EC - Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) logo

2018 CEF Transport call for proposals
Deadline: 24 Oct 2018   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono EC - Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)

 Smart Cities
 Urban Development
 Sustainable Transport
 Transport
 Clean Transport
 Urban transport
 Smart Mobility

Rail interoperability

European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS)

Safe and secure infrastructure

Innovation and new technologies

Intelligent Transport Services for road (ITS)

River Information Services (RIS)

Multimodal logistics platforms

 

1. SUBJECT

In the context of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)1 and on the basis of the multi-annual work programme2, a call for proposals is launched under the general envelope of the CEF.

This call for proposals addresses the following objectives of the CEF Regulation:

  • Funding Objective 1: bridging missing links, removing bottlenecks, enhancing rail interoperability, and, in particular, improving cross-border sections;

  • Funding Objective 2: ensuring sustainable and efficient transport systems in the long run, with a view to preparing for expected future transport flows, as well as enabling all modes of transport to be decarbonised through transition to innovative low-carbon and energy-efficient transport technologies, while optimising safety; and

  • Funding Objective 3: optimising the integration and interconnection of transport modes and enhancing the interoperability of transport services, while ensuring the accessibility of transport infrastructures.

This call for proposals forms part of a set of coordinated calls covering the CEF Transport, CEF Telecom and CEF Energy sectors. The coordinated calls aim at exploiting synergies between these three sectors related to the aspect of digitalisation with a view to foster the development and implementation of coherent digital infrastructure and solutions across the various networks within the scope of the three CEF sectors. The calls will be published on the INEA website3, which applicants are encouraged to consult.

In particular, applicants are encouraged to exploit the possibilities offered by the CEF Telecom Cyber Security call as regards digitalisation aspects relevant for transport. The text of the CEF Telecom Cyber Security call for proposals published on 3 May 2018 can be found on the relevant call page:

 

https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/connecting-europe-facility/cef-telecom/apply-funding/2018- cyber-security

Where appropriate, applicants to this call are also encouraged to deploy and use any digital building blocks supported under CEF Telecom4.

 

2. OBJECTIVES AND PRIORITIES

This call for proposals addresses a number of priorities, as described in sections 3.1 to 3.3 of the multi-annual work programme, falling within one of the Funding Objectives of the CEF Regulation described above:

Funding Objective 1:

  • Rail interoperability:

    • -  Specific objective 1: Interoperability of the rail system with Technical Specifications for Interoperability concerning Telematics Applications for Passengers (TAP) and Freight (TAF)

    • -  Specific objective 2: Railway system compliance with Interoperability and Safety Directives (including TSIs other than TAF/TAP) and TEN-T Guidelines

  • European Rail Traffic Management Systems (ERTMS):

- Specific objective 3: deployment of ERTMS trackside components on the Core

Network Funding Objective 2:

• Safe and secure infrastructure, including safe and secure parking on the road core network:

- Specific objective 4: road safety

- Specific objective 5: safe and secure parkings
• Innovation and new technologies in all transport modes:

  • -  Specific objective 6: improve multimodality through innovative digital and space- data based solutions

  • -  Specific objective 7: Support infrastructure to enhance multi-modal transport for passengers through innovative solutions

  • -  Specific objective 8: digital information systems

  • -  Specific objective 9: support, through digitalisation, for maritime and inland port

    operations Funding Objective 3:

  • Intelligent Transport Services for road (ITS):

    • -  Specific objective 10: cooperative connected and automated mobility -

      cooperative ITS and automation

    • -  Specific objective 11: deployment of intelligent transport services under Directive 2010/40/EU

    • -  Specific objective 12: making more transport, traffic and travel data available

  • River Information Services (RIS):

- Specific objective 13: deployment of on-board and of land-based components of RIS

• Connections to and development of multimodal logistics platforms.

  • -  Specific objective 14: connections by road, rail, inland waterways and short sea

    shipping to freight terminals and/or further development of these terminals

  • -  Specific objective 15: support infrastructure of terminals servicing combined transport operations.

2.1 Further specifications
2.1.1 European Rail Traffic Management Systems (ERTMS)

In addition to the priority description (section 3.1.2 of the work programme), the following shall apply.

a) Detailed topical specifications and restrictions

Priority will be given to ERTMS deployment and upgrade in cross-border sections in the Core Network Corridors.

In the context of the ERTMS priority, "studies" mean activities needed to prepare project implementation in accordance with Article 2(6) of the CEF Regulation covering Baseline 3 (B3) implementation, including upgrades. The studies supported by the CEF should be a basis for launching a procurement procedure for the ERTMS deployment.

Proposals for ERTMS works and studies cannot be submitted together in one application unless they jointly form a part of a "design and build" type of ERTMS implementation.

Eligible costs for studies presented as a stand-alone application (not for studies that form a part of a unique "design and build" proposal) are not subject to any ceiling and will be evaluated individually. In such cases the applicant(s) is invited to provide thorough financial information substantiating the costs and respective CEF requested support.

