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EaSI - EURES – Cross-border partnerships and support to cooperation on intra-EU mobility for EEA countries and social partners - VP/2018/007
Deadline: 26 Jun 2018   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono EC - Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (EaSI)

 Enterprise and Industry
 Capacity Building
 Social Innovation
 Social Affaires and Inclusion
 International Cooperation
 Cross-border cooperation
 International Relations
 International Project Management
 Business Development
 Social and Welfare

1 Introduction - Background

1.1 Programme/Legal base

This call for proposals is financed under the European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation "EaSI" 2014-20201 which is a European-level financing instrument managed directly by the European Commission to contribute to the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy, by providing financial support for the Union's objectives in terms of promoting a high level of quality and sustainable employment, guaranteeing adequate and decent social protection, combating social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions.

The EaSI Programme shall, in all its axes and actions, aim to:

(a) pay particular attention to vulnerable groups, such as young people;

(b) promote equality between women and men,

(c) combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation;

(d) promote a high-level of quality and sustainable employment, guarantee adequate and decent social protection, combat long-term unemployment and fight against poverty and social exclusion.

Hence, in designing, implementing and reporting on the activity, beneficiaries/contractors must address the issues noted above and will be required to provide detail, in the final activity report on the steps and achievements made towards addressing those aims.

The Annual work programme acting as financing decision C(2017)8347 was adopted by the Commission on 13/12/2017.

The EURES axis: promoting workers' geographical mobility and boosting employment opportunities

The EURES axis of the EaSI programme has the following general objectives:

  •  Transparency of job vacancies, applications and any related information for jobseekers, workers and employers;
  •   Development of services for the recruitment and placing of workers in employment;

  •   Cross-border partnerships.

The EURES axis may be used to finance actions to promote voluntary mobility of individuals

in the Union, on a fair basis, and to remove mobility obstacles.

The EURES axis under the EaSI programme contributes to the implementation of the objectives of EURES, as laid down in the EURES Regulation2. Consequently, this call for proposals will support the development of the EURES network and its activities in line with the standards and procedures established in this Regulation.

Recital 17 of the EaSI programme sets out as follows: "EURES ... should promote the better functioning of the labour markets by facilitating the voluntary transnational cross-border geographical mobility of workers, providing greater transparency on the labour market, ensuring the clearance of vacancies and applications for employment and supporting activities in the areas of placement, recruitment, advice and guidance services at national and cross-border level, thereby contributing to the objectives of Europe 2020. Member States should be encouraged to integrate EURES services, making them available in a "one-stop shop", where appropriate".

1.2 Policy and economic background

EURES (European Employment Services) was launched in 1993 as a network for co- operation between employment services of the Member States, their partners and the Commission to exchange information concerning vacancies and applications for employment, information on the state and trends of the labour market as well as information concerning living and working conditions. Its purpose is to facilitate the exercise of the free movement of workers in accordance with Article 45 TFEU.

The two pillars of EURES are (a) the European Job Mobility Portal and (b) the human network of EURES staff.

The legal base for EURES is:

  •   EU rules on the freedom to work and look for a job in another EU Member State: Regulation (EU) No 492/2011 of the European Parliament and the Council of 15 April 2011 on freedom of movement for workers within the Union (codification (OJ L 141 of 27.05.2011, p. 1); 3

  •   An EU framework for cooperation in this area: Regulation (EU) No 2016/589 of the European Parliament and the Council on a European network of employment services (EURES), workers' access to mobility services and the further integration of labour markets (hereafter the EURES Regulation) and amending Regulations (EU) No 492/2011 and (EU) No 1296/2013.4

The EURES Regulation builds on the results of the EURES reform and provides a comprehensive regulatory framework replacing Chapter II of Regulation 492/2011, Commission Decision 2012/733/EU and the 2013 EURES Charter. It lays down provisions aiming to improve information, guidance and assistance to employers and job seekers including for frontier workers in cross-border regions, to increase transparency of labour market information at EU level and to expand the exchange of information between Member States (resulting in better programming of EURES activities).

The composition of the EURES network is:

  •   The European Coordination Office (ECO, managed by the European Commission) that undertakes horizontal activities in support of the network, oversees compliance with the EURES Regulation, organises the work of the EURES coordination group, monitors and evaluates EURES activity and analyses geographic and occupational mobility;

  •   The National Coordination Offices (NCOs) that organise the work of the EURES network in the respective Member State and cooperate with the other National Coordination Offices and the European Coordination Office;

  •   The EURES members:

    • i) service providers in the field of employment admitted by the Member States which provide the three categories of tasks, namely contribution to the pool of job vacancies, contribution to the pool of job applications and CV's and support services to workers and employers involving information, guidance and assistance5;

    • ii) The public employment services relevant for EURES activities that are appointed by Member States without admission procedure;

  •  The EURES partners admitted by the Member States, which provide one of the three tasks mentioned, for instance support services to workers and employers6.

Under the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020 EURES activities are funded as follows:

  •   National activities are funded through the national budgets, the European Social Fund or a combination of both;

  •   Horizontal activities such as coordination of the network, training programmes for EURES managers and advisors, the portal and its self-service tools, information and communication activities, are funded through the EURES axis of the EaSI programme.

  •   Specific services such as customised assistance under targeted mobility schemes like Your first EURES Job and support for cross-border partnerships are also funded through the EURES axis of the EaSI programme.

 

2 Objective(s) – Priorities - Types of Activity – Expected results

2.1 Objectives - Priorities

The overall objectives of the call are to promote workers' intra-EU labour mobility, to boost employment opportunities as well as to support the implementation of the EURES Regulation.

The call consists of four strands in line with the 2018 annual work programme for grants and procurement for EaSI:

  1. The first strand will seek to support fair mobility for frontier workers in cross- border regions;

  2. The second strand will support the development of new cross-border partnerships and any activities leading in this direction

  3. The third strand will seek to support intra-EU labour mobility in the EEA countries;

  4. The fourth strand will seek to support coordination of the social partners

    activities in the EURES network by the European level Social Partners.

