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Empowerment of young women and men in the Neighbourhood South through media - EuropeAid/155449/DH/ACT/Multi
Deadline: 27 Jun 2017   CALL EXPIRED

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 Gender Equality
 Digital Culture
 Film and Media
 New Media
 Video Production
 Digital Society
 Web

1 EMPOWERMENT OF YOUNG WOMEN AND MEN IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD SOUTH THROUGH MEDIA

1.1 BACKGROUND

Approximately 19% 3 of the population in the Neighbourhood South region are between 15-24 years old, among them about 49% 4 are women. This share keeps growing as never before in the region's history.

Given this trend and as stated in the revised European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) it is of utmost importance to take young people's rights and aspirations into account in our partnership with the region. Promoting their role and empowering young women and men to participate in public and private spheres of life contributes to political stability, social inclusion and economic growth.

As the OECD pointed out in its thorough review of MENA youth initiatives 'Despite the prominent role they played in the civil uprisings in the early 2010s, MENA youth are trapped in an observer status. Five years after young men and women took to the streets to call for more democratic governance and economic opportunities, they are facing limited opportunities to influence policy making. Moreover, access to decent employment, quality education and affordable healthcare is restricted for many5'.

There is a shared sense of frustration among citizens in the Southern Neighbourhood of feeling excluded from political processes, which is particularly strong for young people. A Chatham House research paper on 'Young Arab Voices' puts it as: 'For young people, access to channels for civic participation, within or outside political parties, remains extremely limited. Feelings of disempowerment are prevalent, and policy-making is perceived as being dominated by an older generation of elites who are out of touch with the aspirations and needs of today’s youth.'6

The paper stresses the 'commonly expressed desire of many young women and men to seek ownership and agency in shaping the future of their communities and societies as active and constructive citizens.'

The EU-funded regional project MedMedia flags that 'this is a generation which is highly educated, active online and which is trying to discover new ways of dealing with its apparently bleak prospects'.7

Media, traditional ones and online, have a role to play in giving young men and women a voice, in offering platforms for debate and participation.

However, similar to the sense of exclusion from the political process, young men and women in the Arab world perceive a lack of credible media platforms for voicing out their opinion and hence having limited options to take active part in the developments in their societies. Public and private broadcasters, in particular TV, still hold the widest reach and popularity in the region among traditional media. However they have historically devoted little programming to young women and men taking into account their needs and concerns. This applies even more so to the concerns of young women with regard to radicalization of society and its impact on their life, access to decent employment, quality education and affordable healthcare. Moreover a perceived lack of independence of the traditional media undermines their credibility with young audiences.

 

Consequently, young women and men increasingly turn to the internet as the main source of news and entertainment. Nevertheless, while the consumption of online media and social media by young Arabs is on the rise, they still get in 2016, 63% of their news from TV as compared to 45% online news sources and 32% from social media8.The concerns are that whilst the internet provides a wealth of information and views, it has no editorial gatekeepers and encourages users to seek out echo chambers where they engage exclusively with like-minded peers. In extreme cases this can contribute to facilitating youth radicalization as vulnerable individuals are exposed to highly partisan and indoctrinating narratives.

The different uses of traditional and new media have resulted in parallel discourses on the same domestic issues according to the Chatham House research paper. At the same time, issues discussed exclusively on social media are not being addressed in broadcast media, and vice versa.

The different use of media could also reinforce generational tensions witnessed across the region and the frustrations of young people in not being heard.

Against this background, the European Commission is launching a regional call for proposals which facilitates the interaction between civil society and media to encourage the development of concepts and pilots for new programmes and platforms with the participation of young women and men so that their needs for information, education, entertainment and participation are met.

The proposals should take into account the activities implemented and results achieved by the regional programmes Med Media and Net Med Youth.

1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME AND PRIORITY ISSUES

The global objective of this call for proposals is:

To contribute to empowering young men and women in the Neighbourhood south to participate in public affairs and address social challenges in an informed manner by using media, online media and in particular public broadcasters as a vector.

Providing financial support to third parties across the region for specific activities described below will be an important tool in achieving this objective. Online media and broadcasters with a public service mandate, as well as civil society organisations aiming at developing platforms/channels/ programmes in cooperation with media based in the 10 countries of the southern Mediterranean, namely Algeria, Egypt, Israel9, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine10, Syria11 and Tunisia will be targeted

Note that youth is defined for this call as the age group between 15-30 years of age.

The specific objectives of this call for proposals are:

  •   To foster the knowledge/understanding of what young Arab women and men are interested in and how this can be translated into media tools and programmes in terms of content but also innovative tools. Specific attention should be paid to the interests of young women.

  •   To promote co-operation between media and young women and men in order to ensure that media in the Neighbourhood south, in particular online media and public and private broadcasters reflect their needs and concerns in programmes/channels with focus on education, entertainment and information. Specific attention should be paid to the needs and concerns of young women.

  • To encourage and support the creation of more inclusive media approaches providing young women and men with shared platforms for discussing political and social issues among themselves and with  other groups of societies. Specific attention should be paid to the interests/needs of young women.
  •  To enhance media literacy among young women and men in the countries targeted through the media tools and programmes developed.

Priority issues:

  •   The methodology should outline the criteria for the selection of applicants for financial support for third parties and how continued technical support to the third parties will be ensured.

  •   The methodology should outline how the regional dimension of this call can be used to ensure the best use of available resources and best possible impact of the activities.

  •   The methodology should outline how gender equality will be ensured throughout the design of the project

  •   The methodology should outline the cooperation between media organisations and civil society in the actions proposed.

