European policy experimentations under Erasmus+ Key Action 3 (Support for policy reform) - Initiatives for policy innovation1 are transnational cooperation projects supporting the implementation of the European Union policy agendas on Education and Training, including sector-specific agendas such as the Bologna and Copenhagen processes.
European policy experimentations involve mutual learning, exchanges of experience and good practice, evidence building and cooperation among European countries, which are essential elements of the Strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020)2. They are therefore a highly relevant tool to support the implementation of the strategic priorities agreed in this context. Proposals under the present call should therefore demonstrate appropriate links with the work carried out under this framework (such as Council Conclusions and Recommendations, Commission Communications and Staff Working Documents, policy handbooks and guidelines, quality frameworks and tools, collections of good practice, etc.). Where relevant, applicants are strongly encouraged to anchor their proposals to the work carried out in Working Groups under ET 20203, explaining how the proposal relates to such work. Proposals should be consistent with the broader policy agenda at EU level4.
Where appropriate, proposals should also refer to work carried out under EU programmes and funds such as the Erasmus+, Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes, the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) and Horizon 2020, Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), the European Fund for Strategic Investment, etc., as well as by international organisations such as the Council of Europe or the OECD.
By combining strong institutional leadership, sound evidence and a clear European dimension, European policy experimentations pursue sustainable systemic improvement and innovation. They therefore need to be placed in a well-defined and consistent policy perspective, under the leadership of public authorities at the highest institutional level (Ministry or equivalent, hereafter referred to as "the responsible public authorities").
The submission and selection of proposals is divided in two stages: pre-proposal stage and full proposal stage (see Section 14).
The management of this call is delegated by the European Commission to the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, hereinafter referred to as "the Agency".
1.1 Supporting evidence-informed policy in education and training
The European Union pursues an ambitious political, economic and social agenda which involves promoting effective reforms and efficient investment to best meet the needs of countries and stakeholders. In particular, the European Commission's Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and
Democratic Change5 addresses long-term political and socio-economic challenges such as economic recovery, migratory pressures, transformations linked to technological development and global competition or demographic ageing, as well as new emerging challenges such as terrorism or threats to the European Union's fundamental values, which increase the need for the Union to become more resilient.
Education and training play a key role in enhancing personal, cognitive and social development, laying the foundations for tolerant and inclusive societies and providing skills for employability. Providing access to good quality education and training is key to foster migrants' socio-economic integration in the host countries and personal development. By reaching out to all citizens - in particular to the disadvantaged – education and training policies are crucial to prevent and tackle poverty, inequality and discrimination, to enhance active participation in society, but also to contribute to innovation, productivity, competitiveness, sustainable growth and upward convergence.
The Joint Report6 of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020) of 2015 introduced six new priorities for European cooperation until 2020 to address the specific challenges that education and training systems are facing in Europe: improving skills for employability, especially for young people; creating open, innovative and digital learning environments, cultivating fundamental values, equality, non- discrimination and active citizenship; supporting educators; ensuring the transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications; ensuring sustainable investment as well as high performance and efficiency.
A number of major initiatives adopted by the European Commission between 2016 and 2017 in the fields of education and training support these priorities and are drivers for concrete action:
a Communication on Supporting the prevention of radicalisation leading to violent extremism of 20167, which reflects the objectives of the Paris Declaration on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education of 20158.
A New Skills Agenda for Europe9 outlining actions to improve the quality and relevance of skills formation, make skills more visible and comparable and improve skills intelligence and information.
An Action Plan on the integration of third country nationals10 which provides a comprehensive framework to help Member States develop integration policies and outlines concrete measures to be implemented by the Commission.
A Communication on Improving and modernising education11, which emphasises the strategic of importance of education, acknowledges the improvements in education systems achieved in the European Union but also unresolved challenges.
A Communication on School development and excellent teaching for a great start in life and a Communication on A renewed EU agenda for higher education12, to support high quality, inclusive and future-oriented school and higher education.
The priorities of the present call are consistent with these initiatives and aim at supporting them.
As relevant and reliable evidence is essential to underpin policy action, experimentation projects in the context of this call should aim at supporting evidence-informed policy by testing theoretical assumptions in real life situations and assessing the potential for promising measures to be implemented, replicated or scaled up.
The steering role of the responsible public authorities in European policy experimentation projects is
- to ensure consistency between the higher political goals – including the priorities agreed at EU level - and the specific objectives of the projects;
- to ensure adequate project follow-up, scalability and sustainability;
- to feed the results back into the policy process at country and EU level.
2. OBJECTIVES, PRIORITY THEMES AND EXPECTED RESULTS
The objectives of this call are to:
Promote trans-national cooperation and mutual learning among public authorities at the highest institutional level of the eligible countries in order to foster systemic improvement and innovation in the education and training fields,
Enhance the collection and analysis of substantive evidence to ensure the successful implementation of innovative measures,
2.2. Priority themes
Proposals submitted under the present call should tackle only one of the following priority themes. These themes are exclusive: proposals focusing on other themes will not be considered for funding. Applicants are free to consider any specific aspect or measure within a priority theme.
- Promoting social inclusion and shared EU values through formal and non- formal learning
The Declaration on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non- discrimination through education calls for inclusive education for all children, which conveys a culture of democratic values and a sense of belonging reaching beyond individual or community divides, while helping them to become active, responsible and open-minded citizens. As European societies are growing more diverse, the role of education in promoting social cohesion and transmitting shared values is more important than ever. Furthermore, inclusive education aims to reduce social exclusion that results from attitudes regarding diversity in relation to race, socio-economic situation, ethnicity, gender and ability.
By its universal character, reaching out to each and every young person regardless of their background, education can help young people acquire common values and lay sound foundations for open, equitable and democratic societies. For this to happen, there is a need to better understand to what extent and how values can or should be successfully conveyed in formal and non-formal educational settings.
The most effective way of transmitting fundamental values is to enable children to experience democratic participation, respect of diversity, tolerance in the learning environment, while comprehending the underlying principles. Educational approaches should place a greater emphasis on the acquisition of social, civic, relational and intercultural competences and involve families and local communities, taking into account the needs of individual learners. Moreover, an inclusive learning environment is essential to address the needs of disadvantaged learners and to foster the integration of those with a migrant or minority background. Teachers and educators should be empowered to deal with diversity and to address controversial issues; they should be better prepared to enhance active citizenship, to promote the knowledge and understanding of fundamental values and to resolve conflicts. They should also be better prepared to use pedagogical approaches that are adapted to the diverse needs of learners (including by embracing multilingualism) in order to create tolerant and nurturing learning environments that embrace diversity and where nobody feels excluded. Cooperation with local communities, parents, social services, civil society, social partners and the non-formal sector (youth workers, sport organisations...) should be enhanced to help foster intercultural understanding and engagement with young people.
Projects should address the above challenges by developing and testing new approaches or tools, such as (the examples provided below are purely indicative and non-exhaustive; applicants are free and encouraged to also explore other approaches and tools):
- support services : knowledge resource centres, special workshops, hotline assistance, mediation activities etc. - to help educational institutions, teachers and educators deal with diversity, promote fundamental values, combat discrimination and promote active citizenship;
- new approaches for creating an inclusive learning environment closely linked with the local community for example by involving teachers, parents and learners in the running of schools, creating opportunities for volunteering and offering guidance for families on how to support their children's learning, implementing anti-bullying actions, fostering participation in after-school activities in the areas of youth, sport or culture, etc.;
- new approaches to promote ownership of shared values, civic competences, socio-emotional learning as well as critical thinking and media literacy;
- new approaches to foster the inclusion of children and young people with a migrant or minority background such as: language support schemes, more inclusive pedagogical approaches, schemes to
Europe is becoming increasingly diverse due to migration and globalisation. These changes affect the educational landscape, creating both opportunities and challenges for schools. The "School development and excellent teaching for a great start in life" Communication underlines that schools that embrace linguistic and cultural diversity and support integration have a positive effect on all children's ability to learn.
In the latest Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS, 2013), teaching in multicultural or multilingual setting was noted as one of the areas where teachers said they needed most support in their professional development. A recent Commission study14 found that, while students may have roots from around the world and speak a multitude of languages, teachers in most European countries remained largely homogenous, and also felt ill-prepared to teach students from such diverse backgrounds. Languages form just one aspect of diversity; however they are crucial since learning is a deeply linguistic process. Learning of any kind is in peril if the language used in the classroom is not fully comprehensible to the learner.
In this context, teacher education remains a key priority: strategies to prepare teachers for linguistically diverse student groups need to be further developed. Education systems need to equip teachers with the capacity to develop appropriate strategies for teaching and learning – especially relating to languages – as well as the ability to reflect on their own beliefs and cultural differences. A report published by the European Commission in 201515 identified a series of good practices on how to support teachers and students in multilingual classrooms. The Commission's research network NESET II has more recently published an analytical report16 focusing on both policies and practice.