Measures to be financed under this call have to be
- concrete
- action oriented and
- carry a clear added value in terms of making a difference where rolled out.

 

Moreover, whenever appropriate, applicants must commit to fulfilling the requirements set forth in Regulation (EU) No 492/2011 of the EP and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on freedom of movement for workers within the Union and of Regulation (EU) No 2016/589 of the European Parliament and the Council on a European network of employment services (EURES), workers' access to mobility services and the further integration of labour markets and amending Regulations (EU) No 492/2011 and (EU) No 1296/2013.7

This means that the applicants must comply with the rules, standards and procedures established in these documents, such as the principle to provide free services to job seekers, to provide job vacancies and CV’s in accordance with the uniform system for the EURES portal and to provide information to the National Coordination Office for the programming and reporting cycle.

2.2 Description of the activities to be funded / Type of activities

An application must only be dedicated to one of the strands presented below. Applicants that wish to apply for more than one strand will have to present separate applications. The type of specific actions that may be funded under each strand is indicated in the description of each strand.

2.2.1 Strand 1 "Cross-border partnerships"

This strand shall support cross-border partnerships to implement the objectives as laid down in the EURES Regulation, improving the functioning, cohesion and integration of the cross-border labour markets and promoting voluntary geographical and occupational mobility in such regions. The cross-border partnership must be established based on actual needs in terms of mobility flows, economic activity and in particular addressing skills mismatches in a particular border region.

While cross-border partnerships are free under EURES Regulation to define a number of specific tasks (as indicated in Article 27(2)), the purpose of this call is to ensure that cross border partnerships co-financed by EaSI should at least provide a number of minimum services. This includes information and guidance to frontier workers and employers in the concerned cross-border region and the analysis of data and evidence relating to flows in that region.

In accordance with the EURES Regulation, a frontier worker is defined as a worker pursuing an activity as an employed person in a Member State and who resides in another Member State to which that worker returns as a rule daily or at least once a week (Article 3 (6) of the EURES regulation).

Cross border partnerships must support activities in least five of the categories of activities listed below. It is mandatory to include activities from categories 1, 2, 3, 4 and either 7 or 8. The application must specify for each activity proposed to which category from the list it belongs.

1. To gather and analyse evidence on cross-border mobility in the cross-border region in general by assembling concrete, up-to-date information involving:

A) Data or other indications8 relating to the current state of play

  •   The direction of current mobility flows,

  •   The economic relevance of mobility flows in the cross-border region
     The current sectors and occupations with higher mobility rates (by participating region)

  •  The (categories of) employers employing frontier workers (by participating region)

  •  The number and profile of current frontier workers in the cross-border region (occupation, level of skills, education, age, gender), by participating region

  •  The obstacles to mobility and

B) Data, other indications and assessments relating to the future potential

  •   The sectors and occupations with a lack of qualified staff (by participating region)

  •   The profiles of job seekers who currently experience difficulties in finding a job in their region of the partnership (by occupation, qualification level, contract duration) by participating region

  •   The categories and number of potential employers which could be interested in recruiting frontier workers in the future (by participating region)

 

 

2. To offer client services to (actual and potential) frontier workers , through staff of the organisations participating in the partnership by providing information and guidance on
- finding job vacancies and making suitable CV's and job applications and

- living and working conditions
- social security, taxation and labour law
- other information related to the labour market.

3. To offer client services to (actual and potential) employers, through staff of the organisations participating in the partnership by providing information and guidance on recruiting (frontier) workers from the bordering Member State(s) in general and on how to tap on the potential skills pool in the cross-border region. Services also include information on and guidance on drafting and advertising job vacancies for the cross-border labour market.

4. To facilitate the job matching, placement and recruitment process on the cross-border labour market with the goal to markedly increase the number of actual matchings. This requirement is applicable only to those partners in the network that can legally perform such activities according to the rules of their country.

5. To develop and implement an action plan to minimize obstacles to cross- border employment in the cross border region

6. To develop and implement an action plan to publish a maximum number of job offers for apprenticeships and traineeships on the EURES portal and to provide information, guidance and assistance to candidates interested in applying for such offers across the border.

7. To provide one-stop-shops (online and/or on-site) which integrate the respective client services in each country of the cross-border region in question, thereby facilitating the access for clients to the services offered by the cross-border partnership.

8. To offer multilingual services relevant for the cross-border region, at least online and as much as possible through one-stop shops or other structures, such as joint help desks or offices responsible for the organisation of client services.

9. To contribute to the implementation of Directive 2014/54/EU that establishes the creation of "effective bodies with appropriate expertise in each Member State with competence to promote equal treatment, to analyse the problems faced by Union workers and members of their family, to study possible solutions and to provide specific assistance to them. The competence of those bodies should include, inter alia, the provision to Union workers and members of their family of independent legal and/or other assistance, such as the provision of legal advice on the application to them of the relevant Union and national rules on free movement of workers, of information about complaint procedures, and of help to protect the rights of workers and members of their family. It may also include assistance in legal proceedings"9.

10.To contribute to strengthening the cross-border dimension of activities relating to the prevention, deterrence and combatting of undeclared work, in accordance with any national work programmes established to reflect the objectives under Article 4 of Decision 2016/344 on establishing a European Platform to enhance cooperation in tackling undeclared work.

 

 

The application must include information by whom the activities will be monitored and reported upon and how they will contribute to the overall objectives of EURES.

Each activity must be linked with a results indicator as well as a specific target to be achieved during the action. Indicators have to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

The activities proposed must show complementarity with other initiatives in the cross- border region and show added value to the EURES activities undertaken at national level.

The activities must include a communication and dissemination plan and shall contribute to the general objectives of the EURES communications strategy 2015-202010.