If the allocation indicated for a specific lot cannot be used due to insufficient quality or number of proposals received, the Contracting Authority reserves the right to reallocate the remaining funds to the other lot.

Lot 1: Giving young people a voice through online media

The expected results for Lot 1 are:

  •   Online media in the region start offering innovative programmes/platforms/tools/dedicated sections developed with young audiences for young audiences. These new tools/programmes have been developed in close cooperation with civils society organisations and are based on opinion surveys.

  •   These programmes/platforms/online channels meet the needs of young audiences in terms of information, education and engagement on subjects which matter to them such as employment, relationships, improving life in their communities/cities, holding authorities accountable, education, health.

  •   These programmes/platforms/online channels contribute to creating an understanding how media work and improve media literacy among young audiences.

 

1.3 FINANCIAL ALLOCATION PROVIDED BY THE CONTRACTING AUTHORITY

The overall indicative amount made available under this call for proposals is EUR 5 million. The Contracting Authority reserves the right not to award all available funds.

A maximum of three (3) grants will be attributed to beneficiaries in charge of allocating financial support to third parties, which are organisations based in the ENI South region selected following competitive calls to be launched.

The call is split into 2 lots with similar objectives. Lot 1 focusses on online media whereas Lot 2 focusses on broadcasters (radio and television):

Lot 1: Giving young people a voice through online media
Lot 2: Giving young people a voice through broadcasters (radio and television). Indicative allocation of funds by lot:
Lot 1: EUR 2,000,000
Lot 2: EUR 3,000,000

 Media and civil society organisations have developed a sustainable way of cooperation Lot 2: Giving young people a voice through broadcasters (radio and television):
The expected results for Lot 2 are:

  •   Public broadcasters and those with a public service mandate in the region, start offering innovative programmes/platforms/developed with young audiences for young audiences. These new tools/programmes have been developed in close cooperation with civils society organisations and are based on opinion surveys.

  •   These programmes/platforms/ meet the needs of young audiences in terms of information, education and engagement on subjects which matter to them such as employment, relationships, improving life in their communities/cities, holding authorities accountable, education, health .

  •   Broadcasters extend their programmes online to offer platforms for debate which bridge the gap between different generations.

  •   These programmes/platforms/ contribute to creating an understanding how media work and improve media literacy among young audiences.

  •   Media and civil society organisations have developed a sustainable way of cooperation.

Size of grants

Any grant requested under this call for proposals must fall between the following minimum and maximum amounts:

For Lot 1:

  •   Minimum amount: EUR 1,500,000

  •   Maximum amount EUR 2,000,000

    For Lot 2:

  •   Minimum amount: EUR 2,000,000

  •   Maximum amount EUR 3,000,000

    Any grant requested under this call for proposals must not exceed the following maximum percentage:

 Maximum percentage: 90% of the total eligible costs of the action (see also section 2.1.5).

The balance (i.e. the difference between the total cost of the action and the amount requested from the Contracting Authority) must be financed from sources other than the European Union Budget or the European Development Fund12.

2 RULES FOR THIS CALL FOR PROPOSALS

These guidelines set out the rules for the submission, selection and implementation of the actions financed under this call, in conformity with the Practical Guide, which is applicable to the present call (available at http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/document.do?locale=en) 13.

2.1 ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

There are three sets of eligibility criteria, relating to: (1) the actors:

  •   The lead applicant, i.e. the entity submitting the application form (2.1.1),

  •   if any, its co-applicant(s) (where it is not specified otherwise the lead applicant and its

    co-applicant(s) are hereinafter jointly referred as "applicant(s)") (2.1.1),

  •   and, if any, affiliated entity(ies) to the lead applicant and/or to a co-applicant(s). (2.1.2);

    (2) the actions:

 Actions for which a grant may be awarded (2.1.4);

(3) the costs:
 types of cost that may be taken into account in setting the amount of the grant (2.1.5).

 

2.1.1 Eligibility of applicants (i.e. lead applicant and co-applican

Lead applicant

(1) In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must:

  • be a legal person and

  •   be non-profit-making and

  • be a civil society organisation as defined by COM(2012) 0492 14, public sector operator, international (inter-governmental) organisation as defined by Article 43 of the Rules of application of the EU Financial Regulation15 and

  •   be established in16 a Member State of the European Union, an ENI South, an IPA, or an EFTA country. This obligation does not apply to international organisations and

  •   be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co- applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary and

  •   be an organisation or be in a consortium of organisation(s) with a proven experience in awarding, managing and monitoring the implementation of grants, including coaching of grantees and on-the-job aiming at strengthening their project management capacities.

(2) Potential applicants may not participate in calls for proposals or be awarded grants if they are in any of the situations listed in section 2.3.3 of the Practical Guide;

In Annex A.2, section 5 (‘declaration by the lead applicant’), the lead applicant must declare that the lead applicant himself, the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies) are not in any of these situations.

The lead applicant must act with co-applicant(s) as specified hereafter.

If awarded the grant contract, the lead applicant will become the beneficiary identified as the Coordinator in Annex E3h1 (Special Conditions). The Coordinator is the main interlocutor of the Contracting Authority. It represents and acts on behalf of any other co-beneficiary (if any) and coordinate the design and implementation of the action.

Co-applicant(s)

The Lead applicant has to be in a consortium with at least two co-applicants (in addition to the Lead applicant). Co-applicants must be based in at least two different countries of the ENI South region.

The partnership should involve organisations which have proven and complementary experience in the relevant areas of the programme.