The policy experimentation should help decision makers find the best ways to mainstream successful practices for the benefit of both teachers and learners. Particular attention should be given to teacher education and professional development, with a view to identifying best ways of preparing teachers to teach in multilingual classrooms, promoting interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches.
The experimentation will build on existing work and seek to identify, test and transfer approaches related to the policy challenges mentioned above. The experimentation could concern curriculum development for initial teacher education (ITE), course modules in continuing professional development (CPD) of teachers, specific training for teachers delivered in schools with multilingual classrooms, or other forms of collaboration, for example communities of practice, to support teachers in their learning and practice.
facilitate access to education and transition between various educational levels and sectors, approaches to tackle ghettoization and segregation.
- Mainstreaming and further developing multilingual pedagogies in school education (e.g. working in multilingual classrooms / with bilingual children) and supporting teachers and their training to deal with diversity in classrooms
- Digital assessment: identifying best practices across educational sectors and countries and scaling up of best practices and experimentation
Digital technologies provide new possibilities to assess student performance both in traditional 'summative' ways (e.g. end of year exams), and in new ways, in particular formatively, i.e. assessment and (self-) evaluation throughout the learning process to both adapt the learning process to student needs and collect information for final grading. Digital modes can reduce time and testing pressure, allow for quicker results, better feedback and adaptive lesson planning, can help make results comparable and consistent across classes and institutions, can improve access for remote or otherwise disadvantaged students, can allow teachers to understand and steer students' self-guided learning, and can enable assessment of new kinds of skills and competences. Digital assessment can be fully automated, imply grading by a teacher or peers, or a combination thereof. The digital assessment landscape in Europe is diverse: some EU countries allow use of digital devices during high-stakes exams or formative grading based on digitally collected evidence, while others ban digital devices from most assessment and even learning contexts, or prohibit internet use. Institutions and ministries reluctant to use digital assessment cite in particular concerns around identity validation (in the case of online assessment), preventing cheating, equal access to devices and equal testing conditions, and how to meaningfully use formative assessment (e.g. avoiding reliance on multiple choice tests). National or regional rules on assessment are often a bottleneck for meaningful change towards digital and towards formative assessment approaches.
Digital assessment to be considered for this policy experimentation should not be based on pure recall (summative exam or multiple choice tests based purely on students' existing knowledge), but rather should challenge and help students to apply and transfer concepts across contexts, or to gather and process new or related information. Policy experimentations under this theme should bring together insights and lessons from existing small and large scale digital assessment, develop practical guidance for implementation (at ministry/regional authority and, ideally, also at institutional and class level), and implement these insights and tools. Ideally, comparative pre-post or dual cohort data will be collected and student and teacher feedback gathered to refine the framework and guide future implementation.
- VET teachers and trainers in work-based learning/apprenticeship (VET)
The 2015 Riga Conclusions on Vocational Education and Training (VET) have identified five Medium Term Deliverables for the period 2015-20. Two of these deliverables are: i) to promote work-based learning in all its forms, with special attention to apprenticeships, and ii) introduce systematic approaches to, and opportunities for, initial and continuous professional development of VET teachers, trainers and mentors in both school and work based settings.
The ET2020 Working Group on VET 2016-1817 has developed policy pointers relating to teachers and trainers in the field of governance and partnerships. It builds on the previous ET2020 Working Group on VET (2014-16) that identified 20 guiding principles for high-performance apprenticeships and work- based learning and includes the key elements of the final results from the study on “Teachers and trainers in WBL/apprenticeships: mapping of models and practices”18 conducted by Panteia for the European Commission. The policy pointers relate to four topics:
- specifying roles and responsibilities of teachers and trainers in VET systems,
- strengthening their professional development,
- equipping them for key challenges (such as the assessment of learning outcomes, their role in relation to innovation and the digitalization, their support of disadvantaged learners and in helping to signpost apprentices to further opportunities), and
The document also contains an accompanying “development cycle" which recognises that there is a continuous process of development and review for each of the policy pointers.
The New Skills Agenda for Europe adopted in 201619 has also highlighted the need to support teachers and trainers, particularly the sharing of best practices among Member States and stakeholders through cooperation and mobility opportunities.
The experimentation will therefore build on this previous work and seek to identify, test and/or transfer approaches related to the policy pointers above. As mentioned in the New Skills Agenda for Europe, particular attention should be given to innovation in pedagogy; promoting interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches within institutions, and supporting professional development of teachers and trainers to enhance innovative teaching and training practices, including ways of using digital tools in the classroom and in the work environment and stimulating entrepreneurial mind-sets.
- Implementation of Upskilling Pathways for adults without an upper secondary qualification or equivalent
As part of the New Skills Agenda for Europe, the Recommendation on Upskilling Pathways20New Opportunities for Adults was adopted, in December 2016. Upskilling Pathways offers adults with a low level of skills, knowledge and competences, e.g. without an upper secondary qualification or equivalent, an opportunity to improve their basic skills (literacy, numeracy or digital skills) and/or progress towards higher qualifications at EQF level 3 or 4, aligned to labour market needs.
To boost access to and take up of quality learning opportunities, Upskilling Pathways is designed in three steps:
- skills assessment to enable adults to identify their existing skills and any needs for upskilling;
- a tailored learning offer to meet the needs identified by the skills assessment; and
Delivering these pathways will be based upon effective outreach to eligible target groups, guidance and support measures such as funding mechanisms.
Delivery will build on existing structures and programmes. Many Member States already offer elements of Upskilling Pathways and can build on this as they implement the Recommendation in cooperation
with key partners: social partners, education and training providers, employment and guidance services, as well as national, local and regional authorities, etc.
The experimentation will seek to identify, test and/or transfer scalable approaches to providing upskilling pathways to adults with low skills, applicable to various target groups, i.e. employed, unemployed or economically inactive adults, with a view to mainstreaming as part of the broader implementation of Upskilling Pathways.
- Policies and incentives to support innovative teaching and pedagogical training in higher education, including through open and digital education; -- - Creation of a European-wide hub for online learning, blended/ virtual mobility, virtual campuses and collaborative exchange of best practices
In the Communication on a renewed EU agenda for Higher Education published in May 2017 the Commission has identified priority areas for targeted EU-support: tackling future skills mismatches and promoting excellence in skills development; building inclusive and connected higher education systems; ensuring higher education institutions contribute to innovation; supporting effective and efficient higher education systems. Higher education institutions’ digital strategies play a role in achieving all of these aims. Effective use of digital technologies, including online and blended learning and use of open educational resources, can help to improve the quality and relevance of learning and teaching; make higher education more accessible to a wider range of learners; help create linkages between higher education institutions, research institutions, employers and the wider community and contribute to the development of more effective higher education systems. It is therefore essential that European policies that support higher education take account of the digital dimension.
This European policy experimentation will support the creation of a European-wide online hub – to be known as eU.university - with the objective of bringing EU added value to digital developments taking place in higher education across Europe, providing a forum to test actions that support higher education institutions (HEIs) in making the most of digital technologies to improve the quality and relevance of learning and teaching and facilitating internationalisation at home. The supported projects, which should cover all levels of higher education and be organised and monitored to ensure innovative, relevant and constantly updated material, should enable greater cooperation between higher education institutions across Europe through improved links between their digital tools and resources.
Selected projects should include one or more of the following possible activities:
(i) Trainings for academic staff on innovative pedagogies and curriculum design; spaces for discussions/fora where teachers could exchange material and best practices and advertise training opportunities;
(ii) Blended and digital learning, for instance through the setting up of virtual classrooms: spaces where universities/companies/research centres from different countries could organize joint virtual interactive classrooms, allowing groups of students, teachers and professionals to collaborate and interact with one another on specific topics or projects/courses/modules);
(iii) Blended mobility: the platform could be used to better prepare Erasmus+ KA1 participants for their individual mobility and foster cooperation after the mobility. In the context of KA2 (Strategic Partnerships, Capacity Building, Knowledge Alliances, Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters) it could facilitate transnational cooperation and complement mobility activities supported by these projects. Finally, it could be used to test new activities combining short- term physical mobility with a longer-term virtual exchanges period, to cater for needs of students which cannot or do not want to go for long-term mobility abroad;
(iv) The platform could host collaborations between HEIs and employers, and offer students the possibility to access work-based learning activities or work on projects proposed by employers. The platform should be developed as a host environment for existing EU, national or regional platforms and their activities, with the purpose to expand them and scale them up at European level.
If more than one project is selected, cooperation and complementarity between funded projects will be essential.
2.3 Expected results
The proposed projects should lead to significant results in the following areas:
PLANNING AND CONDUCTING A POLICY EXPERIMENTATION PROJECT
Policy experimentations are based on the collection and evaluation of evidence through large scale field trials relying on robust and widely recognised methodologies. Ideally, such methodologies are expected to provide more representative findings than observation or conceptual analysis.