Are excluded from the scope of this specific objective:
- Applications covering solely GSM-R component of ERTMS;
- Works related to Class B system(s) and/or Specific Transmission Module (STM);
- Feasibility studies.
b) Information to be included in a proposal
To facilitate the assessment, a proposal shall provide information covering, among others:

  • Expected date when the ETCS track-side subsystem equipped section will be authorised to be placed in service;

  • A line characteristics, including length, single/double track, etc.;

  • Description of the ERTMS track-side subsystem to be installed including baseline, level, etc. For upgrade, also a description of the ERTMS track-side subsystem already in operation should be provided;

  • A description of tests strategy to be performed with on-board units provided by at least one different supplier to the one in charge of the equipment of the line;

  • Identification and justification for infrastructure eligible works for track-side equipment (falling under the definition in Article 2(5) of the CEF Regulation) which are necessary for the implementation of ETCS level 2 (e. g. upgrade or renewal of interlockings).

    c) Assessment of the final outcome of a "works" Action

    An assessment of the final outcome of the "works" Actions shall be based on verification of the subsystem compliance with the applicable technical specification for interoperability. The compliance shall be demonstrated by a dossier of authorisation for placing the Control Command Signalling trackside subsystem in service (e.g. an EC certificate of verification of subsystem from a Notified Body and the safety assessment report following the applicable EU legislation, etc.).

2.1.2 Innovation and new technologies

In addition to the priority description (section 3.2.2 of the work programme), the following shall apply:

Detailed topical specifications and restrictions:
- Concerning studies, priority shall be given to studies with pilots. 2.1.3 Multimodal logistics platforms

In addition to the priority description (section 3.3.3 of the work programme), the following shall apply for actions addressing the specific objective 15 (support infrastructure of terminals servicing combined transport operations):

Detailed topical specifications and restrictions:

- Concerning equipment allowing transhipment of different types of load units, only the terminal related equipment (e.g. gantry or rail cranes, conveyors, etc.) may be funded.

 

2.1.4 Cost-Benefit Analysis cash flow template

To facilitate the assessment, proposals including a Cost-Benefit Analysis, as described in section 6.2 of the work programme and section 7.3 below, shall also fill in and submit the CBA cash flow template available on the call website.

2.2 Type of Actions

A proposal submitted under this call must address either works or studies, within the meaning of Article 2(5) and (6) of the CEF Regulation. Proposals may combine studies and works as long as the respective activities and related budget are clearly defined and separated.

The type(s) of actions to be funded are further specified in the description of each specific priority in sections 3.1 to 3.3 of the multi-annual work programme.

In accordance with Article 2(6) of the CEF Regulation, studies may include pilot activities that will serve at least one of the following objectives:

  • -  to develop, improve or adapt a new technology or an innovative solution and implement it in order to test its feasibility and suitability as well as its added-value before deploying it on a larger scale;

  • -  to deploy an existing technology, infrastructure or service (i.e. already in use elsewhere but new to a particular sector, system or geographical area) in order to gain experience and/or create market conditions for deployment on a larger scale.

    The pilot activities of a study may include the deployment of a certain type of infrastructure or technology but on a limited scale and at a reasonable price and with the objective of testing and validating the viability of the innovative actions proposed for future scale up and roll out. Pilot activities of a study should be of an experimental nature and designed to test the feasibility of an innovative action and its usefulness for future large scale implementation. They should not be associated with research activities that are not covered by this call.

2.3 Cross-cutting priorities

Where applicable as part of a broader project of common interest, proposed Actions may include activities for the adaptation of TEN-T infrastructure to ensure the continuity of bicycle infrastructure for long-distance cycling paths such as the EuroVelo routes. These activities may include relevant adaptation of traffic signaling systems or the addition of infrastructure dedicated to cyclists and pedestrians, such as tunnels, bypasses, bridges, aerial cycling and walkways and protected cycling paths. They may cover activities extending along TEN-T routes or at crossings between TEN-T routes and long-distance cycling paths.

In combination with other works activities, in particular for railway stations and transport chains, e.g. accessible multi-modal terminals, the scope of the proposed Actions may include activities for improved accessibility to transport infrastructure for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility according to Article 10 (2)(b)(v) of the CEF Regulation.

Increasing the opportunities for private investment to support TEN-T projects is an overarching objective of the CEF Transport programme. For all priorities under this call, in addition to specific objectives, priority will also be given to projects that include the use of private finance, in particular the financial instruments available through the European Fund for Strategic Investments, developed by the Commission and implemented by the European Investment Bank.

 

Proposals for technical, financial and legal studies to develop Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) or other project finance model designed to attract private finance, should seek to:

  • define value for money of the PPP procurement versus traditional procurement through a full life cycle assessment;

  • assess which risks are most appropriate for transfer to the private sector, with particular attention to financing risks;

  • analyse options for both bank and capital markets financing, including in particular the use of EU financial instruments, especially in the case of projects with weak financial viability;

  • identify any replicability and standardisation of elements particularly in the procurement procedures and documentation e.g. forms of public-private contract, that could support the development of a 'PPP project pipeline' within an overall investment plan.

    Proposals for studies involving PPP project preparation and proposals for works in the context of a PPP procurement procedure should be submitted under the priority that is most relevant to the content and nature of the underlying TEN-T investment(s).

 

3. RESULTS EXPECTED FROM THE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

The results expected under this call are defined in section 4 of the multi-annual work programme.

 

4. INDICATIVE BUDGET

The indicative amount to be allocated on the basis of this call for proposals to projects of common interest in these specified areas is EUR 450 million:

Funding Objective 1: EUR 100 million

  • Rail interoperability

  • European Rail Traffic Management Systems (ERTMS) Funding Objective 2: EUR 200 million

  • Safe and secure infrastructure

  • Innovation and new technologies in all transport modes

    Funding Objective 3: EUR 150 million

  • Intelligent Transport Services for road (ITS)

  • River Information Services (RIS)

  • Connections to and development of multimodal logistics platforms

    Budget transfers among priorities within the same funding objective under the multi-annual work programme are permitted.

