Europe is facing an unprecedented wave of migration: European countries have become an immigration destination for many populations facing distress in their home countries. The economic integration of migrants is one of the priorities of the EU comprehensive approach to migration. It is crucial to empower migrants and refugees to develop the skills and to get access to knowledge and support schemes that can enable them to build a solid livelihood, and also to create added value. This should include the possibility of becoming entrepreneurs and thus contribute to further job creation. Entrepreneurship is one of the ways to ensure the integration and the economic independence of migrants.
The migration challenge can be turned into an opportunity to create more growth and jobs: Europe needs all its talents and migrant entrepreneurs represent a source of untapped potential for creation of new jobs. Already 6.6% of self-employed people in the European Union were born outside of their country of residence, which is more than 2 million people. Of these foreign-born self-employed people, 47% were born outside of the European Union1. Some studies show that on average immigrants are more prone to set up their own business compared to EU citizens with a non-migrant background2.
There is an economic interest in facilitating entrepreneurship among migrants already living or coming to the EU. Indeed, according to recent studies3 immigrants from Syria and other war-torn countries are on average less educated than the native population or other immigrants: they are twice as likely to have only a lower secondary education or less, and are significantly less likely to have gone to college. According to a survey conducted in Germany in 2014, only 8.3 % of Syrian refugees had a tertiary education, and 80 % of refugees registered as unemployed had not completed any vocational training. It is therefore particularly important to support the migrants who want to become self- employed not only in high-growth sectors but also in low-tech domains, and to provide them as early as possible with the necessary training.
The Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan4 adopted in January 2013 highlighted already that the Commission would "facilitate entrepreneurship among migrants already present in the EU or arriving for reasons other than setting up business, building on the best practices developed in the Member States, including by local authorities."
The Commission started some initiatives to support migrant entrepreneurship in 2016, aiming to share best practices on business support schemes across the EU and beyond.
A Study on Good Practices in Promoting and Supporting Migrant Entrepreneurship was launched in January 2016. The study collected information on existing support schemes and assessed methodologically good practices to support migrant entrepreneurship. As an outcome, a benchmarking tool was created and 20 inspiring practices presented. The benchmarking tool assessed existing initiatives on the basis of 10 broad categories:
Awareness raising/visibility (communication)
Legal and regulatory advice
Individual business support
Access to finance
Success factors and impact
The 20 good practices identified may serve as inspiration and as a reference for the design or improvement of similar schemes across Europe. The outcomes of this study should be considered as a reference and taken into account when implementing the actions under this call for proposal. The final report of the study is annexed to these terms of reference.
A European Conference on Migrant Entrepreneurship took place on 23 February 2016, with keynote speeches by Commissioner E. Bieńkowska and by the Member of the European Parliament P. Rübig. The aim was to discuss with representatives from Member States and relevant stakeholders the state of existing initiatives and the added value of possible actions to be taken at European level. Participants welcomed the idea of sharing existing practices, and stressed that networking and peer-learning can bring an important contribution to the activities of organisations working to support migrant entrepreneurs. The examples presented at the conference and the following discussions also highlighted the key role of training and mentoring in supporting migrant entrepreneurs.
In this context, the European Parliament decided in 2015 to initiate a Pilot Project aiming at building the entrepreneurial capacity of young migrants. In general, a pilot project is an initiative ‘of an experimental nature designed to test the feasibility of an action and its usefulness’.
A call for proposal was published in September 2016 to support training and mentoring programmes for potential entrepreneurs in migrant communities. As an outcome, four projects started in June 2017 covering together 9 countries: Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The duration of those projects is 2 years5.
The European Parliament decided to allocate a budget also in 2017 and in 2018 to launch a second Pilot Project and a Preparatory Action that will allow supporting additional activities in this area. The total budget involved in those two decisions is 2.300.000 €. This is within the framework of Article 54(2) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).
The present call for proposals is a response to the above initiatives from the European Parliament, with a view to support actions that would contribute to the creation, the improvement and the wider dissemination of initiatives to foster the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills of migrants. This call for proposals reiterates the objectives set out in the first call published in September 2016, in order to support additional projects of a similar nature and scope and to scale up migrant entrepreneurship support activities in Europe.
2. OBJECTIVE OF THE CALL
2.1 General Objectives
The scope of this initiative includes interventions that target legally-staying third-country nationals in the territory of the EU who can attend training activities according to the applicable legislation in the host country. In order to avoid redundant definitions, in the text of this call for proposals the above target group will be thereafter generically referred to as “migrants” or as “having a migrant background”.
This initiative focuses on giving information, training and support to migrants, especially the young ones, in order to help them establishing their own business.
Although the main target is young migrants, there is no specific age limit for migrants that will participate in activities supported by the Commission under this call for proposals.
The first necessary step is mapping the skills, experiences and aspirations of migrants, in particular of those newly arriving to the EU. Through a first check-up, those who have the potential for, and interest in self- employment can be identified, while the others can be directed to other occupations depending on their profiles. The identification of skills and talents could be carried by local employment agencies and/or by partners from the private sector. This first screening should be followed by the accreditation of qualifications and by language training.
