Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner have agreed that Germany and France will supplement existing programmes by making available up to one hundred additional scholarships per country for students, doctoral students and academics from Serbia who wish to come to Germany or France. The additional scholarships are to be available from the start of the coming winter semester. Other EU Member States are invited to join the initiative.
Furthermore, the two Ministers want to persuade the European Commission to increase the funds available for students from the Western Balkans under the Erasmus Mundus programme.
Federal Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement today (2 May) in Berlin on this joint Franco-German initiative:
"If we want to win support for our European ideas and values, we need a lively exchange especially between young people. This is all the more vital with countries which one day hope to become members of the European Union themselves.
Many young Serbs have never been to the EU! The scholarships are designed to give them the opportunity to see for themselves what their country's European perspective really means."