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EaSI - EURES – Cross-border partnerships and support to cooperation on intra-EU mobility for EEA countries and social partners
Deadline: 08 Jul 2016   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono EC - Employment Social Affairs and Inclusion

 Social Affaires and Inclusion
 Cross-border cooperation
 Interregional cooperation

1 Introduction

1.1 Programme/Legal base

This call for proposals is published under REGULATION (EU) No 1296/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on a European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation ("EaSI") and amending Decision No 283/2010/EU establishing a European Progress Microfinance Facility for employment and social inclusion.

The European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation "EaSI" 2014- 2020 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.

1.1.1 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 employer;
  • 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 Regulation. 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 said 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 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 mobility on the European labour market.

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

The legal base for EURES is:

  • 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);

  • 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 (the EURES Regulation) and amending Regulations (EU) No 492/2011 and (EU) No 1296/2013.5

The EURES Regulation builds up 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 emphasis on services to employers and job seekers including for frontier workers in cross-border regions, on transparency and exchange of labour market information between Member States.

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) public or private service providers in the field of employment appointed by the National Coordination Office following an admission procedure, that provide the full range of EURES services: job matching and placement, recruitment (including pre- recruitment preparation and post-placement assistance) and provision of related information and advice6;
    ii) The public employment services relevant for EURES activities that are appointed by Member States without admission procedure;

  • The EURES partners, appointed by the National Coordination Offices following an admission procedure, provide support with clearance or support services to workers and employers7.

In the text of this call reference is made to the EURES service catalogue when describing the scope and nature of services to be offered by the beneficiaries. The EURES service catalogue is defined in the 2013 EURES Charter, which is a guidance document under the Decision that will be repealed with the entry into force of the EURES Regulation. Nevertheless, for the purpose of this call and the projects to be selected under the call, the service catalogue can continue to serve as a guidance document and a source of inspiration.

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, targeted mobility schemes, mutual learning activities and cross-border partnerships are 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' geographical mobility, to boost employment opportunities as well as support the implementation of the EURES regulation.

The call consists of four strands in line with the 2016 annual work programme for grants and procurement for EaSI:

  • The first strand will seek to support cross-border partnerships to implement EURES objectives;

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

  • The second strand will seek to develop new forms of cooperation for the integration of the labour market in cross-border regions;

  • The third strand will seek to facilitate labour mobility between the European Union and the EEA countries as well as to support the implementation and operation of the EURES network in the EEA countries;

  • The fourth strand will seek to support closer cooperation of EURES members with social partners.

2.2 Description of the activities to be funded / Expected results

An application must only be dedicated to one of the strands presented below. If you wish to apply for more than one strand you should present separate applications.

2.2.1 Strand 1 "Cross-border partnerships"

This strand shall support partnerships to implement EURES objectives as stated 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 specific needs to be addressed such as skills mismatches in a particular border region.

Cross-border partnerships must focus primarily on providing multilingual services to frontier workers, i.e. EU citizens who reside in one EU country and work in another EU country and their employers and must fulfil the requirements of article 27 of the EURES regulation and, where possible the requirements of the whole chapter IV of the EURES Regulation.

Cross border partnerships must support activities under the following categories:

  • To offer, through EURES staff of the organisations participating in the partnership client services to actual and potential frontier workers by providing 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 cross- border region, such as social security, taxation and labour law;

  • To offer, through the EURES staff of the organisations participating in the partnership client services to employers by providing information and advice on recruiting (frontier) workers from the bordering Member States, on how to tap on the potential skills pool in the cross-border region, on how to draft and advertise job vacancies and job applications for the cross-border labour market and on how to develop a welcoming culture and integration policy for workers from the cross border region;

  • To facilitate the job matching, placement and recruitment process on the cross- border labour market and develop joint placement projects;

  • To design and implement a one-stop-shop approach which combines and integrates different 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; in particular cooperation with tax and social security authorities will be welcome, in complementarity to the EURES service catalogue and the initiatives of Member States in application of article 27.4 of the EURES Regulation;