Moreover, awareness-raising and outreach activities are key to give members of migrant communities first- hand information about the opportunity of becoming an entrepreneur, and to provide potential migrant entrepreneurs with more specific information on support available for starting a business or any other project.
Communication with migrant communities is essential, and relevant cultural networks need to be created or strengthened.
Potential entrepreneurs with a migrant background should be supported through targeted assistance, since they may face specific barriers due for instance to a lack of familiarity with the cultural, business and regulatory environment of the host country, or to a lack of networks.
In this sense the collaboration and bridging between mainstream business support and targeted services is considered as very beneficial as it may contribute to mutual learning and to an expansion of the services available to migrants.
The scope of this initiative covers business support measures specifically targeting migrants, as well as those measures that are available to the general population. In the latter case, however, the focus should be exclusively on interventions that support the access of migrants to business services for the mainstream population, and on actions for the general population that foresee specific provisions and services for migrants (e.g. a training courses provided in several languages, etc.).
2.2 Description of the work
This initiative will support the creation, the improvement and the wider dissemination of support schemes for migrant entrepreneurs.
Starting from the identification of potential entrepreneurs among migrants and from raising the awareness within migrant communities about entrepreneurship, this action will focus on:
Training courses (e.g. on entrepreneurship, business planning, legal aspects of setting up a company and hiring employees, etc.);
The objective of the above activities will be to help migrants to become self-employed and build a successful
enterprise (profit-generating and/or with social objectives).
Support will be given also for the translation of training materials into the native languages of migrants.
This action will bring together organisations from different countries that are already working on the ground to help migrants to start their own independent activity. These organisations will be encouraged to share their methodologies and to build on existing best practice in order to improve and expand the services they offer to migrants.
The Commission will not support the mere continuation of existing activities. Applicants will need to explain clearly what would be the added value of EU funding, which should help them to improve, expand or transfer their activities to support migrant entrepreneurs, and/or to set up joint projects with other organisations in different regions and countries.
Priority will be given to projects that will be scalable and replicable in other countries than the country of origin of the initiatives.
Activities foreseen under the project need to demonstrate a clear European added value by supporting European integration and transnational cooperation.
Proposals should contain a description of the management structure and processes of the project and the role of the lead applicant in the project management and implementation, what measures will be taken to ensure that high quality standards are applied by all consortium partners, how the achievement of objectives will be monitored, and appropriate corrective measures (such as redistribution of tasks and budget) will be taken, if needed. The main risks that might be encountered and the corresponding mitigating measures should also be described.
2.3 Description of the activities envisaged
Projects to be supported under this call shall include the categories of actions (Work Packages) described below.
In principle all Work Packages need to be covered. In the evaluation of applications the completeness of the proposal will be an important element (see the Evaluation Criteria in Annex 3, in particular under Relevance).
It is nonetheless possible for applicants to propose focusing on some of the Work Packages instead of addressing all of them. However even in that case training actions (WP 2) and the exchange of best practice across national borders (WP 4) are to be considered as compulsory activities and should be at the core of any proposal that will be submitted. Moreover if the proposal does not intend to address all Work Packages, the reason for that should be clearly explained and justified in the application.
In all areas covered by this call, the Commission will support proposals aiming at creating new support schemes, improving the existing ones, transferring the activities to another region or country or substantially scaling up (expanding) the existing initiatives.
Work Package 1 : Identification of potential migrant entrepreneurs
For newly arriving or recently arrived migrants, a check-up of qualifications and competences is necessary in order to identify those who have the potential for, and an interest in self-employment. This check-up will not only look at formal qualifications and at skills that can be documented (e.g. through a diploma or a university degree): it should also assess skills that migrants may have acquired informally, and experiences (professional, or other) that they may have had in their countries of origin. In particular, migrants with previous experience as entrepreneurs should be singled out.
After a preliminary screening of the skills and aspirations of arriving individuals, those who have the potential to become entrepreneurs should be identified and selected for targeted training and assistance.
This action may therefore support preliminary check-ups and assessments aiming to acknowledge the entrepreneurial potential of newly arriving migrants.
In their project proposal, applicants will need to explain clearly their strategy to assess the entrepreneurial skills and potential of newly arrived migrants, and to clarify which methods and tools they will use for that purpose. Also, they will explain how they intend to connect with organisations that are already active on the ground in screening, testing and recognizing the general skills of newly arrived migrants (such as literacy, numeracy, professional skills, etc.).
The Commission intends to create in 2018 a new tool to help individuals to self-assess their entrepreneurial skills, based on the Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (EntreComp)6. The beneficiaries of grants under this call for proposals will be encouraged to test and to use the new tool in order to assess the entrepreneurial mindsets and skills of newly arrived migrants, if they find it appropriate. In that case, the Commission would like to receive feedback on the usefulness of the tool, and/or on how it could be improved in relation to the target group of migrants. Commission support under this call may be given for the translation of the self-assessment tool into the main languages spoken by migrants (translation costs are included in the eligible costs). However, the beneficiaries will commit themselves to make the translations of the Commission’s self-assessment tool freely available to anyone who wants to use them, including the Commission itself. Beneficiaries of the different grants under this call for proposals who are interested in this opportunity will be encouraged to take contact with each other in order to share the work and avoid double translations into the same languages, which would be a waste of resources.
