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Interreg MED Second call for Modular projects
Deadline: 31 Mar 2017   CALL EXPIRED

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The Interreg MED architecture is composed of three typologies of projects:

  •   Modular projects

  •   Horizontal projects

  •   Platform projects


The Interreg MED architecture, with the links between the different types of projects, can be materialised with the following scheme:

 

Modular projects

WHAT IS A MODULE-BASED APPROACH AND WHY ADOPT IT?

 

Based on the MED Programme 2007-2013 experience, the development of a new and innovative public intervention needs three successive phases:

  •   a phase of study and development of strategies and policies;

  •   a phase of testing, to validate the hypothesis developed;

  •   a phase of transferability and capitalisation of results at the transnational level.

The majority of the projects co-financed during the last programming period followed this sche- me, combining all three phases in one single project. Nevertheless, the experience has shown that, in some cases, gathering these three phases in one same project does not allow each phase to be developed optimally.

With the aim of transforming ideas into concrete and innovative solutions with a transnational impact, the Interreg MED Programme 2014-2020 has decided a new orientation in order to give to each one of these phases a real space to grow in projects under thematic Priority Axis 1, 2 and 3. This approach is materialised by different “modules”, which applicants must refer to in the elaboration of their project.

The module-based approach responds to the need to exploit in an optimal way the diversity of competences, characteristics and proposals of each partner structure, offering them a variety of operational combinations instead of a uniform operational model, similar to the 2007-2013 programme period.

Choosing the appropriate module, the partnership can focus on well identified types of activities bringing a concrete contribution to the delivery of the tackled specific objective. It can target and adapt the project to the focus and quality requirements of the European Commission and the MED area States. Each applicant can optimise its role and activities according to its expertise and skills, defining its role on the basis of its technical or institutional profile.

Three different modules have been defined by the Interreg MED Programme:

 Module 1: Studying  Module 2: Testing
 Module 3: Capitalising

A modular project can be composed by one or several modules depending on its strategy and main objectives, expected results, competences and experience of the partnership. Each one of the possible configurations (single-module or multi-module) is called a type of project.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF MODULAR PROJECTS TO CHOOSE FROM?
Two categories of modular projects are available: single-module and multi-module

Each type of project has its own objectives and will contribute to the Interreg MED Programme indicators in a specific way. Each type of project requires an adapted partnership and different levels of management, monitoring and communication.

Regardless the criteria to be observed to ensure the eligibility of an application (for further information, please refer to section 3.3.1), for each type of project, specific guidance has been established for their duration, budget and partnership size, in order to correspond to the objectives established for each one of them.

 

Project Module 1 (M1): “Studying”

This type of project has the objective to explore innovative subjects from a thematic and/or geographical perspective (new challenges, policies or trends) or to create knowledge in the MED area on issues, relevant for the participating regions, where the Interreg MED Programme experience is insufficient. This means that, as there is in general already vast knowledge avai- lable, only a limited number of projects of this type will be funded within the Programme, where a lack of knowledge is clearly identified and the need for a module 1 duly justified.

Projects focused on this module can:

  •   Analyse and state the art of an intervention field, produce complementary data and references;

  •   Design common approaches and elaborate common strategies;

  •   Reinforce or establish (new) networks in order to enhance the presence of the MED areaat European and transnational level.

The main outputs to be developed by the projects can be: SWOT analysis, state of the art, benchmarking analysis, models, action plans, strategies and instruments.

The duration for this type of projects is up to 18 months.

Project total eligible budget is recommended not to exceed EUR 600.000 (for information regarding co-financing rates, please refer to section 2.2.4 of the Programme Manual). In any case, partners should ensure that the financial size of the project truly reflects the activities foreseen in the work plan and that it is based on the principles of sound financial management.

Regarding the partnership, it is highly recommended to include institutional and scientific part- ners mixed according to the project objectives. It is also recommended not to exceed 8 project partners.

Communication activities (other than the coordination with the horizontal projects strategy and the Interreg MED Programme communication strategy) for single module 1 projects are notably:

  •   To ensure that the results are 100% transparent and transferred to projects target groups and horizontal projects and the Programme in most adapted ways;

  •   To set up at least one promotion activity to promote the final output(s);

  •   To ensure appropriate actions to steer up the networks where the projects participate at European and transnational level. The programme will provide them a web platform and some coordination tools, but projects might need specific or dedicated tools for networking participation.

Under communication activities, other recommendations need to be taken into consideration, please refer to section 2.5 of the Programme manual.

Project Module 2 (M2) “Testing”

This type of project has the objective to test instruments, policies, strategies, joint plans already identified by previous projects (not necessarily arisen by the MED experience) through pilot activities, in the perspective of setting up solutions applicable to a wider set of users and terri- tories.