The partnership will have to demonstrate strong management capacities, in particular to implement grants and preferably financial support to third parties, and to monitor and coach the third parties. The lead applicant and co-applicants will have to demonstrate their expertise in the field of online media and broadcasters with a public service mandate, as well as their experience implementing operational actions and capacity building activities in the region.

It is recommended not to involve more co-applicants than is needed. All co-applicants must be carefully chosen and play a strategic and an active role in the activities proposed. All proposals must demonstrate the value-added that all co-applicants bring to the programme and its activities

Co-applicants participate in designing and implementing the action, and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the lead applicant.

Co-applicants must satisfy the eligibility criteria as applicable to the lead applicant.

In addition to the categories referred to in section 2.1.1, the following are however also eligible: for profit organisations17 such as, but not limited to, broadcasters and online media.

Co-applicants must sign the mandate in Annex A.2., section 4.

If awarded the grant contract, the co-applicant(s) (if any) will become beneficiary(ies) in the action (together with the Coordinator).

 

2.1.2 Affiliated entities

Affiliated entity(ies)

The lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) may act with affiliated entity(ies)

Only the following entities may be considered as affiliated entities to the lead applicant and/or to co-applicant(s):

Only entities having a structural link with the applicants (i.e. the lead applicant or a co-applicant), in particular a legal or capital link.

This structural link encompasses mainly two notions:

  1. (i)  Control, as defined in Directive 2013/34/EU on the annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related reports of certain types of undertakings:

    Entities affiliated to applicant may hence be:

    • -  Entities directly or indirectly controlled by an applicant (daughter companies or first-tier subsidiaries). They may also be entities controlled by an entity controlled by an applicant (granddaughter companies or second-tier subsidiaries) and the same applies to further tiers of control;

    • -  Entities directly or indirectly controlling the applicant (parent companies). Likewise, they may be entities controlling an entity controlling the applicant;

    • -  Entities under the same direct or indirect control as the applicant (sister companies).

  2. (ii)  Membership, i.e. the applicant is legally defined as a e.g. network, federation, association in which the proposed affiliated entities also participate or the applicant participates in the same entity (e.g. network, federation, association) as the proposed affiliated entities.

The structural link shall as a general rule be neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation. This means that the link would exist independently of the award of the grant; it should exist before the call for proposals and remain valid after the end of the action.

By way of exception, an entity may be considered as affiliated to an applicant even if it has a structural link specifically established for the sole purpose of the implementation of the action in the case of so- called “sole applicants” or “sole beneficiaries”. A sole applicant or a sole beneficiary is a legal entity formed by several entities (a group of entities) which together comply with the criteria for being awarded the grant. For example, an association is formed by its members.

What is not an affiliated entity?
The following are not considered entities affiliated to an applicant:

  • -  Entities that have entered into a (procurement) contract or subcontract with an applicant, act as concessionaires or delegatees for public services for an applicant,

  • -  Entities that receive financial support from an applicant,

  • -  Entities that cooperate on a regular basis with an applicant on the basis of a memorandum of

    understanding or share some assets,

  • -  Entities that have signed a consortium agreement under the grant contract (unless this consortium agreement leads to the creation of a "sole applicant" as described above).

How to verify the existence of the required link with an applicant?

The affiliation resulting from control may in particular be proved on the basis of the consolidated accounts of the group of entities the applicant and its proposed affiliates belong to.

The affiliation resulting from membership may in particular be proved on the basis of the statutes or equivalent act establishing the entity (network, federation, association) which the applicant constitutes or in which the applicant participates.

If the applicants are awarded a grant contract, their affiliated entity(ies) will not become beneficiary(ies) of the action and signatory(ies) of the grant contract. However, they will participate in the design and in the implementation of the action and the costs they incur (including those incurred for implementation contracts and financial support to third parties) may be accepted as eligible costs, provided they comply with all the relevant rules already applicable to the beneficiary(ies) under the grant contract.

Affiliated entity(ies) must satisfy the same eligibility criteria as the lead applicant and the co-applicant(s). They must sign the affiliated entity(ies) statement in Annex A.2., section 5.

 

2.1.3 Associates and Contractors

The following entities are not applicants nor affiliated entities and do not have to sign the "mandate for co-applicant(s)" or "affiliated entities' statement":

 Associates

Other organisations or individuals may be involved in the action. Such associates play a real role in the action but may not receive funding from the grant, with the exception of per diem or travel costs. Associates do not have to meet the eligibility criteria referred to in section 2.1.1. Associates must be mentioned in Annex A.2., section 6 — ‘Associates participating in the action’.

 Contractors

The beneficiaries and their affiliated entities are permitted to award contracts. Associates or affiliated entity(ies) cannot be also contractors in the project. Contractors are subject to the procurement rules set out in Annex IV to the standard grant contract.

 

2.1.4 Eligible actions: actions for which an application may be made

Definition
An action is composed of a set of activities.

Duration
The initial planned duration of an action may not be lower than 24 months nor exceed 48 months.

Sectors or themes

Specific sectors or themes to which the actions must relate, include but not limited to:

  •   Online media;

  •   Broadcasters (public and private);

  •   Platforms for debate and exchange targeting young people;

  •   Audience surveys;

  •   Platforms for debate and exchange on social issues and public affairs bridging the generation gap.

 

Location

Actions proposed under the grants must cover at least 5 of the following Southern Neighbourhood partner countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel18, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria19 and Tunisia.

Activities supported through financial support to third parties may focus on one or more countries.

Types of action

All applicants should propose an intervention strategy and methodology that is adequate and efficient in relation to the implementation of the objectives and priorities referred in section 1.2.

Types of action which may be financed under this call include but are not limited to:

  •   projects supporting the development of pilot programmes and web-based platforms of online media and broadcasters from the region which reflect the interests and needs of young audiences in the region based on audience analysis and feedback.

