Europe Aid logo

Mayors for Economic Growth Pioneer Projects - EuropeAid/155272/DH/ACT/Multi
Deadline: 31 May 2017   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono Europe Aid

 Social Innovation
 Social Affaires and Inclusion
 Sustainable Development
 Regional Policy
 Youth Workers
 Business Development
 Policy Evaluation and Governance
 Social and Welfare

1. Mayors for Economic Growth pioneer projects

1.1 Background

Launched on 26 October 2016 in Yerevan during a high-level conference, Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) is a new initiative promoted by the European Union targeting local authorities throughout the Eastern Partnership countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine (EaP). 

Its focus is on sustainable local economic development. Its ambition is to support Mayors and municipalities at local level to become active facilitators for economic growth and job creation by developing their capacities and technical skills and working in partnership with their business sectors and civil society. 

Sustainable local economic development is the process by which local authorities work with partners (i.e. private sector, other public organizations, civil society) to improve local business environment and thus create the conditions for private sector-led economic growth and employment generation, from which all communities, locally and nationally, benefit. Economic growth, at the same time, should not come at the expense of environment and it should be controlled for unwanted social side-effects.

Within the framework of the M4EG initiative, municipalities will be invited to design or adapt existing local economic development plans based on principles of good governance, public-private sector dialogue, to identify practical actions to be taken, and eventually to propose projects that support growth, development and employment. To do this, municipalities and cities will seek to become more transparent, inclusive, and business-friendly local administration systems.

This initiative is partly inspired by the successful Covenant of Mayors, the urban climate and energy initiative bringing together local, regional and national authorities, which voluntarily committed to implementing the EU climate and energy objectives. Thanks to its voluntary nature, participatory approach and clear objectives, Covenant of Mayors has proved to be very successful in the Eastern Partnership region. It is expected that the same dynamics will drive the M4EG initiative.

1.2 Objectives of the programme and priority issues 

Objectives of the M4EG programme

As set out in the Mayors for Economic Growth Concept (Annex P), the overall objective for Mayors for Economic Growth is to support the local authorities in the EaP countries to become active facilitators for economic growth and job creation in the region, as well as ensure that local communities are able to provide opportunities for economic, social and cultural participation, community well-being and a good quality of life. 

The immediate objectives of M4EG are to develop capacities among participating local authorities and their partners (private sector, civil society) with a view to:

  • • Encourage and support local authorities and their partners to design and implement local economic development plans, which identify key local economic drivers, based on European best practices and approaches.
  • Strengthen the technical skills and capacities of local authorities to implement local economic development plans in line with principles of good governance and sound financial management, especially in terms of accountability transparency, anti-corruption and inclusion.
  • Encourage building local partnerships and networks based on the public-private dialogue (PPD) principles in order to implement actions which promote growth, development and employment.
  • Develop and disseminate know-how and best practices to motivate local development actors, demonstrate new approaches at work, and sustain pro-development local policies and actions.

Local authorities joining the initiative will commit to cooperate closely with the business and the civil society communities to accelerate sustainable and inclusive local economic growth, development and job creation by strengthening their efforts in at least 3 of the following 5 areas:

    • 1. Regulatory and institutional framework; 
    • 2. Skills and human capital development;
    • 3. Land and infrastructure;
    • 4. Access to finance; 
    • 5. External positioning and marketing.

 

Objectives of the call for proposals

The global objective of this call for proposals is to contribute to the improvement of local prosperity in the Eastern Partnership region by encouraging local authorities to implement their local economic development plans in close cooperation with the business and the civil society communities and in line with the principles of good governance and sound financial management. 

The specific objective(s) of this call for proposals is to finance the implementation of pilot projects included in cities' local economic development plans and aiming at:

    • • Investing into local comparative advantages to stimulate business development (eg. encouraging the formation of new or innovative enterprises; supporting the growth of particular clusters of businesses; supporting informal and newly emerging businesses aimed at improving local value chain etc.).
    • • Investing in physical (hard) infrastructure and in soft infrastructure to improve business environment (educational and workforce development, institutional support systems including local business, councils, chambers of commerce, business associations). 
    • • Attracting external investment and increasing the local access to finance.