Grant beneficiaries will be free, however, to use any other tools that may exist or may be currently developed at national level or by specific organizations, in order to assess the entrepreneurial skills and potential of migrants under this Work Package.
The capacity of reaching out broadly to the target group of potential migrant entrepreneurs is key for the success of any measure in this field. Effective communication with migrant communities with locally-based promotional activities is of paramount importance. Therefore this action will also support raising awareness campaigns to be launched within migrant communities (e.g. through social media and the mobilisation of community leaders), in order to attract individuals with a migrant background to a possible career choice as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs with a migration history could be used as role models in order to make these campaigns more relevant to the target group and to better communicate with members of migrant communities. The selection of testimonials with a similar background to that of the migrants to be reached will be a possible element of communication activities.
Beyond general awareness-raising, communication activities will also aim to provide practical information on support services available for migrant entrepreneurs.
Activities to be supported under this Work Package will therefore concern the set-up of integrated campaigns of communication that may include the use of websites, social media, mobile phone applications and the organisation of public events specifically targeting the migrant communities.
The use of existing migrant networks and the activation of recognised leaders within migrant communities will be essential elements of any communication campaign.
The final goal of all the activities described under this section (Work Package 1) will be to identify and recruit potential migrant entrepreneurs for targeted support activities, in particular training and mentoring schemes, as presented in the following sections of this call for proposal.
Work Package 2: Education and Training
The Commission will support the designing and delivering of training courses for migrants on how to start their own independent activity, either in the business or in the social field. Training courses should offer a good balance between a theoretical approach based on delivering information and knowledge, and a practical approach based on direct experience.
Training courses will typically address the following topics, among others:
− Idea generation;
− Entrepreneurial thinking and behaviour;
− Financial literacy;
− Business planning;
− Market research;
− Management skills;
− Legal and administrative aspects of setting up a company;
− How to access funding;
− How to hire employees in accordance with the law and with labour market rules.
Training actions will also aim to:
− Improve knowledge of the host market and of the local business environment;
− Help migrants to assess the feasibility of their business project;
− Guide migrants in implementing their own ideas and help them concretely to start their enterprise;
Training actions may also include knowledge and advice on how to extend the activities of the newly created business to the country of origin of the migrant, in view of a possible future reshoring of activities - once external conditions will make it feasible - in order to benefit local development.
In general, training courses may address a variety of areas that are relevant to starting and running a business, such as:
− T ax regulations;
− Social security obligations;
− Labour market rules;
− Advice regarding risk taking; etc.
All training actions will focus on starting a business or an independent activity while complying with existing administrative and legal provisions of the host country, thereby ensuring that migrants will become regularly self-employed and will be entrepreneurs who respect the rules, instead of risking joining the informal economy.
Activities supported under this call may concern the creation and design of new training modules or the adaptation and improvement of the existing ones. Training courses could be delivered in different forms: classroom sessions, seminars, workshops, special working group sessions and other suitable solutions like on-line courses and web-based seminars.
Besides traditional training activities, more innovative methods (such as training visits, practical experimentations, sessions with an advisor or coach, etc.) should be used in order to increase the practical dimension of the training courses.
Individual coaching and advice that follows the group training sessions is also a part of effective training actions, and may be therefore included in the activities.
In general, training actions supported under this call for proposals will ensure a good balance between theory (knowledge) and practice (learning by doing and real experience).
Language and cultural differences are among the main barriers for migrants to be actively integrated into the labour market of their host countries. For newly arriving migrants, training and support may be better delivered in their native language so as not to lose the momentum of the business idea, since learning the language of the host country may take significant time. Addressing the language issue and the diverse cultural sensitivities of migrants coming from different areas of the world can be therefore a crucial element for a successful training or support action.
EU funding under this call for proposals can be therefore granted also for the translation of newly created and of existing training modules into the native languages of migrants.
However delivering training in the native language of participating migrants is just an option, not a mandatory requirement of this call for proposals. It will be up to the applicants to design and to deliver the training courses in what they think is the most effective way, provided that the motivations underlying their choices are clearly explained.
Please note in addition that activities within this call for proposal need to focus on training for and about entrepreneurship. Supporting the delivery of language courses is not among the objectives of this call.
Work Package 3: Mentoring schemes for migrant entrepreneurs
The Commission will support the setting up, improvement and expansion of mentoring schemes for migrant entrepreneurs.
Mentoring is meant here as a relationship in which an experienced entrepreneur - or an experienced professional from the business world - assists another entrepreneur, normally with less experience (i.e. a would-be or a new entrepreneur), and can therefore provide valuable support based on practical experience. The mentorship includes skills and knowledge development, as well as help in accessing networks that might enhance the mentee’s professional and personal growth.
For migrant entrepreneurs, these relationships are intended to facilitate the acquisition of country-specific business skills, management skills and social capital, including business-to-business advice. A successful mentorship may also have a positive impact on the motivation of the mentee, potentially leading to further growth of the business following the start-up phase.
