Many young people are active in EU-related activities: they join pan-European organisations or engage in less structured ‘non-formal’ exchanges with young people from other European countries and they show positive attitudes and support to the European integration process2. In their capacity, they can be powerful ambassadors of the European project and build bridges across the continent, East and West North and South line, to inspire others in the way they experience Europe and their European identity.
Erasmus+ Youth today promotes different mobility formats, including youth exchanges or youth worker mobility and supports youth organisations. Analysis of experience reveals a fruitful and active cooperation between organisations and young people across countries. The Erasmus+ programme is successful in attracting and engaging young people. There is great interest in participation and currently only 1 in 3 mobility projects (Youth Exchanges, Youth Workers Mobility) and 1 in 5 in partnerships (Transnational Youth Initiatives) can be supported.
As President Juncker pointed out3; "...Europe must be a Union of equality and a Union of equals. Equality between its Members, big or small, East or West, North or South." Young people are key actors in making this happen. They might often be less engaged than older persons in traditional forms of participation such as voting or belonging to a political party, but a majority among them declare interest in politics and have stronger feelings of citizenship towards the EU than older groups.
A number of preparatory activities and young people’s consultations, including a Eurobarometer survey4, were carried out prior to putting forward the Commission proposal for a new EU Youth Strategy, adopted in November 20185, which will frame EU activities for EU youth policy over the next few years and build on European Youth Goals put forward by young people.
These consultations confirmed that the majority of surveyed young people ask the EU to prioritise subjects such as education and skills and the protection of environment.
The scope of the “European Youth Together” actions should build on the experience obtained through the 'New Narrative for Europe'6 project, the European Youth Goals7 and Eurobarometer findings on young people's priorities8 and other youth policy and programme initiatives, including projects selected under this action in 2018, aiming to promote young people's participation in European civic life as well as cross-border exchanges and mobility activities.
2.1. General Objectives
"European Youth Together" projects aim to create networks promoting regional partnerships, to be run in close cooperation with young people from across Europe (Erasmus+ programme countries). The networks would organise exchanges, promote trainings (for instance for youth leaders) and allow young people themselves to set up joint projects.
"European Youth Together" seeks to support initiatives from at least five youth organisations from five different eligible Erasmus+ programme countries to share their ideas about the EU, encourage wider civic participation and help foster a sense of European citizenship. The initiative aims to bring together European youth from across Europe; East, West, North and South.
The thematic priorities are active citizenship, network-building, European values and European citizenship, democratic participation, democratic resilience and social inclusion related to youth.
2.2. Specific Objectives
The initiative seeks to specifically support:
promotion and development of more structured cooperation between different youth organisations to build or strengthen partnerships;
youth organisations involved in initiatives to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process and in society by organising trainings, showcase commonalities among young Europeans and encourage discussion and debate on their connection to the EU, its values and democratic foundations.
It targets youth NGOs, public bodies and informal groups of young people, especially those active at grassroots level, which would propose projects involving at least five partners who have the capacity to mobilise young people in partnerships covering different countries and regions within the Erasmus+ Programme Countries.
Large-scale mobility activities for young people should form a key component of European Youth Together projects. This mobility should offer cross-border exchanges and non-formal or informal training opportunities for young people from across Europe (East, West, North and South) to support the objectives of this call. These mobility activities must be very clearly justified according to the call objectives.
All the above activities should contribute to widening the outreach towards young people to ensure a diversity of voices, reach young people within and beyond youth organisations and youth with fewer opportunities, thereby using a variety of channels.
2.3 Project results
The granted projects should demonstrate their expected contribution to EU youth policy by:
building on the objectives of the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 and more specifically by demonstrating how they are contributing to the ‘Engage-Connect-Empower’ priorities of the Strategy.
The stages of the call are as follows:
a) Publication of the call
6 June 2019
b) Deadline for submitting applications
18 July (noon) CET
c) Evaluation period
20 July – 15 October
d) Information to applicants (notifications)
e) Signature of grant agreement
October - December
f) Starting date of the action
At the date of signature of contract
4. BUDGET AVAILABLE
The total budget available for the co-financing of projects under the present call is EUR 5 000 000.
The financial contribution from the EU is minimum EUR 100 000 and cannot exceed EUR
500 000. It is limited to a maximum co-financing rate of 80 % of the total eligible project costs.
The Agency reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.