Pilot activities can be set up when the context, data and actors are already well identified and when technical and institutional conditions are favourable. They may include, where necessary, the development of preliminary studies in the starting phase (feasibility or updating of the available data). They will necessarily include an evaluation of the pilot actions and a final phase

for the transferability of the results in the territories concerned by the project (transfer of results in local policies and application of results in the territories and to the targets).

The main outputs to be developed by these projects can be: preliminary and feasibility studies (if needed: succinct and complementing existing data), pilot activities (including methodology for implementation, testing and evaluation phases), plans of transferability of results.

The duration for this type of projects is up to 30 months.

Project total eligible budget is recommended to be in a range from EUR 1.2 to 2.5 million (for information regarding co-financing rates, please refer to section 2.2.4 of the Programme Manual). In any case, partners should ensure that the financial size of the project truly reflects the activities foreseen in the work plan and that it is based on the principles of sound financial management.

Regarding the partnership, it is highly recommended to include institutional and operational partners mixed according to the project objectives. It is recommended not to exceed 10 project partners.

Communication activities (other than the coordination with the horizontal projects strategy and the Interreg MED Programme communication strategy) for single module 2 projects are notably: To use more intensive Public Relations techniques and/or outreach strategy;

  •   To provide stories, interviews, end user testimonies, images that will nourish communication on several levels;

  •   To be active on social media to get in contact and raise awareness of local/regional citizens should be foreseen.

Under communication activities, other recommendations need to be taken into consideration, please refer to section 2.5 of the Programme Manual.

Project Module 3 (M3) “Capitalising”

This type of project has the objective to capitalise on (please refer to section 1.2.7 about capi- talisation) existing projects results, not only achieved in the framework of the Interreg MED Programme but also coming from other corresponding initiatives developed at local, regional, national and transnational level in the Interreg MED programme cooperation area and adjacent zones. These complementary initiatives are for instance, other Interreg programmes (interregional, transnational and cross-border dimensions), Neighbourhood programmes (ENI MED), EU thematic Programmes (e.g. Horizon2020, LIFE+, European Investment Bank), International Organisations Programmes (World Bank, United nations, Union for the Mediterranean), Regional Programmes including those financed with European Structural Funds. Projects focused on this module should be based on methodologies, practices, intervention tools already tested and implemented by stakeholders at local or regional level that represent a strong interest for wider targeted dissemination in the MED area. The objective of Module 3 projects should not consist in “disseminating information” but in working on existing results, on a specific theme chosen by the partnership, to go one step further. M3 projects are therefore expected to clearly identify a concrete and limited set of outputs/experiences delivered by previous initiatives (or eventually, on the verge of being delivered) in one very specific theme and capitalise them (by merging them, completing or extrapolating to other areas). For example, a Module 3 project can create a new tool or service combining different existing tools, or issue recommendations based on tested methodologies,

or apply to a different field or to a different territory an existing output. It will be also necessary to ensure that instruments, practices and methodologies are effectively taken on board by all actors concerned, and applied at local, regional, national or European level as broadly as possible and free of charge, in the territories targeted by the project. Module 3 projects can be compared to MED 2007-2013 projects from the Capitalisation Call for proposals.

The main outputs to be developed by these projects can be policy recommendations, Memo- randum of Understanding, agreements, procedures and regulatory proposals, charters, proto- cols. The formal engagement of the relevant decision makers should be envisaged when struc- turing the project.

The duration for this type of projects is up to 18 months.

Project total eligible budget is recommended to be in a range from EUR 600.000 to 1.2 million (for information regarding co-financing rates, please refer to section 2.2.4 of the Programme Manual). In any case, partners should ensure that the financial size of the project truly reflects the activities foreseen in the work plan and that it is based on the principles of sound financial management.

Regarding the partnership, it is highly recommended to include institutional partners and net- works. It is recommended not to exceed 8 project partners.

Communication activities (other than the coordination with the horizontal projects strategy and the Interreg MED Programme communication strategy) for single module 3 projects are notably:

  •   To draw an initial stakeholder mapping defining roles and targets

  •   To develop a targeted public relations strategy and activities

  •   To build up a set of networks at regional and local level in order to raise awareness of the targeted stakeholders through social media and outreach communication strategies

Under communication activities, other recommendations need to be taken into consideration, please refer to section 2.5 of the Programme Manual.

Project Modules 1 and 2 (M1+M2) “Studying and Testing”

This type of project has the objective, because of a lack of prior literature, data or experiences, to create new knowledge in a specific field and to develop common solutions that can be directly tested in specific territories.

