The general context for this call for proposals is defined in section 3.9 of the 2019 Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Telecom Work Programme1 as published on the call page on the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) website.2 The background and rationale for this call for proposals are defined in section 3.9.1 of the 2019 – 2020 Work Programme.
2. PRIORITIES & OBJECTIVES
2.1 Priority outcomes
The priority outcomes of this call for proposals are defined in section 184.108.40.206 of the 2019 – 2020 Work Programme.
Under this call, proposals will be funded that address one or more of the generic services listed below. Applicants must clearly indicate in the electronic submission system, in the proposal summary, and in application form Part D, which of the generic services will be deployed.
With the exception of proposals addressing European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) generic services (see 2.1.2 below), applicants who already benefit from CEF funding for generic services covered in the previous CEF Telecom calls may not submit applications under this call for the same generic services.
1 Commission Implementing Decision C(2019)1021 final of 14 February 2019 on establishing a Multi-Annual Work Programme 2019 and 2020 for financial assistance in the field of Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Telecommunications sector, amended by Commission Implementing Decision C(2019)2782 final of 16 April 2019.
Agence exécutive pour l'innovation et les réseaux /Uitvoerend Agentschap innovatie en netwerken, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË - Tel. +32 22991111
All selected Actions must, by the end of the Action, successfully pass the conformance tests from the conformance testing service offered by the eProcurement Core Service Platform and/or eDelivery Core Service Platform.
The use of Building Blocks such as eID, eSignature, and eTranslation, is strongly encouraged in this call. Public and private service providers making use of eID and eSignature must ensure that their solutions are compliant with the eIDAS Regulation. eID through EU-Login is implemented in eCertis and Automated Translation is expected to be integrated into eCertis in Q2 2019.
The different generic services support several action lines of the Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment of 6 October 20173:
2.1.1 Implementation of contract registers4
A contract register is a function of a public procurement system that gathers governance- relevant structured and unstructured data throughout the lifecycle of a contract. For the purpose of this call, actions proposing to implement contract registers must address one or both of the activities below:
a) Ensure interoperability by connecting the contract register with Tenders Electronics Daily (TED). This can be done either directly by the contract register becoming a qualified e-Sender5, or indirectly by sending notices to another qualified e-Sender.
b) Increase the scope of governance-relevant data not covered by the EU Directives in at least one of the following areas:
Procurement data for contracts not covered by the EU public procurement directives (e.g. below-threshold procurement). This information must be structured using a (simplified) version of the latest TED standard forms.
Contract implementation phase data (i.e. the total contract payments, the date of completion of the contract and any other relevant information). Information on payments must be processed using the eInvoicing standard established by the Directive 2014/55/EU6. Any additional information should be structured as much as possible, in line with the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) for the contract implementation phase7.
All data used should be taken, as much as possible, automatically from other existing databases to avoid manual data entry.
The extent to which information in a contract register is made publicly available is to be decided by each proposed action. However, public information should be the default approach and all information marked as public must be made available as open data through the relevant national open data portals8 or the European Open Data Portal9.
The contract registers must be in line with the Multi-Stakeholder Expert Group eProcurement recommendations10 on contract registers.
2.1.2 Implementation of solutions interconnecting national notice publication portals and Tenders Electronic Daily
Currently, companies can find public procurement notices from anywhere in the EU on Tenders Electronic Daily (TED). However, many companies do not know TED and instead only go to their national publication websites that contain only national notices. Re-publishing TED notices also at national level would make them more visible to companies.
The solutions proposed must regularly take at least certain categories of notices from TED11 and publish them on the national publication portal. These notices must have been published by a buyer not coming from the publication portal’s country. The solution may also facilitate exchange of notices between national, regional and local publication portals as well as enable the publication of below-threshold procurement notices on TED.
This generic service can be particularly useful for national publication portals.
2.1.3 Implementation or update of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) service
a) An ESPD compatible service can be either implemented to the latest ESPD Exchange Data Model (EDM)12, or by reusing the ESPD/VCD (Virtual Company Dossier) open source framework, provided as a deliverable by the ESPDint project13. The ESPD service should be linked to national databases, if the latter are available.
b) Update the existing ESPD service to the latest ESPD Exchange Data Model (EDM), by interconnecting it with existing national databases, or by providing cross-border direct and free access to public authorities in other countries.