  •   support to the development of concepts and pre-production of TV programmes which meet the interests and needs of young audiences, supported by audiences surveys/feedback and the co- operation of young people in the development of the programmes.

  •   promotion of co-operation between media and civil society organisations, who are aware of the frustrations, needs and interests of young audiences, for the development of relevant programmes, channels and tools;

  •   promotion of the cooperation between media and civil society organizations for the marketing of new programmes and tools in order to ensure not only interest among young people but also active engagement.

  •   facilitation of exchange of best practices in youth programming/development of tools between media at regional level.

    The following types of action are ineligible:

  •   actions concerned only or mainly with individual sponsorships for participation in workshops, seminars, conferences and congresses;

  •   actions concerned only or mainly with individual scholarships for studies or training courses; Conferences can only be funded if they form part of a wider range of activities to be implemented in the life-time of the project. For these purposes, preparatory activities for a conference and the publication of the proceedings of the conference do not, in themselves, constitute such “wider activities”;

  •   actions concerned only or mainly with academic research (whereas applied research activities, demonstrative or pilot actions aiming to establish an effective cooperation among academic and governmental institutions (or local authorities) may be foreseen as part of the action).

  •   actions supporting individual political parties;

  •   actions including proselytism.

 

Types of activity

Types of activity which may be financed under this call:

  •   audience surveys and focus groups

  •   development of concepts for programmes and online tools/platform's

  •   production of pilots sufficiently advanced to obtain feedback on possible success

  •   activities using web based tools to facilitate engagement with young people

  •   activities generating a momentum around tools, platforms and programmes which attract young

    audiences.

  •   for Lot 2, activities should focus on tools and programmes targeting/to be used by public or private broadcasters with a public service mandate.

Applicants should include in the concept notes and full proposals a clear indication and explanation of:

  •   the strategic framework of the action;

  •   the key activities and outputs, including communication actions and involvement of relevant stakeholders;

  •   the department/persons within each partner institution (in house expertise)which will be responsible for the management and monitoring of the project;

  •   the implementation schedule (start and end time);

  •   the estimated costs per activity;

  •   which performance indicators will be used to evaluate the benefits of the project and its overall performance, and how they will monitor these parameters during and after project implementation; such information should be disaggregated by gender and gender specific performance indictors should be developed;

  •   which concrete measures will be taken to make the project visible and replicable;

  •   the relevant training and awareness actions;

  •   the criteria for selecting the third parties who will receive financial support and key steps of the selection process;

  •   the demonstration effect – in which manner the action is innovative for the region and not "business as usual".

The partnership agreement signed by all partners (applicant and co-applicants), containing information about the division of labour and resources/budget of the action between all partners, should be presented as part of the concept note.

Within the scheme providing financial support to third parties, Calls for Applications should be published in English, French and if possible in Arabic language, and applicants for financial support to third parties shall be able to submit applications in English, French and if possible in Arabic language.

The application form and procedure should be tailor-made for beneficiary organisations with weak managerial and administrative capacities, and should foresee an evaluation and selection based on high quality and/or innovative ideas and initiatives, and a review process during which the quality of the intervention logic, the impact and sustainability of the activities can be improved and further developed.

Coaching and on-the-job training should be foreseen to support the beneficiaries of financial support in the implementation of their activities, as well as in the management of the financial support (i.e. related to 

financial and narrative reporting, budget execution and revisions, etc.). In addition, the provision of tools such as audience surveys or others could also be foreseen.

Applicants to this call should specify in their applications what type of supporting documents will be requested from the beneficiaries of financial support to verify that the funds have been used for the purpose and in line with the contract. Financial support to third parties should take a result based /output oriented approach and the supporting documents should reflect this approach.

The establishment of a Project Steering Committee should be foreseen, which would give strategic guidance to the implementation of the financial support scheme, and comprise the project partners and possibly other key stakeholders in the media and civil society sector in the Southern Neighbourhood region.

Financial support to third parties20

Under this Call financial support to third parties is the main purpose of the action. At least 65% of the grant allocated under Lot 1 and 2 must be redistributed as grants for actions as described here above.

The amount of financial support per third party should range between: For Lot 1: 100,000 and 150,000 EUR
For Lot 2: 60,000 and 80,000 EUR

In compliance with the present guidelines and notably of any conditions or restrictions in this section, the lead applicant should define mandatorily in section 2.1.1 of the grant application form:

  1. (i)  the objectives and results to be obtained with the financial support

  2. (ii)  the different types of activities eligible for financial support, on the basis of a fixed list

  3. (iii)  the types of persons or categories of persons which may receive financial support

  4. (iv)  the criteria for selecting these entities and giving the financial support

  5. (v)  the criteria for determining the exact amount of financial support for each third entity, and

  6. (vi)  the maximum amount which may be given.

(vii) the communication tools and channels by which they will ensure outreach to media operators and potential beneficiaries of financial support in the Southern Neighbourhood region.

In all events, the mandatory conditions set above for giving financial support (points (i) to (vi)) have to be strictly defined in the grant contract as to avoid any exercise of discretion.

Persons or categories of persons eligible for financial support must:

  •   be legal persons and

  •   local authorities, public bodies, NGOs/CSOs, economic operators working in the online media or broadcasting sector as their professional core activity and

 be established in the ENI south countries.
Activities eligible for financial support are those described in section 2.1.4. under Lots 1 and 2.

 

They must last for a minimum of 1 year.