 

5. TIMETABLE

Date of publication of call for proposals
17 May 2018

Deadline for the submission of proposals
24 October 2018 (17:00:00 Brussels time)

Deadline for the submission of translations (if applicable)
31 October 2018

Evaluation of proposals
November 2018 - January 2019 (indicative)

Consultation of CEF Coordination Committee; information of European Parliament
February 2019 (indicative)

Adoption of Selection Decision
February 2019 (indicative)

Preparation and signature of individual grant agreements
As of February 2019 (indicative)

 

6. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Proposals must be:

  • submitted electronically in the TENtec Information System eSubmission module. In this respect, proposals or part(s) of proposals submitted by email or in hard copy shall not be admissible.

  • submitted by the deadline for submission of proposals (see sections 5. "Timetable" and 14.2."Submission process").

  • complete (i.e. application form (A, B, C and D) are uploaded in the TENtec).

  • duly signed by the applicant(s).

Failure to comply with any of these requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.

 

7. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

7.1 Eligible applicants

General eligibility criteria

Pursuant to Article 9 of the CEF Regulation, only those proposals submitted by one of the following types of applicants are eligible:

  • One or more Member States; and/or

  • With the agreement of the Member State(s) concerned, international organisations, joint undertakings, or public or private undertakings or bodies established in an EU Member State.

For British applicants: Please be aware that eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, you will cease to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project on the basis of Article II.16.3.1 (a) (change of the legal situation of the beneficiary) of the grant agreement.

Neighbouring/third countries and entities established in neighbouring/third countries

Neighbouring/third countries and entities established in neighbouring/third countries may participate in actions contributing to projects of common interest where necessary in order to achieve the objectives of a given project of common interest. They may not receive financial assistance except where it is indispensable to the achievement of the objectives of a given project of common interest.

In such cases and pursuant to Article 8(1) of the TEN-T Guidelines5, applications may be presented by neighbouring/third countries or entities established in neighbouring/third countries, with the agreement of a Member State concerned.

Cross-border sections

Actions involving a cross-border section or a part of such a section shall be eligible to receive Union financial assistance only if there is a written agreement between the Member States concerned, or between the Member States and neighbouring/third countries concerned by the completion of the cross-border section.

Applicants without legal personality

Proposals may be submitted by entities which do not have legal personality under the applicable national law, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf and offer guarantee for the protection of the Union's financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons.

Natural persons

Proposals submitted by natural persons are not eligible.

Affiliated entities

Applicants may designate affiliated entities within the meaning of Article 122(2)(b) of the Financial Regulation, for the purpose of supporting the implementation of the action submitted for funding. Such affiliated entities must comply with the eligibility criteria for applicants as specified in this section.

Member State agreement

Any applicant that cannot provide the agreement of the Member State(s) concerned shall not be eligible.

 

7.2 Exclusion criteria

In line with Article 106 of the Financial Regulation and Article 141 of the Rules of Application,6 an applicant will be excluded from participating in the call for proposals procedure if it is in any of the following situations:

  1. a)  it is bankrupt, subject to insolvency or winding up procedures, its assets are being administered by a liquidator or by a court, it is in an arrangement with creditors, its business activities are suspended or it is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for under national legislation or regulations;

  2. b)  it has been established by a final judgement or a final administrative decision that it is in breach of its obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions in accordance with the law of the country in which it is established, with those of the country in which the authorising officer is located or those of the country of the performance of the contract;

  3. c)  it has been established by a final judgement or a final administrative decision that it is guilty of grave professional misconduct by having violated applicable laws or regulations or ethical standards of the profession to which the entity belongs, or by having engaged in any wrongful conduct which has an impact on its professional credibility where such conduct denotes wrongful intent or gross negligence, including, in particular, any of the following:

    1. fraudulently or negligently misrepresenting information required for the verification of the absence of grounds for exclusion or the fulfilment of selection criteria or in the performance of a contract, a grant agreement or a grant decision;

    2. entering into agreement with other persons with the aim of distorting competition;

    3. violating intellectual property rights;

    4. attempting to influence the decision-making process of the Commission/ the Agency during the award procedure;

    5. attempting to obtain confidential information that may confer upon it undue advantages in the award procedure;

  4. d)  it has been established by a final judgement that it is guilty of the following:

    1. fraud, within the meaning of Article 1 of the Convention on the protection of the European Communities' financial interests, drawn up by the Council Act of 26 July 1995;

    2. corruption, as defined in Article 3 of the Convention on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of EU Member States, drawn up by the Council Act of 26 May 1997, and in Article 2(1) of Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA, as well as corruption as defined in the legal provisions of the country where the authorising officer is located, the country in which the entity is established or the country of the performance of the contract;

    3. participation in a criminal organisation, as defined in Article 2 of Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA;

    4. money laundering or terrorist financing, as defined in Article 1 of Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council;

    5. terrorist-related offences or offences linked to terrorist activities, as defined in Articles 1 and 3 of Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA, respectively, or inciting, aiding, abetting or attempting to commit such offences, as referred to in Article 4 of that Decision;

    6. child labour or other forms of trafficking in human beings as defined in Article 2 of Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council;

