An Erasmus for everyone !
What is Universal Erasmus ?
For whom ?
Universal Erasmus, launched by the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM), aims to generalize the circulation of young people in Europe in order to deepen democracy.
Primary school pupils
Universal Erasmus in brief
Years and semesters of exchanges
Unemployed young people
High and middle school students
Why Universal Erasmus ?
After the attacks that hit Paris and Copenhagen in January and February 2015, the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement EGAM sought to reply to the identity and ideological nationalist tensions with a founding initiative. A column was published and signed by 28 school unions and antiracist European organizations with many purposes.
Beyond Erasmus +, Universal Erasmus aims to generalize exchanges and circulation for many different age groups of young Europeans. Enabling young people from different age groups to share a collective European experience.
A citizen contribution to the democratic rebuilding of Europe
We have the ambition to stop thinking in terms of developments and add-ons to the Erasmus + program in order to turn European mobility into an effective right for everyone. The universal dimension of Universal Erasmus declares this right a European objective, in order to deepen democracy.
Why should we go beyond Erasmus + ?
To launch a great European adventure, new, inclusive and egalitarian
Engage in a unifying project to define together new democratic boundaries
To unite populations to build a European society and a European identity
News about Universal Erasmus
An article written by Stéphane Troussel, president of the Departmental Council of Seine-Saint-Denis
An OpEd written by Benjamin Abtan, president of EGAM (European Grassrots Antiracist Movement)
For Universal Erasmus - The collective call
Benjamin Abtan, President of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement - EGAM, alongside leaders of 98 Student and High-School Student Unions and Youth and Antidiscrimination Organizations
from 38 countries, 171 Members of Parliament from 32 countries
and numerous European civil society and political figures:
In his speech at La Sorbonne on September 26th, the President of the French Republic endorsed the proposition that “by 2024, half of an age group must have spent at least six months in another European country before reaching 25.”
Many young people are attracted by extremism, notably nationalism and islamism, and fuel the political, social and moral crisis that our continent is experiencing. Europe needs a profound democratic rebuilding, which places youth at its heart.
Therefore, we, human rights activists, leaders of the youth world, stakeholders of the education sector, local, national and European elected people, intellectuals, artists, coming from various backgrounds and with different political, union or activist sensibilities but united by our shared attachment to democracy, call for the creation of “Universal Erasmus” or “Erasmus for all”.
“Universal Erasmus” is the generalization of the circulation of young people in Europe in order to deepen democracy.
All young people in Europe, especially those who are the most excluded because of social, racial and territorial reasons, will be involved in this initiative together. It is not only a change of scale, but also a change in the nature of the programme which has made people love Europe and has allowed more than 9 million people to travel since 1987.
Concretely, this means years or semesters of exchange or time spent abroad for all students, apprentices and unemployed young people, class trips or short exchanges for all high school, middle school and primary school pupils.
Pedagogical support will ensure that this movement implies a rejection of racism and antisemitism and a commitment to the values of democracy. Indeed, circulation alone does not necessarily imply humanism and openness on the world.
If we know well that it is not possible to implement right now this generalization, we know just as well that it is right now that we need to resolutely get involved in this perspective in order for it to be implemented in the future, notably by elaborating solutions to the various issues it poses.
In particular, it is right now that we need to identify, elaborate and put in place the means for all those who are the most excluded because of social, racial and territorial reasons are included like the others.
In doing so, Universal Erasmus will bring to life the fundamental values of democracy and will achieve a deep rebuilding of Europe.
First, this is an initiative for equality and justice.
An entire generation will be included in a common project. The passage through Europe will reintroduce mobility at a time when societies in Europe are becoming more and more closed off, therefore unjust. This change of logic is strong: it is no longer a question of widening the sphere of beneficiaries around the “winners of globalization”, but rather its generalization, to include from now on and under the same title those who are considered the “losers of globalization.” This will reduce inequality of opportunity between different societal groups, which generates tensions.