Therefore, this type of project should focus on conducting studies and developing common plans or instruments (M1), which then will be tested in order to transfer them to the public policies of the territories concerned (M2). They will necessarily include an evaluation of the pilot actions and a final phase for the transferability of the results in the territories concerned by the project (transfer of results in local policies and application of results in the territories and to the targets).

The main outputs to be developed by these projects can be a combination of those already foreseen for single modules 1 and 2, namely: SWOT analysis, state of the art, benchmarking analysis, models, action plans, strategies, instruments and pilot activities (including methodology for implementation, testing and evaluation phases) and plans of transferability of results.

The duration for this type of projects is up to 36 months. It is recommended to foresee a ratio of 15 months for M1 activities and 21 for M2 activities.

Project total eligible budget is recommended within a range between EUR 1.8 and 3 million (for information regarding co-financing rates, please refer to section 2.2.4 of the Programme Ma- nual). In any case, partners should ensure that the financial size of the project truly reflects the activities foreseen in the work plan and that it is based on the principles of sound financial management.

Regarding the partnership, it is highly recommended to include institutional, operational and scientific partners mixed according to the project objectives in order to ensure the maximum impact of project activities at all levels. Some partners might actively participate only in one of the modules according to their skills and experience. It is recommended not to exceed 12 project partners.

Communication activities (other than the coordination with the horizontal projects strategy and the Interreg MED Programme communication strategy) for multi-module projects M1+M2 are notably:

  •   To ensure that the results are 100% transparent and transferred to projects target groups in most adapted ways;

  •   To set up at least one promotion activity to promote the final output(s);

  •   To ensure appropriate actions to steer up the networks where the projects participate at European and transnational level;

  •   To provide stories, interviews, end user testimonies, images that will nourish communication on several levels;

  •   To be active on social media to get in contact and raise awareness of local/regional citizens should be foreseen.

Under communication activities, other recommendations need to be taken into consideration, please refer to section 2.5 of the Programme Manual.

Project Modules 2 and 3 (M2+M3) “Testing and Capitalising”

This type of project has the objective to test, at a wider level, instruments, policies, strategies, joint plans that have been already identified by previous initiatives (not necessarily arisen in the framework of the Interreg MED Programme) through pilot activities, ensuring the transferability of applied solutions in the territories concerned by the project (M2) and to capitalise results obtained during the first phase of the project (Module 2) with other projects results and experiences directly contributing to the project objectives (M3). These projects should work for the adoption of transnational models and their application in the regional and national policies for the MED, and even European area. They may include, where necessary, the development of preliminary studies in the starting phase (feasibility or updating of the available data). They will necessarily include an evaluation of the pilot actions and a phase for the transferability of the results in the territories concerned by the project (transfer of results in local policies and application of results in the territories and to the targets), while the formal engagement of the appropriate decision makers should be envisaged when structuring the project.

The main outputs to be developed by these projects can be a combination of those already foreseen for modules 2 and 3, namely: preliminary and feasibility studies (if needed), pilot activities (including methodology for implementation, testing and evaluation phases), plan of result transferability and policy recommendations, Memorandum of Understanding, agreements, pro- cedures and regulatory proposals, charters and protocols. The formal engagement of the rele- vant decision makers should be envisaged when structuring the project.

The duration for this type of projects is up to 36 months. It is recommended to foresee a ratio of 21 months for M2 activities and 15 for M3 activities.

Project total eligible budget is recommended within a range between EUR 2.5 and 3.6 million (for information regarding co-financing rates, please refer to section 2.2.4 of the Programme Manual). In any case, partners should ensure that the financial size of the project truly reflects the activities foreseen in the work plan and that it is based on the principles of sound financial management.

Regarding the partnership, it is highly recommended to include institutional, operational part- ners and networks mixed according to the project objectives in order to ensure the maximum impact of project activities at all levels. Some partners might actively participate in only one of the modules proposed according to their skills and experience. It is recommended not to exceed 12 project partners.

Communication activities, (other than the coordination with the horizontal projects strategy and the Interreg MED Programme communication strategy) for multi-module projects M2+M3 are notably:

  •   To ensure that results are 100% transparent and transferred to projects target groups in most adapted ways;

  •   To set up of at least one promotion activity to promote the final output(s);

  •   To ensure appropriate actions to steer up the networks where the projects participate at European and transnational level;

  •   To make a more intensive use of Public Relations techniques and/or outreach strategy;

  •   To provide stories, interviews, end user testimonies, images that will nourish communication on several levels;

  •   To foresee social media activities to get in contact and raise awareness of local/regional citizens.

Under communication activities, other recommendations need to be taken into consideration, please refer to section 2.5 of the Programme Manual.

Project Modules 1, 2 and 3 (M1 + M2 + M3) “Integrated Projects”

Projects from this type have the ambition to create a direct impact on regional and national policies of the MED and European space and may integrate all types of activities foreseen in the single-module projects.

