1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND
1.1. Programme/Legal Basis
This call for proposals is published under REGULATION (EU) No 1296/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on a European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation ("EaSI")1 and amending Decision No 283/2010/EU establishing a European Progress Microfinance Facility for employment and social inclusion.
The European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation "EaSI" 2014-20202 is a European-level financing instrument managed directly by the European Commission to contribute to the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy, by providing financial support for the Union's objectives in terms of promoting a high level of quality and sustainable employment, guaranteeing adequate and decent social protection, combating social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions.
The EaSI Programme shall, in all its axes and actions, aim to:
(a) pay particular attention to vulnerable groups, such as young people,
(b) promote equality between women and men,
(c) combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation;
(d) promote a high-level of quality and sustainable employment, guarantee adequate and decent social protection, combat long-term unemployment and fight against poverty and social exclusion.
Hence, in designing, implementing and reporting on the activity, beneficiaries/contractors must address the issues noted above and will be required to provide detail, in the final activity report on the steps and achievements made towards addressing those aims.
The 2019 EaSI work programme3, acting as financing decision, was adopted by the Commission on 25 October 2018
The EURES axis: promoting workers' geographical mobility and boosting employment opportunities
The EURES axis of the EaSI programme has the following general objectives:
Transparency of job vacancies, applications and any related information for jobseekers, workers and employers;
Development of services for the recruitment and placing of workers in employment;
The EURES axis may be used to finance actions to promote voluntary mobility of
individuals in the Union, on a fair basis, and to remove mobility obstacles.
The EURES axis under the EaSI programme contributes to the implementation of the objectives of EURES, as laid down in the EURES Regulation4. Consequently, this call for proposals will support the development of the EURES network and its activities in line with the standards and procedures established in this Regulation.
1.2. Policy and general background
EURES was launched in 1994 in order to contribute to the good functioning of the European labour market by facilitating freedom of movement for the workers within the Union (one of the rights of the EU citizen as set out in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) and by reducing bottlenecks on the European labour market.
EURES aims to improve labour market transparency by making sure that job vacancies and applications, and any related information are transparent for the potential applicants and theemployers through their exchange and dissemination at transnational, interregional and cross-border level.
The general aim of this Call for Proposals is to support Member States to comply with the obligation to establish an inventory to map their national, regional and sectoral classification to and from the European classification as stipulated in Article 19 of Regulation (EU) 2016/589 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 April 2016 on a European network of employment services (EURES), workers' access to mobility services and the further integration of labour markets.
EURES overall structure
The network is composed of the European Coordination Office (ECO), the National Coordination Offices (NCOs) and EURES members and partners. The latter may include public employment services (PES), private employment services (PRES), trade unions, employers' organisations and other relevant actors in the labour market.
The network includes around 1000 EURES advisers working on transnational and cross-border mobility issues in cooperation with other EURES staff (managers, advisors and other staff involved in delivery of EURES services). The human network is complemented by the EURES Portal providing access to job vacancies, a CV online database and user-friendly means of accessing comprehensive information needed for employers, jobseekers and job changers willing to recruit/be recruited from abroad.
Currently, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL) is responsible for co-ordinating and supporting the EURES network, acting as the European Coordination Office (ECO).
Besides ECO, a key role in the network is played by the National Coordination Offices (NCO's), designated by the Member States and responsible for the organisation of the work relating to the EURES network in their respective country, including ensuring a coordinated transfer of job vacancies and CVs to the EURES portal.
The main legal basis of EURES consists of Regulation (EU) 2016/589 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 April 2016 on a European network of employment services (EURES), workers' access to mobility services and the further integration of labour markets. This Regulation is complemented by several implementing decisions such as:
- Implementing decision (EU) 2018/170 of 2 February 2018 on uniform detailed specifications for data collection and analysis to monitor and evaluate the functioning of the EURES network.
- Implementing decision (EU) 2017/1256 of 11 July 2017 on templates and procedures for the exchange of information on the EURES network national work programmes at Union level.
- Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/1255 of 11 July 2017 on a template for the description of national systems and procedures to admit organisations to become EURES Members and Partners.
- Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/1257 of 11 July 2017 on the technical standards and formats required for a uniform system to enable matching of job vacancies with job applications and CVs on the EURES portal
- Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/1020 of 18 July 2018 on the adoption and updating of the list of skills, competences and occupations of the European classification for the purpose of automated matching through the EURES common IT platform
Additionally, the Commission has presented a proposal for a European Labour Authority5, to strengthen cooperation between labour market authorities at all levels and better manage cross-border situations. The establishment of a European Labour Authority should contribute to ensuring fairness in the single market. In the Commission's proposal, the EURES European Coordination Office and its respective tasks as defined by Regulation (EU) 2016/568 are to be managed by the Authority.
2. OBJECTIVES, TYPES OF ACTION AND EXPECTED OUTPUTS
2.1. General objectives
This call intends to support Member States to comply with the obligations under Article 19 of Regulation (EU) 2016/568 by either
establishing an inventory to map their national, regional and sectoral classifications to and from the European classification in order to maintain these classifications interoperable, or
replacing their national classifications with the European classification.
Regulation (EU) 2016/589 establishes a common IT platform to bring together job vacancies, and job applications and CVs (job seeker profiles) in the European Union. To enable the matching of job vacancies with job applications and job seeker profiles, the information must be exchanged according to a uniform system, within the meaning of Article 17 of Regulation (EU) 2016/589, based on common technical standards and formats. For the purpose of a high quality multilingual matching on the common IT platform, Article 19 of Regulation (EU) 2016/589 provides for the use of a European classification of skills, competences and occupations.
Member States who choose not to use the European classification in their national systems for job vacancies and job seeker profiles connected to the single coordinated channel, within the meaning of Article 18 of Regulation (EU) 2016/589, must make a mapping between the classifications used by those systems and the European classification to allow interoperability. The mapping between national, regional or sectoral classifications and the European classification requires the establishment and regular updating of inventories and tables for mapping.
To facilitate the establishment and updating of such mapping inventories and tables and the subsequent exchange of information based on the mapping the Commission has provided the necessary technical standards and formats and the appropriate technical applications to support it.
Mapping to ESCO v.1 as the European Classification
Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/1020, establishes the European Classification, referred to in Article 19 of Regulation (EU) 2016/589, as the version of the list of occupations, skills and competences of ESCO published on 28 July 2017. When, in the text of this call for proposals, reference is made to ESCO, it refers to this version (ESCO v.1) adopted as the European Classification and not to ESCO in general, unless specifically stated otherwise.
The entry into force of Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/1020 on 7 August 2018 triggered the obligation of Member States to either adopt the European Classification or to map their national classifications to it within three years (i.e. by 7 August 2021) i, as provided for in Article 19 (3) of Regulation (EU) 2016/589.
"Mapping" or "thesaurus alignment" refers to the process of creating a correspondence table between two classifications. The resulting "mapping" or "correspondence table" indicates for each concept in one classification the corresponding concept(s) in the other classification.
For the purpose of this call for proposals and its expected outputs, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) ‘mapping tables’ means machine-readable correspondence tables that express how concepts in one classification relate to one or more concepts in another classification. Mapping tables are used for automatic transcoding of information for the purpose of automated matching through the common IT platform;
(b) ‘machine-readable’ means that information is presented in a format that can be easily processed by a computer;
(c) ‘transcoding’ means the process of converting information from one form of coded representation to another;
(d) ‘syntax’ means the rules and arrangements for the presentation of information in a structured way;
(e) ‘ESCO service platform’ means the website on which the Commission makes the classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations available and which is publicly accessible6.
Support to Member States
The Commission has put in place several measures to support Member States in establishing an inventory to map their national, regional and sectoral classification to and from the European classification or to replace national classifications with the European classification. Neither the technical assistance nor the training offer includes any element of direct guidance on how to submit a proposal under this call for proposals.
The technical assistance and training offer are free of charge for participants; related costs are not eligible under this call for proposals.
a) Technical assistance for mapping to/replacement by the European Classification purposes in accordance with the EURES Regulation
This technical support includes the following measures:
• A central European IT platform that allows Member States to create, update and manage different versions of mappings, and publish correspondence tables (mappings). In short, the platform serves as an enabling infrastructure to map other classifications to ESCO. It allows concepts from one classification to be manually mapped to concepts from another. It includes advanced search options, automatic mapping suggestions and a user-friendly interface. Member States wishing to benefit from the mapping platform services should contact the Commission.