5. ADMISSIBLITY REQUIREMENTS
In order to be admissible, applications must be:
submitted online (see Section 14 of the present Guidelines), using the electronic application form (eForm) and its compulsory annexes;
Failure to comply with these requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.
In order to submit an application, applicants and co-applicants must provide their Participant Identification Code (PIC) in the application form. The PIC can be obtained by registering the organisation in the Participant's Register hosted in the Funding & Tender opportunities Portal.. The Participant Register is a tool shared by other services of the European Commission. If an applicant or co-applicant already has a PIC that has been used for other programmes (for example the Research programmes), the same PIC is valid for the present Call for proposals.
The Funding & Tender Portal allows applicants and co-applicants to upload or update the information related to their legal status and attach the requested legal and financial documents.
6. ELIGIBILTY CRITERIA
Applications which comply with the following criteria will be subject to an in-depth evaluation.
Only applications from legal entities established in the Erasmus+ programme countries are eligible9.
6.1. Eligible applicants
Participating organisations can be:
non-profit organisations, associations and NGOs including European Youth NGOs;
public bodies at local level-, regional-, or national level;
associations of regions;
European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation;
The minimum partnership composition requirement for this call is at least 5 partners from 5 different countries eligible for participation in the Erasmus+ programme. Applying organisations should demonstrate their capacity to ensure a good geographical balance in terms of partners from different parts of the Erasmus+ Programme Countries. This means a partnership distribution across eligible countries where partners come from different regions East, West, North and South.
6.2. Eligible countries
Only applications from legal entities established in the following programme countries are eligible:
- EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
9 http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/sites/erasmusplus2/files/files/resources/erasmus-plus-programme-guide_en.pdf. 6
Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom;
- The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, which form part of the European Economic Area (EEA): Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway;
- Candidate countries for which a pre-accession strategy has been established, in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions laid down in the framework agreements concluded with those countries with a view to their participation in EU Programmes: North Macedonia, Republic of Serbia10 and Turkey.
6.3. Eligible activities
European Union financing under this Call takes the form of an action grant to support part of the costs incurred by the selected bodies in carrying out a series of activities. These activities must be directly linked to the general and specific objectives of the Call and must be detailed in a project description covering the whole period of the grant applied for.
The following types of activities are eligible:
- Mobility activities including large scale exchanges between young people, including (but not restricted to) networking and non-formal or informal training opportunities and the development of projects by young people;
- Activities facilitating access and participation of youth in EU policy activities relevant to young people;
- Exchanges of experience and good practice; networking and partnerships with other youth organisations; participation in meetings or seminars with other stakeholders and/or policy- makers also with a view to increasing policy impact on target groups, sectors and/or systems;
- Initiatives and events for developing European NGO/Civil Society organisations/EU-wide networks;
- Awareness-raising, information, dissemination and promotion activities (seminars, workshops, campaigns, meetings, public debates, consultations, etc.) on EU policy priorities in the field of youth;
Activities shall be of cross-border nature and may be performed at European, national, regional or local level.
As a transversal principle, participating organisations should pursue strategies to connect to young people at grassroots level from a diversity of backgrounds with a view to ensuring a growing number of young people at the grassroots levels are being reached.
The project duration must be between 9 and 24 months. It cannot be extended in time.
7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA
The authorising officer shall exclude an applicant from participating in call for proposals procedures where:
(a) the applicant is bankrupt, subject to insolvency or winding-up procedures, its assets are being administered by a liquidator or by a court, it is in an arrangement with creditors, its business activities are suspended, or it is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for under EU or national laws or regulations;
(b) it has been established by a final judgment or a final administrative decision that the applicant is in breach of its obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions in accordance with the applicable law;
(c) it has been established by a final judgment or a final administrative decision that the applicant 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 eligibility or selection criteria or in the performance of a contract, a grant agreement or a grant decision;
(ii) entering into agreement with other applicants with the aim of distorting competition;
(iii) violating intellectual property rights;
(iv) attempting to influence the decision-making process of the Agency during the award procedure;
(v) attempting to obtain confidential information that may confer upon it undue advantages in the award procedure;
(d) it has been established by a final judgment that the applicant is guilty of any of the following:
(i) fraud, within the meaning of Article 3 of Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council and 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 4(2) of Directive (EU) 2017/1371 or 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, or conduct referred to in Article 2(1) of Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA, or corruption as defined in the applicable law;
(iii) conduct related to a criminal organisation, as referred to in Article 2 of Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA;
(iv) money laundering or terrorist financing within the meaning of Article 1(3), (4) and (5) of Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council;
(v) terrorist 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 offences concerning trafficking in human beings as referred to in Article 2 of Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council;
(e) the applicant has shown significant deficiencies in complying with main obligations in the performance of a contract, a grant agreement or a grant decision financed by the Union's 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 applicant has committed an irregularity within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95.