Their structure and actions should be fully oriented towards looking forward transnational solu- tions linked with the MED area in a global manner and not with specific territories. The pro- blems faced and the solutions proposed will cut across the Mediterranean.

They should be elaborated in connection with other MED projects as well as with other projects or initiatives in the MED space (other Interreg and/or thematic programmes). Integrated projects should focus on issues of high relevance for the area, taking into account works realised at local level, of which results could be brought on a transnational scale. They could also be based on topics identified as priorities by the horizontal projects. Thus the integrated projects will ensure the consolidation and transnationality of the proposed solutions on issues of high relevance for the area.

The main outputs to be developed by these projects can be those already foreseen for modules 1, 2 and 3, namely: SWOT analysis, state of the art, benchmarking analysis, models, action plans, strategies, instruments and pilot activities (including methodology for implementation, testing and evaluation phases), plan of results transferability and policy recommendations, Memorandum of Understanding, agreements, procedures and regulatory proposals, charters, protocols. The formal engagement of the relevant decision makers should be envisaged when structuring the project.

The duration for this type of projects is up to 48 months. It is recommended to foresee 15 months for M1 activities, 21 months for M2 activities and the final 12 months for M3 activities.

Project total eligible budget is recommended within a range between EUR 3.6 and 6 million (for information regarding co-financing rates, please refer to section 2.2.4 of the Programme Manual). In any case, partners should ensure that the financial size of the project truly reflects the activities foreseen in the work plan and that it is based on the principles of sound financial management.

Regarding the partnership, it is highly recommended to include institutional, operational and scientific partners and networks mixed according to the project objectives in order to ensure the maximum impact of project activities at all levels. Besides, it would be necessary to establish a group of partners that will compose the core partnership, which will be involved all along the project implementation, and other partners that may be involved especially in each one of the modules to be implemented. In addition, the Lead Partner and the responsible for operational work packages should be regional or state bodies (regional authorities NUTS II, regional or nationnal agencies, government bodies). It is recommended not to exceed 15 project partners.

Communication activities of the Integrated projects (other than the coordination with the hori- zontal projects strategy and the Interreg MED Programme communication strategy) are similar to the activities of modular projects and should be oriented towards the objectives of each specific integrated project, in order to:

  •   Develop a more intensive use of international media relations;

  •   Provide stories, interviews, end user testimonies, images that will nourish communication on several levels;

  •   Ensure that results are 100% transparent and transferred to projects target groups in most adapted ways;

  •   set up a programme of promotion activities to promote results;

  •   Make a more intensive use of Public Relations techniques and/or outreach strategy;

  •   When necessary, ensure appropriate actions to steer up the networks where the projects participate at European and transnational level;

  •   Foreseen social media activities to get in contact and raise awareness of local/regional citizens.

Under communication activities, other recommendations need to be taken into consideration, please refer to section 2.5 of the Programme Manual.

 

HOW TO IDENTIFY THE RIGHT TYPE OF PROJECT?

Any project, either single-module or multi-module, should candidate on the basis of a diagnosis of outcomes of previous projects or initiatives. For example, a project Module 1 “Studying” will start from an identified diagnosis, while a project Module 2 “Testing” should and will use preli- minary studies to build its methodology of tests and experiments. A project Module 3 “Capitali- sing” will build, transfer and implement, where appropriate, procedures, methodologies, re- commendations from other projects already completed.

Applicants are invited to look at all the possible types of projects in order to choose the one that adapts the best to their objectives, experience, skills and ambition. The evaluation of the proposals will be based on the characteristics of each type of project and in consequence there is no “best” or “worst” choice but a “most adapted” solution.

Two key questions should be answered before selecting the type of project that best fits a project idea:

  1. Where do I start from? This means that the applicant should establish a diagnosis of the situation: what is the state of the art of the issue tackled?

    This will help identify from which Module you need to start

  2. How far should/can I go? This means that ambition and feasibility should be assessed.

    This will help identify how many modules you will combine

In order to define which modules, and eventually how many, should be implemented for reaching the objectives, the following criteria should be assessed:

  •   State of the art of the issue tackled: what has been done already, what can be reused, what is needed to be developed?

  •   Main objectives of the project idea: what are the identified needs? What does the project want to change for the area? What does the project want to realise?

  •   Expected outputs and results of the project idea: What does the project want to produce? For whom?

  •   Competences, skills and experience of the partnership: what the partnership does best?

  •   Timeframe and financial capacities: how much can the partnership dedicate to this work?

What are the financial capacities of the partners involved?

The selection of the type of project based on the above criteria allow partnerships to determine the direction of their project proposal in regards to the objectives set and the expected results, taking into account the specific competences of each partner.

