Erasmus+ Glossary: Key Notions and Terms

Whether you have been previously involved any of the Erasmus Programmes or still look forward to find the opportunity to join in, the knowledge of key Erasmus notions will help you out to navigate with ease among the diversity of the projects and Erasmus-related terminology.


Erasmus+ is the EU programme for youth focused on educational, training, and sport activities with the aim to empower relevant and comprehensive global education experience.

Erasmus+ is commonly associated with student exchanges programs, however, there are numerous Erasmus opportunities beyond the university walls – such as Youth Exchanges, Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees, Jean Monnet Projects and Networks etc.

 Erasmus+ targets young people, youth workers, social activists local and international NGOs. With the help of Erasmus+ projects, the youth can engage in volunteering projects and internship abroad , the organizations can establish partnerships to share best practices or collaborate to empower certain idea, while the staff members or can enroll in educational programs or become the teachers or trainers abroad themselves.

Here is where you can get to know more about Erasmus+ opportunities:

Key Actions (1, 2, 3)

Key Actions is the collective name for all the Erasmus+ opportunities which are divided into certain categories based on its focus group and programme type. The three Key Action areas altogether cover the five fields of higher education and life-long learning, youth work, vocational education and training.

Key Action 1 is the programme of mobility for individuals focused on their self-improvement and development of essential skills and competencies while targeting relevant global issues. Unlike Key Action 1, Key Action 2 targets not the individuals, but organizations, serving as the platform to empower international cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices. Key Action 3, in turn, incorporates Support for Policy Reform by funding strategic activities focused on policy reform in the fields of education and youth work across the EU.


SALTO (short of Support, Advanced Learning and Training Opportunities) is a part of European youth programme represented in the form of the online opportunities platform and the network of resource centers providing youth work projects and initiatives, as well as practical online toolbox for training and youth work together with European Training Calendar featuring relevant training opportunities and educational mobility programs.

Official SALTO-YOUTH Webpage:   

European Commission

European Commission is the executive o the European Union which promotes its values and interests as well as empowers corresponding legislation and implements policies. Erasmus+ programs are represented by European Commission as it manages and supports them. As the one responsible for projects empowerment, the European Commission provides the guidelines for application and management processes of the projects as well as the framework for work of National Authorities and National Agencies. 

Executive Agency

Executive Agency (EACEA – Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency) – is an agency of the EU which supports a range of the EU projects within Erasmus+ and beyond – for instance, such as Creative Europe, European Solidarity Corps, EU Aid Volunteers etc.. EACEA is responsible for receiving the applications for funding of the centralized parts of the Erasmus+ program.

For Programs managed by EECEA, follow the link:

National Agencies

Unlike Executive Agency which is the top institution for program empowerment, National Agencies are country-based institutions which serve the role of promoting, selecting and evaluating Erasmus+ projects locally on the national basis. National Agencies work in cooperation with each other across the countries as well as with the EU itself.  Spanish National Agency, German National Agency, Swedish National Agency – each of them takes control over the projects realized in their countries, providing support to the incoming program participants. If you are facing some serious issues during your project – National Agency of the country of the project is a place you can address to. 

Partner vs. Program Countries

Partner Countries are the ones who can fully participate in all the opportunities provided within Erasmus+. Those are the member states of the EU and several Non-EU program countries in Europe such as Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Turkey etc.

Partner Countries might have limited access to certain programs depending on certain projects and their criteria. The list of partner countries is divided into a few segments based on financial and social state of the country, including such category as the countries neighboring to the EU and Regions 5-13.

To look up the list of partner vs. program countries, you can visit the following page:

Youth Path vs. Euro Pass

Youth Path was developed by SALTO-YOUTH as a tool to recognize the skills and competencies gained from Erasmus+ experiences. Youth Path is a part of the European Commission’s strategy to proof the value of non-formal learning. As the representation of learning outcomes, Youth Path is available for European Solidarity Corps (previously European Voluntary Service) and the projects supported by Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme.

Official Youth Pass Website:

Europass is a European initiative created to assist people at recording their skills and experiences in a structured and appropriate way. Created to represent the person’s professional profile and development, Europass incorporates five different documents including Europass Mobility, Europass Diploma Supplement, European Skills Passport, Curriculum Vitae, and the Language Pasport.

Official Europass Website:

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