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EaSI-PROGRESS - Call for proposals on social innovation and national reforms: Innovative work-life balance strategies to facilitate reconciliation of professional and caring responsibilities - VP/2018/005
Deadline: 18 Apr 2018   CALL EXPIRED

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

 Social Innovation
 Social Affaires and Inclusion
 Sustainable Development
 Gender Equality
 Minority groups
 Youth Workers

1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND

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")1 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" 2014-20202 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.

Social innovation as promoted by the EaSI programme can help address social challenges – such as women's underrepresentation in the labour market - by providing better and innovative responses to identified social needs, in order to deliver better social outcomes.

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

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

  2. b)  promote equality between women and men,

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

  4. 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.

This call for proposal has been designed to seek synergies with activities funded under European Structural and Investment Funds and the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

1.2. Policy and economic background

On 26 April 2017, the Commission presented the European Pillar of Social Rights ('the Pillar'). The Pillar set out key principles and rights for a renewed process of upward convergence towards better working and living conditions, including work-life balance and the right to adequate social protection. It will serve as a compass for a renewed process of convergence towards better working and living conditions among participating Member states. Delivering on the principles and rights defined under the Pillar is a joint responsibility of the EU institutions, Member States, social partners and other stakeholders. Many tools required to deliver on the Pillar are in the hands of local, regional and national authorities, social partners and the civil society at large. The Pillar is accompanied by a number of initiatives.

With the Work-Life Balance initiative, the Commission presents an ambitious set of legislative and non- legislative actions to modernise the existing European Union legal and policy framework. The initiative includes a proposal for a Directive on work-life balance for working parents and carers, and a Communication with a number of complementary non-legislative measures. The objective of the initiative is to address women's underrepresentation in the labour market, by facilitating the reconciliation of professional and family responsibilities for both women and men.

Across the European Union, women remain underrepresented in the labour market. The economic loss due to the gender employment gap amounts to €370 billion per year. Women are increasingly well qualified and more women than men graduate from universities in Europe but many drop out of the labour market due to their responsibilities as parent or as carer of family relatives. Existing policies have not brought equal opportunities that allow fathers and mothers to work and care together for the welfare of children and society at large. Lack of incentives for fathers to take up family-related leave, the unavailability of flexible working arrangements and difficulties in accessing formal childcare services exacerbate unequal share of work and family obligations between men and women.

Lower participation of women in the labour market is linked to a persisting gender pay gap and an increasing pension gap which often leads to social exclusion and an increased risk of poverty. It also has negative consequences for companies. Well-educated women dropping out of the labour market reduce the available pool of skilled staff and aggravate already existing skills shortages in many occupations. On the other hand, although more and more men want to participate more actively in family life and reduce their working hours, they are reluctant to do so for the fear of possible negative consequences for their career.

Most of the work-life balance initiatives remain women-centred, with little emphasis on men. They focus predominantly on adapting women's working time to the needs of the family, with little emphasis on encouraging more men to take up more work-life balanced measures. To counterbalance this trend, it is important to put in the workplace effective strategies that would support women to access and stay in employment, but also result in taking a higher share of the family and care responsibilities by men.

Such gender-balanced work-life balance policies in companies can benefit both workers and employees. More workers, predominantly women, can remain in paid employment after having children. More men can the time-off from work to participate in the early development of their children. They are benefits for employers too, including reducing absenteeism, increasing productivity, retaining skilled, reducing staff turnover and training costs, attracting new employees and increased job satisfaction.

A modern work-life balance policy will also contribute to improving employment rates and to reducing poverty and social exclusion, in line with EU priorities reflected in the Europe 2020 targets and with Commission's priorities of jobs and growth outlined in President Juncker's political guidelines.

As one of the key deliverables of the European Pillar of Social Rights, this initiative strengthens the social dimension of the Union. It is also part of the implementation of the Commission’s Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019.

Strategies to support work-life balance policies will imply the commitment and involvement of various stakeholders, including social partners.

1.3. Main Purposes

This call for proposals3 aims to support governmental and non-governmental actors, and social partners in delivering on the rights and principles set out in the Pillar through social innovation and national policy reforms as regards reconciling work and private life.

This call aims at funding projects to develop, test, and implement innovative work-life balance strategies in the workplace. The purpose of these strategies is to facilitate the reconciliation of work and private 

life through supporting a more equal share of care responsibilities between working women and men, thereby encouraging a higher participation of women in the labour market.