Actions targeting directly women and/or youth employment and entrepreneurship will be considered as bringing a significant added-value.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

In order to be eligible under this Call for Proposals, Applicants must have developed and finalised a Local Economic Development Plan consistent with the general principles outlined in the Mayors for Economic Growth Concept. Detailed information can be found in the following annexes:

- Annex P: Mayors for Economic Growth Concept

- Annex Q: Guidelines for Structure and Content of Local Economic Development Plans

Applicants selected following the evaluation of their concept note shall submit the following specific documents (filled in and signed) as part of their full application (for further information refer to sections 2.2.6 to 2.2.8):

- Annex N: Checklist and Summary of Local Economic Development Plan

- Annex O: Mayors for Economic Growth membership form

 

1.3 Financial allocation provided by the contracting authority

The overall indicative amount made available under this call for proposals is EUR 9.500.000. The  

Contracting Authority reserves the right not to award all available funds. 

Indicative allocation of funds by lot/geographical distribution:

Lot 1 (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova)

    • • EUR 5.000.000.

 

Lot 2 (Ukraine)

    • • EUR 4.500.000.

If the allocation indicated for a specific lot cannot be used due to insufficient quality or number of proposals received, the Contracting Authority reserves the right to reallocate the remaining funds to another lot.

Each action proposed must target local authorities or groups of local authorities in one country only.

Size of grants:

Any grant requested under this call for proposals must fall between the following minimum and maximum amounts:

Lot 1

    • • Minimum amount: EUR 300.000
    • • Maximum amount: EUR 600.000

Lot 2 

    • • Minimum amount: EUR 500.000
    • • Maximum amount: EUR 1.000.000

 

It is expected to finance indicatively a total of 15 to 20 projects under Lot 1 and Lot 2 aggregated, depending also on the quality of the proposals.

Any grant requested under this call for proposals must fall between the following maximum percentages of total eligible costs of the action:

Lot 1

    • • Minimum percentage: 50% of the total eligible costs of the action.
    • • Maximum percentage: 90% of the total eligible costs of the action (see also section 2.1.5). 

Lot 2 

    • • Minimum percentage: 50% of the total eligible costs of the action.
    • • Maximum percentage: 80% of the total eligible costs of the action (see also section 2.1.5). 

  

The balance (i.e. the difference between the total cost of the action and the amount requested from the Contracting Authority) must be financed from sources other than the European Union Budget or the European Development Fund.

 

2 RULES FOR THIS CALL FOR PROPOSAL

These guidelines set out the rules for the submission, selection and implementation of the actions financed under this call, in conformity with the Practical Guide, which is applicable to the present call (available at http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/document.do?locale=en) .

2.1 Eligibility criteria

There are three sets of eligibility criteria, relating to:

(1) the actors:

  • • The lead applicant, i.e. the entity submitting the application form (2.1.1),
    • if any, its co-applicant(s) (where it is not specified otherwise the lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) are hereinafter jointly referred as "applicant(s)") (2.1.1), 
  • • and, if any, affiliated entity(ies) to the lead applicant and/or to a co-applicant(s). (2.1.2);
    1. 2) the actions:
    • • Actions for which a grant may be awarded (2.1.4);
    1. (3) the costs:
    • • types of cost that may be taken into account in setting the amount of the grant (2.1.5).

2.1.1 Eligibility of applicants (i.e. lead applicant and co-applicant(s))

Lead applicant

(1) In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must:

Lot 1 (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova)

      • • be a legal person and
      • • be non-profit-making and
      • • be a specific type of organisation such as: local authority and
      • • be established in one of the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia or Moldova) and
      • • be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary and
      • • be compliant with the criteria set out in Annex N "Checklist and Summary of Local Economic Development Plan".

 

Lot 2 (Ukraine)

      • • be a legal person and
      • • be non-profit-making and
      • • be either:
    • o A locality with a size under 150 thousand inhabitants from Ukraine; or
    • o An amalgamated territorial community (hromada) from Ukraine represented by its respective council or executive committee in accordance with the Law of Ukraine № 157-VIII “On voluntary amalgamation of territorial communities (hromadas)" 

and

    • • be established in Ukraine and
    • • be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary and
    • • be compliant with the criteria set out in Annex N "Checklist and Summary of Local Economic Development Plan".

Eligible local authorities can jointly apply (one as lead applicant and the other/s as co-applicant/s). But each action proposed must target local authorities or groups of local authorities in one country only.

 (2) Potential applicants may not participate in calls for proposals or be awarded grants if they are in any of the situations listed in section 2.3.3 of the Practical Guide;

In Annex A.2, section 5 (‘declaration by the lead applicant’), the lead applicant must declare that the lead applicant himself, the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies) are not in any of these situations.

The lead applicant may act individually or with co-applicant(s).

If awarded the grant contract, the lead applicant will become the beneficiary identified as the Coordinator in Annex E3h1 (Special Conditions). The Coordinator is the main interlocutor of the Contracting Authority. It represents and acts on behalf of any other co-beneficiary (if any) and coordinate the design and implementation of the action.

