Estonia – Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 logo

Estonia – Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme - 2nd Call for proposals
Deadline: 07 Mar 2018   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono Estonia – Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020

 Biodiversity
 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Health Care
 Environmental protection
 Smart Cities
 Cross-border cooperation
 Interregional cooperation
 Climate Sciences
 Business Development
 Migrants and Refugees

1. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROGRAMME BACKGROUND

The Estonia – Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme is co-financed by the European Union within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) and by Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation. Programme offers a single set of objectives as well as unified procedures for project application and implementation, applicable to institutions from both the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation.

The 2nd Call for proposals is solely announced and focused on specific area “Fostering shared actions in risk management and a readiness to cope with environmental disasters” within Thematic Objective 6.

Programme is expecting project applications to contribute to the fulfilment of the Programme's Result Indicator “A decrease of the overall number of land- and forest fires per year” and Programme's Output Indicator “Members of the population who benefit from forest fire protection measures”.

 

1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME

The 2nd Call for proposals solely applies for specific area “Fostering shared actions in risk management and a readiness to cope with environmental disasters” under Thematic Objective 6 (TO6) Environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Project applications within current specific area shall contribute to the fulfilment of the Programme's Result Indicator “A decrease of the overall number of land- and forest fires per year” and Programme's Output Indicator “Members of the population who benefit from forest fire protection measures”.

Three strategic objectives of the Programme are:
A- Promotion of economic and social development in regions on both sides of the common

borders;
B- Addressing common challenges in environment, public health, safety and security;
C- Promotion of better conditions and modalities for mobility of persons, goods and capital.

Strategic objectives are supported by four thematic objectives (TO)
- Business and SME development (strategic objective A, TO1)
- Promotion of border management and border security, mobility and migration management (strategic objective A,B,C, TO10)
- Environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation (strategic objective B, TO6)
- Support to local and regional good governance (strategic objective A,B,C, TO5)

 

The thematic objectives, in turn, aim at supporting specific areas within each strategic objective:
TO1 Business and SME development
-Increasing SME development and entrepreneurship by fostering cross-border business contacts and the development of services and products

-Increasing SME competitiveness and entrepreneurship by fostering cooperation between public, private and R&D sectors
-Improving the business environment through the development of business support measures and infrastructure

TO10 Promotion of border management and border security, mobility and migration management (only for Large Infrastructure Projects)
-Increasing the throughput capacity of existing border crossing points through the development of BCP infrastructure and border management procedures

-Increasing the throughput capacity of existing border crossing points by refurbishing and improving border crossing roads and supporting infrastructure
TO6 Environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation -Improving the biodiversity of joint natural assets

-Improving the quality of shared water assets by reducing their pollution load (including improving wastewater treatment facilities, improving solid (household and industrial) waste management and relevant facilities, and reducing pollution that is caused by the agricultural sector

-Increasing awareness of environmental protection and efficient use of energy resources -Fostering shared actions in risk management and a readiness to cope with environmental disasters
TO5 Support to local and regional good governance

-Improving cooperation between local and regional authorities and their sub-units -Improving cooperation between local and regional communities

The indicative list of supported actions is as followed: Under TO 1 Business and SME development:

- Cooperation between science parks, educational institutions, industrial parks, SMEs and public sector institutions (triple-helix cooperation) in order to foster innovation and modernisation;

- The development of cross-border business contacts and services-products (contact- meetings, fairs, and joint product development and marketing, including local/regional tourism products and services such as tourism routes);

- Support for the development of the creative industry and cultural tourism;

- Educational programmes for launching start-ups;

- Support services and infrastructure such as industrial parks, incubators, and clusters;

- Local/regional tourism objects and routes;

- Promoting entrepreneurship (start-ups or enterprise schools).

In tourism development, the focus should remain on local/regional tourism services, products, and destinations in order to increase the attractiveness of border areas.

