โ€œEurope will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.” Extract from Robert Schumanโ€™s declaration on 9 May 1950

Today we mark Europe Day โ€“ May 9th a day when Schuman declaration was signed ushering in a new era for peace and unity in Europe. It is a day to reflect on many achievements EU has helped shape within its borders and in Kosovo as we are part of the same continent and share the same values. For us at the Kosovo Erasmus+ Office, it is also a day to remember the role EU has in establishing the numerous possibilities which have enabled thousands of young Kosovars to learn, teach, travel and witness unforgettable experiences during their time as Erasmus students and academic staff. We have been able to witness the empowering, and beneficial Erasmus+ programme has on its participants across Kosovo, from higher education institutions to vocational education institutions also encompassing youth and sports communities.

The success and growth of Erasmus+ program in Kosovo is evident as the figures in Kosovo speak for themselves: from 2015-2022, there were 5012 students and academic staff going to Europe and 2673 coming to Kosovo through the international credit mobility action of the Erasmus+ programme. Until 2022, higher education institutions in Kosovo gained 59 Capacity Building projects in the field of Higher Education, 4 Jean Monnet projects, 2 Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters projects, 1 Erasmus Mundus Design Measures project and 41 Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Scholarships were granted to students from Kosovo.
In the last 2022 call Kosovo achieved greatest success so far in having won most CBHE projects so far 21. In CBVET Kosovo won 9, in Capacity Building in the field of Youth 8 and in Sports 4, on its first pilot year of the new 2021-2027 Erasmus+ programme.

And it is not only growing numbers in mobility but listening to real-life testimonials that truly fill your heart. When you meet Erasmus alumni, and they transmit the immense impact Erasmus program has had in their lives and in their future:

โ€œMy experience as an exchange student with the Erasmus+ program has made me, in many ways, the person I am today.โ€

โ€œI am grateful that I had the opportunity to go. It is extremely beneficial for knowledge, language, new people and much more…โ€

โ€œIt was a life-changing experience. It changed me as a person in every way, for the better.โ€
“A wonderful experience that I would recommend to everyone.โ€œ

Just a few of the messages we hear daily from alumni of Erasmus+ program.

So today as we celebrate Europe Day, we strongly believe that mobility programmes such as the Erasmus+ programme continue to open peoplesโ€™ minds and change their lives for the better, that youngsters in Kosovo continue to benefit from these mobility opportunities and bring back home the knowledge and best experiences Europe has to offer. That we never forget that we live in Europe and Europe lives in all of us.

Written by Mimika Dobroshi for Europe Day 2023