1 Promotion and protection of human rights of Roma, Egyptians and other vulnerable groups
Roma and Egyptians (RE) represent the most vulnerable national minority in Montenegro. According to the official census from 2011, the total number of RE in Montenegro is 8,305, but based on Council of Europe and civil sector estimations, there are about 20,000 of RE (both domicile and displaced persons) in Montenegro, which is almost three percent of the total population. This difference in estimation of the total number of RE residing in Montenegro originates from the complexity of gathering comprehensive, reliable and sex-segregated data on RE population. Census results are based on free will of citizens to declare which nationality they belong to, which leads to many inconsistencies between the official data and reality in the field. Many of RE have also been faced with the problem of their legal status, missing identity documents, unresolved citizenship status and possibility of voluntary return to Kosovo, all of which created additional obstacles in running official statistics.
According to numerous analysis and reports, the majority of Roma and Egyptian people still live in conditions of extreme poverty. Low economic power, low level of education, a very low rate of employment, inadequate housing conditions, social exclusion with backlashes of ethnic stereotypes and prejudices, specific way of living and other characteristics are some of the causes of their difficult position in the society. Moreover, within this population of around 20.000 persons, there is an especially marginalized group that lives in very extreme poverty conditions, representing RE families that moved to Montenegro from Kosovo 15 years ago during the armed conflict. According to the latest census, the majority of RE population is located in the following municipalities: Podgorica (4,673), Niksic (929) and Berane (701).
The problems related to the marginalized position of RE in the society are inter-linked on many levels, creating a vicious circle for representatives of this group to get out of the extreme poverty. There are still RE lacking legal status, which is the link to majority of other rights. The high rate of unemployment is caused by their specifically vulnerable position: they are often persons without elementary education, long-term unemployed, low-skilled workers or with no skills nor professional or any other experience. In the total number of unemployed, RE population amounts to 3-4%, while more than 90% of the registered members of this population are persons without any professional qualifications. Additionally, in access to employment, Roma often suffer discrimination. Discrimination is in general influencing the quality of life of RE and discourage their social inclusion in different sectors. There are deeply rooted prejudices, justified often by poverty in which they live, that RE are often into criminal acts (begging, stealing, violence), living in bad hygienic conditions with potential diseases, as well as by national customs prone to early marriages with no family planning etc. It is due to these reasons that RE stay on the margins of the society and do not enjoy their human rights nor fulfil their citizens’ duties. In those conditions, children do not go to school regularly even though the state has facilitated their access to education. The problems related to education are also numerous: illiterate parents not able to provide support to children, lack of pre-school education, low quality of segregated classes provided to RE that discourage them from further education, financial constraints, lack of skills of teachers to deal with RE children, lack of knowledge of Montenegrin language, subsequently high level of drop outs (caused also by early marriages and begging). Therefore, the way out of the poverty remains a challenge: even those who make some earning (crafts, services, recycling) are not registered and work illegally.
Besides regular activities and efforts made by the Government of Montenegro in the previous
decade related to improvement of the status of Roma and Egyptians, there was a number of donor funded projects implemented that resulted in positive changes. In that regard, there is a need to emphasize a joint initiative of Sarajevo process at the level of the South-East Europe, which was launched in 2005 and aimed to find long-lasting solutions for refugees and displaced persons. This initiative, but also many other projects provided assistance on many levels, starting with resolving issues related to housing and continuing with all other aspects of social inclusion and anti-discrimination. IPA provided assistance for the following Projects:
ï IPA 2008 - Comprehensive Support to Refugees and Displaced Persons in Montenegro
(18 months, EUR 1 500 000);
ï IPA 2010 - Social Welfare and Child Care System Reform: Enhancing Social Inclusion
(30 months, EUR 3 000 000);
ï IPA 2011 - Identifying Durable Solutions for IDPs and Residents of Konik Camp
(24 months, EUR 2 500 000);
ï IPA 2013 - Identifying Durable Solutions for IDPs and Residents of Konik Camp, phase II
(18 months, EUR 1 000 000).
The highest number of RE population lives in the Camp Konik located in Podgorica. Providing housing conditions is one of the key elements for local integration of displaced persons. Through the Regional Housing Programme for Montenegro, funds will be provided for resolving the housing issue for 6,063 people (1,177 households) belonging to the most vulnerable categories (persons accommodated in informal collective centers and vulnerable persons in private accommodation, with special emphasis on Konik Camp). Municipalities which are currently subject of Regional Housing Programme are Podgorica, Niksic and Berane. Therefore the activities of this Action will mainly focus on development of durable and sustainable solutions for overall integration of RE population in these municipalities, but also may target any other municipality in the country, thus creating environment without social exclusion or any other forms of discriminatory behavior.
1.2 Objectives of the programme and priority issues
The global objective of this call for proposals is to ensure durable and sustainable solutions for protecting fundamental human rights of vulnerable groups in compliance with international standards.
The specific objective(s) of this call for proposals is to enhance access to social, economic and cultural rights for the Roma and other vulnerable groups in Montenegro through increased capacities in the state administration. This would be achieved by improved access to rights of RE and other vulnerable groups to employment, education, health care and social inclusion in municipalities of Podgorica, Niksic and Berane.
Priority issues of this Call for Proposals revolve around four pillars which would enable the target population to have improved access to their rights: employment, education, health care and social inclusion. Participation of RE population in the implementation of the project is crucial in order to ensure sustainability. The project is closely linked and complementary to the housing solutions offered under the Regional Housing Programme in three municipalities: Podgorica, Berane and Niksic and should contribute to better social inclusion of beneficiaries.
