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Border Surveillance - ISFB-AG-2018-ESUR
Deadline: 16 Oct 2018   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono EC - Internal Security Fund

 Disadvantaged People
 Cross-border cooperation
 Immigration Law
 Territorial Cooperation
 Migrants and Refugees


Article 67(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) declares as the European Union’s objective ensuring a high level of security within an area of freedom, security and justice.

To achieve this objective, a more coherent approach on the internal and external aspects of migration management is needed and a correlation should be established between the fight against illegal immigration and the improvement of security at the external borders of the Union, as well as better cooperation and dialogue with third countries for the purposes of dealing with illegal immigration and promoting legal migration.

The Internal Security Strategy for the European Union (‘Internal Security Strategy’), adopted by the Council in February 2010, has constituted a shared agenda for tackling these common security challenges and has, inter alia, identified the following relevant strategic objectives for 2010-2014: to strengthen security through border management and to increase Europe’s resilience in the face of crises and disasters. These strategic objectives remain valid and should continue to be pursued.

To promote the implementation of the Internal Security Strategy and to ensure that it becomes an operational reality, the Internal Security Fund (ISF Borders and Visa) was set up.

In May 2015 the European Commission adopted the European Agenda on Migration (EAM) which proposes measures for the short and medium term to respond to current challenges in the area of migration and crises at the EU external border. It identifies four pillars to manage migration better, which includes 'Border management – saving lives and securing external borders'.

Legal basis of ISF Borders and Visa are the following regulations:

- Regulation (EU) No 515/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing the Instrument for financial support for external borders and visa (OJ L 150 of 20 May 2014);

- Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 laying down general provisions on the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and on the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management (OJ L 150 of 20 May 2014).

The ISF Borders and Visa Regulation sets out two specific objectives, respectively:

(i) supporting a common visa policy to facilitate legitimate travel, provide a high quality of service to visa applicants, ensure equal treatment of third-country nationals and tackle illegal immigration;


(ii) supporting integrated border management, including promoting further harmonisation of border management-related measures in accordance with common Union standards and through the sharing of information between Member States and between Member States and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), to ensure, on one hand, a uniform and high level of control and protection of the external borders, including by the tackling of illegal immigration and, on the other hand, the smooth crossing of the external borders in conformity with the Schengen acquis, while guaranteeing access to international protection for those needing it, in accordance with the obligations contracted by the Member States in the field of human rights, including the principle of non-refoulement.

In conformity with Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 Article 6.2, in order to implement the ISF Borders and Visa, the Commission adopted on 3 July 2018, the 2018 Annual Work Programme for Union Actions which includes this Call for Proposals1 .

This call supports the implementation and further development of the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR), which became operational in December 20132. EUROSUR is a multi-purpose system used for preventing illegal immigration and cross-border crime at the external borders, thereby contributing to the further development of the Schengen acquis. It aims to contribute to protect and save the lives of migrants attempting to cross the external borders.

To achieve these objectives, EUROSUR provides a common framework for information exchange and cooperation among all authorities with responsibility for the surveillance of the external land and sea borders. EUROSUR follows intelligence and risk analysis driven approach, allowing national and European authorities to better understand what is happening at the external borders and enabling them to react faster to new routes and methods used for illegal immigration and cross-border crime. Key elements of this include near-real time information exchange, regular intelligence sharing and close cooperation among authorities at national and European level.



The present Call for Proposals aims at funding projects on the topic of supporting the improvement of border surveillance by enhancing cooperation between Member States in the framework of EUROSUR, including, whenever appropriate, cooperation with third countries.

Project applications submitted under the present Call for Proposals must address at least one of the following priorities:

(1) Collection of the information on the National Situational Picture and automated exchange of information European Situational Picture and the Common Pre-frontier Intelligence Picture of EUROSUR, in order to prevent irregular departures of migrants and for early identification of smugglers, as foreseen in the EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling

In line with paragraphs 9 and 10 of Article 9 of Regulation (EU) No 1052/2013 establishing EUROSUR, the project shall enable the national coordination centres of two or more neighbouring Member States to share with each other, and exchange of the situational picture of neighbouring external border sections including:

a) incidents and other significant events contained in the events layer; b) tactical risk analysis reports as contained in the analysis layer;

c) positions, status and type of own assets operating in the neighbouring external border sections as contained in the operational layer.