Co-applicant(s)

Co-applicants participate in designing and implementing the action, and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the lead applicant. 

Co-applicants must satisfy the eligibility criteria as applicable to the lead applicant.

In addition to the categories referred to in section 2.1.1, the following are however also eligible: 

Lot 1 (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova) 

  • • Local authorities, non-state actors including associations of local authorities, local and regional economic development agencies, non-governmental and other civil society organisations, business associations, business support organisations, education institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises, local municipal companies, home owners associations established in the country where the action will take place.

 

Lot 2 (Ukraine)

  • • Local authorities, non-state actors including associations of local authorities, local and regional economic development agencies, non-governmental and other civil society organisations, business associations, business support organisations, education institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises, local municipal companies, home owners associations established in Ukraine.

Co-applicants must sign the mandate in Annex A.2., section 4.

If awarded the grant contract, the co-applicant(s) (if any) will become beneficiary(ies) in the action (together with the Coordinator). 

2.1.2 Affiliated entities

The lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) may act with affiliated entity(ies)

Only the following entities may be considered as affiliated entities to the lead applicant and/or to co-applicant(s):

Only entities having a structural link with the applicants (i.e. the lead applicant or a co-applicant), in particular a legal or capital link.

This structural link encompasses mainly two notions:

(i) Control, as defined in Directive 2013/34/EU on the annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related reports of certain types of undertakings:

Entities affiliated to applicant may hence be:

  • - Entities directly or indirectly controlled by an applicant (daughter companies or first-tier subsidiaries). They may also be entities controlled by an entity controlled by an applicant (granddaughter companies or second-tier subsidiaries) and the same applies to further tiers of control;
  • - Entities under the same direct or indirect control as the applicant (sister companies).
  • - Entities directly or indirectly controlling the applicant (parent companies). Likewise, they may be entities controlling an entity controlling the applicant;

(ii) Membership, i.e. the applicant is legally defined as a e.g. network, federation, association in which the proposed affiliated entities also participate or  the applicant participates in the same entity (e.g. network, federation, association) as the proposed affiliated entities.

 

The structural link shall as a general rule be neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation. This means that the link would exist independently of the award of the grant; it should exist before the call for proposals and remain valid after the end of the action.

 

By way of exception, an entity may be considered as affiliated to an applicant even if it has a structural link specifically established for the sole purpose of the implementation of the action in the case of so-called “sole applicants” or “sole beneficiaries”.  A sole applicant or a sole beneficiary is a legal entity formed by several entities (a group of entities) which together comply with the criteria for being awarded the grant. For example, an association is formed by its members.

  1. What is not an affiliated entity? 

 

The following are not considered entities affiliated to an applicant:

  • - Entities that have entered into a (procurement) contract or subcontract with an applicant, act as concessionaires or delegatees for public services for an applicant,
  • - Entities that receive financial support from an applicant,
  • - Entities that cooperate on a regular basis with an applicant on the basis of a memorandum of understanding or share some assets,
  • - Entities that have signed a consortium agreement under the grant contract (unless this consortium agreement leads to the creation of a "sole applicant" as described above).

 

How to verify the existence of the required link with an applicant?

 

The affiliation resulting from control may in particular be proved on the basis of the consolidated accounts of the group of entities the applicant and its proposed affiliates belong to.

The affiliation resulting from membership may in particular be proved on the basis of the statutes or equivalent act establishing the entity (network, federation, association) which the applicant constitutes or in which the applicant participates.

If the applicants are awarded a grant contract, their affiliated entity(ies) will not become beneficiary(ies) of the action and signatory(ies) of the grant contract. However, they will participate in the design and  in the implementation of the action and the costs they incur (including those incurred for implementation contracts and financial support to third parties) may be accepted as eligible costs, provided they comply with all the relevant rules already applicable to the beneficiary(ies) under the grant contract.

Affiliated entity(ies) must satisfy the same eligibility criteria as the lead applicant and the co-applicant(s).  They must sign the affiliated entity(ies) statement in Annex A.2., section 5.

2.1.3 Associates and Contractors

The following entities are not applicants nor affiliated entities and do not have to sign the "mandate for co-applicant(s)" or "affiliated entities' statement":

• Associates

Other organisations or individuals may be involved in the action. Such associates play a real role in the action but may not receive funding from the grant, with the exception of per diem or travel costs. Associates do not have to meet the eligibility criteria referred to in section 2.1.1. Associates must be mentioned in Annex A.2., section 6 — ‘Associates participating in the action’.