  5. e)  it has shown significant deficiencies in complying with the main obligations in the performance of a contract, a grant agreement or a grant decision financed by the Union’s budget, which has led to its early termination or to the application of liquidated damages or other contractual penalties, or which has been discovered following checks, audits or investigations by an Authorising Officer, OLAF or the Court of Auditors;

  6. f)  it has been established by a final judgment or final administrative decision that it has committed an irregularity within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95;

  7. g)  for the situations of grave professional misconduct, fraud, corruption, other criminal offences, significant deficiencies in the performance of the contract or irregularity, it is subject to:

    1. facts established in the context of audits or investigations carried out by the Court of Auditors, OLAF or internal audit, or any other check, audit or control performed under the responsibility of an authorising officer of an EU institution, of a European office or of an EU agency or body;

    2. non-final administrative decisions which may include disciplinary measures taken by the competent supervisory body responsible for the verification of the application of standards of professional ethics;

    3. decisions of the ECB, the EIB, the European Investment Fund or international organisations;

    4. decisions of the Commission relating to the infringement of the Union's competition rules or of a national competent authority relating to the infringement of Union or national competition law;

    5. decisions of exclusion by an authorising officer of an EU Institution, of a European office or of an EU agency or body.

Remedial measures

If an applicant/affiliated entity declares one of the situations of exclusion listed above, it should indicate the measures it has taken to remedy the exclusion situation, thus demonstrating its reliability. This may include e.g. technical, organisational and personnel measures to prevent further occurrence, compensation of damage or payment of fines. The relevant documentary evidence which illustrates the remedial measures taken must be provided in annex to the declaration. This does not apply for situations referred in point (d) above.

Rejection from the call for proposals

Grants will not be awarded to applicants who:

  1. a)  are in an exclusion situation established in accordance with the list above7;

  2. b)  have misrepresented the information required as a condition for participating in the procedure or has failed to supply that information;

  3. c)  were previously involved in the preparation of calls for proposal documents where this entails a distortion of competition that cannot be remedied otherwise.

These same exclusion criteria also apply to affiliated entities. Applicants and their affiliated entities, if applicable, must certify that they are not in one of the situations listed above.

Administrative and financial penalties may be imposed on applicants, or affiliated entities where applicable, who are guilty of misrepresentation.

7.3 Eligible actions

General eligibility criteria

Only actions which can be identified as projects of common interest as defined in Article 7 of the TEN-T Guidelines and which address pre-identified projects or horizontal priorities listed in Part I of Annex I of the CEF Regulation are eligible under this call.

For proposals submitted under the priority Multimodal logistics platforms (section 3.3.3 of the work programme, specific objectives 14 and 15), proposals must be located in one (or several) core airport, core maritime port, core inland port or core rail-road terminal, as identified in Annex II part 2 of the TEN-T Guidelines.

Cost Benefit/Cost Effectiveness Analysis

Pursuant to Article 10 of the CEF Regulation and in view of assessing the socio-economic and financial viability of the proposed actions, all proposals for works or including both studies and works must be accompanied by a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA), presented as a stand-alone document, clearly identified as such, proposing the co-funding rate requested for the action, while taking into account the maximum funding rates stipulated in the CEF Regulation.

In the context of this work programme, proposals submitted under the priorities "Rail interoperability", "European Rail Traffic Management Systems (ERTMS)", "Intelligent Transport Services for road (ITS)" and "River Information Services (RIS)" can replace a full Cost-Benefit Analysis by a Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA). In addition, proposals submitted under the priorities "Innovation and new technologies" (specific objectives 6, 7, 8, 9) and "Safe and secure infrastructure" (specific objectives 4 and 5) that address the implementation of standards laid down in the existing EU legislation and / or that only address digital solutions can also replace a full Cost-Benefit Analysis by a Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA).

The use of the Cohesion Policy methodology for Cost-Benefit Analysis is recommended.

 

For Actions generating net revenue, the Cost-Benefit Analysis shall be followed by a calculation of the "funding gap" describing, in a clear and concise manner, the share of the Action's costs that is not covered by net revenue. The modulated co-funding to be requested shall be the lowest of the following: (i) funding gap amount; (ii) the co-funding amount.

Pursuant to Article 22(3) of the CEF Regulation, with a view to monitoring the achievement of climate-change objectives, selected proposals subject to CBA may be designated on the basis of a sampling method to perform an ex-post climate change impact assessment of the proposed Action. For this purpose, applications for works should include an estimate of the costs of such climate change impact assessment. These costs will be considered as studies and will benefit from a co-funding rate of up to 50%. The payment of the balance after the completion of the action will be conditional upon the submission of the completed climate change impact assessment.

 

8. SELECTION CRITERIA

The selection criteria are detailed in section 7 of the multi-annual work programme. The operational and financial capacity of applicants will be assessed as specified below.

The need to demonstrate financial and operational capacity does not apply to applicants which are:

  • a Member State,

  • a neighbouring/third country,

  • a public sector body established in the EU (i.e. regional or local authority, body governed by public law or association formed by one or several such authorities or one or several such bodies governed by public law),

  • international organisation8,

  • a European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) established in line with Council Regulation (EEC) N° 2137/85 of 25 July 1985, in which at least one member is a public body, or

  • a Joint Undertaking in line with eligibility criteria established under Article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

    The requirement to demonstrate operational and financial capacity also applies to affiliated entities only where, according to the proposal, the affiliated entity(ies) will be the only one(s) implementing the proposed Action.

