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Pilot Project: Application of Web Accessibility Requirements in Web-authoring Tools and Platforms by Default - PPWA-2017-AG
Deadline: 28 Sep 2017   CALL EXPIRED

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1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND

The European Commission adopted on 28 April 2017 a work programme for 2017 and the financing of Pilot Projects and Preparatory Actions in the field of "Communications Networks, Content and Technology"1.

The Web Accessibility Directive obliges the Member States to ensure that websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies meet the accessibility requirements established in the Directive.

The Directive establishes a coherent, harmonised framework that can also be used by organizations beyond those in the scope of the Directive, allowing both public sector bodies and enterprises to obtain economic and social benefits from extending the provision of online or mobile services to include more citizens and customers.

The promotion of web-authoring tools and platforms that facilitate a better implementation of the accessibility requirements is needed to encourage the adoption of web accessibility standards by public administrations, as well as private companies and individuals. It would allow for the easy application of web accessibility requirements when building or maintaining a website. It would also open the possibility to adapt the methods and tools used to authoring tools and platforms of mobile applications.

Incorporating features in authoring tools or platforms to meet accessibility requirements ("web access by default") would be important, providing an effective way to support compliance with the Web Accessibility Directive.

The aim of this pilot project is to directly encourage and support the adoption of the relevant accessibility requirements of the European Standard EN 301 549 v1.1.2 by awarding grants to firms, associations or other non-for-profit groupings which would 

incorporate settings that would guarantee to meet the requirements of this European Standard as the default option of their authoring tools or platforms.

 

2. OBJECTIVES

The overall objective of this pilot project is to encourage and support the implementation of the Web Accessibility Directive by adopting the relevant accessibility requirements of the European Standard EN 301 549 v1.1.2 by awarding grants in order to incorporate features as the default option in authoring tools or platforms that would facilitate meeting the requirements of this European Standard.

Within the overall objective, the pilot project aims to:

  • support the availability of authoring tools or platforms (new or re-designed) that help authors produce accessible web content by including features to meet the accessibility requirements ("web access by default");

  • stimulate the market, create supply and enhance competition for web authoring tools and platforms with accessibility features;

  • provide good practice and help the dissemination of web-accessibility solutions incorporated in web-authoring tools and platforms;

  • support Member States to hire users to test web-authoring tools;

  • facilitate compliance with the accessibility requirements set out in the Web Accessibility Directive with all of the above.

The authoring tools or platforms supported under this pilot project should aim to automate to the maximum extent possible the processes and solutions used to meet the accessibility requirements. Where such automation is not possible, the authoring tools or platforms should provide for methods that require minimal technical contributions from the author. (An example would be an automatic request to type in the description of a picture).

In the context of this pilot the target group comprises private firms, associations, other non-profit groupings, Member States authorities and other public bodies.

The proposals must take into consideration internationally recognized guidelines or industrial practice on how authoring tools should help authors produce accessible content. In addition, the proposals should aim making the user interface of the authoring tool or platform accessible.

 

3. TIMETABLE

a) Publication of the call

14 August 2017

 

b) Deadline for submitting applications

28 September 2017

 

c) Evaluation period

October 2017

 

d) Information to applicants

November 2017

 

e) Signature of grant agreement

November/December 2017

 

4. BUDGET AVAILABLE

The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated at EUR 600 000 (six hundred thousand Euro).

The Commission expects to fund several proposals. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 150 000 would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.

 

5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • –  Applications must be sent no later than the deadline for submitting applications referred to in section 0.

  • –  Applicationsmustbesubmittedinwriting(seesection14),usingtheapplicationform available at <insert relevant url>.

  • –  ApplicationsmustbedraftedinoneoftheEUofficiallanguages.Iftheapplicationis submitted in another language than English, please provide at least a summary of the action in English.

Failure to comply with those requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.

