EC - Employment Social Affairs and Inclusion logo

Information, consultation and participation of representatives of undertakings
Deadline: 17 Jun 2016   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono EC - Employment Social Affairs and Inclusion

 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Social Affaires and Inclusion
 Youth Workers

1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND 1.1. Programme/Legal base

The legal basis of this call for proposal is the Commission Decision C(2015)8646 of 9 December 2015 on the adoption of the 2016 annual work programme for grants and procurement for DG EMPL prerogatives and specific competencies, serving as financing decision.

1.2. Policy and economic background

EU law on employee involvement at transnational level includes Directive 2009/38/EC 1 on European works councils, Directives 2001/86/EC2 and 2003/72/EC3 on employee involvement in the European Company and the European Cooperative Society, respectively, and Article 16 of Directive 2005/56/EC4 on cross-border mergers of limited liability companies.

EU law on employee involvement at national level includes Directive 2002/14/EC5 establishing a general framework for informing and consulting employees, directive 98/59/EC6 on collective redundancies and Directive 2001/23/EC7 on transfer of undertakings.

Employee involvement is also fostered through the development of transnational company agreements8 between multinational companies and workers' representatives.

1.3. Main Purposes

The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to fund operations aimed at developing employee involvement in undertakings - meaning any mechanism, including information, consultation and participation, through which employees' representatives may exercise an influence on decisions to be taken within the company - in particular by raising awareness and contributing to the application of EU law and policies in this area. 

2. OBJECTIVE(S) – PRIORITIES – EXPECTED RESULTS 2.1. Objectives - Priorities

In this context, the appropriations of this Call for Proposals finance measures enabling the social partners and the social actors at company level to familiarize themselves with EU law and policies in the area of employee involvement as well as to exercise their rights and their duties to this regard. They cover in particular funding of measures aimed at strengthening transnational co-operation between workers' and employers' representatives in respect of employee involvement.

These appropriations may also be used to fund short training actions as well as actions involving representatives of social partners in the candidate countries9 in the field of employee involvement.

Priority objectives:

For the financial year 2016 the following objectives may be supported under this Call for Proposals:

  1. a)  to promote actions designed to prepare the setting up of transnational information, consultation and participation bodies and mechanisms arising from the application of EU law on employee involvement;

  2. b)  topromotetheexchangeofinformationandgoodpracticeaimedatcreatingfavourable conditions for the setting up of transnational information, consultation and participation bodies and mechanisms arising from the application of EU law on employee involvement;

  3. c)  topromoteactionaimingtofamiliarizethesocialpartnersandactorsatcompanylevel with the content of EU law and transnational company agreements and to enable them to exercise their rights and their duties in this regard;

  4. d)  to promote initiatives to strengthen transnational cooperation between workers' and employers' representatives in respect of information, consultation, and participation of employees within companies operating in more than one Member State;

  5. e)  topromotetransnationalactionsinvolvingrepresentativesofthenewMemberStates and of Candidate Countries in the field of employee involvement;

  6. f)  topromoteactionaimingtofamiliarizetheactorsrepresentedatcompanylevelwith transnational company agreements and to strengthen their cooperation within the European Union;

  7. g)  to promote operations fostering the development of employee involvement in undertakings (also, when necessary, taking into account possible specific needs of employees with disabilities) as well as to follow up on the findings of the "Fitness check" on EU acts in the area of Information and Consultation of Workers;

  8. h)  to promote innovative actions relating to employee involvement, with the view of supporting the anticipation of change and the prevention and resolution of disputes in 

    the context of corporate restructuring, mergers, take-overs and relocation in Union scale undertakings and groups of undertakings;

    to strengthen cooperation between the social partners for the development of employee involvement in the design of solutions addressing the consequences of the economic crisis, such as collective redundancies.

    to develop expertise across Member States, promoting cooperation between relevant authorities and stakeholders and fostering relations with the Union Institutions so as to support the implementation and improve the effectiveness of EU law on employee involvement. 

2.2.

2.3.

i)

j)

the context of corporate restructuring, mergers, take-overs and relocation in Union scale undertakings and groups of undertakings;

to strengthen cooperation between the social partners for the development of employee involvement in the design of solutions addressing the consequences of the economic crisis, such as collective redundancies.

to develop expertise across Member States, promoting cooperation between relevant authorities and stakeholders and fostering relations with the Union Institutions so as to support the implementation and improve the effectiveness of EU law on employee involvement.