8.1 Financial capacity

The applicant(s) must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain the proposed activities throughout the period during which the action is being carried out and to participate in its funding.

Together with the application, applicant(s) must provide their financial statements certified by an external auditor for the last financial year for which the accounts have been closed.

If an applicant has been operating for less than one financial year, the financial statements may be replaced by a letter of support obtained from a third party (e.g. the applicant's parent company) or by another applicant of the proposed Action, accompanied by the financial statements of the party providing the support. The template for such letter of support is available in the form to be completed for the financial capacity check.

8.2 Operational capacity

The applicant(s) must have the operational and technical competencies and capacity required to complete the Action for which the grant is sought and must provide appropriate documents and information attesting to that capacity, such as:

  •  description of the profile of the people primarily responsible for managing and implementing the operation (e.g. accompanied by curriculum vitae);

  •  the organisations’ activity reports for at least the last year;

  •  a list of previous Actions and activities performed in the field of TEN-T infrastructure

    Actions of the same kind;

  •  an inventory of the technical equipment, tools or facilities and patents at the disposal of the applicant and relevant for the Action.

    If compliant with the abovementioned requirements, the information submitted by applicants who benefited from TEN-T support as from 2004 or CEF support as from 2014 may be taken into account in the evaluation of these applicants' operational capacity.

 

9. AWARD CRITERIA

Proposals failing to comply with the admissibility and/or eligibility criteria will not be further evaluated.

The award criteria are specified in Section 8 of the multi-annual work programme. For the purpose of the evaluation, these criteria are specified as follows:

  • • Relevance. This refers to the contribution of the proposed Action to the TEN-T priorities as laid out in the TEN-T Guidelines, the funding priorities as laid down in the CEF Regulation and specific priorities and objectives described in the work programme and addressed by the call for proposals.

In addition, the following aspects will be assessed under relevance:

  • -  the European added-value as defined in point (d) of Article 3 of the TEN-T Guidelines;

  • -  the cross-border dimension, when applicable;

  • -  removal of bottlenecks, enhancing rail interoperability, bridging missing links and improving cross-border sections as stipulated in the CEF Regulation;

  • -  contribution to innovation, digitalisation, sustainable transport and decarbonisation;

  • -  where applicable, multimodal integration and interoperability will also be considered as part of the relevance of a proposed Action.

    Maturity. This refers to the state of preparation of the proposed Action and the 

  • • readiness to start the implementation of the proposed activities. This will be determined by the degree of financial maturity and completion of preparatory steps as well as the conditions required for the start of the proposed Action. In particular the maturity of the Action in the project development will be assessed. Where the same proposal combines works and studies, the dependence of the works on the completion of the studies will also be taken into consideration. Proposed Actions that have received political commitments, completed a number of administrative procedures and committed financial resources, as well as proposed Actions which involve the final steps of implementation, can be considered as demonstrating strong maturity. Maturity will also be evidenced by low uncertainty/risks about the start of the Action. Proposed Actions should be ready to start, at the latest, within eighteen months after the closure of the call. For proposals addressing innovation and new technologies, the readiness of the technology for deployment will also be considered under this criterion.
  • • Impact. This refers to the assessment of the expected effect of the EU financial support on the financial viability of an economically and socially desirable investment. An assessment will be made of the impact of the financing plan to drive the most efficient use of EU financial support, in particular in the mobilisation of additional private funding. The impact of the proposed Action will also be assessed in terms of positive socio-economic effects (at local, regional and national level), climate and environmental aspects, improvement of accessibility, etc., as applicable. These assessments will be based on the information included in the application and, when applicable, the socio-economic Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) or Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA), including the CBA cash flow template, the financial analysis required in the Cost-Benefit Analysis, and the information supporting the calculation of the funding gap.

In particular, the following aspects will be assessed under the impact criterion:

  • -  stimulating effect of the Union support on public and private investment, when applicable;

  • -  the need to overcome financial obstacles, such as the lack of market finance;

  • -  when applicable, the economic, social, climate and environmental impact, and accessibility.

• Quality. This refers to the soundness of the proposed Action. This will be determined by the coherence between the objectives of the proposed Action, the proposed activities, the planned resources, and the appropriateness of the project management processes. Under this criterion, the capacity for the Action to be completed in accordance with the proposed timeline, implementation plans and the technical specifications will be assessed. Other aspects related to the quality of the proposed Action include the soundness of control procedures, quality management and risk management during the implementation of the proposed Action plans for monitoring, evaluation and internal/external audit of the proposed Action, and publicity regarding the financial support from the CEF. Additionally, the completeness and clarity of the information provided by the applicant(s) will also be taken into account during the assessment of this criterion.

Applicants are requested to answer to all the applicable questions in the application forms in order to provide relevant information for assessing the above blocks of award criteria.

Each block of award criteria will be given a score on a scale from 0 (insufficient) to 5 (excellent). A proposal must obtain at least 3 points for each block of award criteria to be recommended for funding.

When it is considered that a proposal is more relevant to a priority or specific objective other than that under which it was submitted, the Commission services may propose to transfer the proposal to the priority or specific objective in question. Such transfer is only carried out during the phase of evaluation of the proposals provided that: (i) the proposal is eligible under the conditions of the funding priority to which it is proposed to be transferred; and (ii) there is written agreement of the applicant(s). In such case, the funding conditions of the funding priority or specific objective to which a proposal has been transferred shall apply. Such transfer shall not include any other modifications in the proposal. The transfer of a given proposal does not prejudge the results of its evaluation.

