What is an Erasmus+ Memorandum of Understanding?

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In the field Erasmus+ projects we often hear of "memorandum" and "memorandum of understanding" regarding relations between two or more states.

But what is it about?

The memorandum is a typical document of diplomatic relations, as if it were a preliminary agreement of international law, but this term also serves to indicate a type of summary business letter and, more generally as per Erasmus+ Programme, a sheet that serves to note the salient points of a question.

An Erasmus+ Memorandum of Understanding clearly outlines specific points of understanding. It names the parties, describes the project on which they are agreeing, defines its scope, and details each party's roles and responsibilities.

Erasmus+ Memorandum of Understanding is a written communication between the parties containing indications and instructions on the conduct of the agreed commercial operations. For example a "memorandum" is any document, sheet, or memo on which things to do are noted, a kind of to do list.

An Erasmus+ Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is a legal document that describes a bilateral agreement between two or more parties. It expresses a convergence of interests between the parties, indicating a common pre-established line of action, rather than a real contractual obligation. The Erasmus+ Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) forms the framework for cooperation between the institutions.

Erasmus+ Memorandum of Understanding is useful to exchange information between the parties, present reports, take stock of the situation or modify the conditions already agreed. The value of the Erasmus+ Memorandum of Understanding lies halfway between a contractual bond and a "gentleman's agreement" which is a non-binding agreement based on the honour and respectability of the parties involved.

Generally speaking, since Erasmus+ Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement to arrive to an agreement, such terms and conditions to enter into a valid contract thereupon. Hence, once such terms and conditions are negotiated and agreed upon and the parties enter into the desired contract, the MoU ceases to exist.

Consortium often choose to use an Erasmus+ Memorandum of Understanding instead of a contract because it is a friendlier, bipartisan expression of a working relationship than a formal contract. MoUs are often used in cases where parties either do not want to imply a legal commitment or cannot create a legally enforceable agreement.

So keep that in mind:

What? Memorandum of Understanding is a pre-mobility contract.


Who? It is done by the sending organization. It is one contract for each written project including all the parties involved: all sending and all receiving organizations and all flows of mobility programmed.


When & Where? It must be put in place by the sending organization, which should get it signed by all parties. It should be attached at the Erasmus+ Application. In case it is not done at this stage, it should be prepared beforehand when third parties are selected in order to get them agreed about mobility.


Why? This is a very important document that proves that the sending organization has got reliable partners who are able to meet the requirements of the training for the students.


Read also:

Required Documents and Deadlines for Your Erasmus+ Application

The 7 Steps to Writing A Successful Turing Scheme Application

15 Important Criteria When Writing Your Erasmus+ Application