The attention of the applicants is drawn to the fact that, in the context of this call, policy experimentations are not research projects led by experts and addressing other experts, with the aim of generically advancing knowledge. They are rather "action-research" projects involving cooperation between researchers, decision-makers and stakeholders in order to try out concrete measures that have the potential to be concretely translated into policy or practice in education and training systems in the short/medium term.
Policy experimentations help to assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, potential impact and scalability of innovative policy measures through experimental or semi-experimental approaches. They seek to identify and evaluate a causality link between a measure and a change (or lack of change) that has occurred through that measure, and to determine the logic behind the change (counterfactual analysis). They take place in a controlled environment, through measurable direct interventions and comparisons (e.g. "before/after", or "treated"/"non-treated" groups).
Policy experimentation can be cost-effective, secure stakeholder consensus and a smooth implementation of policy when it is used to test substantial measures at the appropriate stage. In an ex-ante evaluation process involving progressive steps towards implementation, it can be one of the final steps, confirming already robust assumptions and identifying and testing scalable approaches.
In the context of the priority themes of the present call, applicants are encouraged to include - when relevant and appropriate - efficiency evaluations, e.g. based on cost-benefit analysis and cost- effectiveness analysis.
More information on how to plan and conduct a European policy experimentation is provided in
Annex 1 - Planning and conducting a policy experimentation project - which is integral part of this call for proposals:
2.5 PROJECT EVALUATION
Applicants should distinguish between:
the evaluation of the project as a whole, basically covering all the aspects of standard project management, and
the analysis and interpretation of the findings of the field trials (which are only one – albeit essential - element of the project).
Applicants are requested to draw up a project quality assurance plan to evaluate the implementation of the project as a whole, which can take the form of:
an external evaluation, devolved to a "critical friend" within the partnership ("peer review") or subcontracted to an independent expert, and/or
a self-evaluation by each partner.
Regarding the analysis and interpretation of the results of the field trials please refer to Annex 1 of this call for proposals.
2.6 PROJECT FOLLOW – UP
Applicants are requested to describe the type of follow-up they would envisage both in case of conclusive and of inconclusive findings, suggesting different options, where appropriate. They may draw on the following hints for inspiration.
In case of conclusive findings (field trials corroborating the testing hypothesis), they should explain how they would concretely use the results for systemic improvement, in particular:
- anticipating and weighing up the advantages and disadvantages that the upscaling of the tested measure would involve for the target groups;
- estimating the resources required for upscaling the measure and mainstreaming it in the system;
- considering various upscaling options, in particular EU funds such as the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI);
- considering further exploratory work under Erasmus+ or other EU programmes.
Inconclusive findings (eg. findings of the field trials disproving the testing hypothesis) should not necessarily be seen as a failure, but as an opportunity to draw lessons for future policy development and further research. The results of inconclusive experimentations should be carefully scrutinized to identify possible causes (insufficient preliminary evidence, methodological flaws, etc.),
Sustainability of impact
Applicants should be aware that immediate positive impacts of successful experimentations may be contingent on externalities and may not necessarily persist over time. They are therefore encouraged to consider long-term monitoring of the cohorts that participated in successful experimentations and provide an indication of the strategy for long-term monitoring beyond the end of the project.
Publication of the call
Deadline for submitting applications
Pre-proposals (Stage I)
10 April 2018
Electronic submission 12.00 (noon CET)
Full proposals (Stage II)
25 September 2018
Electronic submission 12.00 (noon CET)
Pre-proposals (Stage I)
April/ May 2018
Full proposals (Stage II)
Information to applicants
Pre-proposals (Stage I)
Full proposals (Stage II)
Signature of grant agreement
Pre-proposals (Stage I)
Full proposals (Stage II)
Starting date of the action
Pre-proposals (Stage I)
Full proposals (Stage II)
Between 1 January 2019 and 28 February 2019
Proposals will be submitted and evaluated in two stages, involving a pre-proposal (Stage I) and a full proposal (Stage II).
This approach intends to simplify the application process by requesting in the first phase only basic information on the proposal.
3.1.1 Pre-proposal stage:
Pre-proposals should summarise basic information on the following elements:
a) Relevance of the project (maximum 20 points)
b) Indicative total budget and requested EU grant
Pre-proposals will be assessed on the basis of the eligibility criteria described in Section 6 and the award criterion Relevance of the project (see Section 9). All applicants having submitted pre-proposals will be notified about the pre-selection results and will receive a summary evaluation of their pre-proposal.
Eligible applicants reaching the minimum threshold of 12 points on the score for the award criterion Relevance of the project will be invited to submit a full proposal and to elaborate further on their proposal.
3.1.2 Full proposal stage:
Full proposals are requested to provide information on the following:
1) Remaining award criteria:
a) Quality of the project design and implementation (maximum 30 points)
b) Quality of the partnership and cooperation arrangements (maximum 20 points) c) Impact, dissemination, and sustainability (maximum 30 points)
2) Detailed budget
Full proposals will be assessed on the basis of eligibility, exclusion, selection, and the three remaining award criteria.
The Agency will verify that the eligibility of full proposals is confirmed in the second stage and, where appropriate, is supported by the required documentation (See section 14.3.2).
As a result, those proposals considered compliant with all the eligibility, exclusion, and selection criteria will be ranked in order of merit according to the total score obtained. The total score for a full proposal will be the total of the scores obtained at the pre-proposal stage and at the full proposal stage (by applying the weighting indicated).
Only proposals having reached at least the threshold of (60 points) on the total score will be considered for EU funding.
The final ranking of the proposals may be adjusted by the Evaluation Committee to ensure a more balanced number of projects per priority theme. Therefore, a proposal with a lower score (above the quality threshold of 60 points) may be ranked higher than proposals with a higher score, provided that the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination are duly taken into account.
All applicants having submitted full proposal applications will be notified by email about the final selection results and receive an evaluation report.
The selected applicants will receive a proposal to enter into a multi-beneficiary grant agreement.
4. BUDGET AVAILABLE
The total budget available for the co-financing of projects under the present call is EUR 10.000.000. The financial contribution from the EU cannot exceed 75%of the total eligible costs. The maximum EU grant per project will be EUR 2.000.000.
The Agency reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.
5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
Applications shall comply with the following requirements:
- they must be sent no later than the deadline for submitting applications referred to in Section 3 of the present guidelines;
- they must be submitted online (see Section 14 of the present guidelines), using the electronic application form and its compulsory annexes at pre-proposal and at full proposal stage;
- they must be written in one of the EU official languages.
Please note that only typed applications will be considered.
The application form must be accompanied by all documents referred to in the application form. Failure to comply with these requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.
In order to submit an application, applicants must provide their Participant Identification Code (PIC) in the application form21. The PIC can be obtained by registering the organisation in the Unique Registration Facility (URF) hosted in the Education, Audiovisual, Culture, Citizenship and Volunteering Participant Portal. The Unique Registration Facility is a tool shared by other services of the European Commission. If an applicant or affiliated entity already has a PIC that has been used for other programmes (for example the Research programmes), the same PIC is valid for the present call for proposals.
The Participant Portal allows applicants and affiliated entities to upload or update the information related to their legal status and attach the requested legal and financial documents (see Section 14.2 for more information).
Only applications that comply with admissibility requirements will pass at evaluation stage.
21 Affiliated entities must also provide a PIC. This PIC has to be indicated in the 'Detailed Project Description' which is part of the Application Package.
6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
Pre-proposal applications which comply with the below criteria will be the subject of a content evaluation. The eligibility criteria will be assessed at pre-proposal stage on the basis of the information provided in the application form. The compliance with the eligibility criteria will have to be supported by the requested evidence at the full proposal stage. Applicants at full proposal stage shall demonstrate that they are still eligible for the project by providing the documents required.
6.1 Eligible applicants
Applicants considered eligible to respond to this call are:
a) Public authorities (Ministry or equivalent) responsible for education and training at the highest level in the relevant national or regional context (corresponding to NUTS codes 1 or 2; for countries where NUTS codes 1 or 2 are not available, the highest NUTS code available applies22). Responsible public authorities for sectors other than education and training (e.g. employment, youth, finance, social affairs, home affairs, justice, health, etc.) are considered eligible as long as they demonstrate that they have a specific competence in the area in which the experimentation is to be carried out. Public authorities can delegate to be represented by other public or private organisations, as well as by legally established networks or associations of public authorities, provided that the delegation is in writing and makes explicit reference to the proposal being submitted.
b) Public or private organisations active in the fields of education or training or other relevant fields.
c) Public or private organisations or institutions carrying out cross-sector activities linked to education and training in other socio-economic sectors (e.g. NGOs, information or guidance services, public authorities, agencies or services responsible for: education, training, youth, employment, social affairs, home affairs, justice, quality assurance, recognition and/or validation; career guidance, chambers of commerce, business and social partners, trade organisations, civil society, cultural or sport organisations, evaluation or research entities, media etc.)