The involvement of local authorities and their associations established in one or several countries listed below, in quality of associates is encouraged if well justified (i.e. based on existing twinnings, specific expertise in fields relevant to the action etc.):

- Members State of the European Union;

- Countries of the European Economic Area;

- Countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) and the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).

 

• Contractors

The beneficiaries and their affiliated entities are permitted to award contracts. Associates or affiliated entity(ies) cannot be also contractors in the project. Contractors are subject to the procurement rules set out in Annex IV to the standard grant contract.

2.1.4 Eligible actions: actions for which an application may be made

Definition 

An action is composed of a set of activities.

Duration

The initial planned duration of an action may not be lower than 18 months nor exceed 48 months.

Sectors or themes

The types of activity which are eligible and may be financed under this call are those directly contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the call for proposals (refer to section 1.2 "Objectives of the programme and priority issues").

Location

Lot 1

  • Actions must take place in one of the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, and Moldova.

Lot 2

  •  Actions must take place in Ukraine.

Each action proposed must target local authorities or groups of local authorities in one country only.

Types of action

The types of action which are eligible and may be financed under this call are those directly contributing to the achievement of the objectives as per section “specific objectives”.

The following types of action are ineligible:

  • • actions concerned only or mainly with individual sponsorships for participation in workshops, seminars, conferences and congresses;
  • • actions concerned only or mainly with individual scholarships for studies or training courses.

Types of activity

Activities eligible under this call are those contributing to the achievement of its specific objectives and providing significant and tangible results for the citizens.

Actions targeting directly women and/or youth employment and entrepreneurship will be considered as bringing a significant added-value.

As a matter of example, indicative activities can include the following:

  • Setting up a municipal one-stop-shop for business registration, information and available financing sources and providing business advice to start-ups (on things like accounts and markets).
  • Investing in soft infrastructure i.e. providing job matching services; promoting youth employment and employability though IT skills training in schools and colleges or by setting up training facilities for vocational training in empty schools or old buildings, etc.
  • • Creating the local infrastructure for economic growth i.e. through supporting the clearing and preparation of sites for economic activity/property development; providing a public property database; supporting the development of new business parks and premises to meet business needs; supporting business incubators by providing and managing accommodation for business; supporting  the  development  of  infrastructure  for businesses  such  as  better,  roads  and  public transport, gas, electricity and telecommunications; supporting the development of infrastructure for local tourism; targeting particular parts of the city for regeneration or growth. 
  • Attracting  new  start-up businesses, business inward investment & helping sell more local products or service; actively  promoting  the  municipality  as  a  good    investment destination; providing investors with free or cheap land, with the right business infrastructure, financial instruments, or through supporting or funding training of the local workforce; once business investors have established their business – developing "after-care" services to ensure the investors stay and invest further in their facilities; marketing local products and services.
  • Developing better business linkages including through encouraging the creation of "clusters" of companies that co-operate with each other to launch new, better and cheaper products, or initiating forums to consider how local companies can improve the linkages between them.
  • Promoting innovation & diversification, not only in terms of innovation technology but also of innovative industries such as cultural and creative industry (e.g. advertising and marketing, architecture, crafts, design: product, graphic and fashion design, film, TV, video, radio and photography, software and computer services, publishing, museums, galleries and libraries, music, performing and visual arts), tourism and social economy (eg. cooperatives, mutual societies, non-profit associations, foundations and social enterprises). 
  • Promoting investments including by encouraging private banks to open in the municipality or local banks to diversify their offer. 
  • Setting up a management centre providing services such as support to returnees' businesses, provision of legal assistance; a business advisory service and management assistance; a book keeping/accountancy department, etc. or encouraging a private local business consulting company or a business-aware NGO to work in the municipality and delivering these services.

Financial support to third parties 

Applicants may not propose financial support to third parties.

Visibility

The applicants must take all necessary steps to publicise the fact that the European Union has financed or co-financed the action. As far as possible, actions that are wholly or partially funded by the European Union must incorporate information and communication activities designed to raise the awareness of specific or general audiences of the reasons for the action and the EU support for the action in the country or region concerned, as well as the results and the impact of this support.

Applicants must comply with the objectives and priorities and guarantee the visibility of the EU financing (see the Communication and Visibility Manual for EU external actions specified and published by the European Commission at https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/communication-and-visibility-manual-eu-external-actions_en).

Number of applications and grants per applicants / affiliated entities

An entity may not be present as lead applicant/co-applicant/affiliated entity in more than one application.

The lead applicant may not submit more than one application under this call for proposals.

The lead applicant may not be awarded more than one grant under this call for proposals.

The lead applicant may not be a co-applicant or an affiliated entity in another application at the same time. 