Description of the activities to be funded / Type of actions

The types of activities which may be funded under this call for proposals include:

- -

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Conferences, seminars, short training actions, manuals and exchange of information and of good practices involving workers' and/or employers' representatives;

Analysis papers on quantitative, qualitative aspects and results on subjects related to workers' and employers' representation and social dialogue at undertaking level in a transnational cooperation context;

Websites, publications, newsletters and other means for the dissemination of information.

Information on the action for which the grant is requested

When drafting the project 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 related applications by the same applicant, the added value of the new project as compared to previous ones should be clearly explained.

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

  • Cost estimates should be reasonable, justified and comply with the principle of sound financial management, in particular regarding economy and efficiency. 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 remove non-eligible expenditure from the proposed budget, but it will not make adjustments in order to improve cost-effectiveness of proposals.

  • Projects shall provide a full project cycle, including preparatory, dissemination, implementation, and follow-up and reporting activities.

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

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2.4. Expected outputs/results

The expected results of this call for proposals are improved possibilities for the social partners to exercise their rights and duties as regards employee involvement; strengthened cooperation among social partners and other actors in respect to Union law on employee involvement; a follow up on the findings of the "Fitness check" on EU acts in the area of Information and Consultation of Workers, and increased number of social partners and other actors familiarised with transnational company agreements.

3. TIMETABLE

 

Stages

Date or period

a)

Publication of the call

April 2016

b)

Deadline for submitting proposals

17 June 2016

c)

Evaluation period (indicative)

Mid June – August 2016

d)

Information to applicants (indicative)

October 201610

e)

Signature of the grant agreement (indicative)

November 201611

f)

Starting date of the action (indicative)

Between 1st of November– 31 December 2016

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 months, for ease of reference.

Any expenditure incurred before the signature of the Grant Agreement will be at the applicant’s risk. No expenditure can be incurred before the deadline for submission.

The indicative duration of the project should be up to 24 months. 

4. AVAILABLE BUDGET

The total budget earmarked for the EU co-financing of projects under this call is estimated at € 7 313 000.

On an indicative basis, the EU grant requested should be not less than EUR 108.000 The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds 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 budget12.

5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

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

  • Applications 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 its annexes by post or courier service (see section 12)

 

 

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 3). 

 

6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

6.1. Eligibility of the applicants (sole/lead and co-applicants) and affiliated entities13

a) Place of establishment

Legal entities properly established and registered in the following countries are eligible as lead applicant:

  • oneoftheMemberStatesoftheEuropeanUnion;

  • social partner organisation at European14, national or regional level (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 met15).

    Legal entities properly established and registered in the following countries are eligible as co- applicants:

• one of the EU Member States or Candidate Countries. b) Type of entities

To be eligible, sole or lead applicant and co-applicant(s) must be a:

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• representative of workers or employers of Member States, i.e.:

  1. for workers: applicants may be works councils or similar bodies ensuring the general representation of workers; regional, national, European, sectoral or multi-sectoral trade unions;

  2. for employers: applicants may be the management of undertakings, organisations representing employers at regional, national, European, sectoral or multi-sectoral level. In case of commercial undertakings, the objective of the project must be non-commercial in nature.

As an exception, sole/lead applicants may also be technical bodies such as non-profit training or research bodies and commercial companies only if the aim of the project is non-commercial. The above quoted technical bodies and commercial undertakings will be considered eligible only where they are expressly designated by one or more eligible organisations representing workers or employers of Member States and when a mandatory letter of endoresement is included (see section 14, checklist point 21). 

c) Consortia16

In the case of proposals not submitted by a European-level17 workers' or employers' organisation, the action must involve co-applicants, affiliated entities from more than one Member State and/or Candidate Country. The consortium may also include associate organisations

In order to strengthen co-operation between workers' and employers' representatives in respect of information, consultation and participation within undertakings operating in more than one Member State, projects involving only one information and consultation body should be submitted as joint projects from representatives of workers and employers.

Where particular circumstances do not allow submitting such a joint project, the reasons must be specified in the application.