Furthermore, for the implementation of this call for proposals, National Agencies or other structures and networks of the Erasmus+ Programme, receiving a direct grant from the Commission in accordance with the legal basis of the Programme11 are not eligible to participate. Nevertheless, the legal entities hosting the Erasmus+ National Agencies or the structures and networks mentioned above, as well as entities affiliated to these legal entities, are considered eligible applicants. However, they have to demonstrate, before being awarded a grant, that they are not in a conflict of interest either because precautionary measures are taken by them or because their internal organisation is such that there is a clear separation of interests (e.g. a minimum separation of accounts, separation of reporting and decision making lines, measures to prevent access to privileged information). Furthermore, costs and revenues of each project or activity for which the EU funds are awarded must be identified.
Legal entities having a legal or capital link with a beneficiary, which is neither limited to the project nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation may take part in the project as affiliated entities, and may declare eligible costs as specified in Section 11.2.
For that purpose, applicants shall identify such affiliated entities in the 'Detailed Project Description' which is part of the Application Package and confirm this list at the stage of notification of project results. Supporting documents proving the affiliation (legal or capital link), as well as that they comply with the eligibility and non-exclusion criteria must be submitted.
Only proposals from legal entities established in the following programme countries are eligible:
- the 28 Member States of the European Union,
- the EFTA/EEA countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway,
For British applicants: 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, you will cease to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project on the basis of grant agreement (Article II.16.3.1 (a)).
Minimum partnership composition requirement
The minimum partnership composition requirement for this call is 4 entities representing 3 different
programme countries. Specifically:
Partnerships must include at least one responsible public authority as indicated under Section 6.1a) from a Member State of the European Union.
A project proposal can only be coordinated and submitted – on behalf of all applicants – by one of the
A public authority as described under Section 6.1.a);
A legally established network or association of public authorities as described under Section 6.1.a);
A public or private entity delegated to reply to the call by a public authority described under Section 6.1.a). Delegated entities must have an explicit endorsement in writing by a public authority as described under Section 6.1.a), to submit and coordinate the project proposal on their behalf.
Applications must be submitted by the legal representative of the coordinator on behalf of all applicants. Only organisations that are in a position to demonstrate their existence as a legal person for at least 3 years23 on the date of the deadline for submission of pre-proposals referred to in Section 3 of these guidelines are considered eligible as "coordinator" for the purpose of this call.
Natural persons may not apply for a grant.
In order to assess the applicants' eligibility, the following supporting documents are requested:
for a private entity: extract from the official journal, copy of articles of association, extract of trade or association register, certificate of liability to VAT (if, as in certain programme countries, the trade register number and VAT number are identical, only one of these documents is required);
Role of applicants and partners
Applicants: this term refers to all organisations and institutions participating in the application regardless of their role in the project. It therefore includes the coordinator and all the other applicants. When the grant is awarded and the Grant Agreement is signed, they will become the beneficiaries.
Coordinator: the legal entity that submits the project application on behalf of all the applicants. If the application is selected and the project receives a grant, the coordinator will sign a multi-beneficiary grant agreement on behalf of all the applicants.
Its coordinating role stands amongst others for the following duties:
represents and acts on behalf of the applicants vis-à-vis the European Commission and the Agency;
coordinates the project in cooperation with all other project partners.
their participation as annex to the application form (see Section 14).
Other applicants/partners: they are the legal entities participating in the partnership. They contribute to the implementation and evaluation of the project. The partners are encouraged to link with responsible public ministries in their respective countries. Each applicant must sign a mandate letter authorising the coordinator to act on his behalf in compliance with the Grant Agreement.
Associate partners: Additionally, the project may benefit from the involvement of associated partners (optional). These organisations contribute to the implementation of specific tasks/activities and/or support the dissemination and sustainability of the projects. They will not benefit financially from the EU grant. Those associate partners can be established both in Programme or partner countries. The names of the associated partners have to be provided in the Project Description which is an annex of the application form.
The work undertaken under this call shall be based on partnerships between the responsible public authorities as defined above and other organizations with expertise in the relevant chosen priority.
Applicants must ensure that there is a consensus among all the project partners on the project proposal and notably on the following key elements:
Policy objective: the intention to address a particular need or to respond to a particular challenge;
Specific objective of the field trials: the measure to be tested is consistent with the need;
Methodology: the way in which the measure should be trialled and how the results of the trials
should be analysed;
Liabilities, constraints and opportunities: ways in which the measure could affect or interfere with (positively or negatively) existing processes, other planned measures or interactions between stakeholders;
This consensus should be regulated by signing a partnership agreement among the partners. The partnership agreement is a written agreement to identify the working relationships between partners involved in the project. It spells out the common understandings. It clarifies what kind of support will be provided and creates a common framework for communication and participation.
The existence of such an agreement prior to the beginning of the project implementation is strongly recommended.
The objective of these Agreement(s) is to ensure that:
partners of the project agree on its technical, administrative and financial implementation;
The applications submitted under this call must demonstrate high-level institutional leadership and clear links with higher policy objectives. The responsible public authorities (Ministry-level or equivalent) – whether directly involved or represented in the project - should ensure continuous strategic steering and monitoring of the project throughout its duration. They shall be responsible for the field trials in their jurisdiction and for planning the exploitation of the project results, in particular up-scaling or transferability. To ensure country ownership, policy experimentations should also be part of reform agendas in the countries involved.
Researcher is in charge of designing the protocol of the field trials, of supervising its implementation and of analysing the results of such trials and of interpreting them, in collaboration with the responsible public authorities and other relevant stakeholders.
The researcher should closely interact with the partners in the framework of the project. However, the researcher's independence (in particular from the responsible public authorities) should be strictly ensured (for example by signing a separate partnership agreement with the researcher) in order to guarantee the impartiality, transparency and accountability of the experimental results.
6.2 Eligible activities and duration
Eligible activities should be in line with Annex 1 of the guidelines for applicants (https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus/funding/key-action-3-initiatives-for-policy-innovation- european-policy-experimentation-eacea-282017_en )
The field trials must take place at least in three countries whose public authorities as described under Section 6.1a) (or delegated entities) are involved in the project.
Only activities taking place in Programme countries (see Section 6.1) will be considered eligible for funding. Any costs relating to activities undertaken outside these countries or by organisations that are not registered in the Programme countries are not eligible unless they are necessary for the completion of the project and duly explained and justified in the application form. Any Amendment to the activities that involves other countries than the Programme countries must have the prior specific authorization from the Executive Agency.
Activities must start between 1 January 2019 and 28 February 2019.
The project duration must be between 24 and 36 months. However, if, after the signing of the agreement and the start of the project it becomes impossible for the beneficiaries, for fully justified reasons beyond their control, to complete the project within the scheduled period, an extension to the eligibility period may be granted. A maximum extension of 6 additional months will be granted, if requested before the deadline specified in the agreement.
7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA
The Exclusion criteria will be assessed at full-proposal stage.
7.1. Exclusion from participation
An applicant will be excluded from participating in calls for proposals procedure, if it is in any of the following situations:
a) it is bankrupt, subject to insolvency or winding up procedures, its assets are being administered by a liquidator or by a court, it is in an arrangement with creditors, its business activities are suspended or it is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for under national legislation or regulations;
b) it has been established by a final judgement or a final administrative decision that the applicant is in breach of its obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions in accordance with the law of the country in which it is established, with those of the country in which the authorising officer is located or those of the country of the implementation of the grant;
c) it has been established by a final judgement or a final administrative decision that the applicant is guilty of grave professional misconduct by having violated applicable laws or regulations or ethical standards of the profession to which the applicant belongs, or by having engaged in any wrongful conduct which has an impact on its professional credibility where such conduct denotes wrongful intent or gross negligence, including, in particular, any of the following:
i. fraudulently or negligently misrepresenting information required for the verification of the absence of grounds for exclusion or the fulfilment of selection criteria or in the performance of a contract, a grant agreement or a grant decision;
ii. entering into agreement with other persons with the aim of distorting competition;
iii. violating intellectual property rights;
iv. attempting to influence the decision-making process of the Agency during the award procedure;
v. attempting to obtain confidential information that may confer upon it undue advantages in the award procedure;
d) it has been established by a final judgement that the applicant is guilty of any of the following:
i. fraud, within the meaning of Article 1 of the Convention on the protection of the European Communities' financial interests, drawn up by the Council Act of 26 July 1995;
ii. corruption, as defined in Article 3 of the Convention on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of EU Member States, drawn up by the Council Act of 26 May 1997, and in Article 2(1) of Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA, as well as corruption as defined in the legal provisions of the country where the authorising officer is located, the country in which the applicant is established or the country of the implementation of the grant;
iii. participation in a criminal organisation, as defined in Article 2 of Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA;
iv. money laundering or terrorist financing, as defined in Article 1 of Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council;
v. terrorist-related offences or offences linked to terrorist activities, as defined in Articles 1 and 3 of Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA, respectively, or inciting, aiding, abetting or attempting to commit such offences, as referred to in Article 4 of that Decision;
vi. child labour or other forms of trafficking in human beings as defined in Article 2 of Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council;
e) it has shown significant deficiencies in complying with the main obligations in the performance of a contract, a grant agreement or a grant decision financed by the Union’s budget, which has led to its early termination or to the application of liquidated damages or other contractual penalties, or which has been discovered following checks, audits or investigations by an Authorising Officer, OLAF or the Court of Auditors;
f) it has been established by a final judgement or final administrative decision that the applicant has committed an irregularity within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95;
g) in the absence of a final judgement or where applicable a final administrative decision, the applicant is in one of the cases provided in (c) to (f) above based in particular on :
i. facts established in the context of audits or investigations carried out by the Court of Auditors, OLAF or internal audit, or any other check, audit or control performed under the responsibility of an authorising officer of an EU institution, of a European office or of an EU agency or body;
ii. non-final administrative decisions which may include disciplinary measures taken by the competent supervisory body responsible for the verification of the application of standards of professional ethics;
iii. decisions of the ECB, the EIB, the European Investment Fund or international organisations;
iv. decisions of the Commission relating to the infringement of the Union's competition rules or of a national competent authority relating to the infringement of Union or national competition law.
v. decisions of exclusion by an authorising officer of an EU institution, of a European office or of an EU agency or body.