 

6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
6.1. Eligible applicants
Only applications from legal entities established in the EU Member States are eligible. Applications may be submitted:

– by a single legal entity;

 

  • –  by a consortium made up of several legal entities; or

  • –  by one applicant, whether established specifically or not for the action, which is formed of several legal entities complying with the eligibility, non-exclusion and selection criteria set out in this call for proposals, and implementing together the proposed action, provided the application identifies the said entities. For the purpose of declaring eligible costs as specified under section 11.1, the entities composing the applicant shall be treated as affiliated entities.

    In order to assess the applicants' eligibility, the following supporting documents are requested:

    Examples of supporting documents:

  • –  privateentity:extractfromtheofficialjournal,copyofarticlesofassociation,extract of trade or association register, certificate of liability to VAT (if, as in certain countries, the trade register number and VAT number are identical, only one of these documents is required);

  • –  public entity: copy of the resolution, decision or other official document establishing the public-law entity ;

  • –  naturalpersons:photocopyofidentitycardand/orpassport;certificateofliabilityto VAT, if applicable (e.g. some self-employed persons)

  • –  entities without legal personality: documents providing evidence that their representative(s) have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf.

    Legal entities having a legal or capital link with applicants, which is neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation, may take part in the action as affiliated entities, and may declare eligible costs as specified in section 11.1. For that purpose, applicants shall identify such affiliated entities in the application form.

6.2. Eligible activities

Types of activities eligible under this call for proposals.

  • –  Prototyping, deployment and testing/validation actions;

  • –  Conferences, seminars;

  • –  Awareness and dissemination actions;

  • –  Actions aiming at the creation and improving of networks, exchanges of good practices;

  • –  Studies, analyses, mapping projects;

6.3. Implementation period

The maximum duration of projects is expected to be 18 months;

Applications for projects scheduled to run for a longer period than that specified in this call for proposals will not be accepted.

 

 

7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA

7.1. Exclusion

The authorising officer shall exclude an applicant from participating in call for proposals procedures where:

(a) the applicant is bankrupt, subject to insolvency or winding-up procedures, where its assets are being administered by a liquidator or by a court, where it is in an arrangement with creditors, where its business activities are suspended, or where it is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for under national laws or regulations;

(b) it has been established by a final judgment 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 performance of the contract;

(c) it has been established by a final judgment 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:

  1. (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;

  2. (ii)  entering into agreement with other applicants with the aim of distorting competition;

  3. (iii)  violating intellectual property rights;

  4. (iv)  attempting to influence the decision-making process of the Commission during the award procedure;

  5. (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 judgment that the applicant is guilty of any of the following:

  1. (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;

  2. (ii)  corruption, as defined in Article 3 of the Convention on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of Member States of the European Union, 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 law of the country where the contracting authority is located, the country in which the applicant is established or the country of the performance of the contract;

  3. (iii)  participation in a criminal organisation, as defined in Article 2 of Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA;

  4. (iv)  money laundering or terrorist financing, as defined in Article 1 of Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council;

  5. (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;

  6. (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) the applicant has shown significant deficiencies in complying with 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 judgment 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) for the situations of grave professional misconduct, fraud, corruption, other criminal offences, significant deficiencies in the performance of the contract or irregularity, the applicant is subject to:

7.2.

  1. (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;

  2. (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;

  3. (iii)  decisions of the ECB, the EIB, the European Investment Fund or international organisations;

  4. (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.

  5. (v)  decisions of exclusion by an authorising officer of an EU institution, of a European office or of an EU agency or body.

Remedial measures

If an applicant declares one of the situations of exclusion listed above (see section 7.1), it should indicate the measures it has taken to remedy the exclusion situation, thus demonstrating its reliability. This may include e.g. technical, organisational and personnel measures to prevent further occurrence, compensation of damage or payment of fines. The relevant documentary evidence which illustrates the remedial measures taken must be provided in annex to the declaration. This does not apply for situations referred in point (d) of section 7.1.

 

7.3. Rejection from the call for proposals

The authorising officer shall not award a grant to an applicant who:

  1. is in an exclusion situation established in accordance with section 7.1;

  2. has misrepresented the information required as a condition for participating in the procedure or has failed to supply that information;

  3. was previously involved in the preparation of calls for proposal documents where this entails a distortion of competition that cannot be remedied otherwise.