1.3 Financial allocation provided by the contracting authority
The overall indicative amount made available under this call for proposals is EUR 1,000.000.00. The Contracting Authority reserves the right not to award all available funds.
Size of grants
Any grant requested under this call for proposals must fall between the following minimum and maximum amounts:
ï minimum amount: EUR 950,000.00
ï maximum amount: EUR 1,000.000.00
Any grant requested under this Call for Proposals must fall between the following minimum and maximum percentages of total eligible costs of the action:
ï Maximum percentage: 100% of the total eligible costs of the action (see also section 2.1.5).
ï Any grant requested under this call for proposals which includes in the proposed budget non-eligible taxes must further be limited to 95 % of the estimated total accepted costs. In case during the implementation of the action, progress and final reports show that the total accepted costs are equal to the total eligible costs, the percentage applicable to the total accepted costs applies to the total eligible costs to ensure the required co-financing.
Wherever in the call for proposal a reference to the percentage of eligible costs is made, the further limitation to the percentage applicable to the total accepted costs will apply. As a reminder, before sending your application please check that the requested contribution is equal or less than the maximum percentage of the estimated total accepted costs allowed.
The balance (i.e. the difference between the total cost of the action and the amount requested from the Contracting Authority) must be financed from sources other than the European Union Budget or the European Development Fund.
The grant may cover the entire eligible costs of the action if this is deemed essential to carry it out. If that is the case, the lead applicant must justify full financing in Annex A.2., section 2.1. The validity of the justification provided will be examined during the evaluation procedure. The absence of any justification may lead to the rejection of the application.
2 Rules FOR thIS call for proposalS
These guidelines set out the rules for the submission, selection and implementation of the actions financed under this call, in conformity with the Practical Guide, which is applicable to the present call (available at http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/document.do?locale=en) .
2.1 Eligibility criteria
There are three sets of eligibility criteria, relating to:
(1) the actors:
ï The lead applicant, i.e. the entity submitting the concept note and the full application form (2.1.1),
ï if any, its co-applicant(s) (where it is not specified otherwise the lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) are hereinafter jointly referred as the "applicants") (2.1.1),
ï and, if any, affiliated entity(ies) to the lead applicant and/or to a co-applicant(s). (2.1.2);
(2) the actions:
ï Actions for which a grant may be awarded (2.1.4);
(3) the costs:
ï types of cost that may be taken into account in setting the amount of the grant (2.1.5).
2.1.1 Eligibility of applicants (i.e. lead applicant and co-applicant(s))
(1) In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must:
ï be a legal person and
ï be non-profit-making andbe a specific type of organisation such as: non-governmental organisation, international organisation as defined by Article 43 of the Rules of application of the EU Financial Regulation.
ï be established in a Member State of the European Union or Montenegro, or the countries covered by Article 10 of CIR of IPA II Regulation. This obligation does not apply to international organisations, and
ï if the applicant is a national of an eligible country other than Montenegro, they must have at
least one Montenegrin co-applicant, and
ï be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary and
ï have at least 3 years of experience in implementing and supporting projects facilitating the integration of RE in Eastern Europe and/or the Balkans
(2) Potential applicants may not participate in calls for proposals or be awarded grants if they are in any of the situations listed in section 2.3.3 of the Practical Guide;
In Annex A.2, section 5 (‘declaration by the lead applicant’), the lead applicant must declare that the lead applicant himself, the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies) are not in any of these situations.
The lead applicant may act individually or with co-applicant(s).
If awarded the grant contract, the lead applicant will become the beneficiary identified as the Coordinator in Annex E3h1 (Special Conditions). The Coordinator is the main interlocutor of the Contracting Authority. It represents and acts on behalf of any other co-beneficiary (if any) and coordinate the design and implementation of the action.
Co-applicants participate in designing and implementing the action, and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the lead applicant.
Co-applicants must satisfy the eligibility criteria as applicable to the lead applicant.
Co-applicants must sign the mandate in Annex A.2., section 4.
If awarded the grant contract, the co-applicant(s)(if any) will become beneficiary(ies) in the action (together with the Coordinator).
2.1.2 Affiliated entities
The lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) may act with affiliated entity(ies)
Only the following entities may be considered as affiliated entities to the lead applicant and/or to co-applicant(s):
Only entities having a structural link with the applicants (i.e. the lead applicant or a co-applicant), in particular a legal or capital link.
This structural link encompasses mainly two notions:
(i) Control, as defined in Directive 2013/34/EU on the annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related reports of certain types of undertakings:
Entities affiliated to applicant may hence be:
- Entities directly or indirectly controlled by an applicant (daughter companies or first-tier subsidiaries). They may also be entities controlled by an entity controlled by an applicant (granddaughter companies or second-tier subsidiaries) and the same applies to further tiers of control;
- Entities directly or indirectly controlling the applicant (parent companies). Likewise, they may be entities controlling an entity controlling the applicant;
- Entities under the same direct or indirect control as the applicant (sister companies).
(ii) Membership, i.e. the applicant is legally defined as a e.g. network, federation, association in which the proposed affiliated entities also participate or the applicant participates in the same entity (e.g. network, federation, association) as the proposed affiliated entities.
The structural link shall as a general rule be neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation. This means that the link would exist independently of the award of the grant; it should exist before the call for proposals and remain valid after the end of the action.
By way of exception, an entity may be considered as affiliated to an applicant even if it has a structural link specifically established for the sole purpose of the implementation of the action in the case of so-called “sole applicants” or “sole beneficiaries”. A sole applicant or a sole beneficiary is a legal entity formed by several entities (a group of entities) which together comply with the criteria for being awarded the grant. For example, an association is formed by its members.
