Erasmus and Citizenship

  • David Cairns
  • Ewa Krzaklewska
  • Valentina Cuzzocrea
  • Airi-Alina Allaste


Since 2014, a range of actions associated with the preceding Youth in Action initiative have been interpolated into the Erasmus programme, including voluntary placements and other forms of short duration exchange. In this chapter, we elaborate upon the shift away from academic mobility and towards establishing a clearer personal-political agenda in Erasmus+. We also examine the potential role of Erasmus in encouraging active citizenship, taking into account the value of mobility to its realization. Evidence is used from empirical material gathered in Estonia in the form of interviews with young people conducted before and approximately seven months after they had participated in a mobility project, with specific emphasis on the development of citizenship competences.


  1. Allaste, A.-A., & Cairns, D. (2016). Youth political participation in a transition society. Studies of Transition States and Societies, 8(2), 1–8.Google Scholar
  2. Allaste, A.-A., Pirk, R., & Taru, M. (2014). Mapping and typologising youth activism (Tartumaa and Ida-Virumaa). Research report. Retrieved from
  3. Amnå, E. (2013). Active, passive and standby citizens. In B. Küpper, A. Zick, P. Mompoint-Gaillard, E. Amnå, M. Byram, & A. B. Reinertsen (Eds.), The EWC statement series (pp. 17–21). Oslo: The European Wergeland Centre.Google Scholar
  4. Amnå, E., & Ekman, J. (2013). Standby citizens: Diverse faces of political passivity. European Political Science Review, 6(2), 1–21.Google Scholar
  5. Amnå, E., & Ivarsson, J. (2016). Perspectives of policymakers on EU and on youth active citizenship. CATCH-EyoU Blue paper. Retrieved from
  6. Bennett, W. L. (2008). Civic life online: Learning how digital media can engage youth. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  7. European Commission. (2012). Youth in Action programme guide. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  8. European Commission. (2017). Erasmus+ programme guide version 2. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  9. European Parliament. (2000). Presidency conclusions. Lisbon European Council 23 and 24 March 2000. Retrieved from
  10. European Parliament. (2006). Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning, (2006/962/EC). Retrieved from
  11. Harris, A., Wyn, J., & Younes, S. (2010). Beyond apathetic or activist youth. Young, 18(1), 9–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hoskins, B., & Crick, R. D. (2008). Learning to learn and civic competences: Different currencies or two sides of the same coin? Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  13. Hoskins, B., Villalba, E., van Nijlen, D., & Barber, C. (2008). Measuring civic competence in Europe. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  14. Marshall, T. H. (1950). Citizenship and social class. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Mascherini, M., Manca, A. R., & Hoskins, B. (2009). The characterization of active citizenship in Europe. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  16. Taru, M. (2013). A study on the effects of participation in a Youth in Action project on the level of competences. Stockholm: Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs.Google Scholar
  17. Vukelic, J., & Stanojevic, D. (2012). Environmental activism as a new form of political participation of the youth in Serbia. Sociologija, 54, 387–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Cairns
    • 1
  • Ewa Krzaklewska
    • 2
  • Valentina Cuzzocrea
    • 3
  • Airi-Alina Allaste
    • 4
  1. 1.ISCTE-University Institute of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Jagiellonian UniversityKrakowPoland
  3. 3.University of CagliariCagliariItaly
  4. 4.Tallinn UniversityTallinnEstonia

Personalised recommendations