The results of activities pursued by cross-border partnership under this call are expected to:

  1. Install or improve the data base on the current and future state of play on cross- border mobility in the respective regions

  2. Maintaining client services to (actual and potential) frontier workers

  3. Maintaining client services to (actual and potential) employers

  4. Facilitated job matching, placement and recruitment process on the cross- border labour market with the goal of marked increase in the number of matchings during the project

  5. Implementation of an action plan to minimize obstacles to cross-border employment in the cross border region

  6. Implementation of an action plan to publish a maximum number of job offers for apprenticeships and traineeships

  7. Set-up and maintenance of one-stop-shops (online and/or on-site)

  8. Offer of multilingual services relevant for the cross-border region

  9. Implementation of Directive 2014/54/EU in the cross-border region

  10. 10.Implementation of activities relating to the prevention, deterrence and combatting of undeclared work

  11. 9  Recital 17 of Directive 2014/54/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on measures facilitating the exercise of rights conferred on workers in the context of freedom of movement for workers.

  12. 10  The communications strategy is available in the EURES extranet.

 

2.2.2 Strand 2 "Support to the development of new cross-border partnerships"

Projects under strand 2 shall either target cooperation in border regions that are not currently covered by cross-border partnerships11 or complement existing cross-border partnerships by setting up pilot actions in areas or sectors new to them.

The types of activities must fall into at least one of the categories below:

  1. To expand the scope of existing cross border partnerships by developing client services not available so far and for which there is a demonstrated need in the cross-border region

  2. To expand the scope of existing cross-border partnerships with a targeted action on the promotion of vacancies in a specific sector for which there is a need on one side of the border(s), but not on the other, and developing measures in the cross border region as a whole to fill these vacancies

  3. To expand the scope of the existing cross-border partnerships with a targeted action on specific placement projects for the benefit of and in cooperation with SMEs

  4. To expand the scope of cross border partnerships by including new organisations in the one-stop shop client service such as municipalities or specialised public authorities, to complement initiatives by Member States in application of Article 26 of the EURES Regulation.

  5. To complement the existing cross border partnership, improve cooperation between the national competent authorities responsible for taxation, social security rights and application of labour legislation of the countries concerned in the cross-border region, for instance by establishing new referral mechanisms which will provide more efficient or better integrated client services in application of Article 26 of the EURES Regulation

  6. To complement the existing cross border partnership, by testing the use of the EURES portal, the Drop'pin site, other EURES tools for client services relating to placement and matching in apprenticeship and traineeship schemes across borders

  7. To complement the existing cross-border partnership, by supporting employers and employers' organisations to develop new ways of sharing information with the goal of maximising the potential of the cross-border labour market (e.g. through digitalisation, creation of mixed cross-border teams offering multilingual services, etc.);

  8. To test the feasibility of a new cross border partnership on the basis of an analysis of the flows and the need for client services.

The application must specify for each activity proposed to which category from the list above it belongs.

The application must include information on how the activities will be monitored and reported upon.

The activities must include a communication and dissemination plan and shall contribute to the general objectives of the EURES communications strategy 2015-2020.12

 

An assessment of the viability and potential of the project for long-term development as well as the lessons learnt during its implementation must be provided at the end of the action.

The expected results are, in line with the categories above:

  1. 1. One or more new client services not available so far
  2. 2. One or more targeted actions on the promotion of vacancies in a specific sector
  3. 3. One or more targeted actions on specific placement projects for the benefit of and in cooperation with SMEs
  4. Inclusion of new organisations in the one-stop shop client service

  5. Improved cooperation between the national competent authorities

  6. Testing the EURES services and tools with the aim to set up client services relating to placement and matching in apprenticeship and traineeship

  7. New ways for employers and employers organisations of sharing information and maximising the potential of the cross-border labour market

  8. A feasibility for a new cross border partnership

2.2.3 Strand 3 "Support to cooperation on intra-EU mobility in the EEA countries"

This strand shall support the implementation of Union law on facilitating intra-EU labour mobility in the EEA countries and shall support the work of the EURES network in the EEA countries.

Proposals must support activities under the following categories:

  1. To coordinate EURES activities at national level and participate in the coordination meetings of the EURES network;

  2. To support the implementation of the EURES regulation and, in particular, to contribute to the EURES programming cycle and the exchange of information between Member States;

  3. To implement the EURES activity plan 2019;

  4. To facilitate the job matching and placement from and to EEA countries;

  5. To offer, through the EURES advisers and other staff of the EEA employment services, client services to actual and potential mobile jobseekers and their employers by providing and exchanging information and advice on job vacancies and job applications as well as on living and working conditions and other relevant information related to the labour market in the EU and EEA countries, such as social security, taxation and labour law;

  6. To cooperate with other EURES countries in joint projects such as targeted recruitment events;

  7. To provide new and specialised services not available so far, or only partially available, thus, contributing to filling the possible gaps of services provided in the region (e.g. post-recruitment support, cross-border projects, combination of training and placement, specific services for the placement of long-term unemployed, etc.);

  8. 8. To improve the visibility and awareness of EURES in the EEA countries;

  9. 9. To produce and implement a national information campaign to inform jobseekers, workers and employers on the opportunities offered by European labour markets.

  10. 10. The application must support at least four of the nine categories of activities listed above. and must include at least one activity in the category 5 (provision of information and advice) and one at least activity in category 4 /(facilitating job matching and placement).

The application must include information on how the activities will be monitored and evaluated and how they will contribute to the overall objectives of EURES. Each activity must be linked with a results indicator as well as a specific target to be achieved during the action. In any case, the indicators should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

The activities proposed must show complementarity with other labour market initiatives in the EEA countries and show added value for the intra-EU/EEA labour mobility.

The description of the action must include a communication and dissemination plan which shall contribute to the general objectives of the EURES communications strategy 2015- 2020.