 

10. FINAL SELECTION PROCESS

During the final selection process, the Commission will in particular take into account the following aspects, as appropriate:

  • The contribution of the proposed Action to the balanced development of the network,

  • The complementarity of the proposed Action with other EU funded projects, in view of optimising the impact of investments already made in the region/country/global project,

  • The comparative EU added value (high, medium, low) of the proposed Action in relation to other proposed Actions, taking into account the respective Cost-Benefit Analysis where appropriate,

  • Any identified/identifiable risks of double-funding from other Union sources,

  • Potential synergies across the different CEF sectors and/or other EU Programmes, notably Horizon 2020, where particular consideration will be given to Actions involving the deployment of innovation and technology developed under the EU's research programmes,

  • Budgetary constraints.

In exceptional and duly justified cases, and on the basis of the above-mentioned aspects, the Commission may recommend for funding a proposal that has obtained less than 3 points in one or more blocks of award criteria. In the same way, it may decide to not recommend for funding a proposal that has obtained at least 3 points for each block of award criteria.

 

11. COMPLIANCE WITH EU LAW

In accordance with Article 23 of the CEF Regulation, only actions in conformity with EU law and which are in line with the relevant EU policies, in particular, in the areas of interoperability, environmental protection9, competition and public procurement, shall be financed.

 

12. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

12.1 General principles

12.1.1 Other sources of financing

Pursuant to Article 129 of the Financial Regulation, no EU financial aid will be awarded to actions receiving funds from other sources of EU financing. Under no circumstances will the same costs be financed twice by the EU budget.

In that respect, any proposed Action or part thereof that receive or have already received EU funding under the CEF or other EU Programmes (i.e. TEN-T, Marco Polo II, Cohesion Fund, FP7, Horizon 2020, ESIF, etc.) will not be funded under this call.

12.1.2 Non-profit principle

In accordance with Article 125 of the Financial Regulation, grants shall not have the purpose or effect of producing a profit within the framework of the proposed Action. Where a profit is made, the Commission shall be entitled to recover the percentage of the profit corresponding to the EU contribution to the eligible costs actually incurred by the beneficiary to carry out the proposed Action10.

12.1.3 Non-retroactivity

Pursuant to Article 130 of the Financial Regulation, no grants may be awarded retrospectively for actions already completed. A grant may be awarded for an action which has already begun provided that the applicant(s) can demonstrate the need for starting the action prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

12.2 Funding form

Grants to be awarded further to this call for proposals will take the form of reimbursement of a specified proportion of the eligible costs actually incurred.

12.2.1 Co-funding rates

In line with Article 10(2) of the CEF Regulation, the EU financial assistance to be granted under this call for proposals cannot exceed the rates referred to in section 9 of the multi- annual work programme:

(a) with regard to grants for studies, 50% of the eligible costs; (b) with regard to grants for works:

  1. (i) for actions enhancing rail interoperability: 40% of the eligible costs;

habitats and of wild fauna and flora, OJ L206, 22.7.1992, p.7) and Birds Directives (Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds, OJ L 20, 26.1.2010, p.7), as well as the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p.1)

  1. (ii)  for inland transport, connections to and the development of multimodal logistics platforms including connections to inland and maritime ports and airports, as well as the development of ports: 20% of the eligible costs;

  2. (iii)  for actions supporting new technologies and innovation for all modes of transport: 20% of the eligible costs;

(c) with regard to grants for telematic applications systems and services:

  1. (i)  for land-based components of ERTMS and of RIS: 50% of the eligible costs;

  2. (ii)  for land-based components of ITS for the road sector: 20% of the eligible costs;

  3. (iii)  for on-board components of RIS and of ITS for the road sector: 20% of the eligible costs, up to a combined ceiling of 5% of the budgetary resources referred to in point (a) of Article 5(1) of the CEF Regulation;

  4. (iv)  for telematics applications systems other than those mentioned in points (i) to (iii), freight transport services and secure parkings on the road core network: 20% of eligible costs.

In line with Article 10(5) of the CEF Regulation, these co-funding rates may be increased by up to 10 percentage points for actions with synergies between transport and at least one other sector covered by the CEF Regulation, which address the priorities of Article 4 of the CEF Regulation.

The Commission reserves the right to award a grant of less than the amount requested by the applicant.

In order to ensure efficiency in EU funding interventions, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications for actions with a total requested EU contribution to the eligible costs of no less than €500,000 for studies and no less than €1,000,000 for works, except for proposals submitted under the priority Safe and secure infrastructure, for which the recommended minimum requested EU contribution can be of no less than €500,000 (both for studies and works). Where possible, related actions should be grouped and submitted as one proposal.

12.2.2 Eligible costs

Eligible costs are costs actually incurred by the beneficiary of a grant which meet all the criteria laid down in Article 126(2) of the Financial Regulation.

The beneficiary's internal accounting and auditing procedures must permit direct reconciliation of the costs and revenue declared in respect of the action with the corresponding accounting statements and supporting documents.

The same criteria apply to the costs incurred by affiliated entities and implementing bodies designated by the beneficiary.