Activities supported under this Work Package may include:
− Setting up a new mentoring scheme for migrant entrepreneurs, or improving / extending an existing scheme;
− Identifying, selecting and attracting possible mentors;
− Training the newly recruited mentors, in particular as regards cultural issues and the specific
obstacles faced by migrant entrepreneurs;
− The provision of on-line facilities and a platform for mentoring;
− Setting up effective mentor/mentee matching procedures;
− Follow up after the end of the mentoring scheme, to enable tracking of the entrepreneurial activity after completion of the support programme;
General mentoring schemes open to all entrepreneurs regardless of their background will not be supported under this action. The focus needs to be either on targeted schemes for migrant entrepreneurs, or on specific measures to help the participation of migrants in general mentoring schemes (in that case EU funding will be limited to those specific measures).
Also, the mere continuation of existing mentoring schemes will not be eligible for EU support.
Work Package 4: Horizontal dimension: cross-border cooperation and best practice exchange
This action is horizontal and concerns effectively applying collaboration with other organisations in different regions and countries with a view to mutual learning, improvement of the services offered to migrants and scaling up of the activities. All the activities described above under the sections (1), (2) and (3) will need to embed this dimension. Applicants should describe how they intend to cooperate with other organisations in order to exchange experience and best practice, and improve what they are doing or transfer their practices to different regions and countries.
Therefore collaboration and mutual exchange with other organisations need to be embedded into all proposed activities concerning the identification of potential migrant entrepreneurs, the design and delivery of training and the development of mentoring schemes.
This collaboration may happen not only within a single consortium of applicants, but may be applied also across the consortia that will be selected under this call for proposals (typically there will be 4 awarded consortia of organisations). The Commission encourages this broader cooperation. Relevant contact details will be disseminated to the awarded organisations after the signature of the grant agreements. Beneficiaries will be also encouraged to take contact with the coordinators and partners of the four ongoing projects funded through the previous call for proposals (see Section 1, Context) for possible broader exchanges.
The end goal of this call for proposal is to help organisations that are active in encouraging and supporting migrant entrepreneurs to improve, transfer and scale up their practices. The Commission attaches a great importance to learning from each other and to learning from existing best practice. In this context, all applicants and particularly the organisations that will be selected under this call are encouraged to make use of the results of the Commission Study on Good Practices in Promoting and Supporting Migrant Entrepreneurship that was finalised before the publication of this call (the final report is annexed to these terms of reference), and of the lessons that can be learnt from the 20 good practices presented in that study. Activities to be supported by the Commission will include the application of successful approaches and methods shown by those 20 good practices to other existing initiatives, in order to improve them or to adopt common standards and methodologies. The focus will be of course on the areas of activity suggested by this call for proposals: Identification of potential migrant entrepreneurs; Education and Training; and Mentoring schemes for migrant entrepreneurs.
This call for proposals is expected to result in producing four (4) reports covering the periods listed in I.4.1 of the grant agreement, which should be submitted in English, namely:
3 interim technical implementation report and financial statements, including a consolidated statement and a breakdown between each beneficiary.
1 final technical implementation report. This report will include all deliverables, a final evaluation of project activities, lessons learnt and recommendations for the future, and a financial statement including a consolidated statement and a breakdown between each beneficiary: within 2 months following the closing date of the action.
The coordinator will also prepare a short presentation – to take place at a project kick-off meeting in Brussels - that will outline the work that will be carried out during the project. A maximum of three representatives of the consortium will be invited and the related costs can be included in the estimated budget.
(1) Scheduled start-up date for the action: 1st November 2018
(2) Maximum duration of action is: 24 months.
No applications will be accepted for projects scheduled to run for a longer period than that specified in this call for proposals.
The period of eligibility of costs will start at the earliest the first day of the month following the signature of the agreement by both parties. If a beneficiary can demonstrate the need to start the action before the agreement is signed, the expenditure may be eligible as from a date before the agreement is signed. Under no circumstances can the eligibility period start before the date of submission of the grant application.
a) Publication of the call
b) Deadline for submitting applications
24/05/2018 17.00:00 Brussels local time
c) Information to applicants
d) Signature of grant agreement or notification of grant decision
e) Starting date of the action/ work programme
4. EU FINANCING
Maximum budget allocated for EU financing under this call: 2.225.000 € Indicative number of projects: 4
Maximum EU financing rate of eligible costs: 85 %
Maximum EU financing amount per project: 556.250 €
Proposals with an EU co-financing beyond any of the above two maxima will not be eligible.
The Commission reserves the right to award a grant of less than the amount requested by the applicant. In such a case, applicants will be asked either to increase their co-financing, propose other co-financing means or to decrease the total costs without altering the substance of the proposal. Grants will not be awarded for more than the amount requested.
Publication of the call (on the Commission Internet site and/or in the Official Journal) does not guarantee the availability of funds for the above action.
4.1. GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF EU FUNDING
Each action may give rise to the award of only one grant from the budget to any one beneficiary. In no circumstances shall the same costs be financed twice by the Union budget.
Applicants have to inform the Commission immediately of any multiple applications and multiple grants relating to the same action. The applicant shall inform about sources and amounts of EU funding received or applied for the same action or for part of the action. Applicants shall indicate if they receive EU funding for their functioning during the financial year in which the action takes place.