Leaders of 98 Student and High-School Student Unions and Youth and Antidiscrimination Organizations from 38 countries:
Helge Schwitters, Caroline Sundberg, and Adam Gajek, President and Vice-presidents of the European Students' Union- ESU (Norway, Sweden, Poland), Alfonso Aliberti, Coordinator of the European Youth Forum (Italy, Belgium) Jimmy Losfeld and Nassim Mekeddem, President and Vice-President of the Federation of General Student Organizations - FAGE, (France), Lilâ Le Bas, President of the National Students Union - UNEF, (France), Tobias Eisch, Member of the Executive Committee; Eva Gruse, Member of the Executive Committee; Nathalie Schäfer, Member of the Executive Committee; Konstantin Korn, Member of the Executive Committee of FZS - Free Association of Student Bodies (Germany), Lorenzo Varponi, Spokesperson of the University Students (Italy), Johanna Zechmeister, Marita Gasteiger and Hannah Lutz, Co-Presidents of the Austrian Students´ Union (Austria), Beatrice Angrand, General Secretary of the Franco-German Youth Office - OFAJ (France), Djuro Blanusa, Secretary General of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office - RYCO (Serbia), Mario Mažić, Director of Programmes of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Croatia), Andreas Frans, Flemish Students Union - VVS, (Belgium), Síona Cahill, President of the Union of Students in Ireland – USI (Ireland), Vojtěch Lipták, Chairman, Česká středoškolská unie - Czech High School Union (Czech Republic), Leon Egan, President of the Irish Second-Level Students' Union - ISSU (Ireland), Angela Scalzo, Secretary General of SOS Razzismo (Italy), Anton Johansson, Spokesperson of the Liberal Students (Sweden), Samuel Szenker, President of the Independent and Democratic Federation of High School Students - FIDL (France), Natalia Tarmas, Spokesperson for the Committee for the Defense of Democracy (Poland), Alina Bricman, President of the European Union of Jewish Students – EUJS (Belgium), Johanna Ortega Ghiringhelli, President of the International Union Of Socialist Youth - IUSY (Paraguay), The Committee of Francophone Students - CEF (Belgium), Suomen Ylioppilaskuntien Liitto – National Union of University Students in Finland – SYL (Finland), Francesco Bee, Spokesperson of the Swiss Students Union (Switzerland), Dominique Sopo, President of SOS Racisme (France), Mario Stasi, President of Licra (France), Martin Bohmert, General Delegate of Les Jeunes Avec Macron, (France), Guillaume Denoix de Saint Marc, Founder and Director of the French Association for the Victims of Terrorism (France), Miroslav Broz, Spokesperson at Konexe (Czech Republic), Rebekka Pury Pétursdóttir, Coordinator of the Association of Higher Education Students - NEMINN (Iceland), Lena Köhler, Chair of Students' Union at the University of Vienna (Austria), Beni Hess, President of the Union of Austrian Jewish Students (Austria), Hannah Graham, Co-President of the Young Greens of England and Wales (UK), Eliott Pavia-Ernest, Spokesperson of the Young Socialist Movement, (France), Advija Ibrahimovic, Spokeswoman of Women of Srebrenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Marian Mandache, Director of Romani Criss (Romania), Svetlana Gannushkina, President of Memorial Human Rights Organization (Russia), Jasmin Chalendi, National Chair Women of The Action of Critical Students - AKS (Austria), Borka Bosnisch, Spokesperson of the Teachers Union of Serbia - TUS (Serbia), Geert Ates, Director of UNITED for Intercultural Action, (Netherlands), Maximilian Lerat and Carmelo Sutera, President and Vice-President of the Young Socialist Movement (Belgium), Alain Daumas, President of the French Union of Gypsy Organizations - UFAT (France), Daria Mustafina, Director of Institute of Partnership and Sustainable Development (Ukraine), António Serzedelo, Chairman of OPUS Gay (Portugal), Mendel Goldstein, Michel Judkiewiczl, and Ina Van Looy, President and Director of the Secular Jewish Community Center – CCLJ and Director of the Education and Citizenship Center (Belgium), Rune Berglund Steen, Director of the Antirasistisk Senter (Norway), Deyan Kolev, Chairman of Amalipe Center (Bulgaria), Sacha Ghozlan, President of UEJF – Union of French Jewish Students (France), Sayat Tekir, Spokesperson of the Armenian Youth Movement of Turkey Nor Zartonk (Turkey), Chrystelle Brassinne, President of UNEL – National Union of Luxembourg Students (Luxembourg), Moawia Ahmed, President of Greek Forum for Migrants (Greece), Monika Mazur-Rafał, Director of Humanity in Action (Poland), Einar Hrafn Árnason, President of the Icelandic Student Union (Islande), Marigona Shabiu, Executive Director of Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Kosovo), Oula Silvennoinen, Chairman of the Finnish Holocaust Remembrance Association (Finland), Peter Dankmeijer, Director of the Global Alliance for LGBT Education - GALE (Netherlands), Jožef Horvat Sandreli, Director of the European Roma Union (Slovenia), Willi Hejda, Chairperson of the Students Union of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (Austria), Tomas Kubilius, Director of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute and Chairman of the Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (Lithuania), Daniel Stanko, Coordinator of the Romani Early Years Network (Slovakia), Vojtěch Blodig, Deputy Director of Terezín Memorial Prague (Czech Republic), Valery Hrytsuk, Coordinator of The International Association of Independent Democrats Against Authoritarian Regimes (Belarus), Bojan Stankovic, Director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Serbia), Nadia Gortzounian and Nicolas Tavitian, European President and Director of the Armenian General Benevolent Union – AGBU (France, Belgium), Panayote Dimitras, Spokesperson of the Greek Helsinki Monitor (Greece), Donald Okhawere, Chairman of Nigerian Community Greece - NCG (Greece), Marcel Kabanda, President of the Association of Survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi’s in Rwanda - IBUKA France, (France), Boris Raonić, Director of Civic Alliance (Montenegro), Czech Women’s Lobby (Czech Republic), Jette Møller, President of SOS Racism (Denmark), Nicolae Radita, Director of the National Roma Centrum (Moldova), Hristo Ivanovski, President of the Alliance for Human Rights (Macedonia), Alena Krempaska, Programme Director at the Human Rights Institute (Slovakia), Merle Haruoja, Spokesperson of the Estonian Centre for Human Rights (Estonia), Sambicha Souleiman, President of the Women's Association of Drosero "Elpida" (Greece), Cristina Erica Schwarze, Presidentt of SOS Rassismus (Switzerland), Christoph Wiedmer, Co-Director of the Society for Threatened Peoples (Switzerland), Paula Sawicka, Board Member of Open Republic (Poland), Krassimir Kanev, Chairperson of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (Bulgaria), Kumar Vishwanathan, Director of Life Together (Czech Republic), Doros Polykarpou, Director of KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism (Cyprus), Miroslav Zima, Spokesperson of the Roma Center (Czech Republic), Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine), Amy Sebes, Founder of the Association of Albanian Girls and Women (Albania), Igor Kochetkov, Director of the Legal and Social Support Charitable Foundation “Sphere” and Russian LGBT Network (Russia), Sabina Achterbergh, Chairwoman of the Dutch Association of Sinti, Roma and Travellers (Netherlands), Levent Sensever, Spokesperson of DurDe! – Say stop to Racism and Nationalism (Turkey), Čeněk Růžička, Chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust in the Czech Republic (Czech Republic), Aet Kukk, President of the Estonian Institute of Human Rights (Estonia), Aldo Merkoci, Spokesperson of MJAFT! (Albania), Alina Ungureanu, President of the Association for Development and Social Inclusion Romania (Romania), Livia Fränkel, President of the Association of Holocaust Survivors in Sweden (Sweden), Lucie Rybová, Director of the Czech Helsinki Committee (Czech Republic), Muhamet Arifi, Director of Balkan Sunflowers Kosova - BSFK (Kosovo), Ewa Grzegrzółka, Board Member of the Association for Legal Intervention (Poland), Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, President of the Association of Survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi’s in Rwanda - IBUKA, (Rwanda), Rafal Pankowski, President of the Organization Never Again (Poland), Murat Çelikkan, Director of Hakikat Adalet Hafıza Merkezi - Truth Justice Memory Center (Turkey), Septimius Parvu, Coordinator of the Expert Forum (Romania), Michael McEachrane, President of Fight Racism Now! (Sweden).
Numerous European civil society and political figures:
Tim Hunt, Nobel Prize for Medicine (UK), Richard J. Roberts, 1993 Nobel Price for Medicine (UK), Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize for Literature (Turkey), Christiane Taubira, Former Minister of Justice (France), Bernard Kouchner, Former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Founder of Doctors without Borders, and Médecins du Monde (France), Miguel-Angel Moratinos, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (Spain), Ivan Simonovíc, Former Deputy Secretary-General to the United Nations for the Responsibility to Protect and Professor at the Zagreb Law School (Croatia), Beate Klarsfeld, UNESCO Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy for Education about the Holocaust and the Prevention of Genocide (Germany, France), Adam Michnik, Co-founder of Sosidarnosc, Editor in Chief of Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland), George Vella, Former Minister for Foreign Affairs (Malta), Oliviero Toscani, Visual Artist and Photographer (Italy), Ivan Krastev, Researcher, Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies (Bulgaria), Danis Tanovic, Filmmaker (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Fadela Amara, Former Secretary of State, (France), Marie Darrieussecq, Writer (France), Can Dundar, Journalist (Turkey, Germany), Flemming Rose, Journalist (Denmark), Jovan Divjak, Former General, Deputy Director Commander of the Defence forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Defender of besieged Sarajevo, Executive Director of “Education Builds Bosnia and