 

2. OBJECTIVE(S) – PRIORITIES – TYPES OF ACTIONS - EXPECTED RESULTS

2.1. Objectives – Priorities

The objectives of this call are:

  •   to develop, test and/or implement innovative work-life balance strategies in the workplace, conducive towards higher participation of women in the labour market and a better sharing of care responsibilities between women and men;

  •   to develop sustainable multi-level partnership models that would facilitate the implementation of innovative work-life balance strategies in the workplace;

  •   to foster knowledge and experience-sharing between different Member States and/or companies already implementing successful work-life balance strategies, with a strong emphasis on challenges faced by women in the labour market and the need to involve more men in care duties;

  •   to facilitate access to individualised information about social protection rights and entitlements;

  •   to facilitate professional and geographical mobility of the economically active population;

  •   to support the modernisation of social protection systems enabling them to respond to such challenges as digitalisation, the changing world of work, ageing of population and the capacity to withstand economic shocks.

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

Strategies to be developed under this call will notably encompass flexibility of work organisation, adapting working hours to workers' needs, family-conscious human resources policies, on-site corporate childcare etc.

These innovative strategies shall:

  •   build up the main actors' capacity to implement these innovative strategies;

  •   demonstrate a long-term vision;

  •   challenge gender stereotypes about the divide of care responsibilities between men and women and ensure that men make a greater use of work-life balance arrangements;

  •   be sustainable beyond the grant period;

  •   be supported by a robust and documented evaluation method and validation mechanisms;

  •   include mechanisms for transfer/replication.

Proposed actions should be creative and propose innovative measures whilst building on existing good practice where relevant.

The examples below are a non-exhaustive list of activities that could be foreseen:

  •  testing, developing and/or implementing innovative work-life balance strategies, conducive towards higher participation of women into the labour market and a better sharing of caring responsibilities between women and men, including:

  •   access to childcare facilities/out-of-school care at the workplace;

  •   development of local childcare/long-term care facilities for groups of companies in the same area;

  •   access to breastfeeding facilities at the workplace;

  •   development of tools to facilitate regular interaction between workers on leave and the workplace;

  •   adapting working time to the needs of both working parents – men and women; -4-

  •   specific training for employers on how to implement work-life balance measures, with particular emphasis on encouraging men to take advantage of such measures;

  •   consultation services (e.g. through public bodies, civil society organisations, social partners) for employers who wish to implement work-life balance measures;

  •   specific training for workers to inform them of their rights;

  •   monitoring the extent of discriminatory practices against workers who take advantage of

    work-life balance measures and raising awareness of the issue;

  •   digital applications, IT tools to facilitate remote working;

    • o development of accreditation systems (e.g. labels, certifications) for employers with good work-life balance practices;
    • o development of monitoring mechanisms for uptake of different leaves at the workplace
    • o targeted support measures for the inactive and jobseekers with caring responsibilities.

 Development of sustainable multi-level partnerships models encompassing:

  •   coordination/support/consultation mechanisms between the various actors, with particular emphasis on social partners;

  •   development of integration strategy across actions;

  •   exchange of information.

     Fostering of knowledge and experience- sharing between different Member States and/or companies including:

  •   surveys and studies;

  •   data collection;

  •   development of guidelines and practical tools;  seminars.

Compulsory activities to be included in the application are:

 a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan4 of the intervention including a clear and

fully developed methodology identifying relevant results and outcome indicators;
The evaluation component of the plan shall include:

  • o Outcome evaluation addressing results that can be attributed to the project, as well as the extent to which the project has satisfied its objectives.
  • o Process evaluation addressing how the project was conducted in terms of consistency and design with the stated plan of action and the effectiveness of the various activities within the plan in accordance with the policy relevance.
  • Evaluations may be conducted by an internal staff member, an evaluation firm or both.

  the participation in two events to be organised in Brussels by the Commission (max. two nights, two people);

  the organisation of at least one coordination meeting with all members of the consortium;

 a detailed dissemination plan to promote at EU level the results of the action, including a dissemination event.