(g) it has been established by a final judgement or final administrative decision that the applicant has created an entity in a different jurisdiction with the intent to circumvent fiscal, social or any other legal obligations of mandatory application in the jurisdiction of its registered office, central administration or principal place of business;
(h) it has been established by a final judgement or final administrative decision that an entity has been created with the intent referred to in point (g);
(i) for the situations referred to in points (c) to (h) above, the applicant is subject to:
7.2. Remedial measures
If an applicant declares one of the situations of exclusion listed above (see section 7.1), it must indicate the measures it has taken to remedy the exclusion situation, thus demonstrating its reliability. This may include e.g. technical, organisational and personnel measures to correct the conduct and prevent further occurrence, compensation of damage or payment of fines or of any taxes or social security contributions. The relevant documentary evidence which illustrates the remedial measures taken must be provided in annex to the declaration. This does not apply for situations referred in point (d) of section 7.1.
7.3. Rejection from the call for proposals
The authorising officer shall not award a grant to an applicant who:
(a) is in an exclusion situation established in accordance with the above Section 7.1; or
(b) has misrepresented the information required as a condition for participating in the procedure or has failed to supply that information; or
(c) was previously involved in the preparation of documents used in the award procedure where this entails a breach of the principle of equal treatment, including distortion of competition, that cannot be remedied otherwise.
The same exclusion criteria apply to affiliated entities.
Administrative sanctions (exclusion) may be imposed on applicants or affiliated entities where applicable, if any of the declarations or information provided as a condition for participating in this procedure prove to be false.
7.4. Supporting documents
Applicants and affiliated entities must provide a declaration on their honour certifying that they are not in one of the situations referred to in Articles 136(1) and 141 FR, by filling in the relevant form attached to the application form accompanying the call for proposals. If applicable, the relevant documentary evidence which appropriately illustrates any remedial measures taken should be provided in annex to this declaration.
The declaration is part of the Application Package (see section 14). This obligation may be fulfilled in one of the following ways:
(i) the coordinator of a consortium signs a declaration on behalf of all applicants and their affiliated entities
8. SELECTION CRITERIA
Applicants must submit a declaration on their honour, completed and signed, attesting to their financial and operational capacity to complete the proposed activities
8.1. Financial capacity
Applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the duration of the grant 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:
A declaration on their honour and the table provided for in the application form, filled in with the relevant statutory accounting figures, in order to calculate the ratios as detailed in the form.
In the course of the procedure applicants shall be requested to register and provide a Participant Identification Code (PIC, 9-digit number), serving as the unique identifier of their organisation in the Participant Register. Applicant(s) will receive instructions on how to create a PIC in due time.
Upon communication of the applicant's PIC, the EU Validation Services (Research Executive Agency Validation Services) will contact the applicant (via the messaging system embedded in the Participant Register) and request the latter to provide the supporting documents necessary to prove the legal existence and status and the financial] capacity of the organisation. All necessary details and instructions will be provided via this separate notification.
On the basis of the documents submitted, if the Responsible Authorizing Officer (hereinafter "RAO") considers that financial capacity is weak, s/he may:
Applicants must have the professional competencies as well as appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action. 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 action (this should include a description of relevant experience related to the action(s) to be carried out);
the organisation's activity reports for the last three years;
an exhaustive lists of previous projects and activities performed during the last three years and connected to the policy field of the call or to the actions to be carried out;
a description of the technical equipment, tools or facilities and patents at the disposal of the applicant;
an inventory of natural or economic resources involved in the project.
9. AWARD CRITERIA
The eligible applications will be assessed on the basis of exclusion (see section 7), selection (see section 8), and the award criteria as stated below.
The award criteria for the funding of an application are:
Relevance of the project (30 %)
- The relevance of the proposal to the objectives of the call for proposals;
Quality of the project design and implementation (20 %)
Quality of the partnership and cooperation arrangements (30 %)
Including how young people are involved in all stages of the project implementation and how the East-West and North-South lines are taken into account, as well as:
Impact, dissemination and sustainability (20 %)
- The quality of measures for evaluating the impact of the project and for assuring the sustainability of the project;
Only proposals having reached:
- at least the threshold of 60 % of the total score (i.e. aggregate score of the 4 award criteria); and - at least the threshold of 50 % of each criterion
will be considered for EU funding.
