Cooperation projects in Erasmus+

Erasmus+ Partnerships for Cooperation support internationalisation in the education and youth sectors and innovations in which organisations gain experience in international cooperation, strengthen their capacities, develop innovative approaches or exchange best practices.

26.2 thousand million euros plus an additional 2.2 thousand million euros from the Neighbourhood, Development Cooperation and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) is available for Erasmus+ until 2027, almost twice as much as in the previous programme (2014-2020). Approximately 30% of the funds are reserved for supporting cooperation projects and policy development activities.

Partnerships for Cooperation include sectoral and cross-sectoral cooperation between organisations active in the fields of education and youth. To be eligible for funding the project must address either at least one horizontal priority of the Erasmus+ programme or at least one sector-specific priority. In Austria approximately 170 Strategic Partnerships were funded by Erasmus+ Education and Youth in 2019.

Possible objectives of the cooperation are to work together across sectors on common needs and priorities, to increase the quality and relevance of the participating organisations’ activities, to build and strengthen partner networks, capacities for transnational cooperation and to increase the internationalisation of activities while developing or exchanging new practices, methods and ideas.

Within the framework of Partnerships for Cooperation a distinction is made between Cooperation Partnerships and Small-scale Partnerships (with the exception of higher education: there are no Small-scale Partnerships).

  • Cooperation Partnerships must involve at least three institutions from at least three different programme countries (and optionally: partner countries).
  • Small-scale Partnerships involve the cooperation of at least two institutions from two different programme countries. Small-scale Partnerships are a new project format designed to facilitate access to the Erasmus+ programme for smaller institutions and hard-to-reach target groups. Compared to Cooperation Partnerships funding is lower, the project duration shorter and the administrative burden lower. With a low entry threshold Small-scale Partnerships target less experienced institutions.

Mobility measures can also be organised and implemented within Strategic Partnerships provided that they contribute significantly to the achievement of the project objectives.

Further information about

Erasmus+ partnerships for cooperation in school education

Erasmus+ partnerships for cooperation in vocational education and training

Erasmus+ partnerships for cooperation in higher education

Erasmus+ partnerships for cooperation in adult education

Erasmus+ partnerships for cooperation in youth work

The “Partnerships for Excellence”, “Partnerships for Innovation”, “Capacity Building Projects in the field of Youth” and the “Not-for-profit European Sports Events” are managed centrally in Brussels.

The Partnerships for Excellence support projects with a long-term sustainable perspective. The following activities are supported with this type of partnership:

  • European Universities: supporting the emergence of bottom-up networks of higher education institutions that will bring cross-border cooperation to the next level of ambition by developing joint long-term strategies for high-quality education, research and innovation based on a common vision and shared values.
  • Erasmus Mundus programmes:
    • Joint Erasmus Mundus Master’s Programmes of higher education institutions offer a joint, integrated and accredited master’s degree programme during which students will complete their education at multiple locations across Europe and around the world.
    • Erasmus Mundus Design Measures (EMDM) support the development of new Joint Master's programmes.
  • Centres of Vocational Excellence: The initiative adopts a bottom-up approach to excellence whereby vocational education and training institutions are able to rapidly adapt the qualifications they offer to ongoing changes in economic and social needs. In this way transnational platforms for collaboration will be fostered.
  • Erasmus+ Teacher Academies: The aim of this programme is to create European partnerships of teacher education and training providers for a European and international perspective on teacher education.

Partnerships for Innovation support projects that aim to have a systemic impact at European level by having the capacity to implement project results at European scale and/or transfer them to different thematic or geographical contexts. They focus on thematic areas of strategic importance for Europe's growth, competitiveness and social cohesion. In 2021 the following programme will run under this partnership type:

  • Alliances for Innovation: Innovation Alliances aim to strengthen Europe's innovative capacity. Through cooperation and knowledge exchange between higher education, vocational education and training and further education and the wider socio-economic environment, including research, they are a driver for innovation. They also advance the provision of new qualifications and respond to skills shortages. To this end they develop new curricula for higher education and vocational education and training and support a spirit of initiative and entrepreneurial thinking in the EU.

Capacity Building in Higher Education supports cooperation between higher education institutions in programme countries and partner countries. The international cooperation projects aim, among other things, to develop modern teaching programmes, innovations in teaching methods or reforms in the higher education systems in the partner countries.

Capacity Building Projects in the field of Youth supports cooperation and exchange in the field of youth between programme country and partner country organisations and covers non-formal learning activities. A focus is on strengthening the capacity of organisations working with young people outside formal learning contexts while ensuring the active participation of young people.

Online platforms such as eTwinning, EPALE (Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe), SEG (School Education Gateway) and the European Youth Portal provide virtual collaboration spaces, partner search databases, communities of practice and other online services for teachers, trainers, youth workers, policy makers and other practitioners as well as for pupils, young people and adult learners in Europe and beyond.