What is not an affiliated entity?
The following are not considered entities affiliated to an applicant:
- Entities that have entered into a (procurement) contract or subcontract with an applicant, act as concessionaires or delegatees for public services for an applicant,
- Entities that receive financial support from an applicant,
- Entities that cooperate on a regular basis with an applicant on the basis of a memorandum of understanding or share some assets,
- Entities that have signed a consortium agreement under the grant contract (unless this consortium agreement leads to the creation of a "sole applicant" as described above).
How to verify the existence of the required link with an applicant?
The affiliation resulting from control may in particular be proved on the basis of the consolidated accounts of the group of entities the applicant and its proposed affiliates belong to.
The affiliation resulting from membership may in particular be proved on the basis of the statutes or equivalent act establishing the entity (network, federation, association) which the applicant constitutes or in which the applicant participates.
If the applicants are awarded a grant contract, their affiliated entity(ies) will not become beneficiary(ies) of the action and signatory(ies) of the grant contract. However, they will participate in the design and in the implementation of the action and the costs they incur (including those incurred for implementation contracts and financial support to third parties) may be accepted as eligible costs, provided they comply with all the relevant rules already applicable to the beneficiary(ies) under the grant contract.
Affiliated entity(ies) must satisfy the same eligibility criteria as the lead applicant and the co-applicant(s). They must sign the affiliated entity(ies) statement in Annex A.2., section 5.
2.1.3 Associates and Contractors
The following entities are not applicants nor affiliated entities and do not have to sign the "mandate for co-applicant(s)" or "affiliated entities' statement":
Other organisations or individuals may be involved in the action. Such associates play a real role in the action but may not receive funding from the grant, with the exception of per diem or travel costs. Associates do not have to meet the eligibility criteria referred to in section 2.1.1. Associates must be mentioned in Annex A.2., section 4 — ‘Associates participating in the action’.
The beneficiaries and their affiliated entities are permitted to award contracts. Associates or affiliated entity(ies) cannot be also contractors in the project. Contractors are subject to the procurement rules set out in Annex IV to the standard grant contract.
2.1.4 Eligible actions: actions for which an application may be made
An action is composed of a set of activities.
The initial planned duration of an action may not be lower than 18 months nor exceed 24 months.
Sectors or themes
This Call for Proposals includes four themes which must be present in any proposal:
c) Health care
d) Social inclusion
Actions must take place in Montenegro.
Types of action
Types of action which may be financed under this call:
- Awareness raising of RE on their rights and obligations in the field of employment while supporting them in active job search
- Trainings for improving employability skills for members of RE and other vulnerable groups in accordance with identified priorities for economic development at the local level
- Developing measures to encourage employers to hire members of RE population while overcoming their stereotypes and prejudices towards Roma and Egyptian population
- Awareness raising of RE parents of the importance of providing education opportunities to their children, starting with pre-school up to university level, with particular focus on education of girls
- Developing measures for decreasing segregation of RE in schools and supporting them in improving their school achievement
- Engagement of RE assistants and work of commissions for monitoring drop-out in selected municipalities
- Developing and implementing professional orientation and adult education program for RE and other vulnerable groups in selected municipalities
- Awareness raising of RE on the rights to health care and the manner of exercising the rights
- Encouraging and guiding members of RE population to choose their doctor, women to choose gynaecologist and a special incentive for parents to choose their children's paediatrician
- Training of mediators in the health system and improvement of knowledge of health workers in relation to the specifics of RE population
- Setting up of temporary health care centres/stations in Niksic and Berane for RE communities
- Tailored campaigns and education of parents, children, RE activists and civil servants on the issue of family violence and forced early marriages in Roma population
- Educational activities fostering promotion of political participation and social activism as well as employment of Roma and Egyptians in the state administration, local government and public services
- Promotion of the Roma culture, language and customs and encouraging RE activism in media, scientific and cultural sphere in order to preserve their cultural identity
The following types of action are ineligible:
ï actions concerned only or mainly with individual sponsorships for participation in workshops, seminars, conferences and congresses;
ï actions concerned only or mainly with individual scholarships for studies or training courses;
Financial support to third parties
Applicants may propose financial support to third parties in order to help achieving the objectives of the action.
The maximum amount of financial support per third party is EUR < 60 000.
Under this call, financial support to third parties may not be the main purpose of the action.
In compliance with the present guidelines and notably of any conditions or restrictions in this section, the lead applicant should define mandatorily in section Annex A.2, section 2.1.1:
(i) the objectives and results to be obtained with the financial support
(ii) the different types of activities eligible for financial support, on the basis of a fixed list
(iii) the types of persons or categories of persons which may receive financial support
(iv) the criteria for selecting these entities and giving the financial support
(v) the criteria for determining the exact amount of financial support for each third entity, and
(vi) the maximum amount which may be given.
In all events, the mandatory conditions set above for giving financial support (points (i) to (vi)) have to be strictly defined in the grant contract as to avoid any exercise of discretion.]
The persons or categories of persons as third parties eligible for financial support are the following:
ï legal person and
ï non-profit making and
ï nationals of Montenegro or individuals who have regulated their legal status in
Montenegro (as citizens, foreigners, displaced or internally displaced persons) and
ï directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action and
ï registered in Montenegro prior to the deadline for submission of project proposals and
ï have an annual turnover of less than EUR 20,000 (in case this is part of a capacity building programme)
The applicants must take all necessary steps to publicise the fact that the European Union has financed or co-financed the action. As far as possible, actions that are wholly or partially funded by the European Union must incorporate information and communication activities designed to raise the awareness of specific or general audiences of the reasons for the action and the EU support for the action in the country or region concerned, as well as the results and the impact of this support.