Proposal supporting the deployment of systems allowing automated collection analysis and exchange of information and capable of handling multiple levels of confidentiality within and between the National Situational Pictures of Member States and with the European Situational Picture will be given priority.

While the project proposal needs to fully cover the requirements described in letters a) and b), the requirements described in letter c) are optional. Project proposals covering also letter c) will also be given priority over projects covering only letters a) and b).

(2) Cooperation between neighbouring Member States and of Member States with third countries (mostly neighbouring) in the framework of EUROSUR

The project shall support the cooperation between two or more Member States with a third country with the aim of improving the process of information exchange at bi- or multilateral level (e.g. Seahorses, Black Sea Cooperation Forum, Baltic Sea Region Border Control Cooperation).

These activities may include actions related to

  •   developing, establishing, upgrading and maintaining bi-or multilateral information exchange and cooperation;

  •   regional networks;

  •   services for centres in third countries which are similar to the EUROSUR national coordination centres in Member States,

  •   joint operations, including patrolling and surveillance activities;

  •   training, studies, pilot projects.

Proposal supporting the deployment of systems allowing automated collection analysis and exchange of information and capable of handling and adapting specific rules and policies for information exchange will be given priority.

Any actions under this Call for Proposals shall respect and shall be implemented in line with the rights and principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Applications should pay appropriate attention to the effects of the project on individual rights and freedoms, as well as to possible remedies. In addition, any action under this Call for Proposals should comply with all relevant ethical principles and all applicable international, EU and national law on ethical issues while carrying out the project.



a) Publication of the call
10 July 2018

b) Deadline for submitting applications
(16/10/2018 – 17:00 CET)

c) Evaluation period
November – December 2018

d) Information to applicants
January 2019

e) Signature of Grant Agreement
April 2019

f) Starting date of the action
1 June 2019



The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated at EUR 20.000.000.

The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.


5.1. General eligibility provisions

Applications must be sent no later than the deadline for submitting applications referred to in section 3.

Applications must be submitted using the Electronic Submission System of the Participant Portal originally developed for the Horizon 2020 Research programmes.

Applications must be submitted using the standard Submission Form Part A and Part B. They must include all the mandatory information and be accompanied (if applicable) by the Audit Report3 Annexes.

Applications must be drafted in one of the EU official languages. English is preferred in order to speed up the evaluation procedure.

Projects cannot be scheduled to last more than 24 months. Applications for projects scheduled to run for a longer period will be rejected.

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

5.2. Eligible applicants and applications

In order to be eligible for a grant, the Applicant and the Co-applicants must be:
a) legal persons; applications from natural persons are not eligible;
b) a public body;
c) establishedinaMemberStateparticipatingintheISFBordersandVisainstrument4. In order to be eligible for a grant, applications must be:

  1. a)  transnational, i.e. involving at least 2 organisations established in 2 different Member States participating in the ISF Borders and Visa instrument;

  2. b)  seeking EU co-funding equal to or more than EUR 250.000 and equal to or less than EUR 2.500.000 (including the flat rate for indirect costs);

  3. c)  activities must not have started prior to the date of submission of the grant application.

Union agencies can be neither Applicants nor Co-applicants.

The public legal entities from the third countries can be neither Applicants nor Co- applicants; however they can be involved on the non-cost basis in the activities and are included in the proposal in Part B only.


To prove these eligibility requirements, Applicants and Co-applicants will have to provide the relevant information and upload necessary documents showing their legal status in the Beneficiary Register. The information needs to be provided before the submission deadline.

5.3. Eligible activities

The following types of activities are eligible under this Call for Proposals:

• Deployment of surveillance and information exchange systems allowing automatic exchange of information and handling multiple levels of confidentiality within and between the National Situational Pictures of Member States and with the European Situational Picture.

