MEPs Monika Smolková and György Schöpflin discussed with students the future of the EU within the Erasmus+ 30th anniversary.
On Monday, November 20, 2017, a cross-border discussion forum, organised by the Europian Parliament Information Offices from Slovakia and Hungary, was held at the grounds of Technical University of Košice. The guests were welcomed by prof. Vladimír Modrák, the Vice-Rector for Foreign Relations. Proposals for the EU´s education policy by 2025 were made in the University Library of TUKE.
The Erasmus program fundamentally changes the students´ lives, thinks Monika Smolková, a Slovak MEP. Their common characteristic is that they generally do not have anti-European attitudes. According to the MEP, the European Parliament has promoted the increaseof the Erasmus budget by 40% in this budget period. She encouraged the students to take part in new iniciatives such as European Solidarity Corps, which is becoming a “phenomenon“. It is also important to pay attention to calls for 2018, which will be the EU´s European Year of Cultural Heritage.
György Schöpflin, Hungarian MEP, member of the EP Committee on Constitutional Affairs, the Committee on Culture and Education as well as former university professor, pointed out the current multi-layered crisis in the EU, which would not have any solutions, if analysed the wrong way. According to him, polarisation is reinforced in the European Community and it is a problem if the EU is trying to use a unifified approach for all, which often works poorly.
Kristína Tobiašová from the support network for mobile students Erasmus Student Network from Košice says that the term “post-erasmus depression” is already known in the Erasmus graduates´ community. The experience of the students who participated in the mobility, according to them, “diametrically differs from their peers, who did not have such opportunity”. However, she perceives a decrease in the interest in travelling among young people, which is, in her opinion, caused by the fear of terrorist attacks in several countries. Therefore, the promotion of these programs should be strenghtened.