Under TO 6 Environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation:

 

- An increasing readiness to eliminate pollution in the Baltic Sea and Lake Peipsi/Chudsko-Pskovskoe (in relation to equipment, joint activities, and reaction);

- Educational projects that are related to energy;

- Joint actions for improving rescue fire services and protecting forests:

- Reconstruction of waste water treatment plants;

- Increasing awareness in environmental protection;

- Joint actions to ensure the sustainability of the fishing industry;

- The design, construction, and reconstruction of solid waste recycling plants;

- The design, construction, and reconstruction of safe storage locations for solid household and industrial waste.

Under TO 5 Support to local and regional good governance:

- Education - cooperation between (vocational) schools in fields such as teaching methodology (including Russian language), and the development of curricula;

- Health - active life and recreation, rehabilitation;

- Social - youth services, employment, HIV/AIDS prevention.
Cooperation of local and regional communities in the following fields:
- Culture – the preservation and promotion of cultural and historical heritage on a municipal level;

- Sport – an exchange of know-how and contacts.

- Cooperation between local/regional administrations and their sub-units in order to increase change of experience in various fields such as e-services and joint planning.

For the 2nd Call for proposals Thematic objective 6 (TO6) specific area “Fostering shared actions in risk management and a readiness to cope with environmental disasters” is opened.

1.3 PROGRAMME AREA

The Programme area lies in the east of the Baltic Sea region and covers two distinct territories, namely the southern, northern, and eastern parts of Estonia and the north- western section of the Russian Federation, including the city of St Petersburg.

 

The Programme area includes the following NUTS III regions (the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) or their equivalents as core regions:

Estonia: Kirde-Eesti, Lõuna-Eesti, Kesk-Eesti

Russia: St Petersburg, Leningrad and Pskov regions

The Programme area includes the Põhja-Eesti region (including Tallinn) in Estonia as an adjoining region. Involvement of adjoining region is only allowed under Thematic Objectives 1 and 6.

1.4 PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT

Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC)

Managing Authority (MA)

is a decision making body responsible for ensuring effectiveness and quality of the Programme implementation. The JMC takes the final decision on projects to be supported and amounts granted to the projects. Members of the JMC are representatives from national and regional level partners from the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation.

is an executive body having overall responsibility for managing the Programme and implementing decisions taken by the JMC; body responsible for efficient and correct management and implementation of the Programme. The MA is signing Grant Contracts with the Lead beneficiaries of

 

2. CONDITION FOR FINANCING AND FINANCIAL ALLOCATION FOR 2ND CALL FOR PROPOSALS

According to the Article 39 of Implementing Rules:

1. Projects may receive financial contribution from a programme provided they meet all the following conditions:

(a)they deliver a clear cross-border cooperation impact and benefits as described in the programming document1 and demonstrate added value to Union strategies and programmes;

(b)they are implemented in the programme area; (c)they fall within one of the following categories:

(i)integrated projects where each beneficiary implements a part of the activities of the project on its own territory;

(ii)symmetrical projects where similar activities are implemented in parallel in the participating countries;

(iii)single-country projects where projects are implemented mainly or entirely in one of the participating countries but for the benefit of all or some of the participating countries and where cross-border impacts and benefits are identified.

2. programme area, provided that all the following conditions are met:

Projects meeting the criteria of paragraph 1 may be partially implemented outside the

(a)the projects are necessary for achieving the programme's objectives and they benefit the programme area;

(b)the total amount allocated under the programme to activities outside the programme area does not exceed 20 % of the Union contribution at programme (not project) level.

The overall indicative amount made available from the Programme for the 2nd Call for proposals is EUR 870 000. The minimum amount of the grant to the project is EUR 50 000 and the maximum amount of the grant to the project is EUR 400 000. The Joint Monitoring Committee may decrease the maximum sum allocated to projects based on the assessment results of project applications.

 

3. OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

The official working language of the Programme is English. The Summary Form and Full Application Forms shall be submitted in English, Grant Contracts shall be concluded in English, all official documentation and communication related to the preparation and implementation of projects should be in English. Interpretation and translation costs foreseen during the project implementation can be included in the budget of the project.