(h) where a person who is a member of the administrative, management or supervisory body of the applicant, or who has powers of representation, decision or control with regard to that applicant (this covers the company directors, members of the management or supervisory bodies, and cases where one person holds a majority of shares), is in one or more of the situations referred to in points (c) to (f) above.
(i) where a natural or legal person that assumes unlimited liability for the debts of that applicant is in one or more of the situations referred to in point (a) or (b) above.
If an applicant is in one of the situations of exclusion listed above, it should indicate the measures it has taken to remedy the exclusion situation, thus demonstrating its reliability. They may include e.g. technical, organisational and personnel measures to prevent further occurrence, compensation of damage or payment of fines. This does not apply for the situations referred in point (d) of this section.
In the cases provided in (c) to (f) above, in the absence of a final judgement or where applicable a final administrative decision, the Agency may exclude an applicant provisionally from participating in a call for proposals where their participation would constitute a serious and imminent threat to the Union's financial interests.
7.2 Rejection from the award procedure
An applicant will not be awarded a grant for this procedure if:
(a) it is in an exclusion situation established in accordance with the above Section 7.1;
(b) it has misrepresented the information required as a condition for participating in the procedure or
has failed to supply that information;
(c) it was previously involved in the preparation of a call for proposals where this entails a distortion
of competition that cannot be remedied otherwise.
The same exclusion criteria apply to affiliated entities.
Rejection from this procedure and administrative sanctions (exclusion or financial penalty) may be imposed on applicants or affiliated entities where applicable, if any of the declarations or information provided as a condition for participating in this procedure prove to be false.
The applicants should be informed that the Agency may publish on its internet site the following information related to the exclusion and, where applicable, the financial penalty in the cases referred to in points (c), (d), (e) and (f) of the Section 7.124:
(a) the name of the applicant concerned;
(b) the exclusion situation;
(c) the duration of the exclusion and/or the amount of the financial penalty.
In case of a preliminary classification in law (i.e. absence of a final judgement or a final administrative decision), the publication shall indicate that there is no final judgement or final administrative decision. In those cases, information about any appeals by the applicant, their status and their outcome, as well as any revised decision of the authorised officer, shall be published without delay. Where a financial penalty has been imposed, the publication shall also indicate whether that penalty has been paid.
The decision to publish the information is taken by the Agency either following the relevant final judgement, final administrative decision or preliminary classification in law, as the case may be. That decision shall take effect three months after its notification to the economic operator.
The information published shall be removed as soon as the exclusion has come to an end. In the case of a financial penalty, the publication shall be removed six months after payment of that penalty.
In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001, where personal data is concerned, the Agency shall inform the applicant of its rights under the applicable data protection rules and of the procedures available for exercising those rights.
7.3 Supporting documents
Applicants must sign a declaration on their honour certifying that they are not in one of the situations referred to in the above Sections 7.1 and 7.2, filling in the relevant form attached to the application form accompanying the call for proposals. If applicable, the relevant documentary evidence which appropriately illustrates any remedial measures taken should be provided in annex to this declaration.
This declaration is part of the Application Package (see Section 14.3).
8. SELECTION CRITERIA
The Selection criteria will be assessed at full-proposal stage.
Applicants must submit a declaration on their honour, completed and signed, attesting to their status as a legal person and to their financial and operational capacity to complete the proposed activities.
8.1 Financial capacity
Applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the period during which the action is being carried out and to participate in its funding.
The applicants' financial capacity will be assessed on the basis of the following supporting documents to be submitted with the application:
a) Low value grants (equal or inferior to EUR 60.000) a declaration on their honour
b) Grants more than EUR 60.000 and less than EUR 750.000 a declaration on their honour;
the financial statements (including the balance sheet, the profit and loss accounts and the annexes) of the coordinator, for the last two financial years for which the accounts have been closed;
a completed financial capacity form filled in with the relevant statutory accounting figures, in -24-
order to calculate the ratios as detailed in the form.
c) Grants equal to or more than EUR 750.000, in addition to the above:
an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying the accounts for the last financial year available.
In the event of a proposal grouping several applicants (partnership), the thresholds mentioned in points a) and b) shall apply to the coordinator while the threshold in point c) shall apply to each applicant.
The declaration on honour is submitted as an annex to the application form. The financial statements and the financial capacity form are required at a later stage of the selection process when the selection results are notified to the applicants.
The verification of financial capacity shall not apply to public bodies, or to international organisations.
For the purpose of this call, public bodies, as well as schools, higher education institutions and organisations in the fields of education and training, youth or sport that have received over 50 % of their annual revenue from public sources over the last two years shall be considered as having the necessary financial, professional and administrative capacity to carry out activities under the Call for proposals. They shall not be required to present further documentation to demonstrate that capacity. Such organisations are required to declare (at the stage of the notification of the selection results) that their organisation complies with the above-mentioned definition of public body. The Agency reserves the right to request documentation to prove the veracity of this declaration.
If, on the basis of the documents submitted, the Agency considers that financial capacity has not been proved or is not satisfactory, it may:
request further information;
propose a grant agreement without pre-financing;
propose a grant agreement with a pre-financing paid in instalments (against an interim report);
propose a grant agreement with a pre-financing covered by a bank guarantee (see Section 11.4
where applicable, require the joint and several financial liability of all the co-beneficiaries;
reject the application.
8.2 Operational capacity
Applicants must have the professional competencies as well as appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action. In this respect, applicants have to submit a declaration on their honour, and for those applying for a grant above EUR 60.000 the following supporting documents must be included in the Application Package:
a description of the profile of the people primarily responsible for managing and implementing the operation (accompanied, here appropriate, by a list of relevant publications) within each partner organisation showing all their relevant professional experience;
an exhausted list of past or current projects connected to the selected priority theme of the call implemented by the applicants in the three last years and a short description of the projects' impact and achievements.
9. AWARD CRITERIA
Eligible proposals will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria.
STAGE I: Pre-proposal
1) Relevance of the project (maximum 20 points)
The need to be addressed by the proposed policy experimentation is relevant to European and country-specific objectives and priorities in education and training, and to the objectives and priority themes of the call.
The measure to be tested is consistent with European and country-specific objectives and priorities in education and training, is suitable to the target groups and stakeholders involved, and innovative.
The target groups addressed by the measure are clearly identified and the benefits they are expected to enjoy through the measure to be tested are clearly described.
The project has a clear European added value based on transnational cooperation which allows achieving results that would not be achieved at country level alone, and there is potential for transferring results to countries not involved in the project or other sectors.
The experimentation methodology is consistent with the objectives of the measure to be tested and with the characteristics of the target groups.
The leading role of the responsible public authorities in the project is adequately described. The way in which the expertise available in the partnership will contribute to the project is adequately described.
The envisaged outcomes are relevant to the objectives of the call and have the potential to lead to systemic change.
STAGE II: Full proposal
1) Quality of the project design and implementation (maximum 30 points):
The potential for effective results of the measure to be tested relies on valid, credible and convincing evidence.
The proposed experimentation methodology is based on a sound theoretical approach and is defined in a clear and structured way; its rationale and implications - including success/failure criteria - are explicitly described.
The experimentation methodology is consistent with the measure to be tested ; it is suitable for the target groups and in particular for the potential participants in the field trials.
The experimentation protocol is clear, comprehensive and rigorous.
The project design is clear and structured, with appropriate milestones and pertinent
The project management plan is sound with adequate resources allocated to different tasks, clear
cooperation and decision-making processes, allowing leadership by the responsible public
The quality assurance plan adequately covers both the overall project management and the field
trials. There is a clear monitoring strategy and methodology for identifying risks and introducing
The budget shows cost effectiveness and value for money. There is coherence between tasks,
roles and financial resources allocated to partners. The financial management arrangements are -26-
clear and appropriate for the partnership and the design of the proposal.