Applicants must comply with the objectives and priorities and guarantee the visibility of the EU financing (see the Communication and Visibility Manual for EU external actions specified and published by the European Commission at https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/communication-and-visibility-manual-eu-external-actions_en).
Number of applications and grants per applicants / affiliated entities
The lead applicant may not submit more than one application under this call for proposals.
The lead applicant may not be awarded more than one grant under this call for proposals.
The lead applicant may be a co-applicant or an affiliated entity in another application at the same time.
A co-applicant/affiliated entity may not submit more than two applications under this call for proposals.
A co-applicant/affiliated entity may not be awarded more than one grant under this call for proposals.
A co-applicant/affiliated entity may be the lead applicant or an affiliated entity in another application at the same time
2.1.5 Eligibility of costs: costs that can be included
Only ‘eligible costs’ can be covered by a grant. The categories of costs that are eligible and non-eligible are indicated below. The budget is both a cost estimate and an overall ceiling for ‘eligible costs’.
The reimbursement of eligible costs may be based on any or a combination of the following forms:
− actual costs incurred by the beneficiary(ies) and affiliated entity(ies)
− one or more simplified cost options.
Simplified cost options may take the form of:
− unit costs: covering all or certain specific categories of eligible costs which are clearly identified in advance by reference to an amount per unit.
− lump sums: covering in global terms all or certain specific categories of eligible costs which are clearly identified in advance.
− flat-rate financing: covering specific categories of eligible costs which are clearly identified in advance by applying a percentage fixed ex ante.
The amounts or rates have to be based on estimates using objective data such as statistical data or any other objective means or with reference to certified or auditable historical data of the applicants or the affiliated entity(ies). The methods used to determine the amounts or rates of unit costs, lump sums or flat-rates must comply with the criteria established in Annex K, and especially ensure that the costs correspond fairly to the actual costs incurred by the beneficiary(ies) and affiliated entity(ies), are in line with their accounting practices, no profit is made and the costs are not already covered by other sources of funding (no double funding). Refer to Annex K for directions and a checklist of controls to assess the minimum necessary conditions that provide reasonable assurance for the acceptance of the proposed amounts.
Applicants proposing this form of reimbursement, must clearly indicate in worksheet no.1 of Annex B, each heading/item of eligible costs concerned by this type of financing, i.e. add the reference in capital letters to "UNIT COST" (per month/flight etc), "LUMPSUM" or "FLAT RATE" in the Unit column. (see example in Annex K)
Additionally in Annex B, in the second column of worksheet no.2, "Justification of the estimated costs" per each of the corresponding budget item or heading applicants must:
− describe the information and methods used to establish the amounts of unit costs, lump sums and/or flat-rates, to which costs they refer, etc.
− clearly explain the formulas for calculation of the final eligible amount
− identify the beneficiary who will use the simplified cost option (in case of affiliated entity, specify first the beneficiary), in order to verify the maximum amount per each beneficiary (which includes if applicable simplified cost options of its affiliated entity(ies))
At contracting phase, the Contracting Authority decides whether to accept the proposed amounts or rates on the basis of the provisional budget submitted by the applicants, by analysing factual data of grants carried out by the applicants or of similar actions and by performing checks established by Annex K.
The total amount of financing on the basis of simplified cost options that can be authorised by the Contracting Authority for any of the applicants individually (including simplified cost options proposed by their own affiliated entities) cannot exceed EUR 60 000 (the indirect costs are not taken into account).
Recommendations to award a grant are always subject to the condition that the checks preceding the signing of the grant contract do not reveal problems requiring changes to the budget (such as arithmetical errors, inaccuracies, unrealistic costs and ineligible costs). The checks may give rise to requests for clarification and may lead the Contracting Authority to impose modifications or reductions to address such mistakes or inaccuracies. It is not possible to increase the grant or the percentage of EU co-financing as a result of these corrections.
It is therefore in the applicants' interest to provide a realistic and cost-effective budget.
The simplified cost option may also take the form of an apportionment of Field Office's costs.
Field Office means a local infrastructure set up in one of the countries where the action is implemented or a nearby country. (Where the action is implemented in several third countries there can be more than one Field Office). That may consist of costs for local office as well as human resources.
A Field Office may be exclusively dedicated to the action financed (or co-financed) by the EU or may be used for other projects implemented in the partner country. When the Field Office is used for other projects, only the portion of capitalised and operating costs which corresponds to the duration of the action and the rate of actual use of the field office for the purpose of the action may be declared as eligible direct costs.
The portion of costs attributable to the action can be declared as actual costs or determined by the beneficiary(ies) on the basis of a simplified allocation method (apportionment).
The method of allocation has to be:
1. Compliant with the beneficiary's usual accounting and management practices and applied in a consistent manner regardless of the source of funding and
2. Based on an objective, fair and reliable allocation keys. (Please refer to Annex K to have examples of acceptable allocation keys).
A description prepared by the entity of the allocation method used to determine Field Office's costs in accordance with the entity's usual cost accounting and management practices and explaining how the method satisfy condition 1 and 2 indicated above, has to be presented in a separate sheet and annexed to the Budget.
The method will be assessed and accepted by the evaluation committee and the Contracting Authority at contracting phase. The applicant is invited to submit (where relevant) the list of contracts to which the methodology proposed had been already applied and for which proper application was confirmed by an expenditure verification.