 

4. ELIGIBILITY OF THE APPLICANT AND THE PROJECT PARTNER(S)

4.1 The following bodies which are established and have their legal address in the Programme area can act as applicants:

 

  1. National,regionalandlocalpublicauthorities;

  2. Associations that are formed by one or more national, regional or local authorities;

  3. Publicequivalentbodies(anylegalbodythatisgovernedbypublicorprivatelegal requirements), which have been established for the specific purpose of meeting any needs that are in the general interest, and which do not have an industrial or commercial character, but which do have a legal personality, and are financed by national, regional, or local authorities;

  4. Other bodies that are governed by public legal acts, or which are subject to management supervision by those bodies, or which have an administrative, managerial or supervisory board more than half of whose members are appointed by national, regional, or local authorities, or by other bodies which are governed by public legal acts (such as, for example, municipal and national enterprises, trade unions, medical institutions, museums, etc.);

  5. Associationsthatareformedbyoneormorebodieswhicharegovernedbypublic legal acts as defined under point 3 above;

  6. NGOsandothernon-profit-makingbodies;

  7. Educational organisations (schools, preschool institutions, vocational schools, colleges, institutes, or universities);

4.2 The same bodies as listed in point 4.1, which are established and have their legal address in the Programme area can act as project partners and beneficiaries

4.3 The applicant and the project partner(s) must not be in any of the situations listed below:

(a) they are bankrupt or being wound up, are having their affairs administered by the courts, have entered into an arrangement with creditors, have suspended business activities, are the subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or are in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations;

(b) they or persons having powers of representation, decision making or control over them have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a judgment of a competent authority of a Member State which has the force of res judicata;

(c) they have been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the managing authority can justify including by decisions of the EIB and international organisations;

(d) they are not in compliance with their obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or the payment of taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established or with those of the country of the contracting authority or those of the country where the contract is to be performed;

(e) they or persons having powers of representation, decision making or control over them have been the subject of a judgment which has the force of res judicata for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity, where such illegal activity is detrimental to the Union's financial interests;

(f) they are subject to an administrative penalty referred to in Article 109(1) of EURATOM:

- are guilty of misrepresenting the information required by the managing authority as a condition of participation in the procurement procedure or fail to supply that information;

- contractors who have been declared to be in serious breach of their obligations under contracts covered by the budget.

Points (b) and (e) shall not apply where the applicants or partner(s) can demonstrate that adequate measures have been adopted against the persons having powers of representation, decision making or control over them, who are subject to a judgement as referred to in points (b) or (e).

The following are not the project partners (later beneficiaries) and do not have to sign the Partner Statement but have specific and important role in the implementation of the project:

 

1) associates;

Associates can be involved in the project implementation if they play a real role in the project. Associates may not receive funding from the grant with the exception of daily allowances, accommodation, subsistence and travel costs. Associates do not have to meet the eligibility criteria referred to in point 4 of the Guidelines. The associates have to be mentioned in the Project Summary Form and Full Application Form and they have to sign the Letter of Endorsement by the Associates.

2) subcontractors;

The Lead beneficiaries and the beneficiaries have the possibility to award contracts to subcontractors. Subcontractors are neither beneficiaries nor associates, and are subject to the procurement rules set out in the Guidelines.

 

5. PARTNERSHIP REQUIREMENT

The Programme will finance activities within the projects which have (is aimed to keep) a purely cross border character and involve at least two beneficiaries (the applicant and at least one project partner), of whom at least one beneficiary shall be from the Republic of Estonia and at least one beneficiary from the Russian Federation. Please note the Programme area requirements as defined in point 1.3 of these Guidelines and eligibility requirements in point 4 of these Guidelines.

Partners from Latvia and Finland can participate in the Projects as associates and may receive the daily allowances, accommodation, subsistence and travel costs. Additionally associates from Latvia and Finland may be reimbursed for costs paid for external expertise procured for the project needs during project implementation.