The expected results are, in line with the above:

  1. Coordinated EURES activities at national level

  2. A smooth implementation of the EURES regulation

  3. EURES activity plan 2019 implemented;

  4. Facilitated job matching and placement from and to EEA countries;

  5. A smooth provision and exchange of information and advice on job vacancies and job applications as well as on living and working conditions related to the labour market in the EU and EEA countries

  6. Successful cooperation with other EURES countries in joint projects such as targeted recruitment events;

  7. The offer of new and specialised services not available so far

  8. Increased visibility and awareness of EURES in the EEA countries;

  9. National information campaigns to inform jobseekers, workers and employers on the opportunities offered by European labour markets.

2.2.4 Strand 4 "Support to cooperation on intra-EU mobility for social partners"

This strand shall support European social partner organisations observers in the Advisory Committee on Free Movement of Workers to inform about, coordinate and to promote intra- EU labour mobility among their member organisations and to ensure that those member organisations that are also part of the EURES network are well aligned to the objectives of EURES.

Proposals must support at least three of the categories of activities listed below: 11

  1. To ensure exchange of information by direct and regular contacts between social partner organisations at local, regional, national and European level on matters related to EURES;

  2. To contribute to awareness raising and communication on intra-EU labour mobility to the general public and to jobseekers and employers, providing information on Union law and on its instruments such as EURES, in accordance with the EURES communications strategy 2015-202013.

  3. To plan and implement a communication campaign targeted at their members, promoting cross-border labour mobility in general and EURES in particular. The campaign should have the clear goal to increase the use of the services offered by the EURES portal and network.

  4. To organise stakeholder events relating to intra-EU labour mobility, EURES, cross border partnerships and cooperation in this area, bringing together representatives of employers' organisations, trade unions, public and private employment services and public authorities, with a view to reporting to the Commission on data, findings and recommendations.

  5. To improve client services provided by social partner organisations to mobile and frontier workers, bearing in mind good practices and the developments relating to admission systems for EURES Members and Partners

  6. To support exchange of best practices and mutual learning on the development of new or better services for jobseekers and employers to be provided by social partners or other organisations in the context of chapter V of the EURES Regulation.

Training activities for EURES advisers and other staff of social partners which can be covered by the EURES training programme under the EU budget are not eligible under this strand.

In addition, participation in the coordination meetings of the EURES network is regarded as an eligible activity, this however does not count towards the three minimum activities.

The application must include information on how the activities will be monitored and reported upon and how they will contribute to the implementation of the EURES Regulation.

Each activity must be linked with a specific target as well as a results indicator to be achieved during the action. In any case, the indicators should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

The activities proposed must show complementarity with other labour market initiatives of social partners and need to show added value for EURES activities.

The activities must include a communication and dissemination plan and shall contribute to the general objectives of the EURES communication strategy 2015-202014.

The expected results are, in line with the above:

  1. Exchange of information by direct and regular contacts between social partner organisations

  2. Increase communication and awareness on intra-EU labour mobility with the

    general public and to jobseekers and employers

  3. A communication campaign targeted at the members of the participating social partners

  4. Stakeholder events relating to intra-EU labour mobility, EURES, cross border partnerships and cooperation in this area, bringing together representatives of employers' organisations, trade unions, public and private employment services and public authorities,

  5. Improved client services provided by social partner organisations to mobile and frontier workers

  6. Exchange of best practices and mutual learning on the development of new or better services for jobseekers and employers to be provided by social partners or other organisations in the context of chapter V of the EURES Regulation.

2.3 Monitoring

Lead applicants shall monitor the action and make data available. The Commission will monitor the action at two different levels:

a) For the EaSI programme, through the information provided in the annex to the Grant Agreement "Final technical report"

The European Commission, with the support of an external contractor, will monitor regularly the EaSI Programme. Therefore, beneficiaries will have to transmit qualitative and quantitative monitoring data on the results of the activities. These will include the extent to which the principles of equality between women and men has been applied, as well as how anti-discrimination considerations, including accessibility issues, have been addressed through the activities. Related templates are attached or will be provided.

b) For the EURES performance measurement system through the data collection tool, adapted for EURES cross-border partnerships, which will be annexed to the Grant Agreement.

In setting up the action, beneficiaries must foresee the necessary funding for monitoring and reporting to the Commission

As the monitoring of the EaSI Programme involves the collection and further processing of personal data, Regulation (EC) 45/2001, of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 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, is applicable.

Moreover, the reporting of the activities co-financed must contribute, wherever appropriate, to the exchange of information between Member States and to the EURES programming cycle in accordance with chapter V of the EURES Regulation.

 

 

3 Timetable

Submission deadline: 25 June 2018

Publication of the call
April 2018

Deadline for questions and requests for clarifications
15 June 2018

Deadline for submitting applications
25 June 2018
Swim, Courier and Post : 24:00 Brussels' time (CET)
Hand deliveries 16:00 Brussels' time (CET)

Evaluation period (indicative)
July/August 2018

Information to applicants (indicative)
September 2018

Signature of Grant Agreement (indicative)
October/November 2018

Starting date for 12-month actions and if a grant has been awarded under VP/2017/0006
1 January 2019

Starting date of the action, if no grant has been awarded under call VP/2017/0006

Earliest starting date: date of submission of the proposal IF the proposal is awarded a grant

End date of ALL actions

31 December 2019

3.1 Starting date and duration of projects

The actual starting date of the action will either be the first day following the date when the last of the two parties signs the Grant Agreement, the first day of the month following the date when the last of the two parties signs or a date agreed upon between the parties.

Applicants should note that if their action is selected, they may receive the Grant Agreement after the start date of the action that they have indicatively set in the application form. It is therefore advisable to number the months in the work programme instead of indicating the name of the months.

Any expenditure incurred before the signature of the Grant Agreement will be at the applicant’s risk. No expenditure can be incurred before the date of submission of the application.

An action grant may be awarded for an action which has already begun only where the applicant can demonstrate in the grant application the need to start the action before the grand agreement is signed.

