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Impacts of the coronavirus on Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes

Programmes Higher education Erasmus+ Erasmus+ for adult education Erasmus+ for vocational education Erasmus+ for higher education Erasmus+ for youth work - Youth in Action Erasmus+ for general education Erasmus+: Sport European Solidarity Corps Internationalisation
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Please note that these instructions are aimed at project coordinators and TCA-/NET training participants. Youth, students, teachers and other staff will get further information regarding the practicalities and expenses of the interrupted or cancelled mobility periods from their own educational institution or sending organisation. 

Preliminary information 6 July 2020: Two additional Erasmus+ application rounds to be organised in October 2020

The Commission is planning to organise two additional calls for proposals this autumn as part of the measures supporting recovery from the coronavirus crisis. 

According to preliminary information:

  • Additional calls will be open for applications for KA2 strategic partnership projects. 
  • The calls will address two separate priorities 1) digital solutions and 2) the links between education and training and youth with creativity and culture.
  • Under the call for digital solutions the applications for the following action types can be submitted: KA201 (school education), KA202 (vocational education and training) and KA203 (higher education). 
  • Under the call concerning creativity and culture, applications can be submitted for KA201 (school education), KA204 (adult education) and KA205 (youth).
  • The proposed projects will need to comply with the standard rules for strategic partnerships as described in the Programme Guide, with the following exceptions: funding will be limited to EUR 150,000 and project duration will be shorter than normal, 12–24 months in the fields of education and training and 6–24 months in youth. 

The deadline is expected to be in October. In the youth sector, the call will be implemented in connection with the R3 application round. Based on the preliminary budget, at least 25 projects can be funded in Finland.

According to preliminary information, applications submitted for digital solutions must address the priority “Innovative practices in a digital era” as outlined in the 2020 Programme Guide. The projects on creativity and culture in turn should aim at equipping young people and professionals with skills and competence that support the recovery of the cultural and creative sectors from the COVID-19 epidemic and support the development and attractiveness of these sectors. A new priority addressing this will be published later in an addendum to the Programme Guide.

A formal decision on the proposed new calls will be made in July/August. We will provide more information as soon as possible.

We encourage Finnish actors and their partners to start preparing projects on the basis of this preliminary information.

Update 30.6.2020: Guidelines on virtual mobility

According to European Commission's new guidelines, it is possible to start mobility periods virtually in the autumn if starting the mobility period physically in a host country is not possible due to exceptional circumstances. However, it is obligatory to complete a part of the mobility period in the host country when the circumstances allow for it; it is not possible to award grants for solely virtual exchanges. Only in the case where a planned mobility period cannot, after all, take place due to changed COVID-19 circumstances, an entirely virtual mobility period is acceptable.

The learning occurred during the whole mobility period (virtual and physical) will be recognised. However, a grant can be awarded only for the part of the mobility period that takes place in the destination county. The sending organisation will be entitled to keep the whole organisation support regardless of whether the activity takes places physically or virtually. An exception to this rule are the Erasmus+ Youth activities where the organisations will be entitled to receive 35% per cent of the full unit cost per day per participant. In addition, organisations may apply the exceptional costs category to cover costs related to buying or renting of necessary equipment and/or services for the implementation of virtual and blended mobility activities. 

Update 16.6.2020: Commission's 'Re-open EU' platform

The European Commission has launched 'Re-open EU', a web platform to support a safe relaunch of travelling and tourism across Europe. It will provide real-time information on borders and available means of transport and tourism services in Member States. Re-open EU will also include practical information provided by Member States on travel restrictions, public health and safety measures.

Read more (you will move to another service): Commission launches a website to safely resume travelling and tourism in the EU

Update 26.5.2020: Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps mobility periods may start virtually

As physical mobility periods to abroad are not possible yet international cooperation continues virtually. If you need more information on virtual exchanges and virtual cooperation, please contact us (see our email addresses at the end of the page). 

Update 25.5.2020

For persons residing in Finland: If it is not possible for you to return to your home country or country of permanent residence due to restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, you can, under certain conditions, apply for a temporary residence permit in Finland.

Read more on the Finnish Immigration Service's website (you will move to another service): Effects of the coronavirus on customers who are in Finland

Update 11.5.2020

Based on the current travel restrictions, it is not possible to start new mobility periods with EU-programmes' funding to/from Finland.  We follow the recommendations of the national authorities and the European Commission and will inform of any changes to the travel regulations. 