The same exclusion criteria apply to affiliated entities.

Administrative and financial penalties may be imposed on applicants, or affiliated entities where applicable, who are guilty of misrepresentation.

7.4. Supporting documents

Applicants and affiliated entities must provide a declaration on their honour certifying that they are not in one of the situations referred to in articles 106(1) and 107 FR, by filling in the relevant form attached to the application form accompanying the call for proposals and available at <insert url>.

This obligation may be fulfilled in one of the following ways:

a) for mono beneficiary grants

(i) the applicant signs a declaration in its name (and on behalf of its affiliated entities)

OR

(ii) the applicant and its affiliated entities sign each a separate declaration in their own name]

b) for multi beneficiaries grants
(i) the coordinator of a consortium signs a declaration on behalf of all applicants and their

affiliated entities OR

(ii) each applicant in the consortium signs a declaration in its name and on behalf its affiliated entities OR

(iii) each applicant in the consortium and the affiliated entities sign each a separate declaration in their own name

 

8. SELECTION CRITERIA

8.1. Financial capacity

Applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the duration of the grant 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 (≤ EUR 60 000):
 a declaration on their honour.

b) Grants ≥ EUR 60 000:
 a declaration on their honour and

EITHER

  •   the profit and loss account as well as the balance sheet for the last financial year for which the accounts were closed;

  •   for newly created entities: the business plan might replace the above documents;

    OR

c) Grants

for an action ≥ EUR 750 000 or operating grants ≥ EUR 100 000:

 the table provided for in the application form, filled in with the relevant statutory accounting figures, in order to calculate the ratios as detailed in the form.

  •   the information and supporting documents mentioned above in point b) above and

  •   an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying the accounts for the last financial year available.

In the event of an application grouping several applicants (consortium), the above thresholds apply to each applicant.

In the case of legal entities forming one applicant (the "sole applicant"), as specified in section 6.1, the above requirements apply to each one of those entities.

On the basis of the documents submitted, if the RAO considers that financial capacity is weak, s/he may:

  •   request further information;

  •   decide not to give pre-financing;

  •   decide to give pre-financing paid in instalments;

  •   decide to give pre-financing covered by a bank guarantee (see section 11.6.1 below);

  •   where applicable, require the joint and several financial liability of all the co- beneficiaries.

If the RAO considered that the financial capacity is insufficient s/he will reject the application.

8.2. Operational capacity

Applicants must have the professional competencies as well as appropriate professional, pedagogical and technical qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action, acquired in the last three years. In this respect, applicants have to submit a declaration on their honour, and the following supporting documents;

  • –  curriculum vitae or description of the profile of the people primarily responsible for managing and implementing the operation (accompanied where appropriate, like in the field of research and education, by a list of relevant publications);

  • –  a list of previous projects and activities performed in the last three years and connected to the policy field of a given call or to the actions to be carried out;

  • –  a description of the relevant technical equipment, tools or facilities and patents at the disposal of the applicant;

In the case of legal entities forming one applicant (the "sole" applicant), as specified in section 6.1, the above requirements apply to each one of those entities.

 

9. AWARD CRITERIA

Eligible applications will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

 

Excellence

Clarity and pertinence of the objectives, credibility of the proposed approach, soundness of the concept and innovation potential

Maximum score/weighting 30

Threshold 15

 

Impact

Enhancing innovation capacity and integration of new authoring tools including delivery of innovations to the market, other environmental and socially important impacts (not already covered above) and effectiveness of the proposed measures to exploit and disseminate the project results, including future sustainability of the tool

Maximum score/weighting 50

Threshold 25

 

Implementation

Coherence and effectiveness of the work plan, including appropriateness of the allocation of tasks and resources, complementarity of the participants within the consortium (when relevant) and appropriateness of the management structures and procedures, including risk and innovation management

Maximum score/weighting 20

Threshold 10

 

Minimum score per criterion (threshold):

Proposals scoring less than 50% of the maximum score for any technical award criterion will be considered of insufficient quality and rejected.

