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

Information and training measures for workers' organisations - VP/2019/002
Deadline: 06 May 2019   - 44 days

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

 Capacity Building
 Social Affaires and Inclusion
 Disadvantaged People
 Gender Equality
 Youth Workers
 Digital Society
 Social and Welfare
 Migrants and Refugees

1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND

1.1. Legal base

The legal basis of this call for proposal is the Commission Decision C(2018)6625 concerning the adoption of the 2019 annual work programme for grants and procurements for DG EMPL prerogatives and specific competencies, serving as financing decision.

1.2. Policy and economic background

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 (TFEU).

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 Establishing a European Pillar of Social Rights (COM(2017)0250) as well as the related joint proclamation of European Parliament, Council and Commission of November 2017 and the Commission Communication Monitoring the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (COM(2018) 130 final)2;

  •   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 Countries3. It is also intended to promote equal participation of women and men in the decision-making bodies of workers' organisations.

 

2. OBJECTIVES – PRIORITIES – TYPES OF ACTIONS - EXPECTED RESULTS

2.1. Objectives – Priorities - Definitions

This call aims at strengthening the capacity of workers' organisations to address, at EU/transnational level, challenges related to changes in employment and work and social dialogue such as: modernisation of the labour market, job creation and job matching, quality of work, anticipation, preparation and management of change and restructuring,

See section 2.1. for the definitions of “social partner organisations and “European-level social partner organisations” in the context of this call digitalisation of the economy and society – including artificial intelligence, 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"4. 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.

Definitions used in the context of this call:

a) Social partner organisations (or ‘social partners’): organisations representing workers (also referred to as trade union) or employers at regional, national or European level that are engaged in "social dialogue" i.e. the discussion and negotiation of wages, working conditions, training, etc.;

b) European-level social partner organisations (or “European-level social partners’): either organisations that are consulted in accordance with Article 154 TFEU (an up-to-date list can be found here) or other organisations fulfilling the above definition of social partners which: (1) demonstrate that they represent several national social partners (fulfilling as well the definition above); (2) have a mandate of these organisations to engage in social dialogue at European level on their behalf; and (3) are involved in the preparation and functioning of European social dialogue at sector level.

General remark

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 types of 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. Expected results

Improved expertise for workers' representatives for participation in European social dialogue, better understanding of issues discussed in European social dialogue, sharing of ideas/experience on European social dialogue as well as improving the capacity of workers' organisations.

 

2.4. 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 follow-up action submitted by the same applicant on similar or related topics, the added value of the new project proposal as compared to ongoing and previous actions5 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

February

b) Deadline for questions and requests for clarification

26 April 2019

c) Deadline for submitting proposals

06 May 2019

Swim, Courier and Post : 24:00 Brussels' time (CET)

Hand deliveries 16:00 Brussels' time (CET)

d) Evaluation period (indicative)

Until August 2019

e) Information to applicants (indicative)

September 20196

f) Signature of the Grant Agreement (indicative)

October 20197

g) Starting date of the action (indicative)

01 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 which 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 12 and 24 months.

 

4. AVAILABLE BUDGET

The total budget earmarked for the EU co-financing of projects under this call is estimated at EUR 5.183.621.

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. This top-up is limited to 20% of the initial budget of the call.

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 budget8.

 

5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

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

Applications (meaning, the 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 complete application form and the other afore-mentioned documents by post or courier service (one original dossier and one copy; see section 12).

Failure to comply with the above requirements may lead to the rejection of the application.

8 Letters of commitment are required from co-applicants, affiliated entity and third party providing financial contributions to the eligible costs of the action (see section 14, checklist, point 5).

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 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, French or German (see section 14, checklist point 3).

 

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 entities9

a) Place of establishment

Legal entities properly established and registered in the following countries are eligible as single applicants or lead applicants:

 EU Member States;
Legal entities properly established and registered in the following countries are eligible as

co-applicants, associate organisations or affiliated entities10:

 EU Member States;

 Candidate Countries: Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey11.

b) Types of entities:

 Single applicants, lead applicants, co-applicants and affiliated entities must be legal entities. In application of Article 197.2.c) of the Financial Regulation, social partner organisations without legal personality are also eligible provided that the conditions of the Financial Regulation related thereto are met12;

 

c) Types of entities for single applicant or consortia13 c1) Single applicants

The single applicant must be a social partner organisation representing workers at European level.