A co-applicant/affiliated entity may not submit more than one application under this call for proposals.

A co-applicant/affiliated entity may not be awarded more than one grant under this call for proposals.

 

2.1.5 Eligibility of costs: costs that can be included 

Only ‘eligible costs’ can be covered by a grant. The categories of costs that are eligible and non-eligible are indicated below. The budget is both a cost estimate and an overall ceiling for ‘eligible costs’. 

The reimbursement of eligible costs may be based on any or a combination of the following forms:

  • − actual costs incurred by the beneficiary(ies) and affiliated entity(ies)
  • − one or more simplified cost options.

Simplified cost options may take the form of:

  • unit costs: covering all or certain specific categories of eligible costs which are clearly identified in advance by reference to an amount per unit.
  • flat-rate financing: covering specific categories of eligible costs which are clearly identified in advance by applying a percentage fixed ex ante.
  • lump sums: covering in global terms all or certain specific categories of eligible costs which are clearly identified in advance.

The amounts or rates have to be based on estimates using objective data such as statistical data or any other objective means or with reference to certified or auditable historical data of the applicants or the affiliated entity(ies). The methods used to determine the amounts or rates of unit costs, lump sums or flat-rates must comply with the criteria established in Annex K, and especially ensure that the costs correspond fairly to the actual costs incurred by the beneficiary(ies) and affiliated entity(ies), are in line with their accounting practices, no profit is made and the costs are not already covered by other sources of funding (no double funding). Refer to Annex K for directions and a checklist of controls to assess the minimum necessary conditions that provide reasonable assurance for the acceptance of the proposed amounts.

Applicants proposing this form of reimbursement, must clearly indicate in worksheet no.1 of Annex B, each heading/item  of eligible costs concerned by this type of financing, i.e. add the reference in capital letters to "UNIT COST" (per month/flight etc), "LUMPSUM" or "FLAT RATE" in the Unit column. (see example in Annex K)

Additionally in Annex B, in the second column of worksheet no.2, "Justification of the estimated costs" per each of the corresponding budget item or heading applicants must:

  • − describe the information and methods used to establish the amounts of unit costs, lump sums and/or flat-rates, to which costs they refer, etc.
  • − identify the beneficiary who will use the simplified cost option (in case of affiliated entity, specify first the beneficiary), in order to verify the maximum amount per each beneficiary (which includes if applicable simplified cost options of its affiliated entity(ies))
  • − clearly explain the formulas for calculation of the final eligible amount

At contracting phase, the Contracting Authority decides whether to accept the proposed amounts or rates on the basis of the provisional budget submitted by the applicants, by analysing factual data of grants carried out by the applicants or of similar actions and by performing checks established by Annex K. 

The total amount of financing on the basis of simplified cost options that can be authorised by the Contracting Authority for any of the applicants individually (including simplified cost options proposed by their own affiliated entities) cannot exceed EUR 60 000 (the indirect costs are not taken into account). 

Recommendations to award a grant are always subject to the condition that the checks preceding the signing of the grant contract do not reveal problems requiring changes to the budget (such as arithmetical errors, inaccuracies, unrealistic costs and ineligible costs). The checks may give rise to requests for clarification and may lead the Contracting Authority to impose modifications or reductions to address such mistakes or inaccuracies. It is not possible to increase the grant or the percentage of EU co-financing as a result of these corrections.

It is therefore in the applicants' interest to provide a realistic and cost-effective budget. In particular, applicants are invited to submit balanced proposals regarding the repartition between human resources and investment.

 

The simplified cost option may also take the form of an apportionment of Field Office's costs.

Field Office means a local infrastructure set up in one of the countries where the action is implemented or a nearby country. (Where the action is implemented in several third countries there can be more than one Field Office). That may consist of costs for local office as well as human resources. 

A Field Office may be exclusively dedicated to the action financed (or co-financed) by the EU or may be used for other projects implemented in the partner country. When the Field Office is used for other projects, only the portion of capitalised and operating costs which corresponds to the duration of the action and the rate of actual use of the field office for the purpose of the action may be declared as eligible direct costs.

The portion of costs attributable to the action can be declared as actual costs or determined by the beneficiary(ies) on the basis of a simplified allocation method (apportionment).

The method of allocation has to be:

1. Compliant with the beneficiary's usual accounting and management practices and applied in a consistent manner regardless of the source of funding and 

2. Based on an objective, fair and reliable allocation keys. (Please refer to Annex K to have examples of acceptable allocation keys).