• A user manual of the mapping (management) platform, explaining the functionalities of the interface and including instructions on how to use it. This user manual will be available for download soon on the ESCO Portal.
• An implementation manual explaining how ESCO can be implemented for the EURES Regulation, which can be used as a step-by-step guide for mapping national occupational and skills/competences classifications to ESCO or replacing them with ESCO.
• A central European contact point (ESCO Helpdesk7) to clarify difficult/ambiguous technical questions.
b) Training offer
The training offer will take three different formats:
1. Under the EURES training programme classroom training targeted specifically at the national experts in charge of the mapping process will be organised in Brussels, probably in Q2 2019.
2. Technical webinars between the MS and the ESCO technical team. These webinars will target specifically the national experts in charge of the mapping process. The Commission will organize these webinars at a regular basis and as long as there is a demand from Member States to attend them.
3. Ad-hoc country visits to Member States by the ESCO technical team can be organised if during the mapping process MS face technical problems that cannot be solved by the other technical support tools.
The Commission would encourage that Member States make the most use of the above-mentioned technical assistance and training offers that should facilitate submitting a high-quality application under the call for proposals. Further information can be requested at the ESCO helpdesk.
2.2. Specific objectives
The specific objectives of this call for proposals are the following:
a) To support Member States, EURES members and partners to establish high- quality mapping-tables allowing for matching job vacancies and CVs in the European Job Mobility Portal
b) To promote cooperation among national and European EURES network members and partners in developing high-quality mapping tables
c) To increase the usage and dissemination of the European classification by either adopting parts or the entire classification.
2.3. Types of action
The following two mutually excluding actions may be co-financed:
2.3.1. Action A: Produce mapping tables
This action is about keeping the national classification but cross-referencing it to the ESCO concepts and apply the 7-step process (as described in the ESCO implementation manual). The expected output is that mapping tables are available and that knowledge is available to maintain them regularly.
The 7 steps of the process described in the ESCO implementation manual are: a) Set up the teams and workflow;
b) Develop supporting material;
c) Map concepts: compare the NOC/NSC data model with the ESCO data model;
d) Establish the mapping relations (accompanied by examples of mapping cases and how to treat them)
e) Review the mapping results;
f) Publish the mapping tables;
g) Maintain the mapping tables.
In general, two main types of classifications need to be mapped to the European Classification:
Classifications that group similar jobs together and are used when registering information on job vacancies and CVs in EURES. Typically, such classifications refer to the grouping of jobs as ‘occupations’, ‘professions’, ‘job titles’, ‘job sheets’, ‘job roles’, ‘job groups’ or similar terms. These should be mapped to the occupations pillar of the European Classification.
2.3.2. Action B: Adopting ESCO, the European Classification:
Article 19(4) of the EURES Regulation states that ‘Member States may choose to replace their national classifications with the European classification, once completed, or maintain their interoperable national classification systems’. ESCO allows information about job vacancies, candidate profiles, CVs, straining opportunities and career pathways to be exchanged. By facilitating these exchanges, ESCO can help to improve the matching of people to jobs, skills development and labour market intelligence
The three different options that a Member State can consider when it comes to adopting ESCO are as follows:
Building a new system using ESCO
Replacing ISCO in existing job matching systems with ESCO
Building a new system using ESCO
Member States with no national classification can decide to build a new system from scratch using the ESCO classification. They can benefit from the added value that ESCO brings and from the fact that it is a system managed by the Commission and available free of charge.
Replacing ISCO in existing job matching systems with ESCO
ISCO8 has been developed mainly for statistical purposes. It is not necessarily the best choice to support other labour market services like precise job-matching, creation of CVs or e-profiles and skills assessment tools,
In ESCO, each occupation is linked (mapped) to exactly one ISCO-08 code. ISCO-08 is used as a hierarchical structure for the occupations pillar. ISCO-08 provides the top four levels for the occupations pillar, while ESCO occupations are located at level five and lower. ESCO ensures backward compatibility. As ESCO is mapped to ISCO, all the historical data records (tagged with ISCO-08) can still be processed with the ESCO classification.