10. LEGAL COMMITMENTS
In the event of a grant awarded by the Agency, a grant agreement drawn up in euro and detailing the conditions and level of funding, will be sent to the applicant, as well as the information on the procedure to formalise the agreement of the parties.
Two copies of the original agreement must be signed first by the coordinator on behalf of the consortium and returned to the Agency immediately. The Agency will then sign them last.
Please note that the award of a grant does not establish an entitlement for subsequent years.
11. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
11.1.1 Form of funding
The grant will be defined by applying a maximum co-financing rate of 80 % to the eligible costs actually incurred and declared by the beneficiary and its affiliated entities.
The final amount of the grant to be awarded to the beneficiary is established after completion of the action, upon approval of the request for payment containing the following documents
- a final report providing details of the implementation and results of the action;
- The beneficiary is required to submit, in support of the final payment, a “Report of Factual Findings on the Final Financial Report - Type I” produced by an approved auditor or in case of public bodies, by a competent and independent public officer.
The procedure and the format to be followed by an approved auditor or in case of public bodies, by a competent and independent public officer, are detailed in the following Guidance Notes:
The use of the report format set by the Guidance Notes is compulsory.
If the eligible costs actually incurred by the beneficiary are lower than anticipated, the Agency will apply the rate of co-financing stated in the grant agreement or grant decision to the expenditure actually incurred.
In the event of non-execution or clearly inadequate execution of an activity planned in the application attached to the funding decision , the final grant will be reduced accordingly.
For details on eligibility of costs, please refer to section 11.2 below.
11.1.2 Reimbursement of eligible costs declared on the basis of flat-rate
The grant will be defined by applying a maximum co-financing rate of 80 % to the eligible costs declared by the beneficiary and its affiliated entities on the basis of:
- a flat rate of 7 % of the eligible direct costs (‘reimbursement of flat-rate costs’).
The flat rate will be paid following acceptance of the costs to which the flat rate is to be applied.
11.1.3 Payment conditions, checks and audits for flat-rate(s)
Contribution based on flat-rate will be paid in full provided the action is implemented properly (with the required quality, fully and on time. If the action is not properly implemented the amount of the grant will be reduced proportionately. See also step 4 of section 11.5.
The fulfilment of the above conditions and/or results triggering the payment of the flat rate as specified in section 11.1.2, including where required the achievement of outputs and/or results will be checked at the latest before the payment of the balance. In addition, the fulfilment of those conditions and/or results may be subject to ex post controls.
For this purpose, in case of verifications, checks and audits, the beneficiary will be required to provide the requested contribution to which the flat rate applies.
The amount of flat rates as specified in section 11.1.2 will not be challenged by ex-post controls. This does not affect the possibility to reduce the grant as specified above or in the case of irregularity, fraud or a breach of other obligations.
Payment of the grant on the basis of flat-rates as specified in section 11.1.2 does not affect the right of access to the statutory records of the beneficiaries for the purpose of:
- reviewing them for future grants, or
- protecting the Union financial interests, e.g. detection of fraud, irregularities or breach of obligations.
11.2 Eligible costs
Eligible costs shall meet all the following criteria:
they are incurred by the beneficiary.
they are incurred during the duration of the action, with the exception of costs relating to
final reports and audit certificates;
o The period of eligibility of costs will start as specified in the grant agreement.
o If a beneficiary can demonstrate the need to start the action before the agreement is signed, the costs eligibility period may start before that signature. Under no circumstances can the eligibility period start before the date of submission of the grant application.
they are indicated in the estimated budget of the action;
they are necessary for the implementation of the action which is the subject of the grant;
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;
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 same criteria apply to costs incurred by the affiliated entities. Eligible costs may be direct or indirect.
11.2.1. Eligible direct costs
The eligible direct costs for the action are those costs which:
with due regard to the conditions of eligibility set out above, are identifiable as specific costs directly linked to the performance of the action and which can therefore be booked to it directly, such as :
(a) the costs of personnel working under an employment contract with the beneficiary or an equivalent appointing act and assigned to the action, provided that these costs are in line with the beneficiary’s usual policy on remuneration.
Those costs include actual salaries plus social security contributions and other statutory costs included in the remuneration. They may also comprise additional remunerations, including payments on the basis of supplementary contracts regardless of the nature of