Minimum total score (threshold):

Proposals with a total score of less than 60 points at the end of the evaluation process will be considered of insufficient quality and rejected.

 

10. LEGAL COMMITMENTS

In the event of a grant awarded by the Commission, a grant agreement, drawn up in euro and detailing the conditions and level of funding, will be sent to the applicant, as well as the information on the procedure to formalise the agreement of the parties.

The 2 copies of the original agreement must be signed first by the beneficiary and returned to the Commission immediately. The Commission will sign it last.

 

11. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

11.1. Eligible costs

Eligible costs shall meet all the following criteria:

  • –  they are incurred by the beneficiary.

  • –  theyareincurredduringthedurationoftheaction,withtheexceptionofcostsrelating to final reports and audit certificates;

o The period of eligibility of costs will start as specified in the grant agreement.

o If a beneficiary can demonstrate the need to start the action before the agreement is signed, the costs eligibility period may start before that signature. Under no circumstances can the eligibility period start before the date of submission of the grant application.

  • –  they are indicated in the estimated budget;

  • –  they are necessary for the implementation of the action which is the subject of the grant;

  • –  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 revenue declared in respect of the action/project with the corresponding accounting statements and supporting documents.

    The same criteria apply to costs incurred by the affiliated entities. Eligible costs may be direct or indirect.

 

11.1.1. 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 :

(a) the costs of personnel working under an employment contract with the beneficiary or an equivalent appointing act and assigned to the action, provided that these costs are in line with the beneficiary’s usual policy on remuneration.

Those costs include actual salaries plus social security contributions and other statutory costs included in the remuneration. They may also comprise additional remunerations, including payments on the basis of supplementary contracts regardless of the nature of those contracts, provided that they are paid in a consistent manner whenever the same kind of work or expertise is required, independently from the source of funding used;

The costs of natural persons working under a contract with the beneficiary other than an employment contract or who are seconded to the beneficiary by a third party against payment may also be included under such personnel costs, provided that the following conditions are fulfilled:

  1. (i)  the person works under conditions similar to those of an employee (in particular regarding the way the work is organised, the tasks that are performed and the premises where they are performed);

  2. (ii)  the result of the work belongs to the beneficiary (unless exceptionally agreed otherwise); and

  3. (iii)  the costs are not significantly different from the costs of staff performing similar tasks under an employment contract with the beneficiary;

The recommended methods for calculation of direct personnel costs are provided in Appendix.

  1. (b)  costs of travel and related subsistence allowances, provided that these costs are in line with the beneficiary’s usual practices on travel;

  • (c)  the depreciation costs of equipment or other assets (new or second-hand) as recorded in the beneficiary’s accounting statements, provided that the asset:
    • (i) is written off in accordance with the international accounting standards and the beneficiary’s usual accounting practices; and
    • (ii) has been purchased in accordance with the rules on implementation contracts laid down in the grant agreement, if the purchase occurred within the implementation period;

The costs of renting or leasing equipment or other assets are also eligible, provided that these costs do not exceed the depreciation costs of similar equipment or assets and are exclusive of any finance fee;

 

Only the portion of the equipment’s depreciation, rental or lease costs corresponding to the implementation period and the rate of actual use for the purposes of the action may be taken into account when determining the eligible costs. By way of exception, the full cost of purchase of equipment may be eligible under the Special Conditions, if this is justified by the nature of the action and the context of the use of the equipment or assets;

  1. (d)  costs of consumables and supplies, provided that they:

    (i) are purchased in accordance with the rules on implementation contracts laid down in the grant agreement; and

    (ii) are directly assigned to the action;

  2. (e)  costs arising directly from requirements imposed by the Agreement (dissemination of information, specific evaluation of the action, audits, translations, reproduction), including the costs of requested financial guarantees, provided that the corresponding services are purchased in accordance with the rules on implementation contracts laid down in the grant agreement;

  3. (f)  costs entailed by subcontracts, provided that specific conditions on subcontracting as laid down in the grant agreement are met;

  4. (g)  costs of financial support to third parties, provided that the conditions laid down in the grant agreement are met;

  5. (h)  duties, taxes and charges paid by the beneficiary, notably value added tax (VAT), provided that they are included in eligible direct costs, and unless specified otherwise in the grant agreement.