Visibility

The applicants must take all necessary steps to publicise the fact that the European Union has financed or co-financed the action. As far as possible, actions that are wholly or partially funded by the European Union must incorporate information and communication activities designed to raise the awareness of specific or general audiences of the reasons for the action and the EU support for the action in the country or region concerned, as well as the results and the impact of this support.

Applicants must comply with the objectives and priorities and guarantee the visibility of the EU financing (see the Communication and Visibility Manual for EU external actions specified and published by the European Commission at https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/communication-and-visibility-manual-eu- external-actions_en).

Applicants must ensure that the recipients of financial support comply with the same rules and take all necessary steps to publicise the fact that the European Union has financed or co-financed the activity(ies).

Number of applications and grants per applicants / affiliated entities

The lead applicant may not submit more than one (1) application per lot under this call for proposals.

The lead applicant may not be awarded more than one (1) grant per lot under this call for proposals.

The lead applicant may not be a co-applicant or an affiliated entity in another application of the same lot at the same time.

A co-applicant/affiliated entity may not submit more than one (1) application per lot under this call for proposals.

A co-applicant/affiliated entity may not be awarded more than one (1) grant per lot under this call for proposals.

 

2.1.5 Eligibility of costs: costs that can be included

Only ‘eligible costs’ can be covered by a grant. The categories of costs that are eligible and non-eligible are indicated below. The budget is both a cost estimate and an overall ceiling for ‘eligible costs’.

The reimbursement of eligible costs may be based on any or a combination of the following forms:

  •   actual costs incurred by the beneficiary(ies) and affiliated entity(ies)

  •   one or more simplified cost options.

    Simplified cost options may take the form of:

  •   unit costs: covering all or certain specific categories of eligible costs which are clearly identified in advance by reference to an amount per unit.

  •   lump sums: covering in global terms all or certain specific categories of eligible costs which are clearly identified in advance.

  •   flat-rate financing: covering specific categories of eligible costs which are clearly identified in advance by applying a percentage fixed ex ante.

The amounts or rates have to be based on estimates using objective data such as statistical data or any other objective means or with reference to certified or auditable historical data of the applicants or the affiliated entity(ies). The methods used to determine the amounts or rates of unit costs, lump sums or flat- rates must comply with the criteria established in Annex K, and especially ensure that the costs correspond fairly to the actual costs incurred by the beneficiary(ies) and affiliated entity(ies), are in line with their accounting practices, no profit is made and the costs are not already covered by other sources of funding (no double funding). Refer to Annex K for directions and a checklist of controls to assess the 

minimum necessary conditions that provide reasonable assurance for the acceptance of the proposed amounts.

Applicants proposing this form of reimbursement, must clearly indicate in worksheet no.1 of Annex B, each heading/item of eligible costs concerned by this type of financing, i.e. add the reference in capital letters to "UNIT COST" (per month/flight etc), "LUMPSUM" or "FLAT RATE" in the Unit column. (see example in Annex K)

Additionally in Annex B, in the second column of worksheet no.2, "Justification of the estimated costs" per each of the corresponding budget item or heading applicants must:

  •   describe the information and methods used to establish the amounts of unit costs, lump sums and/or flat-rates, to which costs they refer, etc.

  •   clearly explain the formulas for calculation of the final eligible amount21

  •   identify the beneficiary who will use the simplified cost option (in case of affiliated entity, specify first the beneficiary), in order to verify the maximum amount per each beneficiary (which includes if applicable simplified cost options of its affiliated entity(ies))

At contracting phase, the Contracting Authority decides whether to accept the proposed amounts or rates on the basis of the provisional budget submitted by the applicants, by analysing factual data of grants carried out by the applicants or of similar actions and by performing checks established by Annex K.

The total amount of financing on the basis of simplified cost options that can be authorised by the Contracting Authority for any of the applicants individually (including simplified cost options proposed by their own affiliated entities) cannot exceed EUR 60 000 (the indirect costs are not taken into account).

Recommendations to award a grant are always subject to the condition that the checks preceding the signing of the grant contract do not reveal problems requiring changes to the budget (such as arithmetical errors, inaccuracies, unrealistic costs and ineligible costs). The checks may give rise to requests for clarification and may lead the Contracting Authority to impose modifications or reductions to address such mistakes or inaccuracies. It is not possible to increase the grant or the percentage of EU co-financing as a result of these corrections.

It is therefore in the applicants' interest to provide a realistic and cost-effective budget

The simplified cost option may also take the form of an apportionment of Field Office's costs.

Field Office means a local infrastructure set up in one of the countries where the action is implemented or a nearby country. (Where the action is implemented in several third countries there can be more than one Field Office). That may consist of costs for local office as well as human resources.

A Field Office may be exclusively dedicated to the action financed (or co-financed) by the EU or may be used for other projects implemented in the partner country. When the Field Office is used for other projects, only the portion of capitalised and operating costs which corresponds to the duration of the action and the rate of actual use of the field office for the purpose of the action may be declared as eligible direct costs.

The portion of costs attributable to the action can be declared as actual costs or determined by the beneficiary(ies) on the basis of a simplified allocation method (apportionment).

The method of allocation has to be:

1. Compliant with the beneficiary's usual accounting and management practices and applied in a consistent manner regardless of the source of funding and

2. Based on an objective, fair and reliable allocation keys. (Please refer to Annex K to have examples of acceptable allocation keys).

A description prepared by the entity of the allocation method used to determine Field Office's costs in accordance with the entity's usual cost accounting and management practices and explaining how the method satisfy condition 1 and 2 indicated above, has to be presented in a separate sheet and annexed to the Budget.