  • To provide new and specialised client services not available so far, or only partially available, thus contributing to filling the possible gaps of the EURES service catalogue as regards specific services to which there is a demonstrated need in the cross-border region (e.g. introduction of post-recruitment support, combination of training and placement, specific services for the placement of long-term unemployed, the young etc.);

  • To monitor and follow-up placements of (frontier) workers in the cross-border region in order to analyse the quality of the job vacancies, the integration process of these workers, the socio-economic benefits of cross-border mobility for these workers, employers and the local community;

  • To monitor and report on mobility in the cross-border region in general by providing concrete data on:

    • direction of mobility flows,

    • economic relevance of mobility flows in the cross-border region,

    • sectors and occupations with higher mobility rates in the cross-border region,

    • numbers of frontier workers and profile of the frontier worker in the cross-border region (level of skills, education, age, gender),

    • number of other workers and profile of these workers in the cross-border region

    • number of employers recruiting frontier workers,

    • examples of obstacles to mobility,

    • recommendations to eliminate the obstacles observed;

  • To develop and implement a more integrated cooperation between the cross-border partnership and authorities responsible for taxation, social security rights and application of labour legislation by establishing appropriate cooperation and referral mechanisms which will provide a more efficient and comprehensive service to employers and job seekers in this area;

  • To contribute to and develop specific placement projects in cooperation with the local industry, in particular SMEs, which focus on employment and growth in the cross-border region;

  • 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"8.

The application must support at least five out of the 10 categories of activities listed above It is mandatory to include activities from categories 1,2 and 3. The application must specify for each activity to which category from the list above it belongs.

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. Existing monitoring and reporting tools for EURES, such as the monthly reports of current EURES Advisers, must be used.

Moreover, the evaluation of the activities 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.

The activities proposed must show complementarity with other initiatives in the cross- border region and show added value as opposed 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 2015-20209.

 

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

  • Increase in the number of placements in the cross-border region;

  • Increase in the employment opportunities in the cross-border region;

  • Increased awareness on living and working conditions and on the benefits of mobility on the part of potential jobseekers;

  • Increased awareness on the cross-border labour market potential of the pool of EU workers in the cross-border region on the part of the employers;

  • Increased cooperation between the organisations participating in the cross-border partnership and public authorities involved or linked to mobility such as public employment services, tax authorities, social security authorities;

  • Increased cooperation between public and private employment services as well as other actors active in the cross-border labour market: trade unions, employer organisations, sectorial organisations, education and training institutions, chambers of commerce, etc.;

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

This strand shall support experimentation for the development of new cross-border partnerships to be tested for one year. It has to be understood as an "incubator" for cross- border cooperation in labour market related issues that will allow new projects to get off the ground and help them to explore the possibility to develop viable EURES cross-border services. If a project shows viability and added value, it may continue to apply for EU support but applications will have to be made under strand 1 in future calls for proposals. Financial support under this strand is only possible once.

Projects under strand 2 shall target cooperation in border regions that are not currently covered by cross-border partnerships10. If the geographical cover of the proposal is the same as in an existing cross-border partnership, the services and approaches must clearly be different to justify support for two projects in the same region. Applications must provide the necessary details in this respect.

Projects under strand 2 may experiment with the composition of the partnership or they may experiment with new approaches: either new services or new ways of delivering services already being part of the service catalogue.

The type of activity that could be envisaged are:

 

  • Promote the development of cross-border apprenticeship and traineeship schemes or the development of cross-border exchange of offers under national schemes, combined with matching and placement services and its follow-up;

  • Provide career guidance services for young job seekers and job changers;

  • Design schemes fostering the mobility of professionals in order to upskill workforce in the border region (e.g through exchange schemes of workers employed in border regions);

  • Provide specialised mobility plans for jobseekers including profile setting, matching services, pre-recruitment training and post-recruitment follow-up;

  • Support employers and employers' organisations to develop new ways of sharing information and maximising the potential of the cross-border labour market (e.g. through digitalisation, creation of mixed cross-border teams offering multilingual services, etc);

  • Provide data that can contribute to the fight against undeclared work taking into account the specific context of the cross-border labour market;

This list only provides some examples but other activities could be envisaged under this strand.