A description prepared by the entity of the allocation method used to determine Field Office's costs in accordance with the entity's usual cost accounting and management practices and explaining how the method satisfy condition 1 and 2 indicated above, has to be presented in a separate sheet and annexed to the Budget.

The method will be assessed and accepted by the evaluation committee and the Contracting Authority at contracting phase. The applicant is invited to submit (where relevant) the list of contracts to which the methodology proposed had been already applied and for which proper application was confirmed by an expenditure verification. 

At the time of carrying out the expenditure verifications, the auditors will check if the costs reported are compliant with the method described by the beneficiary(ies) and accepted by the Contracting Authority.

Adequate record and documentation must be kept by the beneficiary(ies) to prove the compliance of the simplified allocation method used with the conditions set out above. Upon request of the beneficiary(ies), this compliance can be assessed and approved ex-ante by an independent external auditor. In such a case, the simplified allocation method will be automatically accepted by the evaluation committee and it will not be challenged ex post.

When costs are declared on the basis of such allocation method the amount charged to the action is to be indicated in the column "TOTAL COSTS" and the mention "APPORTIONMENT" is to be indicated in the column "units" (under budget heading 1 (Human resources) and 4 (Local Office) of the Budget).

It has to be noted that the EUR 60.000 limit, otherwise applicable to costs declared on the basis of simplified cost options, is not relevant for costs declared following apportionment of Field Offices. 

Eligible direct costs

To be eligible under this call for proposals, costs must comply with the provisions of Article 14 of the General Conditions to the standard grant contract (see Annex G of the guidelines).

Contingency reserve

The budget may include a contingency reserve not exceeding 5 % of the estimated direct eligible costs. It can only be used with the prior written authorisation of the Contracting Authority.

Eligible indirect costs

The indirect costs incurred in carrying out the action may be eligible for flat-rate funding, but the total must not exceed 7 % of the estimated total eligible direct costs. Indirect costs are eligible provided that they do not include costs assigned to another budget heading in the standard grant contract. The lead applicant may be asked to justify the percentage requested before the grant contract is signed. However, once the flat rate has been fixed in the Special Conditions of the grant contract, no supporting documents need to be provided.

If any of the applicants or affiliated entity(ies) is in receipt of an operating grant financed by the EU, it may not claim indirect costs on its incurred costs within the proposed budget for the action.

Contributions in kind

Contributions in kind mean the provision of goods or services to a beneficiaries or affiliated entities free of charge by a third party. As contributions in kind do not involve any expenditure for beneficiaries or affiliated entities, they are not eligible costs. 

Contributions in kind may not be treated as co-financing However, if the description of the action as proposed includes contributions in kind, the contributions have to be made. 

The Contracting Authority may accept co-financing in kind, if considered necessary or appropriate. In such cases, the value of such contributions must not exceed:

  1. a) either the costs actually borne and duly supported by accounting documents;
  2. b) or the costs generally accepted on the concerned market of reference.

Contributions involving real estate must be excluded from the calculation of the amount of co-financing. In kind contributions must comply with national tax and social security rules.

If co-financing in kind is proposed, it must be included in Annex B (Worksheet 3) to the guidelines for applicants on the expected sources of funding for the action. The same amount must be indicated in the budget (worksheet 1).

Ineligible costs

The following costs are not eligible:

  • − debts and debt service charges (interest);
  • − salary costs of the personnel of national administrations.
  • − credit to third parties;
  • − currency exchange losses;
  • − purchases of land or buildings;
  • − costs declared by the beneficiary(ies) and financed by another action or work programme receiving a European Union (including through EDF) grant;
  • − provisions for losses or potential future liabilities;

 

2.2 How to apply and the procedures to follow

To apply for this call for proposals the lead applicants need to:

  1. I. Provide information about the organisations involved in the action. Please note that the registration of this data in PADOR is obligatory for this call for proposals:

Concept note step: Registration is obligatory for lead applicants applying for EU contributions of more than EUR 60 000.

Full application step: Registration is obligatory for co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies). Lead applicants must make sure that their PADOR profile is up to date. 

  1. II. Provide information about the action in the documents listed under sections 2.2.2 (concept note) and 2.2.5 (full application). Please note that online submission via PROSPECT is obligatory for this call,

PADOR is an on-line database in which organisations register and update information concerning their entity. Organisations registered in PADOR get a unique ID (EuropeAid ID) which they must mention in their application. PADOR is accessible via the website: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/pador_en 

It is strongly recommended to register in PADOR well in advance and not to wait until the last minute before the  deadline to submit your application in PROSPECT. 

If it is impossible to register online in PADOR for technical reasons, the applicants and/or affiliated entity(ies) must complete the ‘PADOR off-line form attached to these guidelines. This form must be sent together with the application, by the submission deadline (see sections 2.2.2 and 2.2.5). 