The method will be assessed and accepted by the evaluation committee and the Contracting Authority at contracting phase. The applicant is invited to submit (where relevant) the list of contracts to which the methodology proposed had been already applied and for which proper application was confirmed by an expenditure verification.

At the time of carrying out the expenditure verifications, the auditors will check if the costs reported are compliant with the method described by the beneficiary(ies) and accepted by the Contracting Authority.

Adequate record and documentation must be kept by the beneficiary(ies) to prove the compliance of the simplified allocation method used with the conditions set out above. Upon request of the beneficiary(ies), this compliance can be assessed and approved ex-ante by an independent external auditor. In such a case, the simplified allocation method will be automatically accepted by the evaluation committee and it will not be challenged ex post.

When costs are declared on the basis of such allocation method the amount charged to the action is to be indicated in the column "TOTAL COSTS" and the mention "APPORTIONMENT" is to be indicated in the column "units" (under budget heading 1 (Human resources) and 4 (Local Office) of the Budget).

It has to be noted that the EUR 60.000 limit, otherwise applicable to costs declared on the basis of simplified cost options, is not relevant for costs declared following apportionment of Field Offices.

Eligible direct costs

To be eligible under this call for proposals, costs must comply with the provisions of Article 14 of the General Conditions to the standard grant contract (see Annex G of the guidelines).

Contingency reserve
The budget may include a contingency reserve not exceeding 5 % of the estimated direct eligible costs. It

can only be used with the prior written authorisation of the Contracting Authority.

Eligible indirect costs

The indirect costs incurred in carrying out the action may be eligible for flat-rate funding, but the total must not exceed 7% of the estimated total eligible direct costs. Indirect costs are eligible provided that they do not include costs assigned to another budget heading in the standard grant contract. The lead applicant may be asked to justify the percentage requested before the grant contract is signed. However, once the flat rate has been fixed in the Special Conditions of the grant contract, no supporting documents need to be provided.

If any of the applicants or affiliated entity(ies) is in receipt of an operating grant financed by the EU, it may not claim indirect costs on its incurred costs within the proposed budget for the action.

Contributions in kind

Contributions in kind mean the provision of goods or services to a beneficiaries or affiliated entities free of charge by a third party. As contributions in kind do not involve any expenditure for beneficiaries or affiliated entities, they are not eligible costs.

Contributions in kind may not be treated as co-financing

 

However, if the description of the action as proposed includes contributions in kind, the contributions have to be made.

Ineligible costs
The following costs are not eligible:

  • debts and debt service charges (interest); provisions for losses or potential future liabilities;
  • costs declared by the beneficiary(ies) and financed by another action or work programme receiving a European Union (including through EDF) grant;
  • purchases of land or buildings, except where necessary for the direct implementation of the action, in which case ownership must be transferred, in accordance with Article 7.5 of the General Conditions of the standard grant contract, at the latest at the end of the action;
  • currency exchange losses;
  • credit to third parties.
  • salary costs of the personnel of national administrations.

 

2.2 HOW TO APPLY AND THE PROCEDURES TO FOLLOW

To apply for this call for proposals the lead applicants need to:

  1. Provide information about the organisations involved in the action. Please note that the registration of this data in PADOR is obligatory22 for this call for proposals:

    • Concept note step: Registration is obligatory for lead applicants applying for EU contributions of more than EUR 60 000.

    • Full application step: Registration is obligatory for co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies). Lead applicants must make sure that their PADOR profile is up to date.

  2. Provide information about the action in the documents listed under sections 2.2.2 (concept note) and 2.2.5 (full application). Please note that online submission via PROSPECT is obligatory for this call,

PADOR is an on-line database in which organisations register and update information concerning their entity. Organisations registered in PADOR get a unique ID (EuropeAid ID) which they must mention in their application. PADOR is accessible via the website: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/pador_en

It is strongly recommended to register in PADOR well in advance and not to wait until the last minute before the deadline to submit your application in PROSPECT.

If it is impossible to register online in PADOR for technical reasons, the applicants and/or affiliated entity(ies) must complete the ‘PADOR off-line form23 attached to these guidelines. This form must be sent together with the application, by the submission deadline (see sections 2.2.2 and 2.2.5).

Before starting using PADOR and PROSPECT, please read the user guides available on the website. All technical questions related the use of these systems should be addressed to the IT helpdesk at EuropeAid- IT-support@ec.europa.eu via the online support form in PROSPECT.

 

2.2.1 Concept note content

Applications must be submitted in accordance with the concept note instructions in the grant application form24 annexed to these guidelines (Annex A.1). Applicants must apply in English or French .

Please note that:

1. In the concept note lead applicants must provide only an estimate of the requested EU contribution, as well as an indicative percentage of this contribution in relation to the total eligible costs of the action. A detailed budget is to be submitted only by lead applicants invited to submit a full application in the second phase

2. The elements outlined in the concept note may not be modified in the full application form. The EU contribution may not vary from the initial estimate by more than 20 %. Lead applicants are free to adapt the requested EU contribution as a percentage of the total eligible costs within the minimum and maximum amounts and percentages provided in section 1.3. The lead applicant may replace a co-applicant or an affiliated entity only in duly justified cases (e.g. bankruptcy of initial co-applicant or affiliated entity). In this case the new co-applicant/affiliated entity must be of a similar nature as the initial one. The lead applicant may adjust the duration of the action if unforeseen circumstances outside the scope of the applicants have taken place following the submission of the concept note and require such adaptation (risk of action not being carried out). In such cases the duration must remain within the limits imposed by the guidelines for applicants. An explanation/justification of the relevant replacement/adjustment shall be included in section 2.1.1 of the grant application form.