Follow national authorities’ communications (you will move to another service): COVID-19 website of the Finnish Government
 

Update 9.4.2020: Key Action 3 deadline extended

The deadline of submission for Key Action 3 European Policy Experimentation in the field education and training and youth led by high-level public authorities applications has been extended. The new deadline for pre-proposals is 5 May. 

Update 2.4.2020: Additional instructions on the commission's website

The European Commission has published on their website additional instructions and FAQ for project coordinators and participants. The commission's aim is to reimburse the additional costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to projects and participants. 

- In Finland, we'll try to be as flexible as possible in handling this exceptional situation, says Mikko Nupponen, Head of the Finnish Erasmus+ National Agency.

- We are still waiting for instructions on marking the cancellations and additional costs in the commission's IT systems. We'll provide the projects with detailed instructions as soon as these practicalities are sorted out. 

More instructions and Q&A on the Commission website:

Note especially that recent higher education or VET graduates who need to postpone their planned placements abroad will be allowed to take them up within 18 months of their graduation, instead of the normal 12-month timeframe.

 

Update 17.3.2020: New extensions in application deadlines

Also the application rounds of Erasmus+ Youth in Action, Erasmus+ Sport and European Solidarity Corps are extended. Erasmus+ Youth in Action (KA1, KA2, KA3) and European Solidarity Corps (ESC11, ESC13, ESC21, ESC31) deadlines will be extended to 7 May. Erasmus+ Sport deadlines will be extended to 21 April
 

Update 16.3.2020: Extensions in application deadlines

The Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps application rounds scheduled for this spring will be organised.

The application deadline for Strategic Partnership projects of the education sectors (KA201, KA202, KA203, KA204) and School Exchange Partnerships (KA229) will be prolonged until 23 April to ensure that applicants are able to complete the applications under non-ordinary circumstances. Also, the application deadline for Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) applications will be prolonged until 26 May

In order to implement the planned project activities of ongoing projects, it is possible to apply for an extension of the project duration. The maximum extension is 12 months; however, the overall duration of the project may not exceed 36 months. Thus, it is not possible to apply for an extension for a three-year project. KA107 International credit mobility projects make an exception: the KA107 project agreements concluded in 2018 may be extended by 14 months, totaling to a 38-month overall duration. 

The extension of the project duration does not increase the financial support granted for the project. All project coordinators will receive further information and instructions via email.
 

Update 13.3.2020

An epidemic of the infectious disease COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus, erupted in China at the beginning of this year and cases of the disease have also been diagnosed in many other countries. The epidemic affects Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps mobilities and projects as public services, schools and higher education institutions in many countries have been closed because of the epidemic. Many countries have also limited travelling to or from abroad.
 
Mobilities in the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes can be interrupted, carried out with another collaborative partner, postponed to a later date or cancelled in all countries and regions, also outside the epidemic area. 

Organisations decide, together with their partner organisations, on the running of their international projects and agree together on measures regarding both outgoing and incoming mobility. Organisations should contact everyone participating in an Erasmus+ or European Solidarity Corps mobility period and advise them to contact Finland’s embassy or consulate to obtain further instructions. We recommend that Finnish organisations follow the travel bulletins published by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the coronavirus updates of the Finnish institute for health and welfare.

If the planned international action, such as Erasmus+ mobility period or European Solidarity Corps voluntary service is cancelled because of the coronavirus, enquiries about compensation for the costs should always be made through the participant’s travel insurance first. Organisations should notify the Finnish National Agency for Education of all cancellations or postponements. Our contact information is listed at the end of the page. 

After that, it is possible to apply for compensation for the costs of cancelled or postponed mobilities through the force majeure procedure. All force majeure applications as well as the eligibility of the expenses caused by cancellations will be assessed case by case. The reimbursement of costs is decided upon by the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps National Agency of each country; thus it is important that coordinating institutions follow the guidelines of their respective National Agencies. 

This procedure applies to all the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps actions that are funded by the Finnish National Agency.

In addition to international projects, the coronavirus may affect trainings and seminars organised by the National Agencies (TCA, NET). In such cases, participants will be contacted directly. 

These instructions will be specified if necessary.

Contact us at:

Erasmus+ for adult education: grundtvig [at] oph.fi
Erasmus+ for general education: comenius [at] oph.fi
Erasmus+ for higher education: erasmus [at] oph.fi
Erasmus+ for vocational education: erasmus.ammatillinen [at] oph.fi
Erasmus Sport: Sport [at] oph.fi
Erasmus+ Youth in Action: nuoriso [at] oph.fi
European Solidarity Corps: nuoriso [at] oph.fi