EC - Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (EaSI) logo

Information and training measures for workers' organisations - VP/2018/002
Deadline: 18 May 2018   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono EC - Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (EaSI)

 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Capacity Building
 Social Affaires and Inclusion
 Gender Equality
 Education and Training
 Youth Workers
 Digital Society
 Migrants and Refugees

1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND

1.1. Legal base

In line with the remarks in the budget of the European Union, budget heading 04 03 01 05 is intended to cover grants for information and training measures for workers' organisations1 in accordance with Article 154 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The measures should help workers' organisations to contribute to addressing the overarching EU employment and social policy challenges as laid down in particular in:

  •   the Commission Communication On steps towards Completing Economic and Monetary Union (COM(2015)600);

  •   the Commission Communication Establishing a European Pillar of Social Rights (COM(2017)0250);

  •   the Annual Growth Survey, the Joint Employment Report and the recommendations addressed to the Member States in the context of the European Semester;

  •   the Political Guidelines presented by Jean-Claude Juncker in the Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change and the Commission Work Programmes.

The budget heading can be used to finance actions involving representatives of workers' organisations from the Candidate Countries2.

It is also intended to promote equal participation of women and men in the decision- making bodies of workers' organisations.

 

2. OBJECTIVES – PRIORITIES – EXPECTED RESULTS – ACTIVITIES

2.1. Objectives – Priorities – Expected results

Objectives of this call include measures and initiatives to strengthen the capacity of workers' organisations to address, at EU/transnational level, changes in employment and work and social dialogue related challenges, such as: modernisation of the labour market, job creation and job matching, quality of work, anticipation, preparation and management of change and restructuring, digitalisation of the economy and society, the greening of the economy, flexicurity, skills, intra-EU labour mobility, migration, youth employment, health and safety at work, modernisation of social protection systems, reconciliation of work and  family life, gender equality, action in the field of anti-discrimination, active ageing, healthier and longer working lives, active inclusion and decent work.

Actions are also expected to contribute to the priorities and activities of European social dialogue, including those laid down in the work programmes of the EU cross-industry and sectoral social dialogue committees, as well as those that form part of the June 2016 Statement of the Presidency of the Council, the European Commission and the European social partners on "a new start for social dialogue"3. In that context, particular emphasis is put on strengthening the involvement of social partners in the European Semester and enhancing their contribution to EU policy making.

Measures which contribute to addressing the employment, social and economic challenges as identified in the European Pillar of Social Rights will also be particularly welcome.

Access for people with disabilities should be guaranteed for measures funded under this call for proposals.

2.2. Type of activities to be funded

The activities which may be funded under this call for proposals include: conferences, seminars, round tables, studies, surveys, publications, training courses, development of training tools, the setting up of networks and the development and exchange of best practices.

2.3. Other elements to be taken into account

When drafting the proposal, applicants are invited to pay particular attention to the following elements:

  •   The proposal should provide a clear explanation of the rationale and problem definition/analysis underpinning the proposed action, as well as the specific contribution of the action to the objectives of the call for proposals and its expected impact;

  •   In case of recurrent applications by the same applicant on similar or related topics, the added value of the new project proposal as compared to ongoing and previous actions4 should be clearly explained;

  •   The choice of organisations involved and countries covered should be duly explained and justified as regards their relevance towards the specific objectives of the action.

The Commission welcomes in particular projects that provide for a full project cycle, including preparatory, implementation and dissemination, follow-up and reporting activities.

Taking account of beneficiaries' interest, the Commission may organise a networking day in Brussels for beneficiaries under this call (date to be defined). Applicants must therefore 

ensure that the travel, daily subsistence allowances and accommodation costs for up to 2 persons – the Project Manager and possibly the Financial Manager – to attend this meeting are included in their proposed project budget. If the applicant fails to do this, the Commission will not be able to fund the beneficiary's participation in the networking day.

 

3. TIMETABLE

a) Publication of the call
Beginning of March

b) Deadline for submitting proposals
18 May 2018

c) Evaluation period (indicative)
Until August 2018

d) Information to applicants (indicative)
September 20185

e) Signature of the Grant Agreement (indicative)
October 20186

 

3.1. Starting date and duration of the projects

The actual starting date of the action will be the first day of the month following the date when the last of the two parties signs.

In cases where the applicant has demonstrated the need to start the action before the signature of the Grant Agreement, the starting date may be between the deadline for submission and the first day of the month following the date when the last of the two parties signs. 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.