Applicants should refer to points (3) to (8) of Article 8 of the CEF Regulation concerning the eligibility of costs. The full costs of purchase of equipment and infrastructure which are treated as capital expenditure are eligible under this call, provided that they are:

• treated as capital expenditure in accordance with the tax and accounting rules applicable to the beneficiary;

• recorded in the fixed assets account of the beneficiary's balance sheet; and - 17 -

• purchased in accordance with the procurement rules as specified in Article II.9 of the model grant agreement.

Costs will be eligible, at the earliest, from the date on which an application is submitted and, at the latest, to the date of completion of the Action, which should be 31 December 2023 at the latest.

The attention of applicants is drawn to the fact that ceilings and/or limitations may be applicable to eligible costs under specific priorities as specified in section 3 of the work programme and section 12.2.1 above.

Activities for improved accessibility to transport infrastructure for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility according to Article 10 (2)(b)(v) of the CEF Regulation: costs of these activities may not exceed in any case 10% of the total eligible cost of works of the proposed Action, except for proposals addressing the specific objective 7 (Support infrastructure to enhance multi-modal transport for passengers through innovative solutions), under the priority "Innovation and new technologies".

Indirect costs

Indirect costs of the action are those costs which are not specific costs directly linked to the implementation of the action and can therefore not be attributed directly to it.

Indirect costs are not eligible.

VAT

In line with the first subparagraph of Article 8(7) of the CEF Regulation and Article 126(3)(c) of the Financial Regulation, VAT paid by beneficiaries of grants awarded following this call for proposals is eligible except:

  • deductible VAT (VAT paid by the beneficiary for the implementation of taxed activities or exempt activities with right of deduction);

  • VAT paid for the implementation of activities engaged in as a public authority by the beneficiary where it is a Member State, regional or local government authority of a Member State or another body governed by public law of a Member State.

Detailed information on eligible and ineligible costs is included in the model grant agreement, which is available on the call webpage.

12.2.3 Payment arrangements

A first pre-financing payment corresponding to 40% of the first instalment of grant awarded as specified in the grant agreement will be transferred to the beneficiary within 30 days after the last party signs the grant agreement.

Further pre-financing payments may be made upon request and in accordance with the financial needs of the Action.

Requests for interim payments must be submitted at least every two years.

The cumulative amount of all pre-financing and interim payments shall not exceed 80% of the maximum amount of the financial aid awarded.

However, in those cases where the low complexity of the Action may require a simpler payment arrangement, the following payment arrangements may be provided for: a single pre- financing payment corresponding to 40% of the maximum grant amount awarded will be made within 30 days after the last party signs the grant agreement. No interim payment may be made.

 

In the event that the beneficiary's financial capacity is not satisfactory, the pre-financing payment(s) may be subject to the receipt of a financial guarantee for up to the same amount as the pre-financing payment to be made.

The financial guarantee, in euro, shall be provided by an approved bank or financial institution established in one of the EU Member States. When the beneficiary is established in a third country, INEA may agree that a bank or financial institution established in a third country may provide the guarantee if the bank or financial institution is considered to offer equivalent security and characteristics as those offered by a bank or financial institution established in a Member State. Amounts blocked in bank accounts will not be accepted as financial guarantees.

The guarantee may be replaced by a joint or several guarantees provided by third parties or by a joint guarantee of the beneficiaries of an action that are parties to the same grant agreement. The guarantee will be released when the pre-financing is cleared against the interim payment, if applicable, and/or the balance of payment(s) made, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the grant agreement.

In the event that the beneficiary's financial capacity is not satisfactory, a limited joint and several financial liability for recoveries may be applied in accordance with the terms and conditions of the model grant agreement.

The final amount of the grant to be awarded to the beneficiary is established after completion of the Action, upon approval of the request for payment including, where applicable, the supporting documents as described in the model grant agreement.

For multi-beneficiary actions, a coordinator must be designated. The coordinator will be the contact point for INEA and will have, inter alia, the responsibility for receiving the payment(s) and coordinating the reporting exercise(s). It is strongly recommended that beneficiaries sign an internal cooperation agreement regarding their operation and coordination, including all internal aspects related to the management of the beneficiaries and the implementation of the proposed Action. Such internal cooperation agreements shall not undermine, under any circumstances, the terms and conditions of the model grant agreement.

 

13. MODEL GRANT AGREEMENT

Applicant(s) will be invited to sign the grant agreement if a proposal is selected for funding. The standard model grant agreement is not negotiable and will be signed in English.

Submitting an application implies the acceptance of the terms and conditions of the model grant agreement, available on the call page. Applicants are invited to carefully read this document and its annexes before submitting an application.

 

14. PROCEDURE FOR SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS

All practical information on this call for proposals and the evaluation process is detailed in the Guide for Applicants. It is available, together with the application forms, model grant agreement, the multi-annual work programme, the CEF Regulation, the TEN-T Guidelines, and other relevant documents, on the call page, accessible via the following link:

https://ec.europa.eu/inea/connecting-europe-facility/cef-transport/apply-funding/2018-cef- transport-calls-proposals.

Applicants are requested to carefully read all call-related documents, including the instructions given in the Guide for Applicants and other guidance documents and information, in particular the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

14.1 Application forms

Proposals must be submitted using the application forms provided on the call page at the link above. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications in the English language as the evaluation of proposals is entirely conducted in English.

Notwithstanding, applicants also have the possibility to submit their proposal, including the CBA/CEA, in another EU official language together with an English translation11. The latter will be used for the evaluation.