2) Quality of the partnership and the cooperation arrangements (maximum 20 points):
The partners show the potential to ensure full achievement of the objectives of the project, of the priority theme and of the call.
The roles of the partners in the project are comprehensive and complementary and cover all the main operational needs of the project.
The allocation of time and input among the partners is adequate and balanced.
The planned coordination and communication mechanisms among the partners and with the
relevant stakeholders are effective.
3) Impact, dissemination, and sustainability (maximum 30 points):
The impact envisaged by applicants is relevant, consistent, systemic, significant, scalable and sustainable.
A clear awareness-raising, dissemination and communication strategy targets partners, stakeholders - in particular the participants in the field trials – and the general public throughout the lifetime of the project, before, during and after the field trials. This strategy includes how to make educational materials25 produced in the experimentation freely accessible through open licences.
The exploitation approach is clearly described and involves up-scaling of positive results through concrete measures for which potential funding sources are identified; the way in which the approach is expected to generate long-term impact on systems and policies is clearly explained.
A strategy for long-term monitoring beyond the end of the project, and follow up activities is envisaged and explained.
The way in which the project results will contribute to peer-learning at European level and feed into the ET 2020 process is clearly described.
The calculation of the total score for the full proposal will include the score obtained for "Relevance of the project" at pre-proposal stage. Only full proposals having reached at least the threshold of 60 points of the total score (i.e. score on the award criterion "Relevance of the project" assessed in the first stage plus scores on the other three award criteria assessed in the second stage) will be considered for EU funding.
10. LEGAL COMMITMENTS
In the event of definitive approval by the Agency, a grant agreement drawn up in euro and detailing the conditions and level of funding, will be sent to the coordinating institution (hereafter 'the coordinator') representing all other applicants (hereafter 'beneficiaries'), as well as the procedure in view to formalise the obligations of the parties.
The two copies of the original agreement must be signed first by the legal representative of the coordinator, on behalf of the partnership, and returned to the Agency immediately. The Agency will sign them last.
11. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
11.1. General principles
a) Non-cumulative award
A action t may only receive one grant from the European Union budget.
In no circumstances shall the same costs be financed twice by the European Union budget. To ensure this, applicants shall indicate in the application form the sources and amounts of European Union funding received or requested for the same action or part of the action or for its functioning during the same financial year as well as any other funding received or requested for the same action.
No grant may be awarded retrospectively for actions already completed.
A grant may be awarded for an action which has already begun only where the applicant can demonstrate the need to start the action before the grant agreement is signed.
In such cases, costs eligible for financing may not have been incurred prior to the date of submission of the grant application.
Co-financing means that the resources which are necessary to carry out the action may not be entirely provided by the EU grant.
Co-financing of the action may take the form of: the beneficiary's own resources, income generated by the action, financial contributions from third parties.
d) Balanced budget
The estimated budget of the action is to be attached to the application form. It must have revenue and expenditure in balance.
The budget must be drawn up in euros.
Applicants which foresee that costs will not be incurred in euros shall use the exchange rate published on the Inforeuro website available at:
http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/inforeuro/inforeuro_en.cfm on the date of the publication of this call for proposals.
e) Implementation contracts/subcontracting
Where the implementation of the action requires the award of procurement contracts (implementation contracts), the beneficiary must award the contract to the bid offering best value for money or the lowest price (as appropriate), avoiding conflicts of interests and retain the documentation for the event of an audit.
In the event of procurement exceeding EUR 60 000, the beneficiaries must obtain competitive tenders from at least 5 potential contractors, unless national rules prescribe differently. In the latter case, national rules will apply provided that the contracting authority is able to demonstrate, if requested, the coherence between the procedure followed and the national rules applied.
Moreover, the beneficiaries are expected to clearly document the tendering procedure and retain the documentation for the event of an audit.
If applicable and the beneficiary does not comply with the above rule (competitive tenders from at least 5 potential contractors), the whole amount of the contract declared will be deemed ineligible.
Entities acting in their capacity of contracting authorities in the meaning of Directive 2014/24/EU26 or contracting entities in the meaning of Directive 2014/25/EU27 shall abide by the applicable national public procurement rules.
Sub-contracting, i.e. the externalisation of specific tasks or activities which form part of the action as described in the proposal and which cannot be performed by the beneficiary itself must satisfy the conditions applicable to any implementation contract (as specified here above in Section 11.1 e)) and in addition to them the following conditions:
- it may only cover the implementation of a limited part of the action;
- it must be justified having regard to the nature of the action and what is necessary for its implementation;
- it must be clearly stated in the proposal or prior written authorisation from the Agency must be obtained.
f) Financial support to third parties
The applications may not envisage provision of financial support to third parties.
11.2 Funding forms General provisions
The grants financed through reimbursement of eligible costs in combination with flat rate covering overheads are calculated on the basis of a detailed estimated budget, indicating clearly the costs that are eligible for EU funding.
Maximum amount requested
The maximum amount requested will be EUR 2.000.000.
The EU grant is limited to a maximum co-financing rate of 75% of eligible project costs taking into account the maximum grant amount. Consequently, part of the total eligible expenses entered in the estimated budget must be financed from sources other than the Union grant.
The amount of the own resources indicated in the revenue part of the estimated budget is regarded as secured, and the amount, as a minimum, must be entered in the revenue section of the final account.
The grant amount may neither exceed the eligible costs nor the grant amount requested. Amounts are indicated in euros.
Acceptance of an application by the Agency does not constitute an undertaking to award a grant equal to the amount requested by the beneficiary.
Eligible costs are costs actually incurred by the beneficiary of a grant and which meet the following criteria:
they are incurred during the duration of the action as specified in the grant agreement, with the exception of costs relating to final reports and certificates.
The period of eligibility of costs will start on the day indicated in the grant agreement. If beneficiaries can demonstrate the need to start the action before the agreement is signed, expenditure may be authorised before the grant is awarded. Under no circumstances can the eligibility period start before the date of submission of the grant application (see Section 11.1b)).
they are indicated in the estimated overall budget of the action;
they are incurred in connection with the action which is the subject of the grant and are necessary
for the implementation of the action;
they are identifiable and verifiable, in particular being recorded in the accounting records of the beneficiary and determined according to the applicable accounting standards of the country where the beneficiary is established and according to the usual cost-accounting practices of the beneficiary;
they comply with the requirements of applicable tax and social legislation;
they are reasonable, justified, and comply with the requirements of sound financial management,
in particular regarding economy and efficiency.
The beneficiary's internal accounting and auditing procedures must permit direct reconciliation of the costs and revenues declared in respect of the action with the corresponding accounting statements and supporting documents.
The same criteria apply to the affiliated entities.
Eligible direct costs:
The eligible direct costs for the action are those costs which, with due regard for the conditions of eligibility set out above, are identifiable as specific costs directly linked to the performance of the action and which can therefore be booked to it directly, such as: - The cost of personnel:
Working under an employment contract with the applicant or equivalent appointing act and assigned to the action, comprising actual salaries plus social security contributions and other statutory costs included in their remuneration, provided that these costs are in line with the applicants' usual policy on remuneration. NB: These costs must be actual costs incurred by the coordinator or the other beneficiaries; staff costs of other organisations are eligible only if they are paid directly or are reimbursed by the beneficiary. These costs may include additional remuneration, including payments on the basis of supplementary contracts regardless of their nature, provided that they are paid in a consistent manner whenever the same kind of work or expertise is required and independently from the source of funding used. The corresponding salary costs of personnel of national administrations are eligible to the extent that they relate to the cost of activities which the relevant public authority would not carry out if the project concerned was not undertaken.
"Non-conventional" staff working without employment contracts:
Staff seconded from a third party against payment: Secondment occurs when an employee of a third organisation (hereinafter "the seconding entity") is temporarily transferred, for an agreed period of time, to an organisation which is currently implementing, as a beneficiary, a project financed by a programme managed by the Agency.
Research grant-holders: Universities and other beneficiaries working in the research
and training sector (e.g. research centres) may hire personnel not by signing an employment contract with the concerned staff, but rather by awarding it a research grant.
In-house consultants: In-house consultants are natural persons who join the beneficiary's project team and deliver 'external services'. The costs arising from these in-house consultants are in principle to be considered as costs relevant to implementing contracts. However, and as an exception to the rule, these costs may be considered as personnel costs regardless of whether the consultants are self-employed or employed by a third party.
The eligibly of such costs is subject to further assessment and prior approval from the Agency.
c) Employed under 'civil' contracts, which are not governed by national labour laws.
These contracts concern either:
• regular personnel entitled to a complementary payment, subject to the successful implementation of the projects, on the basis of an hourly rate entered in the beneficiaries' accounts as accrued salary cost until the actual payment of the balance by the funder, or,
• external experts, having concluded a time-limited "civil" contract for their input to a specific project.