Herzegovina” (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Zineb El Rhazoui, Journalist, Writer (France, Morocco), Christian Guémy - C215, Artist (France), Ariel Goldmann, President of the Unified Juish Social Funds and of the French Judaism Foundation (France), Armand Back, Journalist (Luxembourg), Miika Sahamies, Senior Adviser at Akava - The Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff (Finland), Georges-Marc Benamou, Writer and Producer (France), Mendel Goldstein, Former Hdeigh Official of the European Union and President of CCLJ, Catherine Wihtol de Wenden, Senior research fellow CNRS (France), Hugo Billard, Professor of Geopolitics and Director of School Manuals (France), Rithy Panh, Filmmaker, Author, and Sourvivor (Cambodia, France), Patrick Klugman, Deputy Mayor of Paris (France), ), Jean Viard, Associate Research Director at SciencesPo and the CNRS (France), François Morel, Actor, Singer (France), André Sirota, Professor Emeritus of the University of Paris Nanterre and Activist of CEMEA: Training Centres for Active Education Methods (France), Pekka Ristelä, President of the The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions - SAK (Finland), Philippe Blondin, President of the Jewish Museum of Belgium (Belgium), Dominique Attias, Former Vice-President of the Bar Association of the Court of Appeal of Paris (France), Sovachana Pou, Deputy Director in Charge of Research and Publications, Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (Cambodia), Human Rights Concern Eritrea (Eritrea), Velma Šarić, Founder and President of the Post-Conflict Research Center (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Reyan Tuvi, Filmmaker (Turkey), Dariusz Stola, Director of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews - POLIN (Poland), Oriol López-Badell, Coordinator of the European Observatory on Memories (Spain), Baskin Oran, Professor Emeritus of International Relations (Turkey), Alice Nzomukunda, Vice-president of the National Council for Unity and Reconciliation of Burundi, Former Vice-President of Burundi, and former Deputy Speaker of Parliament (Burundi), Maria Rita Corticelli, Director of Center for Genocide Studies (Iraqi Kurdistan), Geneviève Brisac, Writer (France), Valérie Rossi, Mayor of Puy Sanières and County Elected Advisor (France), Mihai Gheorghe Nedelcu, President of CEIR Sibiu, International Romani Union (Romania), Maxim Efimov, Writer and Social Philosopher (Estonia), Ara Sarafian, Director of the Gomidas Institute (UK), Pakrat Estukyan, Editor-in-chief of the Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos (Turkey), Federico Fubini, Journalist of the Corriere della Sera (Italy), Sam Rushworth, Head of Engagement at AEGIS (UK), Ana Marjanović Rudan, Policy Consultant (Serbia), Luciana Minassian, Lawyer at the UBA Law School (Argentina), Karen Oetling, Freelance Designer (Mexico), Keith Porteous Wood, President of the National Secular Society (UK), Yousif A. Salih, Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights (Iraq), Peter Meiwald, Former MP, Grunen party (Germany), Yaroslav Hrytsak, Professor at the Ukrainian Catholic University (Ukraine), Kyle Matthews, Executive Director at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies – MIGS at the Concordia University (Canada), Evren Çevik, Member of Foreign Affairs Commission of Peoples' Democratic Party (Turkey), Martin Holler, Historian (Germany), Caroline Mecary, Lawyer of the Paris and the Quebec Bar Association, Former Member of the Conseil de l’Ordre de Paris, (France), Mykola Riabchuk, President of the Ukrainian PEN Center (Ukraine), Myroslav Marynovych, Vice-rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University (Ukraine), Ivo Goldstein, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Zagreb, Former French Ambassador of Croatia in France (Croatia), Armando De La Parra, Director of the Foundation for Parlamentary Support and Citizens Participation - FUNDAPPAC (Bolivia), Prune Antoine, Journalist (Germany, France), Alain Grabarz, President of Hachoner Hatzaïr (France), Noël Mamère, Former MP (France), Charles Habonimana, Former President of the Group of the Former Students Sourvivors of the Genocide - GAERG (Rwanda), Alain Lempereur, Professor at University of Brandeis (US, France), Sonia Avakian–Bedrossian, President of AGBU (Bulgaria),Urša Raukar, Actress (Croatia), Reda Didi, Director of the Think tank “Graines de France” (France), Charles Enderlin, Journalist (France), Laura Slimani, Rouen Municipal Councellor (France), Ali Dolamari, Representative of the Regional Government of Kurdistan in France (Iraq), Marc Knobel, Historian (France), François Margolin, Filmmaker (France), Annie Lulu, Philosophy Professor and Poet (France), Bronchtein Ofer, President of the International Forum for Peace (France, Israël, Palestine), Louis-Georges Tin, President of Cran (France), Lucien Kemkeng, President of Cercle de la Diversité (CDR) (France), Thierry Cruvellier, Journalist and Writer (France), Fadila Mehal, Vice-president of the Robert Schuman Institute and Advisor for the City of Paris (France), Ramazan Dyryldaev, Chairman of the Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights (Kyrgyzstan), Penda Mbow, President of the Mouvement Citoyen Senegal (Senegal), Dominique Tricaud, Lawyer and Former Member of the Conseil de l’Ordre de Paris (France), Anne-Marie Revcolevschi, Former Advisor for European Affairs and Founder and First President of the Projet Aladin (France), Yves Ternon, Historian (France), Cengiz Aktar, Political Science Professor (Turkey), Alexis Lacroix, Journalist (France), Ilias Panchard, City Councillor in Lausanne (Switzerland), René Léonian, President of the Union of Armenian Protestant Churches of Eurasia (Armenia), Yevgeniy Zakharov, Director of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (Ukraine), Ana Dalila Gomez, General Coordinator of Pueblo Rrom-Gitano de Colombia (Colombia), Jean-Michel Ganteau, University Professor, (France), Elie Chouraqui, Filmmaker (France), Mariateresa Garrido, Professor at University for Peace (Costa Rica), Elena Zanatta, Training Officer at Fabrica (Italy), Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, President of Genocide Watch (United States of America), Haykak Arshamyan, Spokesperson, Transparency International (Armenia), Omar Mohammed, Founder of Mosul Eye (Iraq), Simon Clarke, Professor at the American University of Armenia (Armenia), Seray Genç, Film Critic (Turkey), Ahmed Samih Farag, Director of Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies (Egypt), Hossam Eldin Aly, President of Liberal Youth Party and Chairman of the Egyptian Democratic Academy (Egypt), Elzbieta Petrajtis, Former Chairwoman of Open Republic (Poland), Daniel Innerarity, Professor the University of the Basque Country (Spain), James Smith, Co-founder of the UK National Holocaust Centre and Aegis Trust (UK), Henry Theriault, President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and Chair of the Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group (USA), Mohammed Jasim, Director of Mosul University Libraries, (Iraq), Daisy Goodall, Charlotte Massey, Margot Dupé, Directors, Advocacy Officers at the Student Association Against Genocide - STAND (UK, France), Cyril Hennion, President of the Jean Moulin Humanist Citizen Union (France), James Waller, Professor (USA), Styopa Safaryan, Founder and Head of The Armenian Institute for International and Security Affairs (Armenia), Milena Popovic Samardzic, President of the Trade Union of Montenegrin Doctors (Montenegro), Marek Rocki, Professor and Rector of SGH Warsaw School of Economics (Poland), Nadine Papai, CEO, Society of Threatened Peoples Austria (Austria), Jacalyn Birk, Member of the European Union's Judicial Cooperation Unit - EUROJUST (Netherlands), Loes Rutten, President of AEGEE-Europe (Belgium), Josef Zissels, Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress - WJC (Ukraine), Kivanc Ersoy, Mathematician and Professor (Turkey), Avtandil Mikaberidze, Director of the Georgian Institute at Athens (Georgia), Samy Schrott, Member of the Board, Limmud Wien (Austria), Sari Nusseibeh, Professor of Philosophy and former President of the Al-Quds University (Palestine), Daniel Mekonnen, Director of the Eritrean Law Society (Switzerland), Armen Vardanyan, Director of the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs - AIISA (Armenia), Andrew Woolford, Professor of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Manitoba (Canada), Ruben Mehrabyan, Fellow, Armenian Institute for International and Security Affairs (Armenia), Harout Palanjian, President of the General Armenian Benevolent Union - AGBU (Netherlands), Marco Duranti, Senior Lecturer in Modern European and International History at the University of Sydney (Australia), Tibi Galis, Executive Director of the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (USA), Johnny Sokleh Montgomery, President of Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa - GPFA (Liberia), Robert Menasse, Writer (Austria), Radostina Georgieva, Communications and Campaigns Expert, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (Bulgaria), Táňa Fischerová, Chairwoman of Czech Helsinki Committee (Czech Republic), Vincent Worms, President of Kadist, (USA), Jasharaj Almedina, Student at the University of Montenegro (Montenegro), Francis Chouraqui, Lawyer, (France), Godefroy W. Mokamanédé, Former Minister (Central African Republic), Sasha Zanko, European Roma and Travellers Forum, (France), ), Muamer Talovic, President of the Bosnian Cultural Association (France), Garo Chadoian, Former Vice President of International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) (Austria), Judith Aquien, Cofounder of Thot school (France), Haik Garabedian, Member of the Board of AGBU Europe (Bulgaria), Yasmina Gourchane, Fellow and Member of the World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy (USA), Petre Matei, Research Fellow United States Holocaust Museum in Bucharest (Romania), Rada Šešić, Head of the Documentary competition at Sarajevo Film Festival (Croatia), Christine Priotto, Mayor of Dieulefit and member of the National Board of the Socialist Party (France), Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, Chairman of The Jewish Society (Denmark), Thomas Samuelian, Former Professor at the American University (Armenia), Ladan Abdorrahman, Director of The Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation, (France, USA), Léontine Meijer-Van Mensch, Deputy Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin (Germany), Almoutassim Al Kilani, Human Rights Defender, Syrian Center for Media (Syria), William Bourdon, Lawyer and Member of the Paris Bar Association (France), Franck Papazian and Ara Toranian, Co-presidents of the Coordinating Council of Armenian Associations of France - CCAF (France), Délia Romanes and Alexandre Romanes, Directors of Romanes Cirque Tzigane and TCHIRICLIF, Center for Gypsy Arts and Cultures (France), Arno Klarsfeld, Lawyer (France), Jordi Guixe Corominas, Director of the European Observatory on Memories of the University of Barcelona (Spain), Spartacus Ursu, Singer (France), Jana Horváthová, Historian, Director of the Museum of Romani Culture of Brno (Czech Republic), Augustin Grosdoy, President of the Mouvement contre le Racisme et l'Amitié entre les Peuples - MRAP (France), Maher G Nawaf, Director and Board Member of Yazda, Global Yazidi Organization (UK), Julien Dray, Member of the Regional Council of Île-de-France (France), Hélène Luc, Former Senator, (France), Jean-Michel Ganteau, Writer (France), Burhan Shamo, Mathematics Professor (Iraq), Khalaf Salih Ali, President of Shengal Charity Organisation (Iraqi Kurdistan), Déo Mazina, President of Ibuka (Belgium), Marco Gonzalez, Director of Yahad - In Unum (France), Pierre Henry, President of France Terre d’Asile (France), Bruno Sire, Honorary President of Toulouse 1 Capitole University (France), Jacky Mamou, Former President of Médecins du monde, (France), Pascal Blanchard, Historian, Co-director of the Groupe de Recherche Achac (France), Kendal Nezan, President of the Kurdish Institute of Paris (France), Mbabazi Venuste, Member of Youth for Peace and Development, (Rwanda), Hervé Féron, Mayor of Tomblaine and former MP, (France), Audrey Pulvar, President, Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme, (France), Aymeric Givord, Board member of Ibuka (France), Dismas Kitenge Senga, President of the LOTUS Group, (France), Farhad Shamo, Human Rights Activist (France, Iraqi Kurdistan), Rewan Hussein, Director, Representation of the Regional government of Kurdistan in Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), Sonia Rolland, Actress and Filmmaker, (France, Rwanda), Dagnaud, Mayor of the 19e arrondissement of Paris, (France), Sihem Habchi, President of the Simone de Beauvoir Price and Former President of Ni Putes Ni Soumises, (Algeria, France), Issouf Ag Aguidid, Member of the board, Thot, (Mali, France), Dimitri Sotiropoulos, Professor, (Greece), Aude Hayot, Activist (France), Jacinthe Hirsch, President of Mémoire 2000, (France), Samson Ozararat, President of the association SOS-Arménie Côte-d’Azur, (France), Renate Schöllkopf, Lawyer (Germany), Manfredo Marroquín, Director, Acción Ciudadana (Guatemala),Ahmed Khudida Burjus, Deputy Executive Director of Yazda (Iraqi Kurdistan), Paruar Bako, President of Our Bridge (Iraq),Michel Boujenah, Actor, (France), Naif Bin Dawood, President of the Yazidi Independent Supreme Council (Iraq), Marie Lorraine Vannier, Chris Macket Sulaiman Suhukur Masto, Activists for the Rights of the Yazidi People (Iraq) Fredéric Encel, Academic (France), Guy Konopnicki, Writer and Journalist (France), Benjamin Stora, Historian, President of the National Museum of Immigration (France), Joëlle Bordet, Researcher and Psychosociologist (France).
171 parliamentarians from 32 countries:
Damien Abad, MP (France), Said Abdu, MP (Sweden), Ignacio Sánchez Amor, MP (Spain), Ana Maria Gomes, MEP (Portugal), Christophe Arend, MP (France), Georgios Arvanitidis, MP (Greece), Gabriel Attal, MP (France), Sophie Auconie, MP (France), Delphine Bagarry, MP (France), Jean-Pierre Bansard, MP (France), Ericka Bareigts, MP (France), Olivier Becht, MP (France), Brando Benifei, MEP (Italy), Philippe Berta, MP (France), Gregory Besson-Moreau, MP (France), Aude Bono-Vandorme, MP (France), Pierre-Yves Bournazel, MP (France), José Bové, MEP (France), Richard Boyd Barret, MP (Ireland), Yaël Braun-Pivet, MP (France), Elmar Brok, MEP (Germany), Jacques Brotchi, MP , (Belgium), Tommy Broughan, MP (Ireland), Fabrice Brun, MP (France), Kathalijne Buitenweg, MP (Holland), Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, MEP (Romania), Huseyin Camak, MP (Turkey), Gregorio Cámara Villar, MP (Spain), Carles Campuzano i Canades, MP (Spain), Luc Carvounas, MP (France), Samantha Cazebonne, MP (France), Jean-François Cesarin, MP (France), Philippe Chalumeau, MP (France), Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, MP (Denmark), Kostas Chrysogonos, MEP (Greece), Boriss Cilevičs, MP (Latvia), Jim Cunningham, MP (United Kingdom), Olivier Damaisin, MP (France), Aleksandar Damjanovic, MP (Montenegro), Michael Danby, MP (Australia), Olivier Dassault, MP (France), Charles De Courson, MP (France), Petra De Sutter, MP (Belgium), Jennifer De Temmerman, MP (France), Marguerite Deprez-Audebert, MP (France), Nassimah Dindar, MP (France), Loïc Dombreval, MP (France), Anke Domscheit-Berg, MP (Germany), M'jid El Guerrab, MP (France), Frank Engel, MEP (Luxembourg), Elise Fajgeles, MP (France), Valeria Faure, MP (France), Laurence Fehlmann Rielle, MP (Switzerland), Agnès Firmin Le Bodo, MP (France), Eleonora Forenza, MEP (Italy), Alexandre Freschi, MP (France), Mario Galea, MP (Malta), Ricardo Antonio García Mira, MP (Spain), Kai Gehring, MP (Germany), Ullrich Gerald, MP (Germany), Stephen Gethins, MP (United Kingdom), Joël Giraud, MP (France), Valérie Gomez-Bassac, MP (France), Guillaume Gontard, Senator (France), Dennis Gratz, MP (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Nathalie Griesbeck, MEP (France), Émilie Guerel, MP (France), Brahim Hammouche, MP (France), Seán Haughey TD, MP (Ireland), Christine Hennion, MP (France), Olivier Henno, MP (France), Andrej Hunko, MP (Germany), Ivan Jakovčić , MEP (Croatia), Beat Jans, MP (Switzerland), Victoire Jasmin, Senator (France), Patrice Joly, Senator (France), Jose Ignacio Faria, MEP (Portugal), Željko Jovanović, MP (Croatia), Hubert Julien-Laferriere, MP (France), Bozena Kamińska, MP (Poland), Mikko Kärnä, MP (Finland), Stéphanie Kerbarh, MP (France), Filiz Kerestecioğlu, MP (Turquey), Anissa Khedher, MP (France), Margret Kiener Nellen, MP (Switzerland), Philippe Michel - Kleisbauer, MP (France), Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, MEP (Germany), Stelios Kouloglou, MEP (Greece), Sonia Krimi, MP (France), Jean - Christophe Lagarde, MP (France), Jean-Luc Lagleize, MP (France), François-Michel Lambert, MP (France), Mohamed Laqhila, MP (France), Stéphane Le Foll, MP (France), Jean-Claude Leclabart, MP (France), Vincent Ledoux, MP (France), Monique Limon, MP (France), David Lorion, MP (France), Pierre Louault, Senator (France), Monica Macovei, MEP (Romania), Jacques Maire, MP (France), Yannis Maniatis, MP (Greece), Jacques Marilossian, MP (France), Töns Markus, MP (Germany), Sandy Martin, MP (UK), Denis Masséglia, MP (France), Laimutė Matkevičienė, MP (Lithuania), Liliane Maury Pasquier, MP (Switzerland), Lisa Mazzone, MP (Switzerland), Šemsudin Mehmedović, MP (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Ludovic Mendes, MP (France), Merja Kyllönen, MEP (Finland), Mattea Meyer, MP (Switzerland), Louis Michel, MEP (Belgium), Jean Michel Mis, MP (France), Paul Molac, MP (France), Madeleine Moon, MP (United Kingdom), Kevin Boxer Moran, MP (Ireland), Jean-Baptiste Moreau, MP (France), Cécile Muschotti, MP (France), Sébastien Nadot, MP (France), Christophe Naegelen, MP (France), Holger K. Nilsen, MP (Denmark), Hişyar Özsoy, MP (Turkey), Sirpa Paatero, MP (Finland), Olivier Paccaud, MP (France), Mikuláš Peksa, MP (Czech Republic), Michal Pitr, MP (Czech Republic), Bérengère Poletti, MP (France), Natalia Pouzyreff, MP (France), Mirolad Pupovac, MP (Croatia), Bruno Questel, MP (France), Martin Rabanus, MP (Germany), Rémy Rebeyrotte, MP (France), Jean- Luc Reitzer, MP (France), Evelyne Renaud-Garabedian, MP (France), Mathias Reynard, MP (Switzerland), Cécile Rilhac, MP (France), Dominique Riquet, MEP (France), Ulla Sandbæk, MP (Denmark), Stefan Schennach, MP (Austria), Joanna Scheuring - Wielgus, MP (Poland), Karel Schwarzenberg, MP (Czech Republic), Tommy Sheppard, MP (UK), Benoit Simian, MP (France), Alex Sobel, MP (United Kingdom), Carlo Sommaruga, MP (Switzerland), Edmond Spaho, MP (Albania), Bart Staes, MEP (Belgium), Bruno Studer, MP (France), Sira Sylla, MP (France), Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu, MEP (Romania), Valérie Thomas, MP (France), Alain Tourret, MP (France), Nicolas Turquois, MP (France), Ivo Vajgl, MEP (Slovenia), Tom Van Der Lee, MP (Netherlands), Liesbeth Van Tongeren, MP (Netherlands), Derek Vaughan, MEP (United Kingdom), Arnaud Viala, MP (France), Stéphane Viry , MP (France), Julie Ward, MEP (UK), Maria Weimer, MP (Sweden), Bogdan Wenta, MEP (Poland), Cédric Wermuth, MP (Switzerland), Boris Zala, MEP (Slovakia), Gabriele Zimmer, MEP (Germany), Jean-Marc Zulesi, MP (France), Milan Zver, MEP (Slovenia).
Youth at the heart of the democratic rebuilding of Europe
Next, this is an initiative for freedom.
By offering individuals the opportunity to develop themselves through meeting the Other, to freely form their identities in a non-xenophobic and fully European way, Universal Erasmus will offer them the possibility of emancipation. It is through this exchange that individuals will be able to best identify the cultural and national legacies that have been transmitted to them and open up perspectives to invent their own identity and to make their own life decisions.
Furthermore, this is a popular initiative for the concrete transformation of Europe.
Universal Erasmus will be a new life experience for all young people, a real right and a tangible benefit gained thanks to Europe. By extension, all the families of the continent will be beneficiaries as the European experience and the image of Europe will be changed profoundly for tens of millions of individuals.
If it is fundamentally innovative, this new great European adventure is inscribed in the filiation of older schools of thought.