The action duration should indicatively be either:

  •   for actions having been awarded a grant under the call VP/2017/006: 12 months, with latest end date of the action : 31 December 2019

  •   for projects not having been awarded a grant under the call VP/2017/006 and IF the proposal is awarded a grant under the present call : Earliest starting date: date of submission of the proposal with latest end date of the action: 31 December 2019

 

 

4 Available Budget and Co-Financing Rate

4.1 Available budget

Following the adoption of the 2018 Financing Decision for the EaSI programme, the total budget earmarked for the EU co-financing of projects under this call is estimated at EUR 6,923,523 Euro.

The budget is to be allocated, indicatively, depending on the quality of the proposals, as follows:

For strand 1 "Cross-border partnerships" EUR 6,123,523
For strand 2 "Support to the development of new cross-border partnerships", EUR 300,000 For strand 3 "Support to cooperation on intra-EU mobility in the EEA countries" EUR 200,000 For strand 4 "Support to cooperation on intra-EU mobility for social partners" EUR 300.000

The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available or to increase the amount of funds available and distribute them to proposals admitted in the reserve list, if one is established. This top-up is limited to 20% of the initial budget of the call.

4.2 Co-financing rate applicable

Under this call for proposals, the EU grant may not exceed 80% of the total eligible costs of the action. The applicants must guarantee their co-financing of the remaining amount covered by the applicants' own resources or from other sources other than the European Union budget15.

 

5 Admissibility requirements

5.1 Admissibility criteria

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

  •   Applications (application form including budget and description of the action including work plan) must be submitted using the electronic submission system available at https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/swim, and by sending a signed, printed version of the application form and the other afore-mentioned documents by post or courier service (one original dossier and one copy; see also section 12)

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

Applicants are encouraged to submit their project proposal in English, French or German in order to facilitate the treatment of the proposals and speed up the evaluation process. It should however be noted that proposals in all official languages of the EU will be accepted. In this case, applications should be accompanied by an executive summary in English (checklist annex I).

 

6 Eligibility Criteria

6.1 Eligibility of the applicants (lead and co-applicants) and affiliated entities16

6.1.1 Place of establishment– all strands

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, British beneficiaries 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.17.3.1(a)of the Grant Agreement".

Legal entities properly established and registered in the following countries are eligible as lead applicant and/or co-applicants (see the particular requirements for each strand in 6.1.3):

  •   EU Member States

  •   Iceland and Norway in accordance with the EEA Agreement17.

Organisations of social partners without legal personality under the applicable national law of above-mentioned countries are also eligible provided that the conditions of the Financial Regulation related thereto are met (Art.131 2 (b) of the Financial Regulation) 18.

6.1.2 Type of entities

a) Types of entities - strand 1

To be eligible, lead applicants must be:

 the relevant National EURES Coordination Office(s) as designated in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/58919 or the EURES member(s) or partner(s) of the regions involved with the endorsement of its National Coordination Office (see footnote 5)

To be eligible, co-applicants must fall in one of the categories listed below:

  •   EURES members or partners

  •   Social partner organisations at European20, national or regional level;

  •   Public or private employment services

  •   Third sector organisations

  •   other relevant actors active on the EU/EEA labour market, including European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation

 

b) Type of entities – strand 2

To be eligible, applicants (lead and co-applicants) must fall in one of the categories listed below:

  •   the National EURES Coordination Office(s) as designated in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/58921

  •   the EURES member(s)/partners(s) of the regions involved with the endorsement of the National Coordination Office (see footnote 5)

  •   social partner organisations at European, national or regional level (in application of Article 131 of the Financial Regulation, social partner organisations without legal personality are also eligible provided that the conditions of the Financial Regulation related thereto are met);

  •   public or private employment services

  •   third sector organisations

  •   other relevant actors active on the EU/EEA labour market including European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation

 

c) Types of entities – strand 3

To be eligible, lead applicants must be
 the National EURES Coordination Offices of Norway and Iceland.

To be eligible, any co-applicants must fall in one of the categories listed below:

  •   EURES member(s)/partners(s) from Norway or Iceland

  •   social partner organisations at European, national or regional level (in application of Article 131 of the Financial Regulation, social partner organisations without legal personality are also eligible provided that the conditions of the Financial Regulation related thereto are met);

  •   public or private employment services

  •   third sector organisations

  •   other relevant actors active on the EU/EEA labour market including European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation

 

d) Types of entities – strand 4

Applicants (lead and co-applicants) must be social partners, established at European level and represented in the Advisory Committee on Free Movement of Workers, i.e.:

  • -  The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)

  • -  The Confederation of European Business (BusinessEurope)

  • -  European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME)

  • -  European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services and Services of general interest (CEEP)

 

 

6.1.3 Consortia22

a) Consortia - strand 1
To be eligible, applications must as a minimum:

 Represent entities established in at least two neighbouring Member States, i.e. proposals must have the involvement of the lead applicant and at least one EURES member or partner established in a neighbouring Member State as co-applicant.

 Include social partners

If the lead applicant is not considered to be eligible, the application will be rejected.

If a co-applicant is considered not to be eligible, this organisation will be removed from the consortium and the eligibility of the modified consortium will be re-evaluated. In addition, the costs that are allocated to a non-eligible co-applicant will be removed from the budget. If the modified consortium is still eligible, the application will be evaluated on that basis. If the application is accepted for funding, the work plan will have to be adapted as appropriate.

 

b) Consortia – strand 2

To be eligible, applications must as a minimum:

 Represent entities established in at least two neighbouring Member States, i.e. proposals must have the involvement of the lead applicant and at least one EURES member or partner established in a neighbouring Member State as co-applicant.

If the lead applicant is not considered to be eligible, the application will be rejected.

If a co-applicant is considered not to be eligible, this organisation will be removed from the consortium and the eligibility of the modified consortium will be re-evaluated. In addition, the costs that are allocated to a non-eligible co-applicant will be removed from the budget. If the modified consortium is still eligible, the application will be evaluated on that basis. If the application is accepted for funding, the work plan will have to be adapted as appropriate.

 

Consortia – strand 3

Proposals under strand 3 may be submitted either by one single applicant or by a consortium of several applicants (lead and co-applicant(s)).