11.1.2. Eligible indirect costs (overheads)
Indirect costs are costs that are not directly linked to the action implementation and

therefore cannot be attributed directly to it.

A flat-rate amount of 7% of the total eligible direct costs of the action, is eligible as indirect costs, representing the beneficiary's general administrative costs which can be regarded as chargeable to the action/project.

Indirect costs may not include costs entered under another budget heading.

Applicants’ attention is drawn to the fact that if they are receiving an operating grant financed by the EU or Euratom budget, they may not declare indirect costs for the period(s) covered by the operating grant, unless they can demonstrate that the operating grant does not cover any costs of the action.

In order to demonstrate this, in principle, the beneficiary should:

  1. (a)  use analytical cost accounting that allows to separate all costs (including overheads) attributable to the operating grant and the action grant. For that purpose the beneficiary should use reliable accounting codes and allocation keys ensuring that the allocation of the costs is done in a fair, objective and realistic way.

  2. (b)  record separately:

 

– all costs incurred for the operating grants (i.e.personnel,generalrunning costs and other operating costs linked to the part of its usual annual activities), and

– all costs incurred for the action grants(includingtheactualindirectcosts linked to the action)

If the operating grant covers the entire usual annual activity and budget of the beneficiary, the latter is not entitled to receive any indirect costs under the action grant.

11.2. Ineligible costs

  1. a)  return on capital and dividends paid by a beneficiary;

  2. b)  debt and debt service charges;

  3. c)  provisions for losses or debts;

  4. d)  interest owed;

  5. e)  doubtful debts;

  6. f)  exchange losses;

  7. g)  costs of transfers from the Commission charged by the bank of a beneficiary;

  8. h)  costsdeclaredbythebeneficiaryunderanotheractionreceivingagrantfinanced from the Union budget. Such grants include grants awarded by a Member State and financed from the Union budget and grants awarded by bodies other than the Commission for the purpose of implementing the Union budget. In particular, beneficiaries receiving an operating grant financed by the EU or Euratom budget cannot declare indirect costs for the period(s) covered by the operating grant, unless they can demonstrate that the operating grant does not cover any costs of the action.

  9. i)  contributions in kind from third parties;

  10. j)  excessive or reckless expenditure;

11.3. Form of the grant

11.3.1. Reimbursement of costs actually incurred
The grant will be defined by applying a maximum co-financing rate of 50% to the

eligible costs actually incurred and declared by the beneficiary and its affiliated entities.

11.4. Balanced budget2

The estimated budget of the action must be attached to the application form. It must have revenue and expenditure in balance.

The budget must be drawn up in euros. 2 Article 196.2 RAP

Applicants for whom costs will not be incurred in euros should use the exchange rate published on the Infor-euro website available at: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/inforeuro/inforeuro_en.cfm]

The applicant must ensure that the resources which are necessary to carry out the action are 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 or work programme,

  • –  financial contributions from third parties.

11.5. Calculation of the final grant amount

The final amount of the grant is calculated by the Commission at the time of the payment of the balance. The calculation involves the following steps:

Step 1 — Application of the reimbursement rate to the eligible costs

The amount under step 1 is obtained by application of the reimbursement rate specified in section 11.3.1 to the eligible costs accepted by the Commission.

Step 2 — Limit to the maximum amount of the grant

The total amount paid to the beneficiaries by the Commission may in no circumstances exceed the maximum amount of the grant as indicated in the grant agreement. If the amount obtained following Step 1 is higher than this maximum amount, the final amount of the grant is limited to the latter.