2.3. Expected outputs/results

  • Tested, developed and implemented innovative work-life balance strategies in the workplace, with a view to facilitate the reconciliation of work and private life and to support a better sharing of care responsibilities between women and men, thereby encouraging a higher labour market participation of women.
  • Increasing uptake of family leaves and flexible working arrangements by men, encouraging a more balanced share of caring responsibilities that will support women to re-enter the labour market or avoid that they drop out of the labour market.
  • Changing work-place culture and elimination of gender stereotypes that see women as carrying the burden of caring responsibilities and men the burden of being the family breadwinner.
  • Increasing labour market participation of women due to increased work-life balance, leading to more productive workforce, less absenteeism from work and easier access to talented workforce for businesses.

 

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 will be provided to beneficiaries at a later stage.

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

 

3. TIMETABLE

Submission deadline: 18 April 2018

 

Publication of the call
19 January 2018

Deadline for submitting proposals
18 April 2018

Evaluation period (indicative)
April 2018 - June 2018

Information to applicants (indicative)
July 2018

Signature of the grant agreement (indicative)
August 2018

 

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 project 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 month.

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.

Indicative duration of the entire project should be between 24 and 36 months. -6-

 

4. AVAILABLE BUDGET AND CO-FINANCING RATE

4.1. Available Budget

The budget earmarked for the EU co-financing of projects under this call is estimated at EUR 10.000.000. The Commission expects to fund 5-7 proposals.

The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available or to increase the amount of the funds, if available.

The Commission reserves the right to increase the amount of the funds and distribute them to proposals admitted in the reserve list, if available.

4.2. Co-financing rate

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 budget5.

 

5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

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

 Applications 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 its annexes by post or courier service (see section 12)

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

Applicants are encouraged to submit their project proposal in English, in order to facilitate the treatment of the proposals and speed up the evaluation process. It should be noted, however, 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 point 3).

 

6.ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

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".

 

6.1 Eligibility of the applicants (lead and co-applicants)6

Placeofestablishment

Legal entities properly established and registered in the following countries are eligible as lead applicant and co-applicants:

o EU Member States;
o Iceland and Norway in accordance with the EEA Agreement;
o Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey7.

b) Type of entities

Lead applicant must be a public body (such as national, regional and local authorities, employment services).
Co-applicants must be public bodies, for profit or non-profit-making private entities.

b) Consortia

  • o The action must involve a consortium of at least 3 applicants (1 Lead applicant + 2 co- applicants).
  • o At least one co-applicant must be a social partner organisation at European, national or local level.
  • o At least one co-applicant must be properly established and registered in a EaSI-PROGRESS participating country other than a EU-Member State.

c) Affiliated entities
Affiliated entities are not eligible under this call.

6.2 Eligible activities

  • Geographical Location
  • To be eligible, actions must be fully carried out in eligible participating EaSI countries (see section 6.1a)
  • Types of activities. The grant will finance, inter alia, the activities indicated in section 2.2.
  • Core activities.The coordination of the activities is considered a score activities and may not be subcontracted. Core activities shall be performed by the lead applicant.

 

In addition to the ineligible costs specified in section 4.2.4 of the Financial Guidelines, the following types of activities are not eligible for EU funding under this Call:

  • lobbying
  • acquisition of immovable property and/or vehicles
  • building construction.

 

7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA

Applicants (lead and co-applicants) 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.

 

 

8. SELECTION CRITERIA

The applicant (lead and 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 (lead and co-applicant(s)) 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 ratio between the total assets in the applicant’s (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 0.70.

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

The applicant's (lead and co-applicant) 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 section 15, checklist point 4);

  •   Annual balance sheets and profit and loss accounts for the last financial year available (see section 15, checklist point 18);

  •   Summary balance sheet and profit and loss accounts using the template provided in SWIM (see section 12) and signed by the legal representative (see section 15, checklist point 19).

  •   For grants exceeding EUR 750 000, an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying the accounts for the last financial year available (see section 15, checklist point 20).

In addition, the Commission will take into account any other relevant information on financial capacity provided by the applicant and in particular the information provided in section F.2 of the SWIM application form.

If the lead applicant is considered not to have a strong 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 may decide on various proportional steps depending on the level of weakness identified, to:

  •   reject the whole application;

  •   remove the co-applicant from the consortium and re-evaluate the proposal without this co-

    applicant;

  •   propose a grant agreement without pre-financing;

  •   propose a grant agreement with a pre-financing paid in several instalments;

  •   propose a grant agreement with pre-financing payment(s) covered by (a) financial guarantee(s);

  •   propose a grant agreement with joint financial liability of 2 or more applicants,

    and inform all applicants accordingly.