At the time of carrying out the expenditure verifications, the auditors will check if the costs reported are compliant with the method described by the beneficiary(ies) and accepted by the Contracting Authority.
Adequate record and documentation must be kept by the beneficiary(ies) to prove the compliance of the simplified allocation method used with the conditions set out above. Upon request of the beneficiary(ies), this compliance can be assessed and approved ex-ante by an independent external auditor. In such a case, the simplified allocation method will be automatically accepted by the evaluation committee and it will not be challenged ex post.
When costs are declared on the basis of such allocation method the amount charged to the action is to be indicated in the column "TOTAL COSTS" and the mention "APPORTIONMENT" is to be indicated in the column "units" (under budget heading 1 (Human resources) and 4 (Local Office) of the Budget).
Eligible direct costs
To be eligible under this call for proposals, costs must comply with the provisions of Article 14 of the General Conditions to the standard grant contract (see Annex G of the guidelines).
The budget may include a contingency reserve not exceeding 5 % of the estimated direct eligible costs. It can only be used with the prior written authorisation of the Contracting Authority.
Eligible indirect costs
The indirect costs incurred in carrying out the action may be eligible for flat-rate funding, but the total must not exceed 7 % of the estimated total eligible direct costs. Indirect costs are eligible provided that they do not include costs assigned to another budget heading in the standard grant contract. The lead applicant may be asked to justify the percentage requested before the grant contract is signed. However, once the flat rate has been fixed in the Special Conditions of the grant contract, no supporting documents need to be provided.
If any of the applicants or affiliated entity(ies) is in receipt of an operating grant financed by the EU, it may not claim indirect costs on its incurred costs within the proposed budget for the action.
Contributions in kind
Contributions in kind mean the provision of goods or services to a beneficiaries or affiliated entities free of charge by a third party. As contributions in kind do not involve any expenditure for beneficiaries or affiliated entities, they are not eligible costs.
Contributions in kind may not be treated as co-financing
However, if the description of the action as proposed includes contributions in kind, the contributions have to be made.
The following costs are not eligible:
− debts and debt service charges (interest);
− provisions for losses or potential future liabilities;
− costs declared by the beneficiary(ies) and financed by another action or work programme receiving a European Union (including through EDF) grant;
− purchases of land or buildings, except where necessary for the direct implementation of the action, in which case ownership must be transferred, in accordance with Article 7.5 of the General Conditions of the standard grant contract, at the latest at the end of the action;
− currency exchange losses;
− credit to third parties
− salary costs of the personnel of national administrations
2.2 How to apply and the procedures to follow
To apply for this call for proposals, lead applicants need to:
I. Provide information about the organisations involved in the action. Please note that the registration of this data in PADOR is obligatory for all lead applicants, co-applicant(s) and affiliated entitiy(ies).
PADOR is an on-line database in which organisations register and update information concerning their entity. Organisations registered in PADOR get a unique ID (EuropeAid ID), which they must mention in their application. PADOR is accessible via the website: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/pador_en.
II. Provide information about the action in the documents listed under section 2.2.2. Online submission via PROSPECT is obligatory for this call.
It is strongly recommended to register in PADOR well in advance and not to wait until the last minute before the deadline to submit your application in PROSPECT.
If it is impossible for the organisation to register online in PADOR for technical reasons, applicants and/or affiliated entity(ies) must complete the ‘PADOR off-line form attached to these guidelines. This form must be sent together with the application, by the submission deadline (see section 2.2.2.).
Before starting using PADOR and PROSPECT, please read the user guides available on the website. All technical questions related to the use of these systems should be addressed to the IT helpdesk at EuropeAid-ITemail@example.com via the online support form in PROSPECT.
2.2.1 Application forms
Applications must be submitted in accordance with the instructions on the grant application form annexed to these guidelines (Annexes A.1 and A.2). Applicants must apply in English.
Any error or major discrepancy related to the concept note or any major inconsistency in the application form (e.g. if the amounts in the budget worksheets are inconsistent) may lead to the rejection of the application.
Clarifications will only be requested when the information provided is not sufficient to conduct an objective assessment.
2.2.2 Where and how to send applications
Applications must be submitted online via PROSPECT https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prospect following the instructions given in the PROSPECT user manual.
Upon submission of the application online, the lead applicant will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt in its PROSPECT profile.
Please note that incomplete applications may be rejected. Lead applicants are advised to verify that their application is complete using the checklist (Annexes A.1 and A.2, Instructions).
2.2.3 Deadline for submission of applications
The deadline for the submission of applications is 17/06/2016 at 16:00 (Brussels date and time). Lead applicants are strongly advised not to wait until the last day to submit their applications, since heavy Internet traffic or a fault with the Internet connection (including electricity failure, etc.) could lead to difficulties in submission. The contacting authority cannot be held responsible for any delay due to such aforementioned difficulties.
Any application submitted after the deadline will be rejected.
2.2.4 Further information about applications
An information session on this call for proposals will be held on 19 April 2016 at EU Info Centre at 11:00 AM. Questions may be sent by e-mail or by fax no later than 21 days before the deadline for the submission of applications to the address(es) below, indicating clearly the reference of the call for proposals:
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: +382 20 444 666
The Contracting Authority has no obligation to provide clarifications to questions received after this date.
Replies will be given no later than 11 days before the deadline for the submission of applications.
To ensure equal treatment of applicants, the Contracting Authority cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of lead applicants, co-applicants, affiliated entity(ies), an action or specific activities.
No individual replies will be given to questions. All questions and answers as well as other important notices to applicants during the course of the evaluation procedure will be published on the EuropeAid website: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome and www.delmne.ec.europa.eu as appropriate. It is therefore advisable to consult the abovementioned website regularly in order to be informed of the questions and answers published.