The eligibly of such costs is subject to further assessment and prior approval from the Agency.
- Subsistence allowances for staff taking part in the project (for meetings, European conferences, etc.) provided that these costs are in line with the beneficiary's usual practices on subsistence allowances;
- Travel allowances (for meetings, European conferences, etc.), provided that they are in line with the beneficiary's usual practices on travel allowances;
- Cost of equipment (new or second-hand), provided that it is written off in accordance with the tax and accounting rules applicable to the beneficiaries and generally accepted for items of the same kind. Only the portion of the equipment's depreciation corresponding to the duration of the action and the rate of actual use for the purposes of the action may be taken into account by the Agency, except where the nature and/or the context of its use justifies different treatment by the Agency;
- Costs of consumables and supplies, provided that they are identifiable and assigned to the action;
- Costs entailed by other contracts awarded by the beneficiary or its partners for the purposes of carrying out the action, provided that the conditions laid down in grant agreement are met;
- Costs arising directly from requirements linked to the performance of the action (dissemination of information, specific evaluation of the action, audits, translations, reproduction, etc.), including, where applicable, the costs of any financial services (especially the cost of financial guarantees);
- Non-deductible VAT unless it is related to activities of public authorities in the Member States;
Eligible indirect costs (administrative costs)
A flat-rate amount, up to 7% of the eligible direct costs of the action, is eligible under indirect costs, representing the beneficiary's general administrative costs which can be regarded as chargeable to the action. Indirect costs may not include costs entered under another budget heading. Applicants’s attention is drawn to the fact that in the case of organisations receiving an operating grant, indirect costs are no longer eligible under the present call for those organisations.
The following costs shall not be considered eligible:
- Return on capital;
- Debt and debt service charges;
- Provisions for losses or debts;
- Interest owed;
- Doubtful debts;
- Exchange losses;
- Costs of transfer from the Agency charged by the bank of the beneficiary;
- Costs declared by the beneficiary and covered by another action receiving a European Union grant. In particular, indirect costs shall not be eligible under a grant for an action awarded to the beneficiary who already receives an operating grant financed from the Union budget during the period in question;
- Contributions in kind;
- Excessive or reckless expenditure;
- Expenses for travel to or from countries outside Programme countries, unless explicit prior authorisation is granted by the Agency.
Calculation of the final grant amount – Supporting documents
The final amount of the EU grant to be awarded to the beneficiary is established after completion of the
action, upon approval of the request for payment containing the following documents:
- A final report providing details of the implementation and results of the action; - The final financial statement of costs actually incurred.
In case of grants for an action equal or inferior to EUR 60.000, the beneficiary is required to
submit the following sample of supporting documents:
Sample to be annexed to the Final Financial Report
The three highest consolidated staff costs (i.e. staff member costs) for the whole eligibility period
The three highest value subcontracts
Travel and subsistence
25% of the highest costs declared under this budget item
Example of underlining documents to be submitted in support of the final payment:
1) Staff costs: employment contract (or equivalent document), payroll (or remuneration’s receipts), proof of payments and time sheets or equivalent documents showing the manpower’s work effort (i.e. number of working days);
2) Subcontracting: quotes (if applicable), contracts, invoices and proofs of payments;
3) Travel and subsistence: copy of tickets and boarding passes, hotel invoices (and proof of payments).
In case of grants for an action of more than EUR 60.000, but less than EUR 750.000:
The beneficiary is required to submit, in support of the final payment, a “Report of Factual Findings on the Final Financial Report - Type I” produced by an approved auditor or in case of public bodies, by a competent and independent public officer.
The procedure and the format to be followed by an approved auditor or in case of public bodies, by a competent and independent public officer, are detailed in the following “Guidance Notes” available under the following link: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/about-eacea/document-register_en. The use of the report format set by the “Guidance Notes” is compulsory.
In case of grants for an action of EUR 750.000 or more, when the cumulative amounts of request for payment is at least EUR 325.000:
The beneficiary is required to submit, in support of the final payment, a “Report of Factual Findings on the Final Financial Report - Type II” produced by an approved auditor or in case of public bodies, by a competent and independent public officer. The Report of factual Findings shall certify, in accordance with a methodology approved by the Agency, that the costs declared by the beneficiary in the financial statements on which the request for payment is based are real, accurately recorded and eligible in accordance with the grant agreement or grant decision.
The procedure and the format to be followed by an approved auditor or, in case of public bodies, by a competent and independent public officer, are detailed in the following “Guidance Notes” available under the following link: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/about-eacea/document-register_en. The use of the report format set by the “Guidance Notes” is compulsory.
In the event of non-execution or clearly inadequate execution of an activity planned in the application attached to the grant agreement, the final grant will be reduced accordingly.
After analysis of the declared costs, if the eligible costs actually incurred by the beneficiary are lower than anticipated, the Agency will apply the rate of co-financing stated in the grant agreement to the expenditure actually incurred.
EU grants may not have the purpose or effect of producing a profit within the framework of the action of the beneficiary. Profit shall be defined as a surplus of receipts over the eligible costs incurred by the beneficiary, when the request is made for payment of the balance. In this respect, where a profit is made, the Agency shall be entitled to recover a percentage of the profit corresponding to the Union contribution to the eligible costs actually incurred by the beneficiary to carry out the action.
The verification of the non-profit rule does not apply to a grant equal or inferior to EUR 60.000.
11.3 Payment arrangements
A pre-financing payment corresponding to 30% of the grant amount will be transferred to the beneficiary within 30 days of the date when the last of the two parties signs the agreement, provided all requested guarantees have been received. Pre-financing is intended to provide the beneficiaries with a float.
A second pre-financing payment of 40% of the grant amount will be made within 60 days of receipt by the Agency of the progress report on the action’s implementation. This second pre-financing payment may not be made until at least 70% of the previous pre-financing payment has been used up. Where the consumption of the previous pre-financing is less than 70%, the amount of the new pre-financing payment shall be reduced by the unused amounts of the previous pre-financing.
The Agency will establish the amount of the final payment to be made to the beneficiary on the basis of the calculation of the final grant amount (see above).
If the total of earlier payments is higher than the final grant amount, the beneficiary will be required to reimburse the amount paid in excess by the Commission through a recovery order.
11.4 Pre-financing guarantee
The Agency may require any organisation for which the financial capacity is not satisfactory to provide a 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 purpose of this guarantee is to make a bank, a financial institution, or third party stand as irrevocable collateral security for, or first-call guarantor of, the grant beneficiaries' obligations. This financial guarantee, in euro, shall be provided by an approved bank or financial institution established in one of the Member State of the European Union.
The guarantee may be replaced by joint and several guarantees by a third party or by a joint guarantee of the beneficiaries of an action who are parties to the same grant agreement. The guarantee shall be released as the pre-financing is gradually cleared against interim payments or payments of balances to the beneficiary, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the grant agreement.
This requirement does not apply to public bodies and international organisations under public law established by intergovernmental agreements, specialised agencies created by such organisations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
12.1. By the beneficiaries
Beneficiaries must clearly acknowledge the European Union's contribution in all publications or in conjunction with activities for which the grant is used.
Furthermore, beneficiaries are required to give prominence to the name and logo of the European Commission on all their publications, posters, programmes and other products realised under the co- financed project. To do this, they must use the format and the logo of the relevant programme, which is provided by the Agency at the following webpage: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/about/eacea_logos_en.php. If this requirement is not fully complied with, the beneficiary's grant may be reduced in accordance with the provisions of the grant agreement.
Erasmus+ promotes the open access to materials, documents and media that are useful for learning teaching and training, and are produced by projects funded by the Programme. Beneficiaries of Erasmus+ grants producing any such materials, documents and media in the scope of any funded project must make them available for the public, in digital form, freely accessible through the Internet under open licenses. Beneficiaries are nonetheless allowed to define the most appropriate level of open access, including limitations (e.g. interdiction of commercial exploitation by third parties) if appropriate in relation to the nature of the project and to the type of material. The open access requirement is without prejudice to the intellectual property rights of the grant beneficiaries28.
12.2 By the Agency and/or the Commission
With the exception of scholarships paid to natural persons and other direct support paid to natural persons in most need, all information relating to grants awarded in the course of a financial year must be
published on the Internet site of the European Union institutions no later than 30 June of the year following the financial year in which the grants were awarded.
The Agency and/or the European Commission will publish the following information:
the name of the beneficiary;
the locality of the beneficiary: address of the beneficiary when the latter is a legal person, region
when the beneficiary is a natural person, as defined on NUTS 2 level if he/she is domiciled
within the EU or equivalent if domiciled outside the EU;
the amount awarded;
the nature and purpose of the grant.
Upon a reasoned and duly substantiated request by the beneficiary, the publication shall be waived if such disclosure risks threatening the rights and freedoms of individuals concerned as protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union or harm the commercial interests of the beneficiaries.