The application must include information on how the activities will be monitored and evaluated. 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:

  • Blueprints for possible new cross-border partnerships or a wider scope of existing cross border partnerships;

  • new ways of supporting cross-border labour markets;

  • increased awareness of the potential benefits of worker mobility for border regions;

  • increased opportunities for job seekers to access the labour market;

  • increased opportunities for employers to fill in bottleneck vacancies and to tap on new skills and expertise;

  • testing ground for placement and matching of apprentices and trainees at cross-border level;

  • testing ground for new cooperation between private and public employment services;

  • contribution and support to fair worker mobility in border regions.

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:

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

  • 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;

  • To implement the EURES activity plan 2017;

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

  • 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;

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

  • To provide new and specialised services not available so far, or only partially available, thus, contributing to filling the possible gaps of the EURES catalogue 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.);

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

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

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 of information provision and one activity in the category of matching, placement and recruitment.

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. Existing monitoring and reporting tools for EURES, such as the monthly reports of EURES Advisers, must be used.

Moreover, the evaluation of the activities must contribute, wherever appropriate, to the exchange of information between Member States and the EURES programming cycle in accordance with chapter V of the EURES regulation.

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

The expected results are:

  • Increase in the number of placements in the intra EU-EEA labour market;

  • Increased awareness on living and working conditions and on the benefits of mobility on the part of jobseekers potentially interested in intra EU-EEA mobility;

  • Increased awareness on the intra EU-EEA labour market potential on the part of the employers;

  • Increased cooperation among public authorities involved or linked to mobility: public employment services, tax authorities, social security authorities;

  • Increased cooperation between public and private employment services as well as other actors active in the EU-EEA labour market: trade unions, employer organisations, sectorial organisations, education and training institutions, chambers of commerce, etc;

  • Increase the visibility of EURES and awareness of the EURES regulation;

  • Proposal for concrete solutions to reduce or eliminate the obstacles to the freedom of movement of workers to and from EEA;

  • High level of satisfaction of users of the EURES services.

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

This activity shall support the social partners represented in the Advisory Committee on free movement for ensuring close cooperation between the Member States in matters concerning the freedom of movement of workers and their employment, in accordance with Article 21 of Regulation (EU) No 492/2011 and to coordinate the social partners' activities within EURES.

Proposals must support at least five of the eight activities listed below:

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

  • To participate in the coordination meetings of the EURES network;

  • To develop specific communication and information material on EURES and intra-EU labour mobility for the benefit of the EURES network in line with the communication strategies and plans developed by the network;

  • To organise events bringing together representatives of employers'organisations, trade unions, public and private employment services and public authorities to exchange information and best practices on labour mobility in border regions;

  • To organise events bringing together representatives of employers'organisations, trade unions, public and private employment services and public authorities to exchange information and best practices on how to foster the inclusion of EU mobile citizens;

  • To organise a conference on the situation of frontier workers in the EU/EEA countries;

  • To produce reports, analysis and communication and information material as a follow-up of the events organised;

  • To support and coordinate the development of new services for job seekers and employers to be provided by social partners which are EURES members or EURES partners 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.

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 of social partners and 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 communications strategy 2015-2020.

The expected results are:

  • Improved quality of the EURES services provided by social partners' organisations directly involved as EURES members or partners;

  • Improved coordination of the social partner activities in the EURES network and their contribution;

  • Stronger involvement of national, regional and local employers organisations and trade unions in EURES;

  • Improved visibility of EURES in the general communication and information activities of social partner organisations and promotion of the use of EURES among their members;

  • Improved practical cooperation between employers and worker organisations at national level as regards labour mobility;

  • Obstacles to mobility identified;

  • Improved functioning of the cross-border labour markets;

  • Promotion of voluntary labour mobility on a fair basis within the EU, including in cross-border regions.

2.3 Monitoring

The Commission, with the support of an external contractor, will monitor regularly the EaSI Programme. Therefore, beneficiaries/contractors 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.

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

 



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