Own contributions by the applicants can be replaced by other donors' contributions at any time.

3. Only the concept note form will be evaluated. It is therefore of utmost importance that this document contains all relevant information concerning the action. No additional annexes should be sent.

Any error or major discrepancy related to the concept note instructions may lead to the rejection of the concept note.

Clarifications will only be requested when information provided is not sufficient to conduct an objective assessment.

 

2.2.2 Where and how to send concept notes

 

The concept note together with the declaration by the lead applicant (Annex A.1 section 2) must be submitted online via PROSPECT https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prospect following the instructions given in the PROSPECT user manual.

Upon submission of a concept note online, the lead applicant will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt in its PROSPECT profile.

If it is impossible for lead applicants to submit their concept note online via PROSPECT for technical reasons, they must send their proposal in a sealed envelope and attach the concept note together with the declaration by the lead applicant (Annex A.1 section 2). In particular, the lead applicant must send, in a sealed envelope as described below the following items:

a. One original of the concept note. The signed declaration by the lead applicant (Annex A.1 section 2) must be printed and stapled separately and enclosed in the envelope

b. 3 additional copies in A4 size, each bound.
c. An electronic version (CD-Rom or USB) of the items under point (a). The electronic file must contain exactly the same application as the paper version enclosed.

 

The envelope must bear the reference number and the title of the call for proposals, together with the lot number and title, the full name and address of the lead applicant, and the words ‘Not to be opened before the opening session’.

To reduce expense and waste, we strongly recommend that you do not use plastic folders or dividers. Please also use double-sided printing if possible.

Concept notes must be submitted in a sealed envelope by registered mail, private courier service or by hand-delivery (a signed and dated certificate of receipt will be given to the deliverer) to the address below. Where lead applicants send several concept notes (if allowed to do so by the guidelines of the call), each one must be sent separately:

Postal address

European Commission DG NEAR - Unit R4 Office J-54 03/231 Avenue du Bourget, 1 B-1049 Brussels, Belgium

Address for hand delivery or by private courier service

For the Attention of the Head of Unit European Commission
DG NEAR - Unit R4
Office J-54 03/231

Avenue du Bourget, 1 B-1049 Brussels, Belgium

Please note that incomplete concept notes may be rejected. Lead applicants are advised to verify that their concept note is complete by using the checklist for concept note (Annex A.1, Instructions).

The deadline for the submission of concept notes is 27th June 2017 at 12:00 (Brussels date and time). In order to convert this deadline to local time you can use any online time converter tool that takes into account time zones and winter/summer time changes (example available here)25. The lead applicant is strongly advised not to wait until the last day to submit its concept note, since heavy Internet traffic or a fault with the Internet connection (including electricity failure, etc.) could lead to difficulties in submission. The Contacting Authority cannot be held responsible for any delay due to such afore- mentioned difficulties.

In the exceptional case of submission by post or by hand delivery (see section 2.2.2), the date of submission is evidenced by the date of dispatch, the postmark or the date of the deposit slip. In the case of hand-deliveries, the deadline for receipt is at 16:00 Brussels time as evidenced by the signed and dated receipt.

Any concept note submitted after the deadline will be rejected.

However, for reasons of administrative efficiency, the Contracting Authority may also reject any concept note sent in due time but received after the effective date of approval of the concept note evaluation (see indicative calendar under section 2.5.2).

 

2.2.4 Further information about concept notes

An information session on this call for proposals will be held on 18 May 2017, 14:00 Brussels date and time, rue Joseph II, 54, 1000 Brussels.

Questions may be sent by e-mail no later than 21 days before the deadline for the submission of concept notes to the address(es) below, indicating clearly the reference of the call for proposals:

E-mail address: NEAR-ENI-SOUTH-TENDERS@ec.europa.eu

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

Replies will be given no later than 11 days before the deadline for submission of concept notes.

To ensure equal treatment of applicants, the contracting authority cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of lead applicants, co-applicants, affiliated entity(ies), an action or specific activities.

No individual replies will be given to questions. All questions and answers as well as other important notices to applicants during the course of the evaluation procedure will be published on the EuropeAid website https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome as appropriate. It is therefore advisable to consult the abovementioned website regularly in order to be informed of the questions and answers published as well as any other relevant information.

All technical questions related to registration in PADOR or the online submission via PROSPECT should be addressed to the IT helpdesk at EuropeAid-IT-support@ec.europa.eu via the online support form in PROSPECT: Please note that the working languages of the IT support are: English French and Spanish. Therefore users are invited to send their questions in English, French or Spanish should they wish to benefit from an optimum response time.

 

2.2.5 Full applications

Lead applicants invited to submit a full application following pre-selection of their concept note must do so using the full application form annexed to these guidelines (Annex A.2).

Applications must be submitted in accordance with the full application instructions at the end of Annex A.2. Lead applicants must submit their full applications in the same language as their concept notes.

Please note that:

1. The elements outlined in the concept note cannot be modified by the lead applicant in the full application form. The EU contribution may not vary from the initial estimate by more than 20%, although lead applicants are free to adapt the percentage of co-financing required within the minimum and maximum amount and percentages of co-financing, as laid down in these guidelines under section 1.3. The lead applicant may replace a co-applicant or an affiliated entity only in duly justified cases (e.g. bankruptcy of initial co-applicant or affiliated entity). In this case the new co- applicant/affiliated entity must be of a similar nature as the initial one. The lead applicant may adjust the duration of the action if unforeseen circumstances outside the scope of the applicants have taken place following the submission of the concept note and require such adaptation (risk of action not being carried out). An explanation/justification of the relevant replacement/adjustment shall be included in section 2.1.1 of the grant application form.