8.2. Operational capacity

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

  •   Carried out projects relating to gender equality in the workplace in the last three years;

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

    The operational capacity of the applicant (lead and 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 section 15, checklist point 17);

  •   The Europass CVs of the proposed project co-ordinator and of the persons who will perform the main tasks, showing all their relevant professional experience (see section 15, checklist point 15);

  •   Declaration on honour signed by the legal representative (including operational capacity to carry

    out the activity) (see section 15, checklist point 15).
    If the 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 operational capacity, this co-applicant could be removed from the consortium and the application will be evaluated without this co-applicant9. In addition, the costs that are allocated to the non-selected co-applicant would be removed from the budget. If the application is accepted, the work programme may have to be slightly adjusted.

 

9. AWARD CRITERIA

The proposals which fulfil the eligibility and selection criteria will be assessed according to the following award criteria:

  1. Relevance to purpose, objectives and priorities of the call (20 points)

    This criterion measures the extent to which the project promotes the development and testing of innovative strategies, aimed at increasing labour market participation of women by encouraging a more equal sharing of caring responsibilities between women and men, as well as men's involvement in family life by supporting them in taking advantage of these strategies. The criterion measures how the project develops multi-level partnership models that would facilitate the implementation of innovative work-life balance strategies and whether it fosters knowledge and experience-sharing between different Member States and/or companies already implementing successful work-life balance strategies, with a strong emphasis on the challenges faced by women in the labour market and on work-life balance conflicts faced by both women and men in today's labour market.

  2. Overall design of the action (15 points)

    This criterion refers to the consistency of the overall design of the action, the intervention logic and the analysis of the problems involved. It also measures the extent to which the action is feasible and consistent in relation to the objectives and expected outcomes. This criterion relates also to the extent to which the specific activities envisaged as part of the intervention are concrete and have a practical dimension, how thorough, precise and easy to understand they are.

    The relevance of the consortium to the proposed project as well as the role and responsibility of their members will be assessed under this criterion.

  3. Methodology, activities and expected outcomes (15 points)

    This criterion will measure the extent to which the activities and means proposed are appropriate and consistent with the expected outcomes, and are sufficiently and clearly detailed. The evaluation will measure the extent to which the expected outcomes are realistic and defined in measurable terms and the proposal contains clear quantitative and qualitative outcomes. The organisation and methodology of the proposal and its work plan will be assessed under this criterion. The adequacy of the communication and dissemination plan will also be assessed under this criterion.

 

This includes a re-evaluation of the eligibility of the modified consortium.

 

  1. Appropriateness of the impact/outcomes evaluation method (15 points)

    This criterion measures the extent to which the proposal includes a sound and detailed impact evaluation method that is suitable for its purposes and appropriate to provide evidence and to determine the expected outcomes. The accuracy of the evaluation methodology, the relevance of indicators, and the monitoring elements will be assessed under this criterion.

  2. Sustainability of the project (20 points)

    This criterion measures the extent to which the proposed intervention is sustainable beyond the grant period and in particular whether financial means are envisaged to pursue the action. The evaluation will assess whether the proposed short-term and long-term strategy is appropriate to ensure the continuation of the project's objectives, activities and efforts to achieve the desired outcomes. The transferability of the intervention and the extent to which the proposed intervention could be implemented on a larger scale will be assessed under this criterion.

  3. Cost-efficiency of the proposal (15 points)

    The cost-efficiency of the proposal means whether the costs of the proposed action are adequate to the activities and proportionate to the expected results. The assessment of the proposal under this criterion includes:

    •   The adequacy of the human and financial resources to the planned activities;

    •   The clarity and pertinence of the allocation of tasks and managerial responsibility;

    •   The overall clarity and completeness of the budget.

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;
  • the score for each criterion is at least 60% of the maximum possible mark for that criterion.

 

10. EVALUATION PROCEDURE

The composition of applications is detailed under section 15.

The applications will be examined and assessed by an evaluation committee with the possible assistance of external experts following the below procedure:

I. Assessment of the eligibility and exclusion criteria

If the examination of the application reveals that it does not meet the eligibility and exclusion criteria stated in sections 6 and 7, the application will be rejected on this sole basis.

II. Assessment of the selection criteria

The pre-selected applications will be evaluated against the selection criteria (i.e. financial and operational capacity of the applicants (see section 8)) and only those which satisfy these criteria will be further assessed.

