On the 10th of September 2020, Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi and Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sports and Voluntary Organisations Clifton Grima announced that the European Commission launched two new extraordinary calls for the 2020 Erasmus+ programme as a response to the challenges and setbacks experienced by the education, youth, culture and creative sectors as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The two calls focus on digital education readiness and skills development and social inclusion through creativity and the arts. The priorities include promoting gender equality, the development of digital competences and addressing differences in relation to the access and use of technology by underrepresented groups. Actions contributing to job creation, sustainable development and social inclusion through the arts and intercultural dialogue are also prioritised.
The Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi explained that, by means of these two calls, there would be an investment of €1.2 million, not solely in the educational sector, but mostly in our youth. He stated that this investment does not form part of the allocated budget for the years 2014-2020, and that, in fact, this is an extraordinary call which will be generating further development, especially in relation to digitalisation and creativity. Digitalisation is one of the main priorities which the European Union has been emphasising upon, so that member states continue to modernise themselves, and it is because of this that the Parliamentary Secretary emphasised that we will be able to turn these difficult moments into opportunities through this call.
Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sport and Voluntary Organisations Clifton Grima stated that the Erasmus+ Programme is further establishing its role as the European Union’s main instrument in supporting innovation in education and youth, as well as providing opportunities for personal and professional development for European citizens. He said that these calls will give young people an opportunity to merge their education with the cultural and creative sectors. Finally, he stressed that as a government we need to see more youths participating in these programmes. This government deems youth as one of its country’s greatest resources and is therefore committed to continue supporting them.
Chief Executive Officer and Erasmus+ National Coordinator Mr Joseph Schembri advised that the first call for Strategic Partnerships for Partnerships for digital education readiness is open to the schools, vocational and education training and the higher education sectors, and aims to support projects wanting to contribute to digital education and to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. The second call, Partnerships for Creativity, focuses on skill development and social inclusion through creativity and the arts, and is open to the schools, adult education and the youth sectors. The projects’ aim should be to enhance the creative skills of young people and adults and to boost quality and innovative youth work.
The deadline for these calls for proposals is at noon on the 29th of October 2020. For further information and assistance, one can contact EUPA on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 25586130. Application forms can be accessed on http://erasmusplus.eupa.org.mt/guide-to-apply/.