Step 3 — Reduction due to the no-profit rule

‘Profit’ means the surplus of the amount obtained following Steps 1 and 2 plus the total receipts of the action, over the total eligible costs of the action.

The total eligible costs of the action are the consolidated total eligible costs approved by the Commission. The total receipts of the action are the consolidated total receipts established, generated or confirmed on the date on which the request for payment of the balance is drawn up by the beneficiary.

The following are considered receipts:

(a) income generated by the action;

(b) financial contributions given by third parties to a beneficiary or to an affiliated entity, if they are specifically assigned by the third parties to the financing of the eligible costs of the action reimbursed by the Commission.

The following are not considered receipts:

(a) financial contributions by third parties, if they may be used to cover costs other than the eligible costs under the grant agreement;

(b) financial contributions by third parties with no obligation to repay any amount unused at the end of the implementation period.

If there is a profit, it will be deducted in proportion to the final rate of reimbursement of the actual eligible costs of the action approved by the Commission.

Step 4 — Reduction due to improper implementation or breach of other obligations.

The Commission may reduce the maximum amount of the grant if the action has not been implemented properly (i.e. if it has not been implemented or has been implemented poorly, partially or late), or if another obligation under the Agreement has been breached.

The amount of the reduction will be proportionate to the degree to which the action has been implemented improperly or to the seriousness of the breach.

11.6. Reporting and payment arrangements

11.6.1. Payments

The beneficiary may request the following payments provided that the conditions of the grant agreement are fulfilled (e.g. payment deadlines, ceilings, etc.). The payment requests shall be accompanied by the documents provided below and detailed in the grant agreement:

- Payment request

- Accompanying documents

A pre-financing payment corresponding to 50% of the grant amount

(a) bank guarantee (see section 11.6.2)

1 interim payment.

For the purpose of determining the amount due as interim payment, the reimbursement rate to be applied to the eligible costs approved by the Commission shall be 80%.

The total amount of pre-financing and interim payment shall not exceed 90% of the maximum grant amount

(a) interim technical report

(b) interim financial statement

(c) a certificate on the financial statements and underlying accounts (if necessary)

Payment of the balance

The Commission will establish the amount of this payment on the basis of the calculation of the final grant amount (see section 11.5 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 order3.

  1. (a)  final technical report;

  2. (b)  final financial statement;

  3. (c)  summary financial statement aggregating the financial statements already submitted previously and indicating the receipts

  4. (d)  a certificate on the financial statements and underlying accounts (if necessary)

 

In case of a weak financial capacity section 8.1 above applies. 11.6.2. Pre-financing guarantee

A pre-financing guarantee for up to the same amount as the pre-financing may be requested in order to limit the financial risks linked to the pre-financing payment.

The financial guarantee, in euro, shall be provided by an approved bank or financial institution established in one of the EU Member States. When the beneficiary is established in a third country, the Commission may agree that a bank or financial institution established in that third country may provide the guarantee if it considers that the bank or financial institution offers equivalent security and characteristics as those offered by a bank or financial institution established in a Member State. Amounts blocked in bank accounts shall not be accepted as financial guarantees.

The guarantee may be replaced by:

  •   a joint and several guarantee by a third party or,

  •   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 the payment of the balance, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the grant agreement.

11.7. Other financial conditions a) Non-cumulativeaward

An action may only receive one grant from the EU budget.

In no circumstances shall the same costs be financed twice by the Union budget. To ensure this, applicants shall indicate in the grant application the sources and amounts of Union funding received or applied for the same action or part of the action or for its (the applicant's) functioning during the same financial year as well as any other funding received or applied for the same action.

b) Non-retroactivity

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 in the grant application 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.

c) 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.

 

The beneficiary is expected to clearly document the tendering procedure and retain the documentation for the event of an audit.

Entities acting in their capacity of contracting authorities in the meaning of Directive 2014/24/EU4 or contracting entities in the meaning of Directive 2014/25/EU5 must comply with the applicable national public procurement rules.