All ESPD services must be able to import and export an eESPD as defined in the ESPD– EDM and must be linked to eCertis.
2.1.4 Implementation of the eTendering interface
Implementation of the eTendering interface is to support private companies and contracting authorities, in particular central purchasing bodies, in making their eProcurement systems interoperable.
Applicants should foresee joining the eTendering interface user group which will be facilitated by the OpenPEPPOL Pre-award Coordinating Community14.
The deployment and/or use of the eDelivery Building Block or a compliant eDelivery service provider is mandatory for the implementation of the eTendering interface (see below). If the deployment of eDelivery is included in the proposal, support will be given to activities aiming to:
a) Deploy Access Point(s) (AP). The operation of these Access Points(s) may also be supported for up to one year. An AP is an implementation of the CEF eDelivery AS4 Profile15.
b) Deploy Service Metadata Publisher(s) (SMP). The operation of these Service Metadata Publisher(s) may also be supported for up to one year. The SMP is an implementation of the CEF eDelivery SMP profile16 on top of the OASIS SMP technical specifications.
c) Upgrade data exchange solutions (such as Commercial Off-the-Shelf - COTS, Open- Source Software - OSS, and other) to support and duly comply with the CEF eDelivery standards, e.g. adding or configuring functionality to the data exchange solution to support the CEF eDelivery standards (encryption algorithm, four-corner model support, support of dynamic discovery, etc.). This activity may include interoperability testing with other vendors.
If the deployment of eDelivery is included in the proposal, the level of funding requested for eDelivery should be proportionate to the scope of the eProcurement objectives.
2.2 Results expected from the financial assistance
The benefits and expected outcomes of this call for proposals are defined in section 220.127.116.11 of the 2019 – 2020 Work Programme.
Implementation of contract registers: Update existing contract registers to provide more structured information about procurement procedures to achieve more transparency.
Implementation of solutions interconnecting national notice publication portals and TED: Update publication solutions to make it easier for companies, in particular SMEs, to find potential business opportunities abroad.
Implementation or update of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) service: Provide or update an existing ESPD service that should connect to national databases to facilitate the SMEs' participation in public procurement procedures.
Implementation of the eTendering interface: Open up eTendering services to allow SMEs to use compatible clients for accessing and submitting proposals, to facilitate their participation in public procurement procedures.
Date of publication of call for proposals
Thursday 4 July 2019
Deadline for the submission of proposals
Thursday 14 November 2019 (17:00.00 Brussels time)
Evaluation of proposals
December 2019 – February 2020 (indicative)
Consultation of the CEF Committee
April 2020 (indicative)
Adoption of the Selection Decision
May 2020 (indicative)
Preparation and signature of grant agreements
Between May and August 2020 (indicative)
4. BUDGET AVAILABLE
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects under this call for proposals is estimated at €1 million.
The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.
The Commission reserves the right to award a grant of less than the amount requested by the applicant.
5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
In order to be admissible, proposals must be:
Submitted no later than the deadline for submitting applications referred to in section 3 on Timetable;
Submitted in writing (see section 14), using the application forms17 and electronic submission system available at https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/tentec/grant/esubmission.18 In this respect, proposals or part(s) of proposals submitted by e-mail or hard copy will not be admissible;
Complete, i.e. all parts of the application form (A, B, C or D) are complete and uploaded in TENtec;
Duly signed by the applicant(s).
Failure to comply with any of these requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.
6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
6.1 Eligible applicants
In accordance with the 2019 – 2020 Work Programme and pursuant to Article 9 of the CEF Regulation,19 only those proposals submitted by the following types of applicants are eligible:
One or more Member States;
With the agreement of the Member State(s) or EEA countr(y)ies concerned,
international organisations, Joint Undertakings,20 or public or private undertakings or bodies established in Member States.