Not all partners have necessarily to be involved with the same intensity in all the modules of a multi-module type of project.

Partners need to be associated to those activities that are in line with their competences. However, a core team of partners should ensure the coordination of all the activities regardless the modules, as a good information flow and a clear decision making procedure have to be ensured by the management system of the project.

The single-module types of projects are basically aimed at partnerships having immediate requirements and seeking quick answers, wanting to work on a specific issue with more agility, not requiring large financing efforts nor a complex implementation. Single-module projects will

have the possibility to continue their work by applying for another type of project in forthcoming calls for proposals, following the requirements of the relevant Terms of References.

The multi-module types of projects are justified by a medium-term vision, with a project pro- posal combining different objectives and results and the need for a multiple skills partnership. Important innovations in management and monitoring are required for multi-module projects. In this regard, and in order to have an effective and relevant implementation, all multi-module projects will be required to have an external and independent evaluation process, that should follow the framework methodology developed by the Interreg MED Programme (for further information, please refer to section 4.4. of the Programme Manual). All costs needed for this activity will be included in the project budget breakdown and supported by the project itself. The evaluation approach can also be relevant for single-module projects, but it is not compulsory.

Moreover, all projects (single or multi-module) should take into account a specific budget (staff, travel...) in order to contribute to transnational activities when requested by the Programme: coordination with the information and the communication of the horizontal projects and cooperation with the communication strategy of the Programme, including the observation of EU regulations and programme guidelines, organisation of events, participation in programme events, among other activities (for further information, please refer to section 2.5. of the Programme Manual).

 

HOW TO GO FROM A MODULE TO ANOTHER IN A MULTI-MODULE TYPE OF PROJECT?

Multi-module projects will be governed by a Subsidy Contract that will differentiate the different modules, each module having its own objectives, outputs, calendar and budget.

At the end of each module, the MA/JS will perform a verification of the activities carried out and the deliverables produced by the project in order to check their compliance with the requirements established and to pass to the next module.

The aim of this verification will be to confirm that the identified expected results for the concer- ned module have been reached according to the Subsidy Contract and the approved Application Form, and that the partnership is ready to start the new phase of the project.
In particular, the MA/JS verification will focus on following aspects:

  •   Analysis of content-related progress and production of key pre-identified deliverables in due form as scheduled;

  •   Financial progress of the project;

  •   Management and administrative performance;

  •   Partners’ engagement;

  •   Realistic forecast and recommendations for the remaining modules;

  •   If applicable, identification of deviations and delays in regard to the Application Form, as well as necessary project modifications (partnership, finance and activities).

A verification checklist will be provided to the projects after their approval (and annexed to the Subsidy Contract) in order to make them aware about the key elements that will be checked by the MA/JS. More information is provided in section 4.5. of the Programme Manual.

This verification will take place in a short period of time between the end of a module and the start of the following one on the basis of a specific report. The MA/JS will ensure that this verification does not hinder the progress of activities and the transition between modules.

Based on this verification, the MA/JS may decide:

  •   to agree on the continuity of the project as foreseen in the Application Form;

  •   to propose a modification of the project in order to adapt it to the new “reality”, taking into account the results of the verification;

  •   to propose to the Interreg MED Programme Steering Committee a deprogrammation of the forthcoming modules.

Upon transition from one module to another, the partnership may propose a modification of the project regarding the partnership, major budget changes and activities in order to better adjust to the needs of the following module. For further information regarding modifications please refer to section 4.2. of the Programme Manual.

Horizontal projects

Horizontal projects can be summed up as:

  1. 1)  a single interface for all modular projects involved in the same axis and/or objective synthesizing and homogenising answers to the same topics;

  2. 2)  a single interface for the programme Authorities like a centre for the principal thematic information;

  3. 3)  a single interface between the modular projects of the Interreg MED Programme resulting from a bottom-up process and the “governance” platform of the Axis 4 (a top- down process to orient the future Interreg MED strategy) in order to assist and supply the Axis 4 “platform project” initiative.

The horizontal project will be the unifying element of the main outputs / results of each mo- dular project on a particular and shared subject. This will allow real synergies between projects in the same axis / objective of the Interreg MED Programme and provide a better visibility in order to reach policy making level.

Horizontal projects will support the module application procedure cooperating with both the programme and individual projects, concentrating and developing information and deliverables per each priority axis from an external point of view. Horizontal projects will not have to imple- ment and achieve their own territorial objectives like all modular projects but to gather results in progress and facilitate transfer from modular projects to other communities (institutional, scientific and thematic European networks/stakeholders): under the monitoring of the pro- gramme Authorities they will have the task to promote the modular projects (concept referring to all thematic module-based projects from the Axis 1, 2 and 3, please refer to section 2.1.1 of the Programme Manual) communication and capitalisation actions within a joint framework, in order to better highlight the interests of the programme as well as of the transnational projects themselves.