Affiliated entities and associate organisations may be part of the single-applicant proposal.

Affiliated entities and associate organisations must fall within one of the following categories: social partners, non-profit-making organisations, universities and research institutes, public authorities, international organisations.

c2) Consortia14
Actions may involve consortia. To be eligible as consortium, actions must include a lead

applicant and at least one co-applicant.
The following eligibility criteria must be complied with:

- The lead applicant must be a social partner organisation representing workers at European, national or regional level;

- If the lead applicant is not a social partner organisation at European-level, it must be in consortium with (1) at least one organisation from a different eligible country to that of the lead applicant; and (2) a European-level social partner organisation. At least one of these mandatory organisations (1) or (2) must be a co-applicant while the other one may be a co-applicant, an affiliated entity of the lead applicant or the co-applicant(s) (see point d below) or an associate organisation (see point e below).

Co-applicants, affiliated entities and associate organisations must fall within one of the following categories: social partners, non-profit-making organisations, universities and research institutes, public authorities, international organisations.

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 accepted 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.

e) Associate organisations

Associate organisations are allowed to participate provided that their role and added value is clearly specified and demonstrated in the technical proposal. They may not 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 Countries. This applies equally to International Organisations. However, in duly justified circumstances, project management costs incurred in the headquarters of International Organisations established outside the EU Member States or the candidate countries could be considered eligible.

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 subcontracted15.

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

7.1. Exclusion

Applicants (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 subcontracting and implementing contracts.

See section 4.2.2.3 of the Financial Guidelines for detailed information on procedures regarding 9

https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/swim/external/displayWelcome.do (see section 14, checklist point 4).

7.2. Rejection from the call for proposals

The Commission shall not award a grant to an applicant who:
a. is in an exclusion situation established in accordance with Article 136; 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 calls 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, which 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 single applicant or lead applicant and each co-applicant must have the financial and operational capacity to complete the activities for which funding is requested. Only organisations with the necessary financial and operational capacity may be considered for a grant.

8.1. Financial capacity

Single applicants, lead applicants 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.

The verification of financial capacity will NOT apply to public bodies and to international organisations.

The single applicant's or lead applicant's and each co-applicant's 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 action (see section 14, checklist point 4);

  •   Annual balance sheet and profit and loss accounts for the last financial year available (see section 14, checklist point 13);

  •   Summary balance sheet and profit and loss accounts using the template provided in SWIM (see section 14) and signed by the legal representative (see section 14, checklist point 16).]

  •   Information on the financial capacity provided by the applicant and in particular the information provided in section "Financial Resources" of the SWIM application form;

  •  For grants of EUR 750 000 or more per beneficiary or affiliated entity, an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying the accounts for the last financial year available, where such an audit report is available or whenever a statutory audit report is required by Union or national law. If the audit report is not available AND a statutory report is not required by law, a self-declaration signed by the applicant's authorized representative certifying the validity of its accounts for the last financial year available. (see section 14, checklist point 15).

The ratio between the total assets in the applicants' balance sheet and the total cost of the action of the project (single applicants) or the part of the project budget for which that organisation is responsible for according to the budget in the application form (lead and co-applicants) would be considered strong if it is equal or greater than 0.70.

If the single applicant 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:

  1. reject the whole application;

  2. remove the co-applicant from the consortium and re-evaluate the proposal without this co-applicant;

  3. propose a Grant Agreement without pre-financing;

  4. propose a Grant Agreement with a pre-financing paid in several instalments;

  5. propose a Grant Agreement with pre-financing payment(s) covered by (a) financial guarantee(s);

  6. propose a Grant Agreement with joint financial liability of 2 or more applicants.

  7. propose a grant agreement with a mix of the measures 4, 5 and 6.

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, 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.

 

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