Replacing a national classification with ESCO
Member States can decide to replace their national classification with ESCO in the following cases:
when the classification is outdated or not fit for purpose;
when their national classification is not widely used;
when their national classification does not include a lot of meta information;
when their national classification is not linked to National Qualification Standards;
when the costs of maintaining a national classification are higher than the costs of adopting ESCO.
Technical support for adopting ESCO
Applicants wanting to implement ESCO can do it via the API or by downloading the classification and integrating it into their systems.
I. Adopting ESCO by using API
Two different types of APIs are offered:
The ESCO Web Services API is designed to support interoperable machine-to-
machine interaction over the internet and provides applications with access to
the different versions of the ESCO classification.
The ESCO Local API, which can be easily installed on the user’s machines and was released in 2018
A user manual is available on the ESCO portal, which contains the necessary information needed to access the ESCO data9
Downloading ESCO from the ESCO Portal10
ESCO is available in two different structured formats: Comma-separated values (CSV) and Terse RDF Triple Language (TURTL).
Implementing ESCO within systems is described in details in Part III Chapter 2 Implementing ESCO within systems in the ESCO Handbook11
2.3.3. Common aspects for both action A and action B
The different steps can be carried out by internal staff or can be outsourced.
Purchase of IT equipment is not an eligible cost.
The actions include as well an external dimension, for example sharing the new or adapted national classification, the mapping tables or the migration/development experience with other Member States, and implement learnings/good practices from other Member States.
2.4. Expected results - requirements
The scope of this call for proposals is to support actions that help Member States to comply with their obligation under Regulation (EU) 2016/589.
There are two possible actions: a) Produce a mapping table, and b) Adopting ESCO, the European Classification that should enable Member States to transfer to the European Job Mobility Portal all job vacancies and CVs transferred with the appropriate occupation codes (ISCO or ESCO) and skill codes (ESCO) to allow for proper matching on the Portal.
The proposals must therefore include:
a) clearly defined tangible deliverables to be produced as the final output of the action (mapping tables and/or a new or adapted national classification that are suitable for sustained use and
b) a work plan for achieving these deliverables clearly describing the methodology, the work packages step by step, the time line, the contingency plan, etc.
At final report stage, the awarded applicants will be required to provide details about the deliverables produced, including a clear indication of the time from which on the transfer of job vacancies or CVs to the European Job Mobility Portal will be done in line with the appropriate technical standards.
Single or lead applicants shall monitor the action and make data available.
The Commission, with the support of an external contractor, will monitor regularly the EaSI Programme. Therefore, beneficiaries will have to transmit qualitative and quantitative monitoring data on the results of the activities. These will include the extent to which the principles of equality between women and men has been applied, as well as how anti-discrimination considerations, including accessibility issues, have been addressed through the activities. Related templates are attached or will be provided.
In setting up the action, beneficiaries must foresee the necessary funding for monitoring and reporting to the Commission. For events, it is important to get from participants their specific consent by a statement or by a clear affirmative action for processing and transferring their personal data including to an external contractor responsible for the monitoring of the EaSI programme. Beneficiaries/contractors should therefore inform all participants via a Privacy Statement that is not only published online, but is also provided individually to each participant (e.g. as part of the email where the beneficiary/contractor first contacts the individual concerned) that the Commission/external contractor would be processing their personal data. Beneficiaries shall be able to demonstrate that consent was obtained subject to conditions of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data (i.e. keep a record that shows how the consent was obtained and whether it was valid) and Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data.
Moreover, the reporting of the activities co-financed must contribute, wherever appropriate, to the exchange of information between Member States and to the EURES programming cycle in accordance with chapter V of the EURES Regulation.
a) Publication of the call
15 March 2019
b) Deadline for submitting proposals (reference to the date of sending)
20 May 2019
Swim, Courier and Post : 24:00 Brussels' time (CET)
Hand deliveries 16:00 Brussels' time (CET)
c) Deadline for questions and requests for clarification
03 May 2019
24:00 Brussels' time (CET)
d) Evaluation period (indicative)
e) Information to applicants (indicative)
f) Signature of the grant agreement (indicative)
g) Starting date of the action
At the latest from 1 January 2020.