In accordance with section 5.3.1 of the 2019 – 2020 Work Programme, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) may participate21 in the call for proposals, even when not explicitly mentioned in the Work Programme text, with the same rights, obligations and requirements as EU Member States. At the time of call publication, these conditions apply to Norway and Iceland only.
In order to be eligible, a proposal must be submitted by a consortium composed of at least two public or private entities, based in one or more Member States and/or EEA countries participating in the CEF Telecom programme.
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.22
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 a guarantee for the protection of the EU's financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons.
Proposals submitted by natural persons are not eligible.
Applicants may designate affiliated entities within the meaning of Article 187 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.
Member State agreement
Any applicant that cannot provide the agreement of the EU Member State or EEA country concerned will not be eligible.
6.2 Eligible actions
In line with Article 7 of the CEF Regulation, only actions contributing to "projects of common interest" as identified in the Telecom Guidelines23 shall be eligible for support through EU financial aid in the form of grants.
Please note that failure to comply with any of the eligibility criteria indicated above will lead to the rejection of the application.
The Action may not start before the date of submission of the application.24
The indicative duration of an Action proposed under this call is 18 months.
7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA
An applicant shall be excluded from participating in call for proposals procedures where:
(a) the applicant is bankrupt, subject to insolvency or winding-up procedures, where its assets are being administered by a liquidator or by a court, where it is in an arrangement with creditors, where its business activities are suspended, or where it is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for under national laws or regulations;
(b) it has been established by a final judgment or a final administrative decision that the applicant is in breach of its obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions in accordance with the applicable law;
(c) it has been established by a final judgment or a final administrative decision that the applicant is guilty of grave professional misconduct by having violated applicable laws or regulations or ethical standards of the profession to which the applicant belongs, or by having engaged in any wrongful intent or gross negligence, including, in particular, any of the following:
(i) fraudulently or negligently misrepresenting information required for the verification of the absence of grounds for exclusion or the fulfilment of eligibility or selection criteria or in the performance of a contract, a grant agreement or a grant decision;
(ii) entering into agreement with other applicants with the aim of distorting competition;
(iii) violating intellectual property rights;
(iv) attempting to influence the decision-making process of the
Commission/Agency during the award procedure;
(v) attempting to obtain confidential information that may confer upon it
undue advantages in the award procedure;
(d) it has been established by a final judgment that the applicant is guilty of any of the
(i) fraud, within the meaning of Article 3 of Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the
European Parliament and of the Council and Article 1 of the Convention on the protection of the European Communities' financial interests, drawn up by the Council Act of 26 July 1995;
(ii) corruption, as defined in Article 4(2) of Directive (EU) 2017/1371 or Article 3 of the Convention on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of Member States of the European Union, drawn up by the Council Act of 26 May 1997, or conduct referred to in Article 2(1) of Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA, or corruption as defined in the applicable law;
(iii) conduct related to a criminal organisation, as referred to in Article 2 of Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA;
(iv) money laundering or terrorist financing, within the meaning of Article 1(3), (4) and (5) of Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council;
(v) terrorist 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;
(vi) child labour or other offences concerning trafficking in human beings as referred to in Article 2 of Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council;
(e) the applicant has shown significant deficiencies in complying with 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;
(f) it has been established by a final judgment or final administrative decision that the applicant has committed an irregularity within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95;
(g) it has been established by a final judgement or final administrative decision that the applicant has created an entity in a different jurisdiction with the intent to circumvent fiscal, social or any other legal obligations of mandatory application in the jurisdiction of its registered office, central administration or principal place of business;
(h) it has been established by a final judgement or final administrative decision that an entity h as been created with the intent referred to in point (g);
(i) for the situations referred to in points (c) to (h) above, the applicant is subject to:
(i) facts established in the context of audits or investigations carried out by European Public Prosecutor's Office after its establishment, the Court of Auditors, the European Anti-Fraud Office or the internal auditor, 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;
(ii) non-final judgments or 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;
(iii) facts referred to in decisions of persons or entities being entrusted with EU budget implementation tasks;
(iv) information transmitted by Member States implementing Union funds;
(v) decisions of the Commission relating to the infringement of the Union's competition law or of a national competent authority relating to the infringement of Union or national competition law; or
(vi) decisions of exclusion by an authorising officer of an EU institution, of a
European office or of an EU agency or body.