Horizontal projects:

  •   Capture elements of the modular projects within each thematic Specific Objective and for the MED area as a whole; analyse them, summarise and ensure their transnational dissemination and transferability, in cooperation with the programme Authorities.

  •   Provide the frame to develop synergies, produce summaries and qualitative analysis as well as coordinate and manage (under supervision of the JS) communication of a cluster of projects.

  •   Structure and disseminate a message for the entire MED community and work on thematic inter-axes links (1, 2 and 3) and with the Axis 4 "platform" project (governance).

  •   Help and support the communication and capitalisation of selected modular projects for each call and for each specific objective. Each modular project will be linked to a horizontal project and should contribute to its communication and capitalisation activities.

  •   Propose a method for coordinating the joint communication and capitalisation, for working on thematic results with the ‘community’ of modular projects and propose relevant tools for these tasks.

The main outputs to be developed by these projects can be community building / communication / capitalisation strategies and action plans, internal communication products, policy papers and recommendations, technical papers and deliverables and target groups databases.

The duration for this type of projects is up to 36 months (extensions would be possible)

Project total eligible budget is recommended not to exceed EUR 1.4 million (please refer to the Terms of Reference for specific budget recommendations depending on the Priority Axis chosen) (for information regarding co-financing rates, please refer to section 2.2.4 of the Programme Manual). In any case, partners should ensure that the financial size of the project truly reflects the activities foreseen in the work plan and that it is based on the principles of sound financial management.

The partnership should combine skills in community building, communication, coordination of works, capitalisation of results, thematic lobbying and networking at European level and know- ledge related to the theme of the Priority Axis/Specific objective chosen. The partnership should be composed of maximum 6 project partners..

Concerning communication activities, horizontal projects have a more specific role and tasks than the previous types of modular projects. The main activities to be considered for horizontal projects are:

  •   Develop the communication strategy of the thematic community of projects;

  •   Strategy building with the modular projects associated with the thematic priority ;

  •   Coordination with the modular projects, the Programme and other horizontal projects for a coherent approach;

  •   Provision of information to the Programme to nourish its information means, events and other initiatives;

  •   Active participation in the Interreg MED Programme activities.

Under communication activities, other recommendations need to be taken into consideration, please refer to section 2.5 of the Programme Manual.

 

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Axis 4 Platform project

The MED Programme aims to benefit from and contribute to develop a common vision, priorities and opportunities as well as to benefit from the framework of already existing macro- regions and/or other possible ones emerging in the future in cooperation with Partner States. This can be achieved through specific projects which can facilitate the appropriate tools and mechanisms to ease the implementation of better governance and thematic multi-sectoral integration in the Mediterranean.

This will be implemented by a ‘Platform of national authorities project’ programmed under the Axis 4.

With the ‘PLATFORM’ project the Interreg MED Programme intends to contribute to the global governance effort of the Mediterranean area by providing resources for a structured (ideally long-term) regional and multi-sectoral discussion forum. This contribution aims notably to bring valuable input from the results of thematic (under Axis 1, 2 and 3) Interreg MED projects to a more global ‘mainstreaming’ level.

Finally, under the umbrella of the ‘PLATFORM’ project, it is important to define consensual priorities that emerge from the dialogue and discussion in and between the Working Groups. These priorities can lead into the elaboration of strategic projects, which can eventually receive financing from the Platform initiative, upon the decision of the programme Monitoring Committee.

 

2.2. Partnership requirements

2.2.1. Definition of partners

ERDF PARTNERS LOCATED IN THE INTERREG MED PROGRAMME AREA

The project partners that are located in the territories of the European Union covered by the Interreg MED Programme, as specified in the section 1.1 on background and programme objective, are co-financed by the ERDF.

Partners participating in projects and receiving funding from the Interreg MED Programme shall be the following:

  •   National, regional and local public bodies (including EGTCs in the meaning of Article 2(16) of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013);

  •   Private institutions, including private companies, having legal personality1;

  •   International organisations acting under the national law of any EU MED Member

State or, with restrictions, under international law (see below for details).

The terms of references will provide a list of the most relevant partners2 for each priority axis.

In the framework of the Interreg MED Programme, the so-called “public equivalent bodies”, i.e. bodies governed by public law as defined in Article 2(1) of Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement are eligible partners under category A. “national, regional and local public bodies”. Please note that such bodies have to fulfil all the following characteristics in order to be considered as eligible partners:

  •   They are established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not having an industrial or commercial character;

  •   They have legal personality; and

  •   They are financed, for the most part, by the State, regional or local authorities, or by

other bodies governed by public law; or are subject to management supervision by those authorities or bodies; or have an administrative, managerial or supervisory board, more than half of whose members are appointed by the State, regional or local authorities, or by other bodies governed by public law.