3.1. Starting date and duration of the projects
The actual starting date of the action will either be the first day following the date when the last of the two parties signs the grant agreement, the first day of the month following the date when the last of the two parties signs or a date agreed upon between the parties.
Applicants should note that if their project is selected, they may receive the grant agreement after the start date of the action that they have indicatively set in the application form. It is therefore advisable to number the months in the work programme instead of indicating the name of the month.
Any expenditure incurred before the signature of the Grant Agreement will be at the applicant’s risk. No expenditure can be incurred before the date of submission of the application.
An action grant may be awarded for an action that has already begun only where the applicant can demonstrate in the grant application the need to start the action before the grand agreement is signed.
The project's duration should indicatively be between twelve (12) months and eighteen (18) months. The action shall start at the latest from 1 January 2020.
4. AVAILABLE BUDGET AND CO-FINANCING RATE
4.1. Available budget
The total budget earmarked for the EU co-financing of projects under this call is estimated at EUR 4,500,000.
The Commission expects to award grants to EURES member organisations in all EU Member States, Iceland or Norway, in accordance with the EEA Agreement.
Applicants can only submit proposals under either action A - Produce mapping tables or under action B - Adopting ESCO, the European Classification. Proposals requested grants for both actions are not eligible.
Proposals under action a) Produce mapping tables can receive a maximum grant of EUR 100.000.
Proposals under action b) Adopting ESCO, the European Classification can receive a maximum grant of EUR 300.000.
The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available or to increase the budget if additional funds may be made available.
4.2. Co-financing rate
Under this call for proposals, the EU grant may not exceed 80.00 % of the total eligible costs of the action. The applicants must guarantee their co-financing of the
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Call for proposals VP/2019/010
remaining amount covered by the applicants' own resources or from other sources other than the European Union budget12.
5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
- Applications must be sent no later than the deadline for submission referred to in section 3(b)
Failure to comply with the above requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.
Applicants are encouraged to submit their project proposal in English, in order to facilitate the treatment of the proposals and speed up the evaluation process. It should be noted, however, that proposals submitted in any of the official languages of the EU will be accepted. In this case, applications should be accompanied by an executive summary in English (see section 15, checklist point 2).
6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
6.1. Eligibility of the applicants (lead and co-applicants) and affiliated entities13
Please be aware that eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant.
For British Applicants: please be aware that the project has to comply with the eligibility criteria for the entire duration of the grant agreement. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU, ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, British beneficiaries will cease to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project on the basis of Article II.7.2.1(a) for mono-beneficiary and Article II.17.3.1(a) for multi-beneficiary Grant Agreements.
a) Place of establishment
Legal entities properly constituted and registered in one of the EU Member States, Iceland or Norway, in accordance with the EEA Agreement.
b) Type of entities
12 Letters of commitment are required from any third party providing financial contributions to the eligible costs of the action (see section 15, checklist point 4).
13 See section 2 of the Financial Guidelines for definitions.
To be eligible, lead applicants and co-applicants, and affiliated entities, if any, must fall in one of the following categories:
legal persons properly constituted and registered in one of the EU Member States, Iceland or Norway, in accordance with the EEA Agreement;
EURES member organisations (i.e. National Coordination Offices, EURES Members and EURES Partners), or
Lead applicants and co-applicants that are neither admitted as EURES National Coordination Offices nor as EURES members must present a letter signed by the relevant national authority, the EURES National Coordination office, officially designating them to carry out action a) Produce mapping tables or b) Adopting ESCO, and therefore applying under this call for proposals14.
Proposals may be submitted by one applicant or a consortium (lead applicant and co- applicant).
If a proposal submitted by one applicant is not considered to be eligible, the application will be rejected.
In the case of consortia: If the lead applicant is not considered to be eligible, the application will be rejected.
If a co-applicant is considered not to be eligible, this organisation will be removed from the consortium and the eligibility of the modified consortium will be re-evaluated. In addition, the costs that are allocated to a non-eligible co-applicant will be removed from the budget. If the modified consortium is still eligible, the application will be evaluated on that basis. If the application is selected for funding, the work plan will have to be adapted as appropriate.
d) Affiliated entities
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 and which satisfy the eligibility criteria, 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.