Proposals must be signed by the applicant(s) or its duly authorised representative and must be perfectly legible so that there can be no doubt as to words and figures. Advanced electronic signatures based on a qualified certificate as defined by Regulation 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS Regulation) and which comply with the signature formats specified in Commission Implementing Decision 2015/1506 shall be accepted.

The applicant(s) specified in the application form part A will automatically be considered as the beneficiary(ies) if the proposal is selected for funding. If applicants designate affiliated entities within the meaning of Article 122 of the Financial Regulation to support the implementation of the proposed Action, the information on these affiliated entities must be encoded in the application form part A, and any relevant supporting documents must be provided.

Applicants must indicate in application form part A to which priority their proposal is submitted. Proposals that include elements of more than one priority must be submitted in the priority to which their content has the highest comparative relevance. In this respect, it is the responsibility of the applicant(s) to assess which priority is better addressed by the nature of the proposal.

14.2 Submission process

Proposals must be submitted electronically using the TENtec eSubmission module at the following link: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/tentec/grant/esubmission/ before the call deadline: 24 October 2018 at 17:00.00 Brussels time (see also Section 6. "Admissibility requirements").

Application form part A is automatically generated by the TENtec eSubmission module. Application form parts B, C and D must be downloaded from the call page at the link above and duly completed. Application form part D may not exceed 40 pages. Once final, these must be uploaded into the TENtec eSubmission module. The same applies to any annexes or supporting documents accompanying the proposal.

Applicants' attention is drawn to the fact that for application form part A, only the information encoded in the TENtec eSubmission module will be taken into account for the evaluation (notwithstanding the requirement to upload signed versions of application forms part A2.2 and A2.3). For the other forms and documents, only the last version uploaded in the TENtec eSubmission module will be taken into account for the evaluation.

Any parts of the application form that require signatures of applicants or relevant authorities must be scanned and uploaded into the TENtec eSubmission module. Advanced electronic signatures based on a qualified certificate as defined by Regulation 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS Regulation) and which comply with the signature formats specified in Commission Implementing Decision 2015/1506 shall be accepted.

Applicants must be able to provide the original documents and send them to the Commission/Agency services upon request.

 

15. INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS

Further information or clarifications on the call for proposals will be published on the call webpage. Please refer to all of the following documents, available on the call webpage, when preparing the application:

  • Multi-annual work programme

  • CEF Regulation

  • TEN-T Guidelines

  • Extension of the TEN-T network to the neighbouring countries12

  • Application form (parts A, B, C and D)

  • Guide for Applicants

  • FAQs published on the call page

  • Application checklist

  • EU Financial Regulation and Rules of application

  • Commission Decision on the reimbursement of personnel costs13

  • Cohesion Policy CBA methodology

  • CBA cash flow template

Applicants are invited to regularly consult this page and the INEA website/Twitter feed (@inea_eu) regularly until the deadline for submission of proposals.

Questions related to this call may be addressed to the call helpdesk: INEA-CEF-transport-calls@ec.europa.eu.

The answers to submitted questions will be published in a FAQ list on the call page, to ensure equal treatment of all potential applicants. Questions related to the call should be submitted at least by 3 October 2018 to ensure sufficient time for the last update of the FAQs by 17 October 2018. However, individual technical questions related to TENtec eSubmission module will be treated until the call deadline.

Questions which are specific to a particular proposal and where the answer would provide a comparative advantage to the applicant will not be answered.

Please note that proposals must not be sent to the helpdesk e-mail address.

 

16. PROCESSING OF PERSONAL DATA

The reply to any call for proposals involves the recording and processing of personal data (such as name, address and CV). Such data will be processed pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data.

Unless indicated otherwise, the questions and any personal data requested will be processed solely for the purpose of evaluation of proposals in accordance with the call for proposals and in case of successful applications, for the purpose of grant management including evaluations of the CEF by INEA as data controller for this purpose.

Personal data included in the application (name, title, organisation, contact information) may be shared within the limits set forth by Regulation 45/2001 with external experts whose contribution is necessary for evaluation of proposals and grants and with the concerned Member State representatives in the CEF Coordination Committee on a need to know basis in view of their role in the approval of proposals selected for funding, as well as responsibilities under the CEF Regulation.

Details concerning the processing of an applicant's personal data are available in the privacy statement on the call page:

https://ec.europa.eu/inea/connecting-europe-facility/cef-transport/apply-funding/2017-cef- transport-calls-proposals

An applicant's personal data (name, given name if natural person, address, legal form, registration number and name and given name of the persons with powers of representation, decision-making or control, if legal person) may be registered by the Accounting Officer of the Commission in the Early Detection and Exclusion System (EDES) established by the Commission, should the beneficiary be in one of the situations mentioned in Article 106(1) and 107 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, as amended by Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 2015/1929 (OJ L 286, 30.10.2015, p. 1).

For more information on EDES (including the grounds for being registered in the database), please see:

http://ec.europa.eu/budget/explained/management/protecting/protect_en.cfm ,

and the privacy statement at:

http://ec.europa.eu/budget/library/explained/management/protecting/privacy_statement_edes_ en.pdf .

Applicants are informed that, to ensure that the EU’s financial interests are protected, their personal data may be communicated to internal audit services, the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors, the body specialising in financial irregularities (Financial Irregularities Panel) or the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).



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