No grant may be awarded retrospectively for actions already completed.
A grant may be awarded for an action which has already begun, provided the applicant can demonstrate the need to start the action before the grant agreement is signed. In such cases, costs eligible for financing may not have been incurred prior to the date of submission of the grant application.
Grants shall involve co-financing, which implies that the resources necessary to carry out the action or the work programme shall not be provided entirely by EU contribution. EU financing may not cover 100% of the total costs of the action.
Co-financing of the action or of the work programme may take the form of:
− the beneficiary's own resources,
− income generated by the action or work programme,
EU grant may not have the purpose or effect of producing a profit within the framework of the action of the work programme of the beneficiary.
Where a profit is made, the Commission is entitled to recover the percentage of the profit corresponding to the EU contribution to the eligible costs actually incurred. For this purpose, profit shall be defined as a surplus of the receipts over the eligible costs incurred, when the request for payment of the balance is made.
The estimated budget of the action or work programme is to be attached to the application form. It must have revenue and expenditure in balance.
The budget must be drawn up in euros. Applicants, who foresee that costs will not be incurred in euros, are invited to use the exchange rate published on the Info-euro website available at http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/inforeuro/inforeuro_en.cfm.
4.2. ELIGIBLE COSTS
In order be eligible for funding, costs should be actually incurred by the beneficiary and meet the following criteria:
− they are incurred during the duration of the action or work programme, as indicated in the grant agreement, with the exception of costs relating to the request for payment of the balance and the corresponding supporting documents (audit certificates);
− they are indicated in the estimated budget of the action or work programme;
− they are necessary for the implementation of the action or of the work programme, in accordance
with the description of the action, attached to the grant agreement;
− they are identifiable and verifiable, in particular being recorded in the accounting records of the beneficiary and determined according to the applicable accounting standards of the country where the beneficiary is established and according to the usual cost accounting practices of the beneficiary;
− they comply with the requirements of applicable tax and social legislation;
− they are reasonable, justified, and comply with the principle of sound financial management, in particular regarding economy and efficiency.
The beneficiary's internal accounting and auditing procedures must permit direct reconciliation of the costs and revenue declared in respect of the action/project with the corresponding accounting statements and supporting documents.
The costs made by affiliated entities can be eligible, provided that:
the entities concerned are identified in the grant agreement;
the entities concerned abide by the rules applicable to the beneficiary under the grant agreement with regard to eligibility of costs and rights of checks and audits by the Commission, OLAF and the Court of Auditors.
Please note that the exact scope of the eligibility of costs is defined by the grant agreement, which will be signed with the successful applicants.
4.2.1 Eligible direct costs
Direct costs of the action are those specific costs which are directly linked to the implementation of the action and can therefore be attributed directly to it. They shall not include any eligible indirect costs.
The following categories of costs can be considered as eligible direct costs:
− salary costs of the personnel of national administrations to the extent that they relate to the cost of activities which the relevant public authority would not carry out if the project concerned were not undertaken.
− costs of travel and related subsistence allowances, provided that these costs are in line with the beneficiary's usual practices on travel;
− the depreciation costs of equipment or other assets (new or second-hand) as recorded in the accounting statements of the beneficiary, provided that the asset has been purchased in accordance with the conditions applicable to implementation contracts and that it is written off in accordance with the international accounting standards and the usual accounting practices of the beneficiary
− costs of consumables and supplies, provided that they are purchased in accordance with the conditions applicable to implementation contracts;
− costs arising directly from requirements imposed by the grant agreement (dissemination of information, specific evaluation of the action, audits, translations, reproduction), including the costs of requested financial guarantees, provided that the corresponding services are purchased in accordance with the conditions applicable to implementation contracts;
− costs entailed by subcontracts, concluded for the externalisation of specific tasks or activities which form part of the action or workproramme as described in the proposal, provided that the conditions with the conditions applicable to implementation contracts are met;
− duties, taxes and charges paid by the beneficiary, provided that they are included in eligible direct costs, and unless specified otherwise in the Agreement.
− costs relating to a pre-financing guarantee lodged by the beneficiary of the grant, where that guarantee is a condition for the payment of a pre-financing;
4.2.2. Eligible indirect costs
A flat-rate amount of 7 % of the total eligible direct costs of the action is eligible under indirect costs, representing the beneficiary's general administrative costs which can be regarded as chargeable to the action/project.
Indirect costs may not include costs entered under another budget heading.
Indirect costs are not eligible for beneficiaries that receive an operating grant from the European Commission.
4.2.3. Non-eligible costs
In addition to any other costs which do not fulfill the conditions set out in Article II.19.1, the following costs shall not be considered eligible:
− return on capital;
− debt and debt service charges;
− provisions for losses or debts;
− interest owed;
− doubtful debts;
− exchange losses;
− costs of transfers from the Commission charged by the bank of a beneficiary;
− costs declared by the beneficiary in the framework of another action receiving a grant financed from the Union budget (including grants awarded by a Member State and financed from the Union budget and grants awarded by other bodies than the Commission for the purpose of implementing the Union budget);
− in particular, indirect costs shall not be eligible under a grant for an action awarded to a beneficiary which already receives an operating grant financed from the Union budget during the period in question;
− excessive or reckless expenditure;
− deductible V A T .