6.2. Eligible activities
a) Geographical Location
14 See section 15, checklist, point 6.
15 Letters of mandate, authorising the lead applicant to submit the proposal and to sign any Grant
Agreement on their behalf must be submitted from each co-applicant (see section 15, checklist, point 5).
Activities must be carried out in at least one of the EU Member States, Iceland or Norway, in accordance with the EEA Agreement.
b) Types of activities
The grant will finance the activities indicated in section 2.3.
c) Core activities
The following activities are considered to be core activities and may not be subcontracted:
6.3. Ineligible activities
Financial support to third parties as defined in point 3 of the Financial Guidelines is not eligible under this call.
7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA
Applicant(s) (single applicant or lead applicant and each co-applicant) must sign a declaration on their honour signed in their name [(and on behalf of the affiliated entities, should they be part of the application)], certifying that they are not in one of the situations referred to in article 136 and 141 of the Financial Regulation concerning exclusion and rejection from the procedure respectively, using the relevant form attached to the application form available at https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/swim/external/displayWelcome.do.
7.2 Rejection from the call for proposals
The Commission shall not award a grant to an applicant organisation which:
a. is in an exclusion situation established in accordance with Article 136 FR; or;
b. has misrepresented the information required as a condition for participating in the procedure or has failed to supply this information; or
c. was previously involved in the preparation of call documents used in the award procedure where this entails breach of the principle of equality of treatment, including a distortion of competition that cannot be remedied otherwise.
The same exclusion criteria apply to any affiliated entities that must, therefore, be included in the above-mentioned declaration(s).
Administrative sanctions may be imposed on applicants, or affiliated entities where applicable, who are guilty of misrepresentation, if any of the declarations or information provided as a condition for participating in this procedure prove to be false.
8. SELECTION CRITERIA
The applicant (single, lead and each co-applicant) must have the financial and operational capacity to complete the activity for which funding is requested. Only organisations with the necessary financial and operational capacity may be considered for a grant.
8.1. Financial capacity
The single applicant or lead applicant and each co-applicant must have access to solid funding (i.e. be considered as having a strong financial capacity) to maintain its/their activities for the period of the action and to help finance it as necessary.
The verification of financial capacity will not apply to public bodies.
The applicant's (single, lead and each co-applicant's) financial capacity will be assessed on the basis of the following supporting documents to be submitted with the application:
a) Low value grants (≤ EUR 60 000): Declaration on honour only.
The Commission may nevertheless request further information or documents at any stage of the procedure to proceed with verifications and take various proportional measures depending on the level of weaknesses identified. Mitigating measure 5 "bank guarantee" may not be applied for low value grants.
b) Grants > EUR 60 000:
Declaration on honour including declaration on financial capacity to carry out
the activity (see section 15, checklist point 3);
o Where applicable, the Commission may nevertheless request further information at any stage of the procedure, proceed to further verifications and take various proportional measures depending on the level of weaknesses identified.
o Annual balance sheets and profit and loss accounts for the last financial year available (see section 15, checklist point 16);
In the event of an application grouping several applicants (consortium), the above thresholds apply to each applicant not to the consortium as a whole.
The ratio between the total assets in the applicant’s (single, lead and co-applicant(s)) balance sheet and the total budget of the project or the part of the project budget for which that organisation is responsible according to the budget in the application form would be considered strong if it is equal or greater than 0.65.
The financial capacity may be evaluated as strong, medium, weak or very weak according to different methods.
If the single or lead applicant is considered not to have a strong financial capacity, the application as a whole will be rejected.
If a co-applicant or several co-applicants are considered not to have a strong financial capacity, the Commission will also take into account any other relevant information on the financial capacity provided by the applicant and in particular the information provided in section "Financial Resources" of the SWIM application form.
After this further analysis, the Commission will take various proportional measures depending on the level of weaknesses identified, which may be to:
In the case of mitigating measure 5, the Commission may request a pre-financing guarantee for up to the same amount as the pre-financing in order to limit the financial risks linked to the pre-financing payment.
The financial guarantee, in euro currency, shall be provided by an approved bank or financial institution established in one of the EU Member States. When the beneficiary is established in a third country, the Commission may agree that a bank or financial institution established in that third country may provide the guarantee if it 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 shall be released as the pre-financing is cleared against the payment of the balance, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the grant agreement.