All questions related to registration in PADOR or the online submission via PROSPECT should be addressed to the IT helpdesk at EuropeAid-ITemail@example.com via the online support form in PROSPECT: Please note that the working languages of the IT support are English, French and Spanish. Therefore, users are invited to send their questions in those languages should they wish to benefit from an optimum response time.
2.3 Evaluation and selection of applications
Applications will be examined and evaluated by the contracting authority with the possible assistance of external assessors. All applications will be assessed according to the following steps and criteria.
If the examination of the application reveals that the proposed action does not meet the eligibility criteria stated in section 2.1, the application will be rejected on this sole basis.
STEP 1: OPENING & ADMINISTRATIVE CHECKS AND CONCEPT NOTE EVALUATION
During the opening and administrative check (including the eligibility check of the action), the following will be assessed:
ï If the deadline has been met. Otherwise, the application will be automatically rejected.
ï If the concept note satisfies all the criteria specified in the checklist in the instructions included in Annex A.1. This also includes an assessment of the eligibility of the action. If any of the requested information is missing or is incorrect, the application may be rejected on that sole basis and the application will not be evaluated further.
The concept notes that pass this check will be evaluated on the relevance and design of the proposed action.
The concept notes will receive an overall score out of 50 in line with the evaluation grid below. The evaluation will also check the compliance with the instructions on how to complete the concept note (Annex A.1).
The evaluation criteria are divided into headings and subheadings. Each subheading will be given a score between 1 and 5 as follows: 1 = very poor; 2 = poor; 3 = adequate; 4 = good; 5 = very good.
1. Relevance of the action
1.1. How relevant is the proposal to the objectives and priorities of the Call for Proposals?*
1.2. How relevant to the particular needs and constraints of the target country(ies) or region(s) is the proposal (including synergy with other EU initiatives and avoidance of duplication)?*
1.3. How clearly defined and strategically chosen are those involved (final beneficiaries, target groups)? Have their needs been clearly defined and does the proposal address them appropriately?*
1.4. Does the proposal contain specific added-value elements, such as environmental issues, promotion of gender equality and equal opportunities, needs of disabled people, rights of minorities and rights of indigenous peoples, or innovation and best practices [and the other additional elements indicated under 1.2. of these guidelines]?*
2. Design of the action
2.1. How coherent is the overall design of the action? In particular, does it reflect the analysis of the problems involved, take into account external factors and relevant stakeholders?
2.2. Is the action feasible and consistent in relation to the objectives and expected results?
Maximum total score
**these scores are multiplied by 2 because of their importance
Concept notes with a score lower than 30 will be rejected
Concept notes that reach the above threshold will be ranked by score. The highest scoring applications will be pre-selected until the limit of at least 200% of the available budget for this call for proposals is reached.
Lead applicants will receive a letter indicating the reference number of their application and the respective results. This letter will automatically appear online in the PROSPECT profile of the lead applicant.
The evaluation committee will then proceed with the lead applicants whose proposals have been pre-selected.
STEP 2: EVALUATION OF THE FULL APPLICATION
Firstly, the following will be assessed:
ï If the full application form satisfies all the criteria specified in the checklist in Annex A.2. If any of the requested information is missing or is incorrect, the application may be rejected on that sole basis and the application will not be evaluated further.
The full applications that pass this check will be further evaluated on their quality, including the proposed budget and the capacity of the applicants and affiliated entity(ies). The evaluation criteria used are presented in the evaluation grid below. There are two types of evaluation criteria: selection and award criteria.
The selection criteria help to evaluate the applicant(s)'s and affiliated entity(ies)'s operational capacity and the lead applicant's financial capacity and are used to verify that they:
ï have stable and sufficient sources of finance to maintain their activity throughout the proposed action and, where appropriate, to participate in its funding (this only applies to lead applicants);
ï have the management capacity, professional competencies and qualifications required to successfully complete the proposed action. This applies to applicants and to any affiliated entity(ies).
For the purpose of the evaluation of the financial capacity, lead applicants must ensure that the relevant information and documents (i.e. accounts of the latest financial year and external audit report, where applicable) in their PADOR profile are up to date. If the information and documents in PADOR are outdated and do not allow for a proper evaluation of the financial capacity, the application may be rejected.
The award criteria help to evaluate the quality of the applications in relation to the objectives and priorities set forth in the guidelines, and to award grants to projects which maximise the overall effectiveness of the call for proposals. They help to select applications which the Contracting Authority can be confident will comply with its objectives and priorities. They cover the relevance of the action, its consistency with the objectives of the call for proposals, quality, expected impact, sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The evaluation grid is divided into sections and subsections. Each subsection will be given a score between 1 and 5 as follows: 1 = very poor; 2 = poor; 3 = adequate; 4 = good; 5 = very good.
1. Financial and operational capacity
1.1. Do the applicants and, if applicable, their affiliated entity(ies) have sufficient experience of project management?
1.2. Do the applicants and, if applicable, their affiliated entity(ies) have sufficient technical expertise (especially knowledge of the issues to be addressed)?
1.3. Do the applicants and, if applicable, their affiliated entity(ies) have sufficient management capacity (including staff, equipment and ability to handle the budget for the action)?
1.4. Does the lead applicant have stable and sufficient sources of finance?
2. Relevance of the action
2.1. How relevant is the proposal to the objectives and priorities of the Call for Proposals?
2.2. How relevant to the particular needs and constraints of the target country(ies) or region(s) is the proposal (including synergy with other EU initiatives and avoidance of duplication)?