− participation by any staff of the institutions in actions receiving grants
− any other costs which have been specified as ineligible in the call for proposal
In addition to the above, the Commission can refuse to finance certain costs included in the proposal. The beneficiary can decide to maintain and finance these costs out of his own resources, but they will not be taken into account as eligible costs.
4.3. CO-FINANCING AND JOINT AND SEVERAL RESPONSIBILITY
The beneficiary has to supply evidence of the co-financing provided. It can be provided either by way of own resources, or in the form of financial transfers from third parties,
In case of a joint application, all partners shall agree upon appropriate arrangements between themselves for the proper performance of the action.
In particular, they shall accept joint and several responsibility for repaying any debt up to the maximum amount of the grant, as stipulated in the Special Conditions of the draft grant agreement.
The final grant agreement shall be signed by each applicant. Alternatively it shall be signed by the appointed co-ordinator, provided that a power of attorney has been conferred to this entity (Annex IV of the draft grant agreement).
4.4. IMPLEMENTATION CONTRACTS/SUBCONTRACTING
Where the implementation of the action or the work programme requires the use of contracts (implementation contracts), the beneficiary must ensure that the contract is awarded to the bid offering best value for money or the lowest price (as appropriate), avoiding conflicts of interests and retain the documentation for the event of an audit.
Entities acting in their capacity of contracting authorities shall abide by the applicable national public procurement rules, in the meaning of Directive 2014/24/EU on the coordination of procedures for the award of public work contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts or contracting entities in the meaning of Directive 2014/25/EU coordinating the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors.
Sub-contracting for the purpose of the action
Sub-contracting refers to contracts concluded for the externalisation of specific tasks or activities which form part of the action or work programme as described in the proposal. Such contracts must satisfy the conditions applicable to any implementation contract and, in addition, the following conditions:
− Subcontracting may only cover the implementation of a limited part of the action up to 50 % of the eligible costs.
− It must be justified having regard to the nature of the action and what is necessary for its implementation;
− The proposal should clearly identify the subcontracted activities
Subcontracting does not in any way limit the responsibility of beneficiaries for the implementation of the action. Please note that the beneficiary(ies) should have the necessary capacity to perform the project. Only tasks that are not core business can be sub-contracted to consultants.
It is not necessary to have already selected subcontractors at the time the proposal is submitted. However, cost of contractors not selected in accordance with the applicable rules for procurement will not be eligible.
4.5. FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO THIRD PARTIES
The applications may not envisage provision of financial support to third parties.
4.6. FINAL GRANT AND PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS
The draft grant agreement annexed to this call for proposals specifies the calculation of the final grant and the payment arrangements.
Your attention is in particular drawn to the General Conditions of the grant agreement, where the eligibility of costs is described. Detailed explanations and a description how costs should be budgeted and reported can be found in the Guide for Applicants.
EU grant may not have the purpose or effect of producing a profit within the framework of the action of the work programme of the beneficiary. Where a profit is made, the Commission is entitled to recover the percentage of the profit corresponding to the EU contribution to the eligible costs actually incurred. For this purpose, profit is defined as a surplus of the receipts over the eligible costs incurred by the beneficiary, when the request is made for payment of the balance. Where such a surplus occurs, the Commission is entitled to recover the percentage of the profit corresponding to the EU contribution to the eligible costs actually incurred by the beneficiary.
The Commission may require the beneficiary to lodge a guarantee for grants exceeding € 60 000, based on a risk analysis.
In the event that the applicant's financial capacity is not satisfactory, a pre-financing guarantee for up to the same amount as the pre-financing may be requested in order to limit the financial risks linked to the pre- financing payment.
The financial guarantee, in euro, shall be provided by an approved bank or financial institution established in one of the Member State of the European Union. When the beneficiary is established in a third country, the authorising officer responsible may agree that a bank or financial institution established in that third country may provide the guarantee if he considers that the bank or financial institution offers equivalent security and characteristics as those offered by a bank or financial institution established in a Member State. Amounts blocked in bank accounts shall not be accepted as financial guarantees.
The guarantee may be replaced by a joint and several guarantees by a third party or by a joint guarantee of the beneficiaries of an action who are parties to the same grant agreement.
APPLICATIONS MUST COMPLY WITH ALL OF THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA SET OUT IN THIS SECTION.
5.1. ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS
1. Applications from legal entities established in one of the following countries are eligible: • EU Member States.
(Proposals including an entity from a non EU Member State in the consortium will not be eligible).
For British applicants: Please be aware that eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, you will cease to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project on the basis of Article II.17.3.1 of the grant agreement.
Several applicants, submitting a joint proposal should choose within their midst a lead organisation, referred to as the coordinator. The coordinator and its partners must satisfy the same eligibility criteria.
Applications must be submitted by a legal persons.
The consortium (i.e. the coordinator plus its partners) must be composed of a minimum of three (3)
different legal entities located in at least three (3) Member States.