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 plan instead of indicating the precise name of the months.

The indicative duration of projects is 24 months.

 

4. AVAILABLE BUDGET

The total budget earmarked for the EU co-financing of projects under this call is estimated at EUR 4 841 600.

The EU grant requested should indicatively be between EUR 150 000 and EUR 500 000.

The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.

The Commission reserves the right to increase the amount of the funds and distribute them to proposals admitted in the reserve list, if available.

 

 

4.1. Co-financing rate

Under this call for proposals, the EU grant may not exceed 90 % of the total eligible costs of the action. The applicants must guarantee their co-financing of the remaining amount covered by the applicants' own resources or from other sources other than the European Union budget.

 

5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications (application form including budget and description of the action including work plan) must be submitted using the electronic submission system available at https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/swim, and by sending a signed, printed version of the application form and the other afore-mentioned documents by post or courier service (one original dossier and one copy; see also section 12).

Applications must be sent no later than the deadline for submission referred to in section 3.

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, French or German in order to facilitate the treatment of the proposals and speed up the evaluation process. It should be noted, however, that proposals in all official languages of the EU will be accepted. In this case, applications should be accompanied by an executive summary in English, French or German (checklist point 4).

 

6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

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, 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 the article of the Grant Agreement allowing termination due to a change of the legal situation of the beneficiary (Article II.7.2.1(a) for mono-beneficiary and Article II.17.3.1(a) for multi- beneficiary Grant Agreements).

6.1. Eligibility of the applicants (lead and co-applicants) and affiliated entities7 a) Place of establishment

  •   Sole or lead applicants must be established and registered in EU Member States;

  •   Co-applicants, affiliated entities and associate organisations must be established and registered in EU Member States or in Candidate Countries8. In derogation from this requirement, international organisations whose registered headquarters are outside the eligible countries are also eligible.

b) Types of entities:

  •   The sole or lead and co-applicants must be legal entities. In application of Article 131 of the Financial Regulation, social partner organisations without legal personality are also eligible provided that the conditions of the Financial Regulation related thereto are met9;

  •   Sole or lead applicants must be social partner organisations representing workers;

  •   International Organisations may apply as co-applicant or associate organisation.

c) Sole applicants or Consortia

Proposals may be submitted by either:

  •   a sole applicant: applicable only for European-level organisations10 representing workers;

    Or by;

  •   a lead applicant on behalf of a consortium which must be composed of the lead applicant with one (or more):

    • o co-applicant, or/and

    • o affiliated entity, or/and o associate organisation

  •  If the lead applicant is not a European-level organisation, it must be in consortium with:

    • o a European-level social partner organisation as co-applicant, affiliated entity or associate organisation. That organisation may represent workers or employers;

    • o and at least one organisation (co-applicant, affiliated entity or associate organisation) from a different eligible country to that of the lead applicant.

In cases where a consortium is required, if a co-applicant or an affiliated entity 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. If the modified consortium is still eligible, the application will be evaluated on that basis. In addition, the costs that are allocated to a non-eligible co-applicant or affiliated entity will be removed from the budget. If the application is selected, 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.

6.2. Eligible activities

a) Geographical Location

To be eligible, actions must be fully carried out in the Member States of the European Union or the Candidate Countries11.

b) Types of activities

The grant will finance inter alia the activities indicated in section 2.2.

c) Core activities

The project management of the action and the role of coordinator (in the case of a multi- beneficiary Grant Agreement) as laid down in Article II.2.3 of the Grant Agreement, are considered to be core activities and may not be subcontracted12.

6.3. Ineligible activities

Financial support to third parties as defined in point 3 of the Financial Guidelines is not eligible under this call.

National capacity-building activities which could be funded under the European Social Fund (Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013 on the European Social Fund, Article 6.2) are not eligible.

 

7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA

Applicants (lead and co-applicants) must sign a declaration on their honour (see section 14, checklist point 3) certifying that they are not in one of the situations referred to in article 106(1) and 107.1(b) and (c) 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.

The same exclusion criteria apply to any affiliated entities.

Only proposals which comply with the requirements of the above eligibility and exclusion criteria will be considered for further evaluation.

 

8. SELECTION CRITERIA

Only applicants with the necessary financial and operational capacity to complete the activity for which funding is requested may be awarded a grant.

8.1. Financial capacity

Sole or lead and co-applicants must have access to solid and adequate funding to maintain their activities for the period of the action and to help finance it as necessary.