12.3. Awareness raising - Dissemination and Exploitation
Raising awareness of the project's aims, concept and activities, disseminating its interim or final results (including details on the field trials) and exploitation of the project results at regional/national and European level, throughout the project duration and beyond, are essential for European policy experimentations. Given the focus on the systemic exploitation of the results, the role of the responsible public authorities is key in this context. Please refer to Annex 1 of the call for proposals for further details.
For more information on this topic refer to Annex II of the E+ Programme Guide 2016:
Activities serving the dissemination and exploitation of results are a way to showcase the work that has been done as part of the Erasmus+ project: sharing results, lessons learned, outcomes and findings beyond the participating organisations will enable a wider community to benefit from a work that has received EU funding, as well as to promote the organisation's efforts towards the objectives of Erasmus+, which attaches fundamental importance to the link between the Programme and policies.
For more information on dissemination and exploitation of project result requirements, please refer to the Erasmus+ Programme guide available under this link:
13. DATA PROTECTION
All personal data (such as names, addresses, CVs, etc.) will be processed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the European Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data. Unless marked as optional, the applicant's replies to the questions in the application form are necessary to evaluate and further process the grant application in accordance with the specifications of the call for proposals. Personal data will be processed solely for that purpose by the department or Unit responsible for the Union grant programme concerned (entity acting as data controller). Personal data may be transferred on a need to know basis to third parties involved in the evaluation of proposals or in the grant management procedure, without prejudice of transfer to the bodies in charge of monitoring and inspection tasks in accordance with European Union law. In particular, for the purposes of safeguarding the financial interests of the Union, personal data may be transferred to internal audit services, to the European Court of Auditors, to the Financial Irregularities Panel or to the European Anti-Fraud Office and between authorising officers of the Commission and the executive agencies. The applicant has the right of access to, and to rectify, the data concerning him or her. For any question relating to these data, please contact the Controller. Applicants have the right of recourse to the European Data Protection Supervisor at any time. A detailed Privacy statement, including contact information, is available on EACEA's website: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/about/documents/calls_gen_conditions/eacea_grants_privacy_statement.pdf Applicants and, if they are legal entities, persons who are members of the administrative, management or supervisory body of that applicant or who have powers of representation, decision or control with regard to that applicant, or natural or legal persons that assume unlimited liability for the debts of that applicant, are informed that, their personal data (name, given name if natural person, address, legal form and name and given name of the persons with powers of representation, decision-making or control, if legal person) may be registered in the Early Detection and Exclusion System (EDES) by the Authorising Officer of the Agency, should they be in one of the situations mentioned in the Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298 of 26.10.2012, p. 1) as amended by the Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 2015/1929 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 October 2015 (OJ L 286, 30.10.2015, p. 1).
14. PROCEDURE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
The call for proposals is published in the Official Journal of the European Union and on the following website: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus/funding/key-action-3-initiatives-for-policy-innovation-european- policy-experimentation-eacea-282017_en
14.2 Registration in the Participant Portal
Before submitting an electronic application, applicants and affiliated entities must register their organisation in the Education, Audiovisual, Culture, Citizenship and Volunteering Participant Portal and receive a Participant Identification Code (PIC). The PIC will be requested in the application form for all for applicants and in the 'Detailed Project Description' for affiliated entities.
The Participant Portal is the tool through which all legal and financial information related to organisations will be managed. It is accessible via the Education, Audiovisual, Culture, Citizenship and Volunteering Participant Portal. Information on how to register can be found in the portal under the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/education/participants/portal.
The tool also allows applicants to upload different documents related to their organisation. These documents have to be uploaded once and will not be requested again for subsequent applications by the same organisation.
The relevant documents to be uploaded for the purpose of this call for proposals are the following:
Legal entity form: this document summarises the legal details of the coordinator. For public- law entities the legal resolution or decision established in respect of the public company, or other official document established for the public-law entity needs to be submitted with the legal entity form. For private-law bodies, the statutes and official registration of the company are requested.
More details on the supporting document that need to be uploaded in the portal can be found on the following website:
The Agency can propose an agreement only on the basis of acceptance of documents which make it possible to define the beneficiary's legal personality (public administration, private company, or non- profit organisation, etc.), and on the provision of financial identification/ bank details.
14.3 Submission of the grant application
The submission and selection of proposals will take place in two stages: pre-proposal stage and full proposal stage.
Proposals must be submitted in accordance with the admissibility requirements set out under Section 5 and by the deadline set out under Section 3.
Applicants are requested to read carefully all information about the call for proposals, the submission procedure and to use the documents forming part of the application ('Application Package') at:
No modifications to the proposals are allowed once the deadline for submission has elapsed. However, if there is a need to clarify certain aspects or for the correction of clerical mistakes, the Agency may contact the applicant for this purpose during the evaluation process.
Applicants must use the online application form (eForm) and its attachments. Please take note of the technical requirements for the application form (eForm) explained in the specific eForm User Guide that is aimed at providing guidance on the technical aspects of completing and submitting the eForm. It is available at:
Should you be blocked by any technical issue described in the User Guide during submission, this will not be considered as a technical failure of the eFrom. In consequence, if the submission of your eForm fails and you do not meet the deadline, your application will be rendered ineligible.
Should you have technical problems with the online submission of your eForm, you must contact the helpdesk (firstname.lastname@example.org) by email before the submission deadline, explaining your problem. If you are close to the deadline you have to include a screen shot of any error message together with a proof of time of occurrence.
14.3.1 Submission of pre-proposal application
The application form is available on the Internet at the following address:
Coordinators are requested to apply for funding on behalf of the entire partnership by submitting a pre- proposal application form containing:
• Basic information on the partnership involved; a project summary; an indicative total budget and total EU grant requested.
• A project description limited to basic elements of the proposal following the points highlighted in Section 9.
The pre-proposal application package must be submitted by the deadline (see Section 3) on the correct E- form, duly completed and containing all relevant and applicable annexes and supporting documents. Applicants are strongly recommended to submit at the pre-proposal stage the letters of mandate (these letters provide powers of attorney to the coordinator to submit the proposal on behalf of all other applicants and to enter into legally binding agreements with the Agency) and the delegation letters (from the relevant public authorities as described in Section.6.1.a)).
Application forms which do not include all the necessary information and which are not submitted online by the deadline will not be considered. Application forms sent by e-mail, by paper and/or fax will not be accepted.
All applicants will be informed by email about the results of the selection process.
14.3.2 Submission of full proposal application
The application form is available on the Internet at the following address:
Only applicants that have passed successfully the pre-proposal stage will be invited to complete their application by submitting a full proposal application package containing:
• Full project description following the points highlighted in Section 9;
• Detailed budget using the specific budget tables available on the website (see 14.3), providing full details on costs according to the different budget categories, i.e. staff, travel and subsistence, equipment, subcontracting, other costs, and overheads;
• Declaration on Honour: this declaration will be considered as evidence of the applicants complying with the exclusion criteria, and certify that the information contained in the application package is correct and has been fully agreed with the partner organisations;
• In case of networks and associations of public authorities delegation letters from the relevant public authorities as described under 6.1a) to submit, coordinate and/or carry-out the experimentation, as appropriate;
• In case of delegated bodies, all necessary letters of delegation for the specific roles to be covered (i.e. Coordinator, carry-out the experimentation) by the appropriate public authorities as described under 6.1.a);
• Letters of mandate: these letters provide powers of attorney to the coordinator to submit the proposal on behalf of all other applicants and to enter into legally binding agreements with the Agency;
The complete full proposal application package must be submitted by the deadline (see Section 3) on the correct E-form, duly completed and containing all relevant and applicable annexes and supporting documents. Application forms which do not include all the necessary information and which are not submitted online by the deadline will not be considered. Application forms sent by e-mail, by paper and/or fax will not be accepted.
All applicants will be informed by email about the results of the selection process.
Only proposals that fulfil the eligibility criteria, submitted by applicants that meet the exclusion and selection criteria will be considered for a grant. If a proposal is deemed ineligible, or an applicant is considered in one of the situations described under the exclusion criteria or without sufficient operational capacity, a letter indicating the reasons will be sent to the applicant. Selected proposals will be subject to a financial analysis, in connection with which the Agency may ask the coordinator to provide additional information and, if appropriate, financial guarantees.
14.4 Rules applicable
Regulation (EU) N° 1288/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing 'Erasmus+': the Union programme for education, training, youth and sport and repealing Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC;
Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p.1) as amended by the Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 2015/1929 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 October 2015 (OJ L 286, 30.10.2015, p. 1);
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 of 29 October 2012 on the rules of application of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (OJ L 362, 31.12.2012, p.1) as amended by the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2015/2462 of 30 October 2015 amending Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 on the rules of application of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (OJ L 342, 29.12.2015, p. 7).
If you have any questions, please contact:
Annex 1 Planning and conducting a policy experimentation project