Already in 1935, the philosopher Husserl, excluded from German University because he was a Jew, already considered the constitution of a European identity as the only way to resist nationalism that was spreading across Europe. Some years later, Stefan Zweig called for the circulation of young people in Europe, especially in the context of their education, and for the transmission of the history of culture as a shared experience, in order to strengthen European solidarity and avoid the moral disintegration of our continent.
Universal Erasmus is inscribed in the history of building a European identity and civil society to give it a renewed dynamic. In doing so, it will restore Europe’s ambition of civilization and strengthen solidarity between Europeans as well as citizens’ adhesion to shared institutions. It could be completed by the integration of other non-European countries and by a program of “European Peace Corps” in order to offer an openness on the world. By profoundly renewing the European project and placing youth at its heart, it will offer a path towards the future. In this respect, Universal Erasmus is a powerful contribution to the fight against extremism that attracts many young people.
Of course, to achieve the effective implementation of Universal Erasmus, many challenges will have to be met, particularly linguistic, organizational, educational, institutional and financial.
The experiences acquired by institutions and by civil society at the European and local levels offer ideas on how to solve each problem. Financially, one should not be mistaken: Europe is experiencing a period of turbulence that could be fatal, and money will inevitably be spent in the future. Is it better to pay a high price for the costs of the displacement crises or to offer a chance to avoid them by investing in youth and democracy?
Universal Erasmus must now be part of the objectives, not only of France, but of all European countries. It is a vital necessity and a fundamental democratic imperative for our continent.
In his speech at la Sorbonne on Europe, on September 26th 2017, Emmanuel Macron endorsed the proposition of generalizing the circulation of young Europeans, by sharing an ambition :
An ambition of the President of the French Republic
« By 2024, half of an age group must have spent at least six months in another European country before reaching 25. »
Therefore, Universal Erasmus, the final purpose of which is the inclusion of a whole age groupe, is now one of France objectives.
Universal Erasmus, for whom ?
The circulation of young people is crucial for their education, to strengthen the relations between Europeans and the citizen adhesion to shared institutions and future.
This OpEd was published in 2015 by many European newspapers :
Le Monde (France), Huffington Post (France), Corriere della Sera (Italy), Die Tageszeitung (Germany), La Libre Belgique (Belgium), Politika (Poland), El Mundo (Spain), Kathimerini (Greece), L’Expresso (Portugal), Het Parool (Deutschland), Utrinski Vesnik (Macedonia)…
It was signed by 50 actors from European youth : high school unions, students, youth and antiracist organizations from 28 countries.
An initiative from European youth :
by young people, for young people
A European identity with the youth
To make self-construction possible through the encounter with someone else,
making Universal Erasmus an effective right and a concrete life experience.
To put youth back at the heart of the European project
A whole generation in a common project
An educational and civic support will complete this circulation of collective perspectives resting on democratic values, involving the rejection of racism, anti-semitism, xenophobia and discriminations.
Young people having a concrete European experience
To provide equal access to international circulation in Europe, providing it more particularly to those who are the most excluded, for social, racial or territorial reasons.
Let's come together to make Universal Erasmus a reality
Within a few weeks, the issue of the enlargement of Erasmus will be on the agenda of the public bodies.
In the spirit of the 2015 OpEd, our vocation is to gather all the actors involved in the promotion and the defense of European circulation.
National and European civil society : youth and educational organizations, antiracist and human rights organizations...
National and European Parliamentarians, in particular through the Elie Wiesel network
To combine forces...
Negociations concerning the European Union next multiannual financial framework begin in May
Conference on the Bologna Process in Paris on May 24th and 25th 2018
...to weigh into the debate
EGAM and the Elie Wiesel Network of Parliamentarians, reference European networks
Founded in 2010, the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement is the largest network of human rights organizations in Europe
Benjamin Abtan is the founder and the president of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement – EGAM, the founder and the coordinator of the Elie Wiesel Network.
He has been the political advisor of Bernard Kouchner, minister of Foreign affairs of France and the founder of Doctors Without Borders and of Doctors of the World, and of Christiane Taubira, minister of Justice of France. He has been the advisor for international affairs of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, the main French public financial institution, in order to build notably the Long Term Investors Club. He has also been the advisor of several French luxury houses for their institutional affairs. He has been very involved in civil society, as a member of the Board of SOS Racisme, the co-founder of the « Save Darfur » coalition, the president of the French Union of Jewish students. He teaches Genocide studies at various international universities. He holds engineering, international business and genocide studies degrees, respectively from French top-tier universities Télécom Paris and ESSEC, and from Stockton university (USA).
EGAM gathers every year hundreds of organizations in more than thirty-five countries throughout the continent, for institutional and grassroot actions. It is also made of networks of intellectuals, artists, journalists and political leaders at the national and local scale.
EGAM is officially recognized by the UN, the EU, the Council of Europe and the OSCE.
It consists of more than four hundred members, coming from different political horizons, from twenty-five national parliaments and from the European Parliament, involved in the defense of human rights and the prevention of massive crimes.
An initiative carried out by Benjamin Abtan, president of EGAM
Founded in 2016, the Elie Wiesel network is the largest network of European Parliamentarians.