2.3. How clearly defined and strategically chosen are those involved (final beneficiaries, target groups)? Have their needs been clearly defined and does the proposal address them appropriately?
2.4. Does the proposal contain specific added-value elements, such as environmental issues, promotion of gender equality and equal opportunities, needs of disabled people, rights of minorities and rights of indigenous peoples, or innovation and best practices [and the other additional elements indicated under 1.2. of these guidelines]?
3. Effectiveness and feasibility of the action
3.1. Are the activities proposed appropriate, practical, and consistent with the objectives and expected results?
3.2. Is the action plan clear and feasible?
3.3. Does the proposal contain objectively verifiable indicators for the outcome of the action? Is any evaluation planned?
3.4. Is the co-applicant(s)'s and affiliated entity(ies)'s level of involvement and participation in the action satisfactory?
4. Sustainability of the action
4.1. Is the action likely to have a tangible impact on its target groups?
4.2. Is the proposal likely to have multiplier effects (including scope for replication, extension and information sharing)?
4.3. Are the expected results of the proposed action sustainable?:(1) financially (how will the activities be financed after the funding ends?)(2) institutionally (will structures allowing the activities to continue be in place at the end of the action? Will there be local 'ownership' of the results of the action?)(3) at policy level (where applicable) (what will be the structural impact of the action e.g. will it lead to improved legislation, codes of conduct, methods, etc?)(4) environmentally (if applicable) (will the action have a negative/positive environmental impact?)"
5. Budget and cost-effectiveness of the action
5.1. Are the activities appropriately reflected in the budget?
5.2. Is the ratio between the estimated costs and the expected results satisfactory?
Maximum total score
If the total score for section 1 (financial and operational capacity) is less than 12 points, the application will be rejected. If the score for at least one of the subsections under section 1 is 1, the application will also be rejected.
If the lead applicant applies without co-applicants or affiliated entities the score for point 3.4 shall be 5 unless the involvement of co-applicants or affiliated entities is mandatory according to these guidelines for applicants.
After the evaluation, applications will be ranked according to their score. The highest scoring applications will be provisionally selected until the available budget for this call for proposals is reached.
In addition, a reserve list will be drawn up following the same criteria. This list will be used if more funds become available during the validity period of the reserve list.
STEP 3: VERIFICATION OF ELIGIBILITY OF THE APPLICANTS AND AFFILIATED ENTITY(IES)
The eligibility verification will be performed on the basis of the supporting documents requested by the Contracting Authority (see section 2.4). It will only be performed for the applications that have been provisionally selected according to their score and within the available budget for this call for proposals.
ï The declaration by the lead applicant (Annex A.2, section 5) will be cross-checked with the supporting documents provided by the lead applicant. Any missing supporting document or any incoherence between the declaration by the lead applicant and the supporting documents may lead to the rejection of the application on that sole basis.
ï The eligibility of applicants and the affiliated entity(ies) will be verified according to the criteria set out in sections 2.1.1, 2.1.2 and 2.1.3.
Any rejected application will be replaced by the next best placed application on the reserve list that falls within the available budget for this call for proposals.
2.4 Submission of supporting documents for provisionally selected applications
A lead applicant whose application has been provisionally selected or placed on the reserve list will be informed in writing by the Contracting Authority. It will be requested to supply the following documents in order to allow the Contracting Authority to verify the eligibility of the lead applicant, (if any) of the co-applicant(s) and (if any) of their affiliated entity(ies):
Supporting documents must be provided through PADOR (see section 2.2.)
1. The statutes or articles of association of the lead applicant, (if any) of each co-applicant(s) and (if any) of each affiliated entity(ies). Where the Contracting Authority has recognised the lead applicant’s, or the co-applicant(s)’s, or their affiliated entity(ies)’s eligibility for another call for proposals under the same budget line within 2 years before the deadline for receipt of applications, it should be submitted, instead of the statutes or articles of association, a copy of the document proving their eligibility in a former call (e.g. a copy of the Special Conditions of a grant contract received during the reference period), unless a change in legal status has occurred in the meantime. This obligation does not apply to international organisations which have signed a framework agreement with the European Commission.
2. An external audit report produced by an approved auditor, certifying the lead applicant's accounts for the last financial year available where the total amount of the requested EU contribution exceeds EUR 750 000 (EUR 100 000 for an operating grant). The external audit report is not required from (if any) the co-applicant(s)) or affiliated entity(ies).
This obligation does not apply to public bodies and international organisations provided that the international organisation in question offers the guarantees provided for in the applicable Financial Regulation, as described in chapter 6 of the Practical Guide.
3. Legal entity sheet (see Annex D of these guidelines) duly completed and signed by each of the applicants (i,e by the lead applicant and (if any) by each co-applicant(s), accompanied by the justifying documents requested there. If the applicants have already signed a contract with the Contracting Authority, instead of the legal entity sheet and supporting documents, the legal entity number may be provided, unless a change in legal status occurred in the meantime.
4. A financial identification form of the lead applicant (not from co-applicant(s), nor from affiliated entity(ies)) conforming to the model attached at Annex E of these guidelines, certified by the bank to which the payments will be made. This bank should be located in the country where the lead applicant is established. If the lead applicant has already submitted a financial identification form in the past for a contract where the European Commission was in charge of the payments and intends to use the same bank account, a copy of the previous financial identification form may be provided instead.