 

NOTICE:
Please note that bodies whose main scope of activities within their business profile, as well as their project role, consists of project coordination, management or other activities that are of a mere executive or supporting character (service providers) cannot be involved as project partners. Compliance with this requirement will be checked during the quality assessment of project proposals which, on a case by case basis, could lead even to the exclusion of such partners.

 

International organisations acting under international law are only eligible as partners and they cannot act as Lead Partners.

They can participate in projects only upon their explicit acceptance of all requirements deriving from the Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union and the regulations applicable in the framework of the Interreg MED Programme, including – but not limited to – the following:

  •   Adherence to applicable community policies, including the respect of rules on public procurement;

  •   Acceptance of the national control requirements set in the framework of the Interreg MED Programme by the Member State in which the organisation acting as partner is located;

  •   Acceptance of controls and audits by all those bodies entitled to carry out such controls in the framework of the Interreg MED Programme, including the Managing Authority and Joint Secretariat, the Audit Authority and the European Court of Auditors as well as the relevant national authorities of the Member State in which the international organisation acting as project partner is located. Storage of all documents required for these controls must allow performing them in the geographical area covered by the Interreg MED Programme;

  •   Final financial liability for all sums wrongly paid out.

If a project proposal involving international organisations acting under international law in the partnership is approved, it must provide an ad hoc declaration signed by these institutions accepting the mentioned requirements. Besides, for reasons of legal security, additional legal information may be requested to these institutions prior to granting the fund.

The non-compliance with these requirements could lead to the exclusion of such partners.

 

IPA PARTNERS

Organisations from Candidate and Potential Candidate Countries participating in the Interreg MED Programme are eligible as project partners co-financed by the Instrument for Pre- Accession Assistance (IPA fund).

Countries concerned by the IPA fund within the Interreg MED Programme are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania.

IPA partners can apply as project partners provided that their legal status is coherent with the Programme rules and the national laws applicable in the relevant IPA countries.

 

The following issues will have to be considered:

  •   IPA structures cannot act as Lead Partners;

  •   IPA structures shall be a national, regional, local public body or a public equivalent body3

  •   IPA structures under private law are not eligible to the Interreg MED Programme;

  •   IPA structures shall be non-profit making;

  •   IPA partners shall be directly responsible for preparation and management of project’s activities with the partnership, not acting as an intermediary;

  •   IPA structures shall have stable and sufficient sources of finance to ensure the continuity of the organisation throughout the lifespan of the project.

ERDF PARTNERS OUTSIDE THE INTERREG MED PROGRAMME AREA (20 % GEOGRAPHICAL FLEXIBILITY RULE)

Organisations located in regions outside the Interreg MED Programme area, but inside the European Union, can become project partners (co-financed by the ERDF) only in exceptional and duly justified cases. This means that their participation needs to bring clear added value and expertise to the implementation of a project and has to be of benefit for the Interreg MED Programme area.

The ERDF allocated to a single project for such partners together with the ERDF spent outside the Programme area (as provided for in section 2.2.5 on location of activities) cannot exceed 20 % of the total ERDF contribution to this project.

Institutions located in EU regions outside the Programme area cannot act as Lead Partners.

Participation of EU-partners in project proposals is open to all EU regions, under all priority axes and irrespective of the legal status of the partners.

Nevertheless, should the activities to be carried out by partners located in countries outside the Programme area be considered as State aid relevant, the participation of these partners will finally not be allowed due to the impossibility for the Programme Monitoring Committee to validate the result of the State aid assessment on behalf of a Member State not participating in the Programme.

As for any other activities supported by the Programme, activities implemented by EU partners located outside the Programme area are subject to management verifications and audits.

At the application phase, the partners located outside the Programme area will have to present a confirmation of the eligibility of its legal status by the time of the Steering Committee approval. The responsible authority of the respective EU country shall sign this confirmation. In case of failure, the partner will be excluded from the project.

 

ATTENTION
In case of project approval, an agreement on management, control and audit responsibilities will have to be signed between the Managing Authority and the relevant EU country. The time limit will be of maximum 12 months after the project’s approval (and in any case before the submission of the first payment claim). In case of failure, the partner will be excluded from the project.

ASSOCIATED PARTNERS

Institutions willing to be involved in the project without financially contributing to it are to be considered as “associated partners”. Such associated partners will not receive ERDF/IPA funding, will have to participate with their own funds, and do not account for the fulfilment of the minimum partnership requirements.

Third country partners will not receive any ERDF/IPA funding from the Interreg MED Programme and are only allowed to act as associated partners.