Eligible applicants (coordinator and partners in the consortium) are organisations that are active in supporting the economic and social integration of migrants and/or in supporting entrepreneurs. Such entities may include:
− Public authorities and public administrations (at the national, regional or city level);
− Chamber of commerce and industry and similar bodies;
− Business associations and business support networks;
− Business support organisations and incubators;
− NGOs, non-profit organisations, associations and foundations working with migrants;
− Education and training providers (public and private).
The participation of the same partner in more than one proposal is not permitted; proposals with a member that participates in more than one consortium submitting a project proposal are not eligible and will be excluded from the call. Therefore applicants are encouraged to take the necessary measures to ensure that their partners will not participate in more than one proposal.
Corporate bodies must be properly constituted and registered under the law. If a body or organisation is not constituted under the law, a physical person must be designated to provide the legal responsibility.
Legal entities having a legal or capital link with applicants, which is neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation, may take part in the action as affiliated entities, and may declare eligible costs. For that purpose, applicants shall identify such affiliated entities in the application form. The affiliated entities will have to comply with the eligibility and exclusion criteria.
Several entities that form together one entity, whether or not this entity is established for the purpose of implementing the action, may apply as a sole beneficiary. The entities will be considered as affiliated entities, which each will have to comply with eligibility, exclusion and selection criteria.
Subject to the eligibility criteria indicated above, the applicants should provide the following supporting documents to establish their eligibility:
− private entity: extract from the official journal, copy of articles of association, extract of trade or association register, certificate of liability to VAT (if, as in certain countries, the trade register number and VAT number are identical, only one of these documents is required);
− public entity: copy of the resolution or decision establishing the public company, or other official document establishing the public-law entity;
− consortium: in addition to the supporting documents referring to their legal status, consortium members will submit letters confirming their participation to the project;
− entities without legal personality: documents providing evidence that their representative(s) have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf.
5.2. ADMISSIBLE AND ELIGIBLE PROPOSALS
Applications must comply with the following conditions in order to be eligible for a grant:
− Applications must be sent no later than the deadline for submitting applications referred to in section 9.
− Applications must be submitted in writing, using the application form and the electronic submission system, as indicated in the Guide for Applicants.
− Applications must be drafted in one of the EU official languages. If your proposal is not in English, a translation of the full proposal would be of assistance to the evaluators. An English translation of an abstract may be included in the proposal (see Guide for Applicants).
− Proposals must be submitted in conformity with the call specifications.
− Only projects that are strictly non-profit-making and/or whose immediate objective is non-commercial
shall be eligible.
− Applications must respect the maximum rate for EU co-financing.
− Applications must respect the maximum amount for EU co-financing.
− Applications must respect the maximum duration of projects.
− Applications must respect the requirements set for the start date.
− Applications may not include contributions in kind as part of their co-financing
− Applications may not include financial support to third parties
Any project directly or indirectly contrary to EU policy or against public health, human rights, citizen’s security or freedom of expression will be rejected.
6. EXCLUSION CRITERIA
6.1. EXCLUSION FROM PARTICIPATION
An entity will be excluded from participating in the call for proposals procedure if :
(a) it is bankrupt, subject to insolvency or winding-up procedures, where its assets are being administered by a liquidator or by a court, where it is in an arrangement with creditors, where its business activities are suspended, or where it is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for under national laws or regulations;
(b) it has been established by a final judgment or a final administrative decision that the entity is in breach of its obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions in accordance with the law of the country in which it is established, with those of the country in which the contracting authority is located or those of the country of the performance of the contract;
(c) it has been established by a final judgment or a final administrative decision that the entity is guilty of grave professional misconduct by having violated applicable laws or regulations or ethical standards of the profession to which the applicant belongs, or by having engaged in any wrongful conduct which has an impact on its professional credibility where such conduct denotes wrongful intent or gross negligence, including, in particular, any of the following:
(i) fraudulently or negligently misrepresenting information required for the verification of the absence of grounds for exclusion or the fulfilment of selection criteria or in the performance of a contract;
(ii) entering into agreement with other entity with the aim of distorting competition; (iii) violating intellectual property rights;
(iv) attempting to influence the decision-making process of the contracting authority during the procurement procedure;
(v) attempting to obtain confidential information that may confer upon it undue advantages in the procurement procedure;
(d) it has been established by a final judgment that the entity is guilty of any of the following:
(i) fraud, within the meaning of Article 1 of the Convention on the protection of the European Communities' financial interests, drawn up by the Council Act of 26 July 1995;
(ii) corruption, as defined in Article 3 of the Convention on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of Member States of the European Union, drawn up by the Council Act of 26 May 1997, and in Article 2(1) of Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA, as well as corruption as defined in the law of the country where the contracting authority is located, the country in which the applicant is established or the country of the performance of the contract;
(iii) participation in a criminal organisation, as defined in Article 2 of Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA;
(iv) money laundering or terrorist financing, as defined in Article 1 of Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council;
(v) terrorist-related offences or offences linked to terrorist activities, as defined in Articles 1 and 3 of Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA, respectively, or inciting, aiding, abetting or attempting to commit such offences, as referred to in Article 4 of that Decision;
(vi) child labour or other forms of trafficking in human beings as defined in Article 2 of Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council;
(e) the entity has shown significant deficiencies in complying with main obligations in the performance of a contract financed by the budget, which has led to its early termination or to the application of liquidated damages or other contractual penalties, or which has been discovered following checks, audits or investigations by an authorising officer, OLAF or the Court of Auditors;
(f) it has been established by a final judgment or final administrative decision that the entity has committed an irregularity within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95.