To be eligible applications must:

 Have the involvement of the National EURES Coordination Office of Norway or Iceland as the single applicant or, in the case of a consortium, as lead applicant;

If the single or the lead applicant is not considered to be eligible, the application will be rejected.

If the proposal is submitted by a consortium, if a co-applicant is considered not to be eligible, this organisation will be removed from the consortium, the costs that are allocated to that non-eligible co-applicant will be removed from the budget and the application will be evaluated on that basis. If the application is accepted for funding, the work plan will have to be adapted as appropriate.

22 Letters of mandate, authorising the lead applicant to submit the proposal and to sign any Grant Agreement on their behalf must be submitted from each co-applicant (see Annex I, checklist, point 5).

 

 

Consortia – strand 4

Proposals under strand 4 may be submitted either by one single applicant or by a consortium of several applicants (lead and co-applicant(s)).

If the single or the lead applicant is not considered to be eligible, the application will be rejected.

If the proposal is submitted by a consortium, if a co-applicant is considered not to be eligible, this organisation will be removed from the consortium, the costs that are allocated to that non-eligible co-applicant will be removed from the budget and the application will be evaluated on that basis. If the application is accepted for funding, the work plan will have to be adapted as appropriate.

For all strands - In addition to the eligible entities indicated in sections 6.1.2 a), b), c and d) and as long as any minimum requirements indicated above are respected, the consortium may also involve affiliated entities (see section 6.1.4 below) or associate organisations23.

6.1.4 Affiliated entities – all strands

Legal entities having a legal or capital link with applicants, which is neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation and which satisfy the eligibility criteria, may take part in the action as affiliated entities, and may declare eligible costs.

For that purpose, applicants shall identify such affiliated entities in the application form.

6.2 Eligible activities (all strands)

a) Geographical Coverage

To be eligible, actions must be fully carried out in eligible participating EaSI-EURES countries (see section 6.1).

b) Types of activities

The grant will finance the activities indicated in section 2.2.

c) Core activities

The following activities are considered to be core activities and may not be subcontracted:

 

6.3 Project coordination and management

Monitoring of the action

Ineligible activities

Financial support to third parties as defined in point 3 of the Financial Guidelines is not eligible under this call.

 

7 Exclusion criteria

7.1 Exclusion

Applicants (single applicant, lead applicant and each co-applicant) must sign a declaration on their honour certifying that they are not in one of the situations referred to in article 106(1) and 107.1(b) and (c) of the Financial Regulation concerning exclusion and rejection from the procedure respectively, using the relevant form attached to the application form available at https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/swim/external/displayWelcome.do.

The same exclusion criteria apply to any affiliated entities.

Only proposals which comply with the requirements of the above eligibility and exclusion criteria will be considered for further evaluation.

7.2 Rejection from the call for proposals

The Commission shall not award a grant to an applicant organisation which : a. is in an exclusion situation;

b. has misrepresented the information required as a condition for participating in the procedure or has failed to supply this information;

c. was previously involved in the preparation of calls for proposals documents where this entails a distortion of competition that cannot be remedied otherwise.

The same exclusion criteria apply to any affiliated entities which must, therefore, be included in the above-mentioned declaration(s).

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

 

8 Selection Criteria

The applicants (single applicant, lead applicant and each co-applicant) must have the financial and operational capacity to complete the activity for which funding is requested. Only organisations with the necessary financial and operational capacity may be considered for a grant.

8.1 Financial capacity

Applicants (single applicant, lead applicant and each co-applicant) must have access to solid and adequate funding to maintain their activities for the period of the action and to help finance it as necessary. The verification of financial capacity will not apply to public bodies.

The applicants' (single, lead and co-applicants) financial capacity will be assessed on the basis of the following supporting documents to be submitted with the application:

  •   Declaration on honour (including financial capacity to carry out the activity) (see annex I, checklist point 4);

  •   Annual balance sheets and profit and loss accounts for the last financial year available (see annex I,, checklist point 14);

  •   Summary balance sheet and profit and loss accounts using the template provided in SWIM and signed by the legal representative (see annex I, checklist point 15).

  •   information on the financial capacity provided by the applicant and in particular the information provided in section "Financial Resources" of the SWIM application form

  •  For grants of EUR 750.000 or more per beneficiary or affiliated entity, an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying the accounts for the last financial year available (see section 14, checklist point 18)

The ratio between the total assets in the applicant’s (single, lead and co-applicant(s)) balance sheet and the total budget of the project or the part of the project budget for which that organisation is responsible according to the budget in the application form would be considered strong if it is equal or greater than 0.65.

The verification of financial capacity will not apply to public bodies.

If the single applicant or lead applicant is considered not to have adequate financial capacity, the application as a whole will be rejected.

If a co-applicant or several co-applicants are considered not to have a strong financial capacity, the Commission will also take into account any other relevant information on the financial capacity provided by the applicant and in particular the information provided in section "Financial Resources" of the SWIM application form.

After this further analysis, the Commission will take various proportional measures depending on the level of weaknesses identified, which may be to:

  1. reject the whole application;

  2. remove the co-applicant from the consortium and re-evaluate the proposal without

    this co-applicant;

  3. propose a Grant Agreement without pre-financing;

  4. propose a Grant Agreement with a pre-financing paid in several instalments;

  5. propose a Grant Agreement with pre-financing payment(s) covered by (a) financial

    guarantee(s);

  6. propose a Grant Agreement with joint financial liability of 2 or more applicants/co-

    applicants,

  7. propose a Grant Agreement with a mix of the measures 4, 5 and 6.