Beneficiaries may subcontract tasks forming part of the action. If they do so, they must ensure that, in addition to the above-mentioned conditions of best value for money and absence of conflicts of interests, the following conditions are also complied with:

  1. a)  subcontracting does not cover core tasks of the action;

  2. b)  recoursetosubcontractingisjustifiedbecauseofthenatureoftheactionand what is necessary for its implementation;

  3. c)  the estimated costs of the subcontracting are clearly identifiable in the estimated budget;

  4. d)  any recourse to subcontracting, if not provided for in description of the action, is communicated by the beneficiary and approved by the Commission. The Commission may grant approval:

    (i) before any recourse to subcontracting, if the beneficiaries requests an amendment

    (ii) after recourse to subcontracting if the subcontracting:

    •   is specifically justified in the interim or final technical report and

    •   does not entail changes to the grant agreement which would call into question the decision awarding the grant or be contrary to the equal treatment of applicants;

  5. e)  the beneficiaries ensure that certain conditions applicable to beneficiaries, enumerated in the grant agreement (e.g. visibility, confidentiality, etc.), are also applicable to the subcontractors.

Financial support to third parties

The applications may not envisage provision of financial support to third parties.

 

12. PUBLICITY

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.

In this respect, beneficiaries are required to give prominence to the name and emblem of the European Commission on all their publications, posters, programmes and other products realised under the co-financed project.

 

12.2. By 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 shall be published on an internet site of the European Union institutions no later than the 30 June of the year following the financial year in which the grants were awarded.

The Commission will publish the following information:

  •   name 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 level6 if he/she is domiciled within EU or equivalent if domiciled outside EU;

  •   subject of the grant;

  •   amount awarded.

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.

 

13. PROCESSING OF PERSONAL DATA

The reply to any call for proposals involves the recording and processing of personal data (such as name, address and CV). Such data will be processed pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data. Unless indicated otherwise, the questions and any personal data requested that are required to evaluate the application in accordance with the call for proposal will be processed solely for that purpose by the Learning, Multilingualism and Accessibility unit of the Communications Networks, Content and Technology DG. Details concerning the processing of personal data are available on the privacy statement at: http://ec.europa.eu/dataprotectionofficer/privacystatement_publicprocurement_en.pdf.

Personal data may be registered in the Early Detection and Exclusion System by the Commission, should the beneficiary be in one of the situations mentioned in Article 106(1) and 107 of the Financial Regulation 966/20127 (for more information see the Privacy Statement on:

http://ec.europa.eu/budget/library/explained/management/protecting/privacy_statement_e des_en.pdf).

 

14. PROCEDURE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS

Proposals must be submitted by the deadline set out under section 3.

6 European Union Official Journal L 39, of 10 February 2007.

7 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=celex%3A32012R0966 18

No modification to the application is allowed once the deadline for submission has elapsed. However, if there is a need to clarify certain aspects or to correct clerical mistakes, the Commission may contact the applicant during the evaluation process8.

Applicants will be informed in writing about the results of the selection process.9

Submission on paper

Application forms are available at <insert relevant url>.

Applications must be submitted in the correct form, duly completed and dated. They must be submitted in 5 copies (one original clearly identified as such, plus 4 copies) and signed by the person authorised to enter into legally binding commitments on behalf of the applicant organisation.

Where applicable, all additional information considered necessary by the applicant can be included on separate sheets.

Applications must be sent to the following address:

European Commission
Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology Directorate Data – Learning, Multilingualism and Accessibility (unit G.3) For the attention of the Head of Unit (EUFO 2/274)
L-2920 Luxembourg

Please include the following marking on the envelope: " WEB ACCESS 2017"

  •   by post, date as postmark;

  •   in person, date as receipt,

  •   by courier service, date of receipt by the courier service.

    Applications sent by fax or e-mail will not be accepted.

     Contacts
    For any questions please contact:

    CNECT-G3@EC.EUROPA.EU

     Annexes:

  •   Application form

  •   Grant application budget form

  •   Checklist of documents to be provided

  •   Model grant agreement (for information)

  •   Financial report template (for information)



Public link:   Only for registered users


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