The added value could be in circumstances such as the involvement of counterparts from Latvia developing existing trilateral cooperation schemes between the South Estonia (EE), Pskov (RU) and Vidzeme (LV) regions which can be fostered within the framework of previous cooperation programmes, especially the Estonia-Latvia-Russia ENPI CBC Programme 2007-2013.

The involvement of associates from Finland and Latvia has to be specified and justified at the project level in the Project Summary Form as well in Full Application Forms. Their involvement has to be essential when it comes to achieving the specific project objectives in the Programme’s core eligible area and has to be a key to ensuring the sustainability of actions taken in the Programme’s core eligible area.

 

 

6. DURATION OF THE PROJECT

The maximum project duration is 24 months for projects not exceeding 200 000 EUR and up to 36 months2 for projects exceeding 200 000 EUR. It is recommended to reserve up to 3 months in the end of the project for compiling reports. The activities of the project must be finished on 31 December 2022 at the latest.

 

7. ELIGIBILITY OF COSTS

Only eligible costs shall be taken into account for a grant. The categories of costs considered as eligible and non-eligible are indicated in point 7.3. Note that the eligible costs must be based on real costs3 and backed by supporting documents during the project implementation.

7.1 THE 3E ISSUES IN THE PROJECT BUDGET

The project budget has to be in line with the principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

The principle of economy requires that the resources used by the institution for the pursuit of its activities shall be made in due time, in appropriate quantity and quality and at the best price.

The principle of efficiency is concerned with the best relationship between resources employed and results achieved.

The principle of effectiveness is concerned with attaining the specific objectives set and achieving the intended results.

7.2 CO-FINANCING RATE

Not less than 10% of the total eligible costs of the project are the Lead beneficiaries’ and the beneficiaries own contribution to the project and must be financed from their resources or from sources other than the Programme budget. Please note that every beneficiary has to co-finance the project with at least 10% contribution of their own part of the project budget. The co-financing sources shall come from source other that the European Union.

Treatment of State aid for Estonian beneficiaries, including thresholds and support rates are provided in relevant State aid regulations and described further more in the State aid Guidelines. Please note that in case of State aid the Estonian beneficiaries co-financing rate could be more than previously described 10%.

 

7.3 ELIGIBLE COSTS

7.3.1 ELIGIBLE COSTS ARE COSTS ACTUALLY INCURRED BY THE BENEFICIARY WHICH MEET ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA4:

(a) they are incurred during the implementation5 period of the project. In particular:

(i) costs relating to services and works shall relate to activities performed during the implementation period. Costs relating to supplies shall relate to delivery and installation of items during the implementation period. Signature of a contract, placing of an order, or entering into any commitment for expenditure within the implementation period for future delivery of services, works or supplies after expiry of the implementation period do not meet this requirement; cash transfers between the lead beneficiary and the other beneficiaries may not be considered as costs incurred;

(ii) costs incurred should be paid before the submission of the final reports.

(iii) an exception is made for costs relating to final reports, including expenditure verification, which may be incurred after the implementation period of the project;

(iv) procedures to award contracts, as referred to in Article 52 of Implementing Rules and following, may have been initiated and contracts may be concluded by the beneficiary(ies) before the start of the implementation period of the project, provided the provisions of Article 52 and following have been respected;6

(b) they are indicated in the project's estimated overall budget;

(c) they are necessary for the project implementation;

(d) they are identifiable and verifiable, in particular being recorded in the accounting records of the beneficiary and determined according to the accounting standards and the usual cost accounting practices applicable to the beneficiary;

(e) they comply with the requirements of applicable tax and social legislation;

(f) they are reasonable, justified, and comply with the requirements of sound financial management, in particular regarding economy and efficiency;

(g) they are supported by invoices or documents of equivalent probative value.