8.2 Operational capacity

Applicants (single applicant, lead applicant and each co-applicant) must have the professional competencies as well as appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action. In particular, applicants must have:

  •   Have demonstrable experience of having carried out projects relating to the subject of the present call;

  •   The necessary operational resources (technical, management) to carry out the action

    The operational capacity of the applicant (single, applicant, lead applicant and each co- applicant) to complete the proposed action must be confirmed by the submission in the proposal of the following:

  •   A list of the main projects relating to the subject of the call carried out in the last three years (see annex I, checklist point 17);

  •   The CVs of the proposed project co-ordinator and of the persons who will perform the main tasks, showing all their relevant professional experience (see annex I, checklist point 16);

  •   A declaration on honour signed by the legal representative (including operational capacity to carry out the activity) (see section 14, checklist point 4)

 

If the single or lead applicant is considered not to have the required operational capacity, the application as a whole will be rejected. If a co-applicant is considered not to have the required financial or operational capacity, this co-applicant will be removed from the consortium and the application will be evaluated without this co-applicant24. In addition, the costs that are allocated to the non-selected co-applicant will be removed from the budget. If the application is accepted, the work programme will have to be adapted as appropriate.

Only proposals which comply with the requirements of the above selection criteria will be considered for further evaluation.

 

9 Award criteria

Proposals which fulfil the eligibility and selection criteria indicated above will be assessed according to the following award criteria:

 Relevance of the proposal to the call objectives (max. 30 points)

  1. The degree to which the proposed actions effectively address the categories in the respective strand as specified in section 2.2 and contain all mandatory elements, such as the number or nature of the activities to be carried out (20 points)

  2. The reasoning underlying the choices for the respective activities (10 points).

 Quality of the methodology and of the activities proposed (max. 10 points)

  1. The clear and comprehensive description of the tasks and

    responsibilities of the applicant organisations (5 points)

  2. The roles and distribution of work among co-applicants in case of a consortium, in particular the active role of social partners in each Member State and of private employment services; in case of sole applicants the adequacy and appropriateness of the overall allocation of time and resources to the activities and to each task or deliverable, as well as the level of direct participation of senior staff in performance of the tasks required under these actions and specifying clearly the roles, activities and responsibilities of the involved staff members (5 points)

 Impact of the proposal (max. 30 points)

  1. The extent to which the proposal is likely to contribute (directly or indirectly) to an increase in the number of placements across the border in the short to mid-term (15 points)

  2. The extent to which the proposal is likely to ensure the sustainability of the actions after the end of the Grant Agreement (10 points)

  3. The degree to which the action creates synergies with other complementary initiatives in the field of labour mobility and/or support for frontier workers in border regions financed by the EU (e.g. through the European Social Fund or the European Regional Development Fund) or by national means (5 points)

 Visibility of the proposed activities (max. 20 points)

The degree to which the communication plan proposed - is adapted to the target groups identified (10 points)

- is expected to effectively reach these target groups and to have a multiplier effect on them (10 points)

 The cost-efficiency of the operation (max. 10 points)

  1. The degree to which the proposed activities and their expected impact are

    proportional to the amount of the requested grant (5 points)

  2. Coherence of the overall budget breakdown (5 points)

Applications will be ranked according to the total score awarded. Taking into account the available budget, the proposals with the highest total scores will be recommended for award, on condition that the total score reaches at least 70% of the maximum possible mark (100 points).

 

10 Legal Commitments

In the event of a grant being awarded by the Commission, a Grant Agreement, drawn up in euro and detailing the conditions and level of funding, will be sent to the beneficiary, or to the coordinator in the case of multi-beneficiary Grant Agreements.

The 2 copies of the original agreement must be signed by the beneficiary, or the coordinator in the case of multi-beneficiary Grant Agreements, and returned to the Commission immediately. The Commission will sign it last.

The Grant Agreement may include corrections and deletion of ineligible costs or activities, made by the Commission – therefore the applicant should carefully read the whole agreement and the budget and work programme sections in particular, before signing and returning the copies to the Commission.

The applicable model Grant Agreements[Framework Partnership Agreement are published on the Europa website under the relevant call: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=629&langId=en.

Please note that the award of a grant does not establish an entitlement for subsequent years.

10.1Sources of Funding

In addition to the obligations with regard to visibility of Union funding foreseen in the General conditions to the Grant Agreement, beneficiaries must acknowledge in writing that the project has been supported by the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation ("EaSI") 2014-2020. In practice, all products (publications, brochures, press releases, videos, CDs, posters and banners, and especially those associated with conferences, seminars and information campaigns) must state the following:

This (publication, conference, video, xxx) has received financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation "EaSI" (2014- 2020). For further information please consult: http://ec.europa.eu/social/easi

The European emblem must appear on every publication or other material produced. Please see:

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/communication/services/visual_identity/pdf/use-emblem_en.pdf

Every publication must include the following:

"The information contained in this publication does not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Commission."

 

11Financial Provisions

Details on financial provisions are laid out in the Financial Guidelines for Applicants and the model Grant Agreement, both published on the Europa website under the relevant call: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=629&langId=en.

a) Specific procurement procedures

Where the value of a foreseen procurement contract for subcontracting external expertise exceeds EUR 60 000, in addition to the rules indicated in the Financial Guidelines for applicants, the following shall apply:

 the applicant must provide with the grant application a copy of the draft tender specifications. To assist applicants, a model for tender specifications is included in Annex to this call. The draft tender specifications should be submitted in English, French or German.

b) Meetings

After the signature of the Grant Agreements the project coordinators of the beneficiaries will be invited to an information meeting either in Brussels or at the premises of a beneficiary. Applicants willing to host such a meeting must indicate it in the description of the action and include the relevant costs (venue, catering) in the budget of the action. A second meeting may be scheduled at the end of the activity in preparation of the final reports. Applicants should include the travel expenses for these two meetings in their budget for the action.

 

12Procedure for the Submission of Proposals

The procedure to submit proposals electronically is explained in point 14 of the "Financial Guidelines for Applicants". Before starting, please read carefully the SWIM user manual:

http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/calls/pdf/swim_manual_en.pdf

Once the application form is filled in, applicants must submit it both electronically and in hard copy, before the deadline set in section 3 above.