III. Assessment of the application against the award criteria

The application will be assessed against award criteria (see section 9):


 

1. Relevance to the purpose, objectives and priorities of the call

Maximum Score 20

2. Overall design of the action

Maximum Score 15

3. Methodology, activities and expected outcomes

Maximum Score 15

4. Appropriateness of the impact/outcomes evaluation method

Maximum Score 15

5. Sustainability of the project

Maximum Score 20

6. Cost-efficiency of the proposal

Maximum Score 15

 

Applications must score at least 60% of the maximum possible points for each criterion and 70% in total. Applications will be ranked according to the total score awarded. Taking into account the available budget, only the proposals with the highest total scores will be recommended for award.

 

11. 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 before signing and returning the copies to the Commission.

The applicable model Grant Agreement is published on the Europa website under the relevant call: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=629&langId=en. There is no alternative to this model agreement in the context of this call.

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

11.1. Sources 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, etc) 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.

 

12. FINANCIAL 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.

 

13. PROCEDURE 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.

The hard copy of the proposal must be duly signed and sent in 2 copies (one marked “original” and 1 marked “copy”), including all documents listed in section 15, by the deadline (the postmark or the express courier receipt date serving as proof) to the following address:

 

European Commission
(NOT TO BE OPENED BY CENTRAL MAIL SERVICE) Call for proposals VP/2018/005 – DG EMPL.C1
J-27 – 01/240
B-1049 Bruxelles - BELGIUM

 

Please send your proposal by registered post, express courier service or by hand delivery only. 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 before 4 p.m. on the date of the deadline for submission as indicated in section 3at the following address:

 

European Commission
Service central de réception du courrier
(NOT TO BE OPENED BY CENTRAL MAIL SERVICE) Call for proposals VP/2018/005 – DG EMPL.C1 Avenue du Bourget, 1
B-1140 Evere

 

At that time the European Commission's Mail Service will provide a signed receipt which should be conserved 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 14).
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.

 

14. COMMUNICATION

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.

 

All enquiries must be made by e-mail only to: empl-vp-2018-005@ec.europa.eu

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

 

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

The Commission has no obligation to provide clarifications to questions received after this date.

 

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, 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 therefore advisable to consult the above mentioned website regularly in order to be informed of the questions and answers published.

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 clerical mistakes, the Commission may contact the applicant for this purpose during the evaluation process. This is normally done by e-mail. It is entirely the responsibility of applicants to ensure that all contact information provided is accurate and functioning. In case of any change of contact details, please send an e-mail with the application VP reference and the new contact details to empl-vp-2018-005@ec.europa.eu.

All communication regarding the 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.

 

15. INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE PRESENTATION OF THE APPLICATION AND REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

15.1. Instructions for the presentation of the application

The description of the action and work plan must be written using the template available in SWIM. All the information related to the description of the action and the work plan must be presented in one single document.

The description of the action shall answer the following questions:

  1. How is the proposed action relevant to the objectives of the call?

  2. What is the diagnosis of the issues addressed in the proposal and the approach suggested to address these issues (methodology)?

  3. How are the relevant co-applicants involved? Are they involved in the work programme? Are the respective roles clearly defined? Please describe the task with the corresponding planning using any appropriate tool (e.g. Gantt chart)

  4. How is the monitoring and evaluation of the planned activities foreseen?

  5. Is there a quality assurance plan?

  6. How do you plan to ensure cost-effectiveness?

  7. What is the added value of the proposed action in light of similar previous or existing actions?

  8. How do you plan to ensure the sustainability of the action?

  9. In case of subcontracting please provide detailed information on the tasks to be subcontracted and the reasons for doing so. These tasks must be clearly identified in the budget. Please note that core tasks as defined in section 6.2.c) of the call cannot be subcontracted.

 

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 15.2)

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

15.2. Required documents

The table in annex includes the documents that should be provided including the documents mentioned in 15.1. Please note that all other documents are necessary either for the admissibility (see section 5) or for the analysis of the eligibility (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.

All documents are obligatorily to be attached online in SWIM. While some information must be supplied using the templates available in 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.

At the submission of the application, 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.

Application file will be composed of all required documents mentioned in the checklist below. The following items will be clearly identified:

  • -  the application form

  • -  the description of the action and the work plan

  • -  the budget

  • -  the budget explanation.

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

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

  1. 2)  print the documents double-sided;

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



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