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) GeographicalLocation

To be eligible, actions must be fully carried out in EU Member States or the candidate countries.

b) Types of activities
The grant will finance inter alia the activities indicated in section 2.2.

The applicant should refer to the Financial guidelines and notably the section 4.2.2.3 regarding the regulation about activities of the project that could be subcontracted. 

c) Core activities
The following activities are considered to be core activities and may not be subcontracted:

• Project management 

6.3 

Ineligible activities

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

The following types of activities are not eligible for EU funding:

The budget heading is intended to finance specific transnational cooperation projects. Therefore grants are not intended to finance the normal operation or meetings of bodies representing management or labour (the social partners); they are intended only to cover additional expenditure linked directly to projects.

7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA

Applicants (lead and co-applicants) must sign a declaration on their honour 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

The applicant (lead and 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

Applicants (sole/lead and co-applicant(s)) 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 ratio between the total assets in the applicant’s (sole/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 should be greater than 0.70. In addition, the Commission will take into account any other relevant information on financial capacity provided by the applicant.

The verification of financial capacity will not apply to public bodies.

The applicant's (sole/lead and co-applicant) financial capacity will be assessed on the basis of the following supporting documents to be submitted with the application:

 

8.2. Operational capacity 

Declaration on honour (including financial capacity to carry out the activity) (see section 14, checklist point 4);

Annual balance sheets and profit and loss accounts for the last financial year available (see section 14, checklist point 18);

Summary balance sheet and profit and loss accounts using the template provided in SWIM (see section 12) and signed by the legal representative (see section 14, checklist point 19).

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 20).]

 

Applicant's (sole/lead and co-applicant(s)) must have the professional competencies as well as appropriate skills and qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action In particular, (lead and co-applicant(s)) must have:

  • Have demonstrable experience of having carried out projects relating to the subject of the present call in the last three years;

  • The necessary operational resources (technical, management) to carry out the action The operational capacity of the applicant (sole/lead and co-applicant) to complete the

    proposed action must be confirmed by the submission in the proposal of the following items:

    • A list of the main projects relating to the subject of the call carried out in the last three years (see section 14, checklist point 17);

    • The CVs of the proposed project co-ordinator and the persons who will perform the main tasks, showing all their relevant professional experience (see section 14, checklist point 15);

    • A declaration by the project manager/coordinator certifying the competence of the team to carry out the required tasks (see section 14, checklist point 16);

    • Declaration on honour (including operational capacity to carry out the activity) (see section 14, checklist point 4).

    • the most recent activity report of the applicant organisation(s) (see section 14, checklist point 22)

    • an organisational chart showing the structure of the applicant organisation(s) with all members of staff involved in the project, their positions and employment status; (see section 14, checklist point 23)

 

 

If the sole/lead applicant is considered not to have the required financial or operational capacity, the application as a whole will be rejected. If a co-applicant is considered not to have the required financial or operational capacity, this co-applicant will be removed from the consortium and the application will be evaluated without this co-applicant18. In addition, the costs that are allocated to the non-selected co-applicant will be removed from the budget. If the application is accepted, the work programme will have to be adapted as appropriate.

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

 

9. AWARD CRITERIA

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

  1. The extent to which the action meets the priority objectives of this Call for proposals (Max. 10 points)

  2. The extent to which the project concerns innovative measures or new subjects in relation to information, consultation and participation of representatives of undertakings and which adds value to the existing situation (Max.10 points)

  3. The extent to which the project promotes the joint participation of employers and workers (Max. 10 points)

  4. The extent to which the action has a genuine transnational dimension (Max.10 points)

  5. The extent to which workers' and/or employers' representatives from new Member States or candidate countries are actively involved in the project (Max. 10 points)

  6. The cost-effectiveness of the action (Max. 10 points)

  7. The overall quality and clarity of the proposal, including the budgetary aspects and the arrangements to publicise the operation, including aspects related to the European Union funding, and dissemination methods envisaged (Max. 10 points)

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 mark;

  • the score for criteria i and iv is at least 50% of the maximum possible mark for

    that criterion.


10. LEGALCOMMITMENTS

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.

A model Grant Agreement is published on the Europa website under the relevant call: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=629&langId=en.

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

(Truncated see the public link for more details)



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