2. A copy of the lead applicant’s accounts of the latest financial year (the profit and loss account and the balance sheet for the last financial year for which the accounts have been closed) must be uploaded in PADOR by the full application deadline. A copy of the latest account is neither required from (if any) the co-applicant(s) nor from (if any) affiliated entity(ies)).

3. Only the full application form and the published annexes which have to be filled in (budget, logical framework) will be transmitted to the evaluators (and assessors, if used). It is therefore of utmost importance that these documents contain ALL the relevant information concerning the action. No additional annexes should be sent.

Any error or any major inconsistency related to the full application instructions (e.g. if the amounts in the budget worksheets are inconsistent) may lead to the rejection of the application.

Clarifications will only be requested when information provided is unclear and thus prevents the Contracting Authority from conducting an objective assessment.

 

2.2.6 Where and how to send full applications

Full application forms together with the budget, the logical framework and the declaration by the lead applicant must be submitted online via PROSPECT https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prospect following the instructions given in the users’ manual.

Upon submission of the full application online, the lead applicants will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt in their PROSPECT profile.

(a) If the lead applicant submitted the concept note by post / hand delivery (see section 2.2.3) it must send the full application by the same means (by post or hand delivery).

(b) If the lead applicant submitted the concept note online via PROSPECT but it is technically impossible for the organisation to submit the full application online:

In the above two cases the lead applicant must send by post the application, i.e the full application form, the budget, the logical framework and the declaration by the lead applicant. The lead applicant must send, in a sealed envelope as described below, the following items:

a. One original signed copy of the full application form, the budget and the logical framework. The declaration by the lead applicant (Annex A.2, section 5) must be printed and stapled separately and enclosed in the envelope

b. 3 additional copies in A4 size, each bound.

c. An electronic version (CD-Rom or USB stick) of the items under point (a). The electronic file must contain exactly the same application as the paper version enclosed.

To reduce expense and waste, we strongly recommend that you use only paper for your file (no plastic folders or dividers). Please also use double-sided printing if possible

Applications must be submitted in a sealed envelope by registered mail, private courier service or by hand-delivery (a signed and dated certificate of receipt will be given to the deliverer) to the address below. Where lead applicants send several applications (if allowed to do so by the guidelines of the call), each one must be sent separately:

Postal address

European Commission DG NEAR - Unit R4 Office J-54 03/231 Avenue du Bourget, 1 B-1049 Brussels, Belgium

Address for hand delivery or by private courier service

For the Attention of the Head of Unit European Commission
DG NEAR - Unit R4
Office J-54 03/231

Avenue du Bourget, 1 B-1049 Brussels, Belgium

The envelope must bear the reference number and the title of the call for proposals, together with the number and title of the lot, the full name and address of the lead applicant, and the words ‘Not to be opened before the opening session’

Applications sent by any other means (e.g. by fax or by e-mail) or delivered to other addresses will be rejected. Hand-written applications will not be accepted.

 

Please note that incomplete applications may be rejected. Lead applicants are advised to verify that their application is complete using the checklist (Annex A.2, Instructions).

 

2.2.7 Deadline for submission of full applications

The deadline for the submission of full applications will be indicated in the letter sent to the lead applicants whose application has been pre-selected. This letter will appear online automatically in the PROSPECT profile of the lead applicant. Lead applicants who, in exceptional cases (see section 2.2.6) had to submit their application by post or hand-delivery, will receive the letter by email or by post if no e- mail address was provided.

Lead applicants are strongly advised not to wait until the last day to submit their full applications, since heavy Internet traffic or a fault with the Internet connection (including electricity failure, etc.) could lead to difficulties in submission. The Contacting Authority cannot be held responsible for any delay due to such afore-mentioned difficulties.

In the case of submission by post, (see section 2.2.6), the date of submission is evidenced by the date of dispatch, the postmark or the date of the deposit slip. In the case of hand-deliveries, the deadline for receipt is at 16:00 Brussels time as evidenced by the signed and dated receipt.

Any application submitted after the deadline will be rejected.

However, for reasons of administrative efficiency, the Contracting Authority may also reject any full application sent in due time but received after the effective date of approval of the full application evaluation (see indicative calendar under section 2.5.2).

 

2.2.8 Further information about full applications

Questions may be sent by e-mail no later than 21 days before the deadline for the submission of full applications to the addresses listed below, indicating clearly the reference of the call for proposals:

E-mail address: NEAR-ENI-SOUTH-TENDERS@ec.europa.eu

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

Replies will be given no later than 11 days before the deadline for the submission of applications.

To ensure equal treatment of applicants, the Contracting Authority cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of lead applicants, co-applicants, affiliated entity(ies), or an action.

No individual replies will be given to questions. All questions and answers as well as other important notices to applicants during the course of the evaluation procedure, will be published on the EuropeAid website https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome, as appropriate. It is therefore advisable to consult the abovementioned website regularly in order to be informed of the questions and answers published.

All questions related to registration in PADOR or the online submission via PROSPECT should be addressed to the IT helpdesk at EuropeAid-IT-support@ec.europa.eu via the online support form in PROSPECT. Please note that the working languages of the IT support are: English French and Spanish. Therefore users are invited to send their questions in English, French or Spanish should they wish to benefit from an optimum response time.

2.3 EVALUATION AND SELECTION OF APPLICATIONS

Applications will be examined and evaluated by the Contracting Authority with the possible assistance of external assessors. All applications will be assessed according to the following steps and criteria.

If the examination of the application reveals that the proposed action does not meet the eligibility criteria stated in section 2.1, the application will be rejected on this sole basis.



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