Citizen Live event, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the European Union is pledging €140 million to support research in sustainable food systems and tackle food hunger via CGIAR, and a further €25m for Education Cannot Wait.  

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We must join forces to beat the coronavirus and rebuild the world better. Europe is doing its share. From the beginning, Europeans have shipped 800 million doses of vaccines with the world, even when we did not have enough for ourselves. Now, we need to step up, to help end this pandemic globally, end hunger, give children all over the world equal chances. Team Europe has already committed to donate 500 million doses of vaccines to vulnerable countries by next summer. On top, the European Commission today commits €140m to improve global food security and reduce extreme poverty, and €25m to Education Cannot Wait, supporting education for children around the world living through conflict and crisis.”

International Partnerships Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen said: "We must unite to put the SDGs back on track. As we continue to witness, we can never take access to education for granted. Team Europe has to date contributed to more than 40% of the funding of Education Cannot Wait, and the new €25m contribution from the EU will further support it to reach the most vulnerable children and bring them back to education. Additionally, thanks to our substantial support of €140m to CGIAR, we will be creating opportunities for youth and women, while tackling a key challenge of today, to promote sustainable food systems. Coordinated global actions will be decisive for achieving an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable transformation of food systems.” 

Read the full press release, the statement by President von der Leyen and the factsheet on the Team Europe COVID-19 global response.

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Education

2021 university ranking show that European universities have a strong degree of co-operation

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U-Multirank, initiated by the Commission and co-funded by Erasmus+, has published its 8th university ranking, scoring almost 2,000 universities from 96 countries across the world. Among other results, it shows that European universities cooperate more intensively in comparison to other regions, especially in the performance areas of teaching & learning, research, knowledge exchange and internationalisation (staff & student mobility, joint diplomas & publications, etc.). Generally, universities working together with other institutions, businesses and industries, governments, regional bodies or across borders generally perform better than those that are less focused on cooperation. Seven aspects were taken into consideration for the ranking: strategic partnerships, international joint degrees, internships, international co-publications, co-publications with industrial partners, regional co-publications and co-patents with industry.

Every year, U-Multirank compares higher education institutions' performance in areas that matter most to students, providing the world's largest customisable online rankings. Universities can use U-Multirank data to assess their strengths and weaknesses and find ways to create or strengthen their strategic plans, including aspects on cooperation. The European Universities initiative is one of the flagship action led by the Commission towards the European Education Area. The objective is to create transnational alliances where students, staff and researchers can enjoy seamless mobility – physically as well as virtually, to study, train, teach, do research, work, or share services in any of the cooperating partner institutions. So far, there are 41 such alliances bringing together more than 280 institutions of higher education across Europe. In total, a budget of up to €287 million from Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe is available for these 41 European Universities. More information is available online.

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