Before starting using PADOR and PROSPECT, please read the user guides available on the website. All technical questions related the use of these systems should be addressed to the IT helpdesk at EuropeAid-IT-support@ec.europa.eu via the online support form in PROSPECT.

 

2.2.1 Concept note content  

Applications must be submitted in accordance with the concept note instructions in the grant application form annexed to these guidelines (Annex A.1).  Applicants must apply in English. 

Please note that:

1. In the concept note lead applicants must provide only an estimate of the requested EU contribution, as well as an indicative percentage of this contribution in relation to the total eligible costs of the action. A detailed budget is to be submitted only by lead applicants invited to submit a full application in the second phase 

2. The elements outlined in the concept note may not be modified in the full application form. The EU contribution may not vary from the initial estimate by more than 20 %. Lead applicants are free to adapt the requested EU contribution as a percentage of the total eligible costs within the minimum and maximum amounts and percentages provided in section 1.3. The lead applicant may replace a co-applicant or an affiliated entity only in duly justified cases (e.g. bankruptcy of initial co-applicant or affiliated entity). In this case the new co-applicant/affiliated entity must be of a similar nature as the initial one. The lead applicant may adjust the duration of the action if unforeseen circumstances outside the scope of the applicants have taken place following the submission of the concept note and require such adaptation (risk of action not being carried out). In such cases the duration must remain within the limits imposed by the guidelines for applicants. An explanation/justification of the relevant replacement/adjustment shall be included in section 2.1.1 of the grant application form.

Own contributions by the applicants can be replaced by other donors' contributions at any time.

3. Only the concept note form will be evaluated. It is therefore of utmost importance that this document contains all relevant information concerning the action. No additional annexes should be sent.

Any error or major discrepancy related to the concept note instructions may lead to the rejection of the concept note.

Clarifications will only be requested when information provided is not sufficient to conduct an objective assessment. 

 

​​​​​​​2.2.2 Where and how to send concept notes

The concept note together with the declaration by the lead applicant (Annex A.1 section 2) must be submitted online via PROSPECT https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prospect following the instructions given in the PROSPECT user manual.

Upon submission of a concept note online, the lead applicant will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt in its PROSPECT profile. 

Please note that incomplete concept notes may be rejected. Lead applicants are advised to verify that their concept note is complete by using the checklist for concept note (Annex A.1, Instructions).

 

​​​​​​​2.2.3 Deadline for submission of concept notes 

The deadline for the submission of concept notes is 31/05/2017 at 12:00 (Brussels date and time).  In order to convert this deadline to local time you can use any online time converter tool that takes into account timezones and winter/summer time changes (example available here) The lead applicant is strongly advised not to wait until the last day to submit its concept note, since heavy Internet traffic or a fault with the Internet connection (including electricity failure, etc.) could lead to difficulties in submission. The Contacting Authority cannot be held responsible for any delay due to such afore-mentioned difficulties. 

Any concept note submitted after the deadline will be rejected.

However, for reasons of administrative efficiency, the Contracting Authority may also reject any concept note sent in due time but received after the effective date of approval of the concept note evaluation (see indicative calendar under section 2.5.2). 

 

​​​​​​​2.2.4 Further information about concept notes

No information session will be held under this call for proposals.

Questions may be sent by e-mail or by fax no later than 21 days before the deadline for the submission of concept notes to the address(es) below, indicating clearly the reference of the call for proposals:

E-mail address: NEAR-ENI-EAST-TENDERS@ec.europa.eu 

Fax number: +32 2 292 14 81

The Contracting Authority has no obligation to provide clarifications to questions received after this date.

Replies will be given no later than 11 days before the deadline for submission of concept notes. 

To ensure equal treatment of applicants, the contracting authority cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of lead applicants, co-applicants, affiliated entity(ies), an action or specific activities.

No individual replies will be given to questions. All questions and answers as well as other important notices to applicants during the course of the evaluation procedure will be published on the EuropeAid website https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome, as appropriate. It is therefore advisable to consult the abovementioned website regularly in order to be informed of the questions and answers published.

All questions related to registration in PADOR or the online submission via PROSPECT should be addressed to the IT helpdesk at EuropeAid-IT-support@ec.europa.eu via the online support form in PROSPECT: Please note that the working languages of the IT support are: English French and Spanish. Therefore users are invited to send their questions in English, French or Spanish should they wish to benefit from an optimum response time.

 

​​​​​​​2.2.5 Full applications 

Lead applicants invited to submit a full application following pre-selection of their concept note must do so using the full application form annexed to these guidelines (Annex A.2). 