7.2 Remedial measures
If an applicant/affiliated entity declares one of the situations of exclusion listed above (see section 7.1), it must 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 correct the conduct and prevent further occurrence, compensation of damage or payment of fines or of any taxes or social security contributions. 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) of section 7.1.
7.3 Rejection from the call for proposals
The authorising officer shall not award a grant to an applicant who:
(a) is in an exclusion situation established in accordance with section 7.1; or
(b) has misrepresented the information required as a condition for participating in the
procedure or has failed to supply that information; or
(c) was previously involved in the preparation of documents used in the award
procedure where this entails a breach of the principle of equal treatment, including distortion of competition, that cannot be remedied otherwise.
The same exclusion criteria 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 sanctions (exclusion) may be imposed on applicants, or affiliated entities where applicable, if any of the declarations or information provided as a condition for participating in this procedure prove to be false.
7.4 Supporting documents
Applicants and affiliated entities must provide a declaration on their honour certifying that they are not in one of the situations referred to in Articles 136(1) and 141 FR, by filling in application form Part B1 (for applicants) or B2 (for affiliated entities) accompanying the call for proposals and available at under the "Application Forms" section of the call webpage: https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/connecting-europe-facility/cef- telecom/apply-funding/2019-eprocurement.
8. SELECTION CRITERIA
The selection criteria are referred to in Annex 2 of the Work Programme. The financial and operational capacity of applicants and designated affiliated entities will be assessed as specified below.
The requirement to demonstrate financial and operational capacity also applies to designated affiliated entities only where, according to the proposal, the affiliated entity(ies) will be the only one(s) implementing the proposed Action.
Exceptions: The requirement for applicants to demonstrate their financial and operational capacity does not apply to Member States, public sector undertakings or bodies established in the EU/EEA countries (Norway and Iceland), third countries, international organisations, European Economic Interest Groupings (EEIG)25 in which at least one member is a public sector body, and Joint Undertakings.
Applicants are requested to register in the Participant Register and provide a Participant Identification Code (PIC, 9-digit number), serving as the unique identifier of their organisation. More information is available in the guidance on "Rules on Legal Entity Validation, LEAR appointment and Financial Capacity Assessment26" and in the instructions indicated in the Application Form Part B template.
8.1 Financial capacity
Applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the duration of the grant and to participate in its funding. The applicants' financial capacity will be assessed on the basis of the supporting documents requested by the Commission services:
a) Low value grants (≤ EUR 60 000):
a declaration on their honour.
b) Grants > EUR 60 000:
a declaration on their honour, and
the profit and loss account as well as the balance sheet for the last 2 financial
years for which the accounts were closed;
for newly created entities: the business plan might replace the above
c) Grants for an action > EUR 750 000:
(i) the information and supporting documents mentioned in point b) above, and
(ii) an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying the accounts for the last 2 financial years available, where such an audit report is available or whenever a statutory report is required by law.
If the audit report is not available AND a statutory report is not required by law, a self-declaration signed by the applicant's authorised representative certifying the validity of its accounts for the last 2 financial years available must be provided.
In the event of an application grouping several applicants (consortium), the above thresholds apply to each applicant.
More comprehensive information on the documents to submit can be found at:
In the event that the beneficiary's financial capacity is not satisfactory, the pre-financing payment may be subject to the receipt of a financial guarantee for up to the same amount as the pre-financing payment to be made.
8.2 Operational capacity
Applicants must have the professional competencies and appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed Action for which the grant is sought. To assess this capacity, applicants must provide the following documents:
description of the profiles of the people primarily responsible for managing and implementing the Action (e.g. accompanied by a curriculum vitae);
the organisation's activity reports for at least the last year;
a list of previous actions and activities carried out in equivalent actions in related fields
If compliant with the above-mentioned requirements, information submitted by applicants who have benefited from CEF Telecom support since 2014 may be taken into account in the evaluation of their operational capacity.