The requested supporting documents (uploaded in PADOR or sent together with the PADOR offline form) must be supplied in the form of originals, photocopies or scanned versions (i.e. showing legible stamps, signatures and dates) of the said originals
Where such documents are not in one of the official languages of the European Union or in the language of the country where the action is implemented, a translation into English language of the relevant parts of these documents proving the lead applicant's and, where applicable, co-applicants' and affiliated entity(ies)' eligibility, must be attached for the purpose of analysing the application.
Where these documents are in an official language of the European Union other than English, it is strongly recommended, in order to facilitate the evaluation, to provide a translation of the relevant parts of the documents, proving the lead applicant's and, where applicable, co-applicants' and affiliated entity(ies)' eligibility, into English.
Applicants have to take into consideration the time necessary to obtain official documents from national competent authorities and to translate such documents in the authorised languages while registering their data in PADOR.
If the abovementioned supporting documents are not provided before the deadline indicated in the request for supporting documents sent to the lead applicant by the Contracting Authority, the application may be rejected.
After verifying the supporting documents, the evaluation committee will make a final recommendation to the Contracting Authority, which will decide on the award of grants.
NB : In the eventuality that the Contracting Authority is not satisfied with the strength, solidity, and guarantee offered by the structural link between one of the applicants and its affiliated entity, it can require the submission of the missing documents allowing for its conversion into co-applicant. If all the missing documents for co-applicants are submitted, and provided all necessary eligibility criteria are fulfilled, the above mentioned entity becomes a co-applicant for all purposes. The lead applicant has to submit the application form revised accordingly.
2.5 Notification of the Contracting Authority’s decision
2.5.1 Content of the decision
The lead applicants will be informed in writing of the Contracting Authority’s decision concerning their application and, if rejected, the reasons for the negative decision. This letter will be sent by e-mail and will appear online automatically in the PROSPECT profile of the user who submitted the application. Lead applicants who, in exceptional cases (see section 2.2), had to submit their application by post or hand-delivery will be informed by e-mail or by post if they did not provide any e-mail address. Therefore, please check regularly your PROSPECT profile, taking into account the indicative timetable below.
An applicant believing that it has been harmed by an error or irregularity during the award process may lodge a complaint. See further section 2.4.15 of the Practical Guide.
2.5.2 Indicative timetable
1. Information meeting (if any)
2. Deadline for requesting any clarifications from the Contracting Authority
3. Last date on which clarifications are issued by the Contracting Authority
4. Deadline for submission of applications
5. Information to lead applicants on opening, administrative checks and concept note evaluation (Step 1)
6. Information to lead applicants on the evaluation of the full application form (Step 2)
7. Notification of award (after the eligibility check) (Step 3)
8. Contract signature
*Provisional date. All times are in local time.
This indicative timetable refers to provisional dates (except for dates 2, 3 and 4) and may be updated by the Contracting Authority during the procedure. In such cases, the updated timetable will be published on the EuropeAid web site https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome and www.delmne.ec.europa.eu.
2.6 Conditions for implementation after the Contracting Authority’s decision to award a grant
Following the decision to award a grant, the beneficiary(ies) will be offered a contract based on the standard grant contract (see Annex G of these guidelines). By signing the application form (Annexes A.1 and A.2 of these guidelines), the lead applicant agrees, if awarded a grant, to accept the contractual conditions of the standard grant contract. Where the Coordinator is an organisation whose pillars have been positively assessed, it will sign a PA Grant Agreement based on the PAGoDA template. In this case references to provisions of the standard grant contract and its annexes shall not apply. References in these guidelines to the Grant Contract shall be understood as references to the relevant provisions of the PA Grant Agreement.
Where implementation of the action requires the beneficiary(ies) and its affiliated entity(ies) (if any) to award procurement contracts, those contracts must be awarded in accordance with Annex IV to the standard grant contract.
2.7 Early detection and exclusion system (edes)
The applicants and, if they are legal entities, the persons who have powers of representation, decision-making or control over them, are informed that, should they be in one of the situations mentioned in section 18.104.22.168 or 22.214.171.124 of the Practical Guide their personal details (name, given name (if natural person), address, legal form and name and given name of the persons with powers of representation, decision-making or control (if legal person)) may be registered in EDES. For further information see section 2.3.3 and 2.3.4 of the Practical Guide.
3 LIST OF annexes
Documents to be completed
Annex A: Grant Application Form (Word format)
A.1. Concept Note
A.2. Full Application Form
Annex B: Budget (Excel format)
Annex C: Logical Framework (Word format)
Annex D: Legal Entity Sheet
Annex E: Financial identification form
Annex F: PADOR offline Form (ONLY IF IMPOSSIBLE TO REGISTER IN PADOR)
DOCUMENTS FOR INFORMATION
Annex G: Standard Grant Contract
- Annex II: general conditions
- Annex IV: contract award rules
- Annex V: standard request for payment
- Annex VI: model narrative and financial report
- Annex VII: model report of factual findings and terms of reference for an expenditure verification of an EU financed grant contract for external action
- Annex VIII: model financial guarantee
- Annex IX: standard template for transfer of ownership of assets
Annex H: Daily allowance rates (per diem), available at the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/applicable-rates-diems-framework-ec-funded-external-aid-contracts-05072013_en
Annex J: Information on the tax regime applicable to grant contracts signed under the call
Annex K: Guidelines and Checklist for assessing Budget and Simplified cost options
Annex L : e-learning :
Annex M : user manual for PROSPECT :
Project Cycle Management Guidelines
The implementation of grant contracts - A Users' Guide
Please note: The toolkit is not part of the grant contract and has no legal value. It merely provides general guidance and may in some details differ from the signed grant contract. In order to ensure compliance with their contractual obligations, beneficiaries should not exclusively rely on the toolkit but always consult their individual contract documents.