If the ratio between the total assets in the applicants' (lead and co-applicants) balance sheet and the total cost of the action of the project or the part of the project budget for which that organisation is responsible according to the budget in the application form, is equal or greater than 0.70 (formula in the case of sole applicant: own assets/total cost of the action > 0.70; formula for each applicant in the case of consortia: applicant's own assets/part of the cost of the action corresponding to that applicant > 0.70), then the financial capacity is strong.

The sole or lead and co-applicants' financial capacity will be assessed on the basis of the following supporting documents to be submitted with the application:

  •   declaration on honour (including financial capacity to carry out the activity) (see section 15, checklist point 3);

  •   annual balance sheet and profit and loss accounts for the last financial year available (see section 14, checklist point 17);

  •   for grants of EUR 750 000 or more, an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying the accounts for the last financial year available (see section 14, checklist point 18).

In addition, the Commission will take into account any other relevant information on financial capacity provided by the applicant and in particular the information provided in section F.2 of the SWIM application form.

If the sole 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 may propose to remedy with various proportional steps depending on the level of weakness identified, to:

  • o reject the whole application;
  • o remove the co-applicant from the consortium and re-evaluate the proposal without this co-applicant;
  • o propose a Grant Agreement without pre-financing;
  • o propose a Grant Agreement with a pre-financing paid in several instalments; o propose a Grant Agreement with pre-financing payment(s) covered by (a) financial guarantee(s);
  • o propose a Grant Agreement with joint financial liability of 2 or more applicants.

 

8.2. Operational capacity

Sole or lead and co-applicants must have the professional competencies as well as appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action. They must have demonstrable competence and experience in the field of social dialogue and/or industrial relations and in particular in the type of action proposed.

The sole or lead and co-applicants' operational capacity will be assessed on the basis of the following:

  •   the information provided in section F.1 of the SWIM application form on the operational structure of the lead applicant and co-applicants and on previous and current actions undertaken by them;

  •   The CV of the proposed project manager, showing his/her relevant professional experience (see section 14, checklist point 15).

If the sole or lead applicant is considered not to have the required operational capacity, the application as a whole will be rejected. If a co-applicant is considered not to have the required operational capacity, this co-applicant will be removed from the consortium and the application will be evaluated on that basis13. In addition, the costs that are allocated to the non-eligible co-applicant will be removed from the budget. If the application is accepted, the work plan may have to be slightly adjusted.

 

9. AWARD CRITERIA

The proposals which fulfil the eligibility, exclusion and selection criteria will be assessed according to the following award criteria.

  1. The extent to which the action meets the objectives and priorities of the call for proposals and contributes to European social dialogue14

  2. The transnational dimension of the action, including the genuine involvement of a European-level social partner organisation in case of proposals not submitted by a European level organisation15

  3. The quality of the consortium and broader partnership, including the degree of involvement and commitment of the partners in the action and the appropriateness of the internal working arrangements16

  4. The cost-effectiveness of the action and the clarity and completeness of the budget explanation

  5. The quality of the arrangements to publicise the action and disseminate the results, and to ensure the action's impact and/or multiplier effect17

  6. The overall quality and structure of the work plan

 

Applications will be ranked according to the total score awarded. Taking into account the available budget, the proposals with the highest total scores will be recommended for award, on condition that:

  •   the total score reaches at least 60% of the maximum possible overall mark;

  •   the score for each of both criteria i and ii is at least 50% of the maximum possible mark for these criteria.

Cost estimates should be reasonable, justified and comply with the principle of sound financial management, in particular regarding economy and efficiency (see also section 14). It should be noted that the cost-effectiveness of actions will be evaluated on the basis of the proposed budget. The Commission reserves the right to make corrections and/or delete non-eligible expenditure from the proposed budget, but it will not make adjustments in order to improve cost-effectiveness of proposals.

 

10. LEGAL COMMITMENTS

In the event of a grant awarded by the Commission, a Grant Agreement, drawn up in euro and detailing the conditions and level of funding, will be sent to the beneficiary, or to the coordinator in the case of multi-beneficiary Grant Agreements.

The 2 copies of the original agreement must be signed by the beneficiary, or the coordinator in the case of multi-beneficiary Grant Agreements, and returned to the Commission immediately. The Commission will sign it last.

The Grant Agreement may include corrections and deletion of ineligible costs or activities made by the Commission – therefore the applicant should carefully read the whole agreement and the budget and work programme sections in particular, before signing and returning the copies to the Commission.