The SWIM electronic application form is available until midnight on the day of the submission deadline. Since the applicants must first submit the form electronically, and then print, sign and send it by post service or hand delivery by the submission deadline, it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the appropriate postal or courier services are locally available on the day of the deadline. It is recommended to upload/send the complete application well before deadline, to ensure submission on time.

The hard copy of the proposal must be duly signed and sent in duplicate (one marked “original” and one marked “copy”), including all documents listed in annex I by the deadline (the postmark or the express courier receipt date serving as proof) either by registered post, express courier service or hand delivery.

Address for registered post or express courier service:

(NOT TO BE OPENED BY CENTRAL MAIL SERVICES)

European Commission
Call for proposals VP/2018/007 DG EMPL
CAD J-27 00/120

B-1049 Bruxelles BELGIUM

The hard copy of the proposal may either be sent by :

- registered post (evidence : postmark)
- express courier service (evidence : deposit slip of express curier service)

Proof of posting or express courier receipt should be kept as it could be requested by the European Commission in cases of doubt regarding the date of submission.

Hand-delivered proposals must be received by the European Commission by 4 p.m. on the date of the deadline for submission as indicated in section 3 at the following address:

(NOT TO BE OPENED BY CENTRAL MAIL SERVICES) European Commission
Call for proposals VP/2018/007
DG EMPL.D.1
Service central de réception du courrier Avenue du Bourget, 1
B-1140 Evere
BELGIUM

 

At that time the European Commission's Mail Service will provide a signed and dated receipt which should be kept as proof of delivery.

If an applicant submits more than one proposal, each proposal must be submitted separately.

Additional documents sent by post, by fax or by electronic mail after the deadlines mentioned above will not be considered for evaluation unless requested by the European Commission (see section 13).

The applicant's attention is also drawn to the fact that incomplete or unsigned forms, hand- written forms and those sent by fax or e-mail will not be taken into consideration.

 

13 Communication

Before the final date for submission of proposals

The information contained in the present call document together with the Financial Guidelines for Applicants provides all the information you require to submit an application. Please read it carefully before doing so, paying particular attention to the priorities of the present call.

At the request of the applicant, the Commission may provide additional information solely for the purpose of clarifying the nature of the call.

 

All enquiries must be made by e-mail only to

empl-vp-2018-007@ec.europa.eu

For any technical problems please contact: empl-swim-support@ec.europa.eu

 

Questions may be sent to the above address no later than 10 days before the deadline for the submission of proposals.

The Commission has no obligation to reply to requests for additional information received after the deadline for questions and clarifications set in Section 3

Replies will be given no later than 5 days before the deadline for submission of proposals.

To ensure equal treatment of applicants, the Commission will not give a prior opinion on the eligibility of applicants, or affiliated entity(ies), an action or specific activities.

No individual replies to questions will be sent but all questions together with the answers and other important notices will be published (FAQ in EN) at regular intervals on the Europa website under the relevant call:
http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=629&langId=en.

The Commission may, on its own initiative, inform interested parties of any error, inaccuracy, omission or clerical error in the text of the call for proposals on the mentioned Europa website. It is the applicant's responsibility to check for updates and modifications regularly during the submission period.

After the deadline for submission of proposals

No modification to the proposal is allowed once the deadline for submission has elapsed. If there is a need to clarify certain aspects or to correct obvious clerical mistakes, the Commission may contact the applicant by e-mail for this purpose during the evaluation process, provided the terms of the proposal are not modified as a result.

It is the applicant's responsibility to provide a valid email address and contact details and to check this email address regularly. In case of any change of contact details, please sen an e-mail with the application VP reference and the new contact details to EMPL-VP-2018- 007@ec.europa.eu

In the case of consortia, all communication regarding an application will be done with the lead applicant only, unless there are specific reasons to do otherwise.

Applicants will be informed in writing about the results of the selection process.

Unsuccessful applicants will be informed of the reasons for rejection. No information regarding the award procedure will be disclosed until the notification letters have been sent to the beneficiaries.

 

14Instructions for the presentation of the application. Required Documents

14.1 Instructions for the presentation of the application

The application comprises an application form including the budget, a description of the action and work plan plus a series of other required documents (see section 14.2).

The description of the action must be written using the template available in SWIM. All the information related to the description of the action must be presented in one single document. The budget must be presented using the application form in SWIM.

Proposals should include inter alia the mandatory activities indicated in section 2.2 above in the description of the action/workplan and foresee the corresponding expenditure in the budget estimate.

The role of all applicants, any affiliated entities and any associate organisations must also be clearly explained in the description of the action.

In case of subcontracting any tasks comprising part of the action (see the Financial Guidelines), the description of the action must provide details on the tasks to be subcontracted and the reasons for doing so and these tasks must be clearly identified in the budget. Core activities as defined in section 6.2(c) of the call cannot be subcontracted.

14.2 Required documents

The table in annex I includes the documents that should be provided in addition to the documents mentioned in 14.1 Except for items 7, 10 and 1125 which can be submitted only for successful applications, please note that all other documents are necessary either for the admissibility (see section 5) or for the analysis of the eligibility (see section 6) or selection criteria (see section 8). It also indicates where originals are required. We recommend that applicants use the table as a checklist in order to verify compliance with all requirements.

While some information must be supplied using the templates available in the SWIM, other documents may need to be completed and/or attached electronically, usually either administrative documents or free format text descriptions. The SWIM application indicates in each section where SWIM templates should be used as well as which and where free format documents can be uploaded electronically.

Copies of the signed originals will be accepted for most of the documents to be submitted by the co-applicants. However, the lead applicant shall keep the original signed versions for its records, because originals may have to be submitted for certain documents at a later stage. If the lead applicant fails to submit these original documents within the deadline given by the Commission, the proposal will be rejected for lack of administrative compliance.

Regarding the compilation of the application file, it is recommended to:

  1. 1)  follow the order of documents as listed in the checklist (and attach a ticked checklist as below to the proposal);

  2. 2)  print the documents double-sided;

  3. 3)  use 2-hole folders (do not bind or glue; stapling is acceptable).



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