(Brussels) Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange is the project launched today to add something more to the exchange programme known as Erasmus+, to make a new contribution to intercultural dialogue, and to improve young people’s skills with digital learning tools. The virtual platform will be accessible to the 33 countries participating in the programme and to Southern Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia). It has been estimated that it will benefit about 25 thousand young people in the next two years. “Though it is a very successful programme, Erasmus+ is not always accessible to everyone. Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange will increase instead contacts between people, will reach out to young people from different social backgrounds, and will promote intercultural understanding”, the education commissioner, Tibor Navracsics, states. It will help “build bridges and develop skills, such as critical thinking, media literacy, foreign languages and teamwork”. Accessible to young students and workers as well as to academicians, it will make it possible to hold “discussions, transnational work groups, online open courses”. For instance, young people will be able to take part in discussions on specific topics, with a mediator and preparatory materials handed out to participants. There are already 40 trained mediators ready to start.