The applicable model Grant Agreement is published on the Europa website under the relevant call webpage18. There is no alternative to this model in the context of this call. In specific cases, international agreements conditions may apply.

 

Please note that the award of a grant does not establish an entitlement for subsequent years.

 

11. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

Details on financial provisions are laid out in the Financial Guidelines for Applicants (Annex I to the call) and the model Grant Agreement, both published on the Europa website under the relevant call webpage.

a) Specific procurement provisions
Where the value of a procurement contract exceeds EUR 60 000, in addition to the rules

indicated in the Financial Guidelines for applicants, the following shall apply:

b)

  •   the applicant must provide with the grant application a copy of the draft tender specifications. To assist applicants, a model for tender specifications is included in Annex II to this call. The draft tender specifications should be submitted in English, French or German;

  •   If selected, beneficiaries must be able to prove, if requested, that they have sought bids from at least five different tenderers, including proof that they have published the call for tender or invitation to tender at least on their website and provide a detailed description of the selection procedure.

This requirement does not apply to public authorities which are already governed by a system of public procurement rules.

Daily subsistence allowances and travel expenses

Only daily subsistence allowances and travel expenses, related to participants and speakers travelling between and within EU Member States and/or Candidate countries will be accepted as eligible costs.

This provision does not apply to staff of international organisations, such as UN agencies, who are invited by the beneficiary to participate in a project event as a speaker/expert, including where the international organisation participates as a co-beneficiary in the project.

 

12. PROCEDURE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS

The procedure to submit proposals electronically is explained in point 14 of the "Financial Guidelines for Applicants" (Annex I to this call). Before starting, please read carefully the SWIM user manual: http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/calls/pdf/swim_manual_en.pdf.

Once the application form is filled in, applicants must submit it both electronically and in hard copy, before the deadline set in section 3 above.

 

The SWIM electronic application form is available until midnight on the day of the submission deadline. Since the applicants must first submit the form electronically, and then print, sign and send it by post service or hand delivery by the submission deadline, it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the appropriate postal or courier services are locally available on the day of the deadline.

The hard copy of the proposal must be duly signed and sent in 2 copies (one marked “original” and one marked “copy”), including all documents listed in the checklist in section 14, by the deadline (the postmark or the express courier receipt date serving as proof) to the following address:

European Commission
NOT TO BE OPENED BY CENTRAL MAIL SERVICE Call for proposals VP/2018/002
DG EMPL/CAD, J-27 – 00/120
B-1049 Brussels
Belgium

Please send your hard copy by registered post, express courier service or by hand delivery only. Proof of posting or express courier receipt should be kept as it could be requested by the European Commission in cases of doubt regarding the date of submission.

Hand-delivered proposals must be received by the European Commission before 4 p.m. on the last day for submission at the following address:

European Commission
Central Mail Service19
NOT TO BE OPENED BY CENTRAL MAIL SERVICE Call for proposals VP/2018/002– DG EMPL/A.2 Avenue du Bourget 1
B-1140 Evere
Belgium

At that time the European Commission's Mail Service will provide a signed receipt which should be conserved as proof of delivery.

If an applicant submits more than one proposal, each proposal must be submitted separately.

Additional documents sent by post, by fax or by electronic mail after the deadlines mentioned above will not be considered for evaluation unless requested by the European Commission.

The applicant's attention is also drawn to the fact that incomplete or unsigned application forms, hand-written forms and those sent by fax or e-mail will not be taken into consideration.

 

13. COMMUNICATION

Communication during the application period

The information contained in the present call document together with the Financial Guidelines for Applicants provides all the information you require to submit an application. Please read it carefully before doing so, paying particular attention to the priorities of the present call.

All enquiries must be made by e-mail only to:

empl-vp-info-training@ec.europa.eu
For technical problems please contact: empl-swim-support@ec.europa.eu

 

Questions may be sent to the above address no later than 10 days before the deadline for the submission of proposals. The Commission has no obligation to provide clarifications to questions received after this date.

Replies will be given no later than 5 days before the deadline for submission of proposals. To ensure equal treatment of applicants, the Commission will not give a prior opinion on the eligibility of applicants or affiliated entities, an action or specific activities.

No individual replies to questions will be sent but all questions together with the answers and other important notices will be published (FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions) at regular intervals on the Europa website20.