Expenditure incurred by the associated partners might be borne by any of the financing project partners in compliance with the applicable eligibility rules.

In any case, the involvement of associated institutions must not conflict with public procurement rules. Therefore, expenditure incurred by these bodies should in principle be limited to reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs related to their participation in the project meetings.

2.2.2. Lead Partner requirements

The “Lead Partner principle” applies to the Interreg MED Programme, in compliance with Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 1299/2013. This means that each partnership appoints one organisation to act as Lead Partner, which takes full responsibility for the implementation of the entire project.

The Lead Partner is a public body or a body governed by public law (according to the definition of the Directive 2014/24/EU). The Lead Partner must be physically based in the EU part of the Interreg MED Programme area.

Private institutions, international organisations acting under international law and IPA partners cannot act as Lead Partners.

After approval of a project by the Steering Committee, the Lead Partner will sign a Subsidy Contract with the Managing Authority (PACA Region, FRANCE) and kick-off the project imple- mentation.

During the implementation phase, the main task of the Lead Partner is the coordination of the project with “sound financial and project management”4 (for further information, please refer to section 2.3.4. on partnership relevance, 2.3.5. on sound project management and 2.3.6. on sound project budget).

In addition, the Lead Partner should maintain a good communication flow among the partnership and ensure an efficient exchange of information that enables the successful delivery of the project outputs. The Lead Partner is also responsible for communication with the Programme bodies, especially the Managing Authority and the Joint Secretariat.

The responsibilities of the Lead Partner are defined in the Subsidy Contract. The Lead Partner has to lay down the arrangements with all other partners in a written agreement (Partnership Agreement).

The models of Subsidy Contract and Partnership Agreement is available on the Interreg MED Programme website and in Annex of the Programme Manual, and will have to be signed after the approval of the proposals (for further information, please refer to section 3.4 on contracting procedures).

2.2.3.  Size of the partnership

As a minimum requirement, the partnership must involve:

  •   at least four financing partners

  •   from at least four different countries from the Interreg MED Programme area and

  •   with at least three of the partners located in the Union part of the Interreg MED Programme area (three ERDF partners within the MED Programme area)

The size of the partnership should reflect the scope of the project and remain manageable. Section 2.1provides additional recommendations on the most suitable partnership size according to each type of project. The Terms of References can also set specific requirements regarding the partnership.

 

2.2.4.  Co-financing

The Interreg MED Programme is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and by the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).

The ERDF/IPA co-financing rate for all partners and Lead Partners is 85%.

The only exception applies for SMEs acting as partners under Article 20 of the General Block Exemption Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014) for which the ERDF co- financing rate is 50% of the total eligible budget.

The share of expenditure not covered by ERDF/IPA shall be guaranteed by each project Lead Partner and partner by means of national co-financing, which can be provided as follows:

  •   Own public contribution: public funding at national, regional or local level, provided directly with own funds by the partners having a public status.

  •   Automatic public contribution: public funding at national, regional or local level, obtained via specific co-financing schemes set up by the Member States.

  •   Other public contribution: public funding at national, regional or local level, provided by institutions having a public status but not participating in the partnership.

  •   Own private contribution: private funding provided directly with own funds by the partners having a private status.

  •   Other private contribution: private funding provided by institutions having a private status but not participating in the partnership.

    The contribution of each Lead Partner and project partner, be it a public or private institution, must be confirmed by the Lead Partner in the Application Form and by every single partner by filling-in the relevant partner declaration (the latter has to be compulsory annexed to the Application Form, please refer to section 3.1. on the application procedure).

2.2.5. Location of activities

In line with the requirements for the geographical location of partners, and as a basic principle, the Interreg MED Programme supports project activities taking place in the Programme area.

All activities implemented by the Lead Partners and ERDF partners of the MED Programme area in EU regions outside the MED Programme area - including the participation in missions, study visits and events – can be accepted only in exceptional and duly justified cases.

The following requirements must be respected:

  •   They are for the benefit of the regions of the Programme area;

  •   They are essential for the implementation of the project;

  •   They are explicitly foreseen in the Application Form or, if not, have been previously authorized by the MA/JS.

All projects are invited to foresee in the Application Form a little budget for travels outside of the MED area in order to participate in external events (not organised by the project itself); however, it is warmly recommended to limit as much as possible the organisation of the project’s meetings, events and seminars outside the MED area.

According to article 20 of Regulation (EU) No 1299/2013 and to the Interreg MED Cooperation Programme, the Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat must closely monitor all activities located outside the Union part of the Programme area, both at the application and at the implementation phase.

Activities financed by IPA funds should be implemented, as a basic principle, in the IPA territories. Activities outside the IPA territories benefiting the IPA countries will be analysed on a case by case basis by the MA/JS.

 

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