• Enhancing cooperation with third countries, including by further development and upgrade of regional networks, with the aim of improving the process of information exchange at bi- or multilateral level (e.g. Seahorse, Black Sea Cooperation Forum, Baltic Sea Region Border Control Cooperation) and exploring the possibilities of exchanging such information within EUROSUR.

• Cooperation activities between two or more Member States supporting exchange of the situational picture of neighbouring external border sections between the national coordination centres of neighbouring Member States and sharing of relevant information with the European Situational Picture.

Any measures under this heading will be implemented in full coordination and complementarity with other on-going activities, such as the ‘Seahorse Mediterranean Network’ project, funded from the Thematic Programme for Migration and Asylum, existing initiatives promoting integrated border management in third countries financed by external assistance instruments as well as ongoing civilian Missions under the Common Security and Defence Policy in support of third countries' border security.


Applicants will be excluded from participating in the Call for Proposals procedure and from the grant award if they are in any of the situations referred to in articles 131(4) of the EU Financial Regulation5, i.e. one of the following situations:

6.1. Exclusion from participation in the Call for Proposals

  1. 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;
  2. 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 which has the force of res judicata;
  3. they have been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the contracting authority can justify including by decisions of the EIB and international organisations;
  4. 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 Belgium or those of the country where the action is to be implemented;
  5. 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 an illegal activity is detrimental to the Union's financial interests;
  6. they are currently subject to an administrative penalty for: being guilty of misrepresentation in supplying the information required by the Commission as a condition of participation in a procurement or grant award procedure or for failing to supply this information; or having been declared to be in serious breach of its obligations under grant agreements or contracts financed by the Union's budget.


6.2 Exclusion from award


Applicants will not be granted financial assistance if, in the course of the grant award procedure, they:

  1. (a)  are subject to a conflict of interest in connection with the action;

  2. (b)  are guilty of misrepresentation in supplying the information required by the Commission as a condition of participation in the grant award procedure or fail to supply this information;

  3. (c)  find themselves in one of the situations of exclusion, referred to in section 6.1.

Administrative and financial penalties may be imposed on Applicants and Co-applicants who are guilty of misrepresentation.



7.1. Financial capacity

Applicants and Co-applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the period during which the action is being carried out and to participate in its funding. Organisations participating in several projects shall have sufficient financial capacity to implement multiple projects.

Financial capacity check will be performed by the Research Executive Agency (REA). It will be assessed in line with the requirements of the Financial Regulation (EC) No 966/2012.

The documents that will be requested when assessing the financial capacity include (1) the profit and loss accounts and (2) the balance sheets. For newly created entities the business plan may replace the above documents.

The financial documents must be uploaded in the Beneficiary Register when uploading the application package.

In case of low financial capacity, the Commission may decide the following:

  • -  request further documents;

  • -  request budget modifications / reallocations of costs;

  • -  introduce interim payments based on interim reports;

  • -  modify pre-financing percentage.
    In case of insufficient financial capacity, the Commission may decide the following:

  • -  request a change of Co-applicant;

  • -  reject the application.

Financial Capacity assessment will not be carried out if:


  • the Applicant or Co-applicant is a public body or an international organisation;
  • the EU contribution requested by the Applicant or Co-applicant is ≤ EUR 60 000.

If the share of a grant requested by an organisation (Applicant or Co-applicant) exceeds EUR 750 000, this organisation must also provide an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying its accounts for the last closed financial year. This provision shall not apply to public bodies or to international organisations.


7.2 Operational capacity

Applicants and Co-applicants must have the professional competencies as well as appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action. This capacity shall be assessed based on the experience of the Applicants and each Co-applicant or, as an alternative, on the relevant experience of their directly involved employees.

As evidence, the following information must be provided in the Submission Form Part B of the proposal:

  • -  general profiles (qualifications and experiences) of the staff primary responsible for managing and implementing the proposed action to be described under point 5.1.3,

  • -  a description of the partnership in the context of the proposed action to be provided under point 5.1.1.

The operational capacity assessment is not applicable to public bodies and international organisations.



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