The Commission may, on its own initiative, inform interested parties of any error, inaccuracy, omission or clerical error in the text of the call for proposals on the mentioned Europa website. It is therefore advisable to consult the above mentioned website regularly in order to be informed of any such corrigenda as well as the published questions and answers.

No modification to the proposal is allowed once the deadline for submission has elapsed. If there is a need to clarify certain aspects or to correct clerical mistakes, the Commission may contact the applicant for this purpose during the evaluation process. This is generally done by e-mail. It is entirely the responsibility of applicants to ensure that all contact information provided is accurate and functioning. In case of any change of contact details, please send an e-mail with the application VP reference and the new contact details to empl-vp-info-training@ec.europa.eu.

In the case of consortia, all communication regarding an application will be done with the lead applicant only, unless there are specific reasons to do otherwise.

Information on the outcome of the procedure

Applicants will be informed in writing about the results of the selection process.

 

Unsuccessful applicants will be informed of the reasons for rejection. No information regarding the award procedure will be disclosed until the notification letters have been sent to the beneficiaries.

Participation of the Commission in project events

Following the award of a grant, if the successful applicant would like the Commission to participate in any project events, the applicant must take immediate contact (in any case, at least 2 months before the event) with the Commission official responsible for following the action (named in the letter accompanying the Grant Agreement). The successful applicant should therefore not finalise the programming of such events without the Commission's prior approval and confirmation of participation.

The Commission's acceptance of the grant application does not prejudge its decision on whether to attend an event included in the work plan. Such a decision is always subject to a separate examination of the event programme and prior agreement on the dates and practicalities. In this context it should be noted that the probability of Commission officials participating in project events will be higher if the latter take place in Brussels.

 

14. INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE PRESENTATION OF THE APPLICATION AND REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

14.1. Instructions for the presentation of the application

The application comprises an application form including the budget, a description of the action and work plan plus a series of other required documents (see section 14.2).

The description of the action and work plan must be written using a free format document. All the information related to the description of the action and the work plan must be presented in one single document. The budget must be presented using the application form in SWIM and a separate budget explanation must also be provided.

In case of subcontracting any tasks comprising part of the action (see the Financial Guidelines), the description of the action must provide details on the tasks to be subcontracted and the reasons for doing so and these tasks must be clearly identified in the budget. Core activities as defined in section 6.2(c) of the call cannot be subcontracted.

The detailed work plan (see checklist point 13) should not repeat information that is already provided in the SWIM application form21.

o It should provide a detailed and structured overview of the different project activities, the foreseen timing (indicating numbers of months, not names of months) and the role and responsibility of each partner organisation (not individual staff members) in the implementation of these activities, as well as, to the extent possible, draft agendas of the main project events.

o Where appropriate, risk factors as regards implementation and/or impact of the activities should be identified and mitigating measures defined.

The corresponding section in the SWIM form can therefore be kept rather succinct. 15

o It offers an opportunity to develop further the rationale and problem analysis underpinning the action.

o If any subcontracting of tasks is foreseen, the detailed work plan must provide detailed information on the tasks to be subcontracted and the reasons for doing so.

o All other information on the action should in principle be given in the SWIM application form. The detailed work plan is therefore expected not to be much longer than 5 pages, with an absolute maximum of 10 pages.

14.2. Required documents

The table below includes the documents that should be provided. Except for items 8, 11 and 1222 which can be submitted only for successful applications, please note that all other documents are necessary either for the admissibility (see section 5) or for the analysis of the eligibility (see section 6) or selection criteria (see section 8). The table also indicates where originals are required. We recommend that applicants use the table as a checklist in order to verify compliance with all requirements.

While some information should be supplied using the templates available in the SWIM, other documents may need to be completed and/or attached electronically, usually either administrative documents or free format text descriptions. The SWIM application indicates in each section where SWIM templates should be used as well as which and where free format documents can be uploaded electronically.

At the submission of the application, copies of the signed originals will be accepted for most of the documents to be submitted by the co-applicants. However, the lead applicant shall keep the original signed versions for its records, because originals may have to be submitted for certain documents at a later stage. If the lead applicant fails to submit these original documents within the deadline given by the Commission, the proposal will be rejected for lack of administrative compliance.

Regarding the compilation of the application file, it is recommended to:

  •   follow the order of documents as listed in the checklist;

  •   print the documents double-sided;

  •   use 2-hole folders (do not bind or glue; stapling is acceptable).



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