Applications must be submitted in accordance with the full application instructions at the end of Annex A.2. Lead applicants must submit their full applications in the same language as their concept notes. 

Please note that:

1. The elements outlined in the concept note cannot be modified by the lead applicant in the full application form. The EU contribution may not vary from the initial estimate by more than 20 %, although lead applicants are free to adapt the percentage of co-financing required within the minimum and maximum amount and percentages of co-financing, as laid down in these guidelines under section 1.3. The lead applicant may replace a co-applicant or an affiliated entity only in duly justified cases (e.g. bankruptcy of initial co-applicant or affiliated entity). In this case the new co-applicant/affiliated entity must be of a similar nature as the initial one. The lead applicant may adjust the duration of the action if unforeseen circumstances outside the scope of the applicants have taken place following the submission of the concept note and require such adaptation (risk of action not being carried out). An explanation/justification of the relevant replacement/adjustment shall be included in section 2.1.1 of the grant application form.

2. A copy of the lead applicant’s accounts of the latest financial year (the profit and loss account and the balance sheet for the last financial year for which the accounts have been closed) must be uploaded in PADOR by the full application deadline. A copy of the latest account is neither required from (if any) the co-applicant(s) nor from (if any) affiliated entity(ies)).

3.  Only the full application form and the published annexes which have to be filled in (budget, logical framework) will be transmitted to the evaluators (and assessors, if used). It is therefore of utmost importance that these documents contain ALL the relevant information concerning the action. No additional annexes should be sent.

Any error or any major inconsistency related to the full application instructions  (e.g. if the amounts in the budget worksheets are inconsistent) may lead to the rejection of the application.

Clarifications will only be requested when information provided is unclear and thus prevents the Contracting Authority from conducting an objective assessment.

 

​​​​​​​2.2.6 Where and how to send full applications 

Full application forms together with the budget, the logical framework and the declaration by the lead applicant must be submitted online via PROSPECT https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/ europeaid/prospect following the instructions given in the users’ manual.

Upon submission of the full application online, the lead applicants will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt in their PROSPECT profile. 

Please note that incomplete applications may be rejected. Lead applicants are advised to verify that their application is complete using the checklist (Annex A.2, Instructions).

​​​​​​​2.2.7 Deadline for submission of full applications 

The deadline for the submission of full applications will be indicated in the letter sent to the lead applicants whose application has been pre-selected. This letter will appear online automatically in the PROSPECT profile of the lead applicant. 

Lead applicants are strongly advised not to wait until the last day to submit their full applications, since heavy Internet traffic or a fault with the Internet connection (including electricity failure, etc.) could lead to difficulties in submission. The Contacting Authority cannot be held responsible for any delay due to such afore-mentioned difficulties. 

Any application submitted after the deadline will be rejected. 

However, for reasons of administrative efficiency, the Contracting Authority may also reject any full application sent in due time but received after the effective date of approval of the full application evaluation (see indicative calendar under section 2.5.2)

​​​​​​​2.2.8 Further information about full applications 

Questions may be sent by e-mail or by fax no later than 21 days before the deadline for the submission of full applications to the addresses listed below, indicating clearly the reference of the call for proposals:

E-mail address: NEAR-ENI-EAST-TENDERS@ec.europa.eu

Fax number: +32 2 292 14 81

The Contracting Authority has no obligation to provide clarifications to questions received after this date.

Replies will be given no later than 11 days before the deadline for the submission of applications. 

To ensure equal treatment of applicants, the Contracting Authority cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of lead applicants, co-applicants, affiliated entity(ies), or an action.

No individual replies will be given to questions. All questions and answers as well as other important notices to applicants during the course of the evaluation procedure, will be published on the EuropeAid website https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome, as appropriate. It is therefore advisable to consult the abovementioned website regularly in order to be informed of the questions and answers published.

All questions related to registration in PADOR or the online submission via PROSPECT should be addressed to the IT helpdesk at EuropeAid-IT-support@ec.europa.eu via the online support form in PROSPECT. Please note that the working languages of the IT support are: English French and Spanish. Therefore users are invited to send their questions in English, French or Spanish should they wish to benefit from an optimum response time.

 

​​​​​​​2.3 Evaluation and selection of applications

Applications will be examined and evaluated by the Contracting Authority with the possible assistance of external assessors. All applications will be assessed according to the following steps and criteria.

If the examination of the application reveals that the proposed action does not meet the eligibility criteria stated in section 2.1, the application will be rejected on this sole basis.

 



Public link:   Only for registered users


Up2Europe Ads