7.3.2 THEFOLLOWINGDIRECTCOSTSOFTHEBENEFICIARYSHALLBEELIGIBLE:

(a) the costs of staff assigned to the project under the following cumulative conditions:

—they relate to the costs of activities which the beneficiary would not carry out if the project was not undertaken,

—they must not exceed those normally borne by the beneficiary unless it is demonstrated that this is essential to carry out the project,

—they relate to actual gross salaries including social security charges and other remuneration-related costs;

 

(b) travel and subsistence costs of staff and other persons taking part in the project, provided they exceed neither the costs normally paid by the beneficiary according to its rules and regulations nor the rates published by the Commission at the time of the mission if reimbursed on the basis of lump sums, unit costs or flat rate financing;

(c) purchase or rental costs for equipment (new or used) and supplies specifically for the purpose of the project, provided they correspond to market prices;

(d) the cost of consumables specifically purchased for the project;

(e) costs entailed by contracts awarded by the beneficiaries for the purposes of the project;

(f) costs deriving directly from requirements imposed by the Implementing Rules and the project (such as information and visibility operations, evaluations, external audits, translations) including financial service costs (such as costs of bank transfers and financial guarantees).

To allow the preparation of strong partnerships, costs incurred before submission of the Project Summary Form by projects to which a grant has been awarded are eligible in amount of lump sum of 1 000 EUR.

Only awarded projects will be able to claim the reimbursement of the costs incurred before submission of the Project Summary Form (described above).The applicant must clearly indicate these costs in the Project Summary Form and in the project Full Application Form.

7.3.3 NON-ELIGIBLE COSTS

The following costs of the Beneficiaries are not eligible7:

  • debts and debt service charges (interest); provisions for losses or liabilities;
  • costs declared by the beneficiary and already financed by the Union budget and/or international funds budget;
  • purchases of land or buildings for an amount exceeding 10 % of the eligible expenditure of the project concerned;
  • exchange-rate losses;
  • duties, taxes and charges, including VAT, except where non-recoverable under the relevant national tax legislation, unless otherwise provided in appropriate provisions negotiated with Russian Federation in accordance with the Financing Agreement;
  • loans to third parties;
  • fines, financial penalties and expenses of litigation;
  • contributions in kind.

8. IDENTIFICATION AND SELECTION OF APPLICATIONS OF 2nd Call FOR PROPOSALS

The 2nd Call for proposals is opened for a predefined period of time. The concrete deadlines of the call will be provided on the Programme`s homepage www.estoniarussia.eu.

Identification and selection procedure consists of 2 steps:
1. Submission and assessment of the Project Summary Form

2. Submission and assessment of the Full Application Form

Only those projects, which successfully pass the Project Summary Form step will be invited to submit the Full Application Form.

The applications of the 2nd Call for proposals are evaluated by the Selection Committee with the assistance of the MA/JTS and approved by the JMC. If necessary, additional specific expertise will be engaged. All projects submitted by the applicants are checked according to the following steps and criteria:

 

8.1 STEP 1: SUBMISSION OF PROJECT SUMMARY FORM

8.1.1 CONTENT OF THE PROJECT SUMMARY FORM

The Project Summary Form consists (but not limited) of the following information:

1. an analysis of the problems and needs justifying the project, taking into account the Programme strategy;

2. an assessment of its cross-border impact;

  1. an assessments of the sustainability of the project’s expected results after project’s completion;

  2. objectively verifiable indicators (output indicator - Members of the population who benefit from forest fire protection measures (target: 20% of the Programme are), result indicators – A decrease of the overall number of land- and forest fires per year );

  3. information on the geographic coverage and target groups of the project;

  4. the expected project implementation period;

  5. identification and justification of the beneficiaries (partners) and designation of the lead beneficiary (applicant), description of its competence and experience, as well its administrative and financial management capacity;

  6. indicative budget per partner, per budget headings, etc. ;

  7. short description of the infrastructure investment and its location (if applicable).

8.1.2 HOW TO APPLY AND THE PROCEDURES TO FOLLOW

Applicant in cooperation with its project partners shall prepare a Project Summary Form and submit it to the JTS electronically via electronical monitoring system (eMS).
Detailed instructions on how to fill in the Project Summary Form are provided in the Form itself in eMS.

 

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