The same exclusion criteria apply to affiliated entities.
6.2. EXCLUSION FROM AWARD
Grants will not be awarded to applicant who, in the course of the grant award procedure is: (a) is in a situation of exclusion established in accordance with Article 106 FR
(b) has misrepresented the information required as a condition for participating in the procurement procedure or has failed to supply that information;
(c) was previously involved in the preparation of procurement documents where this entails a distortion of competition that cannot be remedied otherwise.
The same exclusion criteria apply to affiliated entities.
6.3. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
Applicants must sign a declaration on their honour certifying that they are not in one of the situations referred to by filling in the “Exclusion Criteria Form” (form B4)
Administrative and financial penalties may be imposed on applicants, or affiliated entities where applicable, who are guilty of misrepresentation.
By using the “Exclusion Criteria Form” applicants shall declare on their honour that they are not in one of the situations referred to in Articles 106 and 107 of the Regulation (EC, Euratom) n° 966/2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (Financial Regulation, as amended).
Please note that administrative and financial penalties may be imposed by the Commission on applicants who are excluded in relation to points a) to g) of the form in question.
For grants with a value exceeding € 60 000, the Commission may require further evidence, as indicated in article 143 Rules of Application.
7.1. FINANCIAL CAPACITY
Applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the period during which the action is being carried out or the year for which the grant is awarded and to participate in its funding. The applicants' financial capacity will be assessed on the basis of the following supporting documents to be submitted with the application:
For grants < EUR 60 000:
− a declaration on honour
For grants ≥ EUR 60 000,
− a declaration on honour and,
− form B/5 provided for in the submission set, filled in with the relevant statutory accounting figures. Other documents may be submitted if needed (see IV.4 Guide to applicants)
Please note that the amount of EUR 60.000 refers to the total amount requested by all applicants taken together.
For grants for an action ≥ EUR 750 000 or operating grants ≥ EUR 100 000, in addition:
− an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying the accounts for the last financial year available.
In the case of affiliated entities forming together one sole applicant, the above requirements apply to each of the affiliated entity.
7.2. OPERATIONAL CAPACITY
Applicants must show they have the operational (technical and management) capacity to complete the operation to be supported and must demonstrate their capacity to manage scale activity corresponding to the size of the project for which the grant is requested. In particular, the team responsible for the project/operation must have adequate professional qualifications and experience.
In this respect, applicants have to submit a declaration on their honour and the following supporting documents:
− curriculum vitae or description of the profile of the people primarily responsible for managing and implementing the operation (accompanied where appropriate, like in the field of research and education, by a list of relevant publications);
− the organisations’ activity reports;
− an exhaustive list of previous projects and activities performed and connected to the policy field of a given call or to the actions to be carried out;
In the case of affiliated entities forming together a sole applicant, the above requirements apply to each affiliate entity. This obligation does not apply to secondary or higher education establishments. The selection procedure is described in further detail in the Guide for Applicants.
An evaluation of the quality of proposals, including the proposed budget, will be carried out in accordance with the evaluation criteria set out in annex 3 to this call for proposals.
The evaluation procedure is described in further detail in the Guide for Applicants.
9. SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
Please note that only electronic submissions are allowed for this call.
Please consult the Guide for Applicants for the modalities of preparing the proposal.
Submission of a grant application implies acceptance of the conditions of the grant agreement, attached to this call.
The deadline for submission of proposals is:
THURSDAY – 24/05/2018 [17.00:00 Brussels local time]
Contacts between the contracting authority and potential applicants can only take place in certain circumstances and under the following conditions only:
Before the final date for submission of proposals,
− At the request of the applicant, the Commission may provide additional information solely for the purpose of clarifying the nature of the call.
− Any requests for additional information must be made in writing only to the coordinates stated below.
− The Commission may, on its own initiative, inform interested parties of any error, inaccuracy,
omission or other clerical error in the text of the call for proposals.
− Any additional information including that referred to above will be published on the internet in concordance with the various call for proposals documents.
After the deadline for submission of proposals:
− If clarification is requested or if obvious clerical errors in the proposal need to be corrected, the Commission will contact the applicant provided the terms of the proposal are not modified as a result.
− If the authorising officer finds that proposals listed for award need limited adaptations, the applicants will receive a formal letter setting out the requested modifications. Any such modifications must stay within the limits of the request. This phase will not lead to a re-evaluation of the proposals, but a proposal might be rejected if the applicant does not wish to comply with the modifications requested.
Contact coordinates for the call:
Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Directorate F: Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing
Unit F2: Clusters, Social Economy and Entrepreneurship
E-mail address: GROW-CFP-17278-MIGRANTS@ec.europa.eu
Directorate-General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Directorate F: Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing
Office : N105 – 09/023 (Financial Team)
B-1049 Brussels, Belgium