The 3rd Call for proposals solely applies for Thematic objective 5 “Support to local and regional good governance”.
Project applications within current Thematic objective shall contribute to the Programme's Result Indicator “Accessibility of cross border social, health and sporting services, and vocational and language training” and following Programme's Output Indicators:
- “The number of participating organizations cooperating across borders for improved governance”
- “The number of participants at events that are aimed at vocational and language training”.
Under TO5 “Support to local and regional good governance” the specific areas are:
-Improving cooperation between local and regional authorities and their sub-units; -Improving cooperation between local and regional communities.
The indicative list of supported actions is as follows:
- Education - cooperation between (vocational) schools in fields such as teaching methodology (including Russian language), and the development of curricula;
- Health - active life and recreation, rehabilitation;
- Social - youth services, employment, HIV/AIDS prevention.
Cooperation of local and regional communities in the following fields:
- Culture – the preservation and promotion of cultural and historical heritage on a municipal level;
- Sport – an exchange of know-how and contacts.
- Cooperation between local/regional administrations and their sub-units in order to increase exchange of experience in various fields such as e-services and joint planning.
1.3 PROGRAMME AREA
The Programme area lies in the east of the Baltic Sea region and covers two distinct territories, namely the southern, northern, and eastern parts of Estonia and the north- western section of the Russian Federation, including the city of St Petersburg.
The eligible Programme area includes the following NUTS III regions (the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) or their equivalents as core regions:
Estonia: Kirde-Eesti, Lõuna-Eesti, Kesk-Eesti
Russia: St Petersburg, Leningrad and Pskov regions
The Programme area includes the Põhja-Eesti region (including Tallinn) in Estonia as an adjoining region. Involvement of adjoining region is not allowed under 3rd Call for proposals.
1.4 PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT
Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC)
is a decision making body responsible for ensuring effectiveness and quality of the Programme implementation. The JMC takes the final decision on projects to be supported and amounts granted to the projects. Members of the JMC are representatives from national and regional level partners from the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation.
Managing Authority (MA)
is an executive body having overall responsibility for managing the Programme and implementing decisions taken by the JMC; body responsible for efficient and correct management and implementation of the Programme. The MA is signing Grant Contracts with the Lead beneficiaries of approved projects, approves project implementation reports and initiates payments. The Grants Development Department of the State Shared Service Centre is fulfilling the tasks of the MA of the Programme.
Joint Technical Secretariat (JTS)
is a joint operational body assisting the Managing Authority and the JMC in carrying out their respective duties. The JTS is in charge of the day-to-day operational follow-up and financial management of the projects. The JTS is composed of international staff. The JTS is located in Tartu, the Republic of Estonia and hosted by the State Shared Service Centre. The JTS has Branch Offices in the Russian Federation located in St. Petersburg and Pskov. The JTS informs and supports potential beneficiaries of the Programme in the country where activities are envisaged.
National Authorities (NA)
are national institutions responsible for the Programme development, relevant policy making and monitoring of the Programme on behalf of the participating countries. Their functions are implemented by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Estonia and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.
Control Contact Point (CCP)
is a body acting as assistants to the MA and supporting the MA in the elaboration of guidance on expenditure verification, providing clarification and training on national rules (such as procurement, labour law, taxes, etc.), as well assisting the MA during on-the-spot verification work in respective country.
Audit Authority (AA)
Is a body which shall ensure that audits are carried out on the management and control systems, on an appropriate sample of projects and on the annual accounts of the Programme. Therefore AA is responsible for the preparation and approval of audit guidelines, the audit strategy for setting out the audit methodology, the sampling method, and the audit plan to verify and issue an opinion about whether the management and control systems of the Programme functions effectively, and to verify the expenditure that has been declared; and for the coordination of all respective audit activities that are related to the Programme.
Group of Auditors (GoA)
A body which comprises representatives (one representative from each participating country) who are appointed by each participating country and assists the AA.
2. CONDITION FOR FINANCING AND FINANCIAL ALLOCATION FOR 3rd Call FOR PROPOSALS
According to the Article 39 of Implementing Rules:
1. Projects may receive financial contribution from the Programme provided they meet all the following conditions:
(a)they deliver a clear cross-border cooperation impact and benefits as described in the programming document1 and demonstrate added value to Union strategies and programmes;
(b)they are implemented in the programme area; (c)they fall within one of the following categories:
(i)integrated projects where each beneficiary implements a part of the activities of the project on its own territory;
(ii)symmetrical projects where similar activities are implemented in parallel in the participating countries;
(iii)single-country projects where projects are implemented mainly or entirely in one of the participating countries but for the benefit of all or some of the participating countries and where cross-border impacts and benefits are identified.
2. Projects meeting the criteria of paragraph 1 may be partially implemented outside the programme area, provided that all the following conditions are met:
(a)the projects are necessary for achieving the Programme's objectives and they benefit the Programme area;
(b)the total amount allocated under the Programme to activities outside the Programme area does not exceed 20 % of the Union contribution at programme (not project) level.
The overall indicative amount made available from the Programme for the 3rd Call for proposals is 432 373,32 EUR. The minimum amount of the grant to the project is 50 000 EUR and the maximum amount of the grant to the project is 100 000 EUR. The Joint Monitoring Committee may decrease the maximum sum allocated to projects based on the assessment results of project applications.
3. OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
The official working language of the Programme is English. The full project application shall be submitted in English, Grant Contract shall be concluded in English, all official documentation and communication related to the preparation and implementation of projects should be in English. Interpretation and translation costs foreseen during the project implementation can be included in the budget of the project.
4. ELIGIBILITY OF THE APPLICANT AND THE PROJECT PARTNER(S)
4.1 The following bodies which are effectively established and have their main legal address/office in the Programme area can act as applicants and project partners:
Associations that are formed by one or more national, regional or local authorities;
Publicequivalentbodies(anylegalbodythatisgovernedbypublicorprivatelegal requirements), which have been established for the specific purpose of meeting any needs that are in the general interest, and which do not have an industrial or commercial character, but which do have a legal personality, and are financed by national, regional, or local authorities;
Other bodies that are governed by public legal acts, or which are subject to management supervision by those bodies, or which have an administrative, managerial or supervisory board more than half of whose members are appointed by national, regional, or local authorities, or by other bodies which are governed by public legal acts (such as, for example, municipal and national enterprises, trade unions, medical institutions, museums, etc.);
Associationsthatareformedbyoneormorebodieswhicharegovernedbypublic legal acts as defined under point 3 above;
Educational organisations (schools, preschool institutions, vocational schools, colleges, institutes, or universities);
4.3 The applicant and the project partner(s) must not be in any of the situations listed below:
(a) they are bankrupt or being wound up, are having their affairs administered by the courts, have entered into an arrangement with creditors, have suspended business activities, are the subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or are in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations;
(b) they or persons having powers of representation, decision making or control over them have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a judgment of a competent authority of a Member State or the Russian Federation which has the force of res judicata;
(c) they have been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the managing authority can justify including by decisions of the EIB and international organisations;
(d) they are not in compliance with their obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or the payment of taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established or with those of the country of the contracting authority or those of the country where the contract is to be performed;
(e) they or persons having powers of representation, decision making or control over them have been the subject of a judgment which has the force of res judicata for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity, where such illegal activity is detrimental to the Union's financial interests;
(f) they are subject to an administrative penalty referred to in Article 109(1) of EURATOM:
- are guilty of misrepresenting the information required by the managing authority as a condition of participation in the procurement procedure or fail to supply that information;
- contractors who have been declared to be in serious breach of their obligations under contracts covered by the budget.
Points (b) and (e) shall not apply where the applicants or partner(s) can demonstrate that adequate measures have been adopted against the persons having powers of representation, decision making or control over them, who are subject to a judgement as referred to in points (b) or (e).
The following are not the project partners (later beneficiaries) and do not have to sign the Partner Statement but have specific and important role in the implementation of the project:
Associates can be involved in the project implementation if they play a real role in the project. Associates may not receive funding from the grant with the exception of daily allowances, accommodation, subsistence and travel costs. Associates do not have to meet the eligibility criteria referred to in point 4 of the Guidelines. The associates have to be mentioned in the full project application and they have to sign the Letter of Endorsement by the Associates. Not more than 10% of project grant could be used for expenses of associates.
The Lead beneficiaries and the beneficiaries shall conclude contracts with subcontractors if applicable as a result of procurement/tender procedures. Subcontractors are neither beneficiaries nor associates, and are subject to the procurement rules set out in the Guidelines.
5. PARTNERSHIP REQUIREMENT
The Programme will finance activities within the projects which have (is aimed to keep) a purely cross border character and involve at least two beneficiaries, of whom at least one beneficiary shall be from the Republic of Estonia and at least one beneficiary from the Russian Federation. Please note the Programme area requirements as defined in point 1.3 of these Guidelines and the eligibility requirements of the applicants in point 4 of these Guidelines.
6. DURATION OF THE PROJECT
The maximum project duration is 12 months. It is recommended to reserve up to 3 months in the end of the project for compiling reports. The activities of the project must be finished on 31 December 2022 at the latest.
7. ELIGIBILITY OF COSTS
Only eligible costs shall be taken into account for the total project budget. The categories of costs considered as eligible and non-eligible are indicated in point 7.3. Note that the eligible costs must be based on real costs2 and backed by supporting documents during the project implementation.
7.1 THE 3E ISSUES IN THE PROJECT BUDGET
The project budget has to be in line with the principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
The principle of economy requires that the resources used by the institution for the pursuit of its activities shall be made in due time, in appropriate quantity and quality and at the best price.
The principle of efficiency is concerned with the best relationship between resources employed and results achieved.
The principle of effectiveness is concerned with attaining the specific objectives set and achieving the intended results.
7.2 CO-FINANCING RATE
Every beneficiary has to co-finance the project with at least 10% contribution of their own part of the project budget. The co-financing sources shall come from source other that the European Union.
7.3 ELIGIBLE COSTS
7.3.1 ELIGIBLE COSTS ARE COSTS ACTUALLY INCURRED BY THE BENEFICIARY WHICH MEET ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA3:
(a) they are incurred during the implementation4 period of the project. In particular:
(i) costs relating to services and works shall relate to activities performed during the implementation period. Costs relating to supplies shall relate to delivery and installation of items during the implementation period. Signature of a contract, placing of an order, or entering into any commitment for expenditure within the implementation period for future delivery of services, works or supplies after expiry of the implementation period do not meet this requirement; cash transfers between the lead beneficiary and the other beneficiaries may not be considered as costs incurred;
(ii) costs incurred should be paid before the submission of the final reports.