1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND
Legal basis: Pilot project within the meaning of Article 58(2)(a) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 from appropriations in the 2020 budget as announced by Commission Decision C(2020)5518 of 17/08/2020.The European Union recognizes the specificities of its outermost regions - Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion Island and Saint-Martin (France), the Azores and Madeira (Portugal) and the Canary Islands (Spain) - in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (article 349). Due to their remoteness and constraints as recognised in the Treaty, the EU outermost regions benefit from tailored support under EU programmes.
In this context, the European Union supports the outermost regions through a strategic partnership presented in the Commission Communication "A stronger and renewed strategic partnership with the EU's outermost regions" (COM (2017) 623 final). Located in the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic, the Caribbean basin, and South America, the outermost regions have a rich cultural heritage, deriving from their history - closely interconnected with continental Europe's – geography and contacts with many civilisations.
The Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)1, which are not part of the European Union, also have a rich cultural heritage. A number of these OCTs – which have an associate status recognised in the Treaty - are located in the neighbourhood of EU Outermost regions.
These regions' and countries' rich cultural diversity is, however, not very well known.
Pursuant to the New European Agenda for Culture of 2018, the European Union seeks to support culture and cultural diversity, in particular by promoting cultural participation, encouraging the mobility of professionals in the cultural and creative sectors, protecting and promoting Europe's cultural heritage, and raising awareness on common history and values. Promoting the role of Europe's cultural heritage was one of the goals of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 and of the European Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage of the European Commission. In addition, the Council supports the protection and promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity in its Work Plan for Culture 2019-2022.
The EU is also committed to promoting culture in its international relations, in accordance with Article 167 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. In this framework, the 2016 Joint Communication of the European Commission and the European External Action Service "Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations" aims at putting cultural cooperation at the centre of the EU's diplomatic relations.
This call intends to complement the Creative Europe programme, which provides opportunities to support the cultural sector. Indeed, data shows that outermost regions and OCTs have hardly benefitted from such opportunities2. Despite efforts of the Creative Europe Desks, empiric evidence indicates that this can be related to lack of knowledge about Creative Europe, and also to limited capacity to compete to access funding from this programme, which is highly competitive.
In this context, the European Parliament has called for a pilot project (OJ 27 02 2020 L 57/1125) applying a "specific approach" for the safeguard and promotion of culture in these regions and countries by establishing a pilot project for a dedicated financial mechanism.
Investing in a dedicated and flexible scheme at EU level targeting artists and culture organizations and institutions of these regions, territories and countries could, therefore help overcome the existing lack of support to the local cultures and unleash the potential of the culture and creative sector, and, as such, contribute to promoting European Union identity and values. Furthermore, the COVID 19 pandemic has strongly affected the culture sector. This pilot project aims at enhancing support to cultural activities, including adaptation to the new context and limitations linked to the pandemic response such as social distancing. As such, the project should also contribute indirectly to the recovery of the tourism sector in regions and countries that are highly dependent on tourism (including cultural tourism and its sustainability). Finally, in connection with the European Commission priorities, this pilot project should also contribute to reducing the footprint of cultural exchanges on the environment, e.g. by exploring new ways of supporting such exchanges through virtual mobility.
2 Under the Creative Europe programme 2014 to 2019, out of over 4 000 projects selected, only 7 projects involve the outermost regions. Although data are not available about the OCTs participation, the very low level of engagement of 3rd countries in this programme points to an even lower level of participation.
2. OBJECTIVES – THEMES – PRIORITIES GENERAL AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
The proposal selected under this call will aim at testing a viable and efficient scheme to provide financial support to individual artists, groups of artists and culture organisations and institutions, as defined in article 11.8 d) of the present call, with the objective of “safeguarding, supporting and fostering the indigenous cultural richness of ORs and OCTs.”Such a scheme would act as a complement of existing mobility schemes available at local, regional and/or national levels.
The beneficiary will function as the secretariat for the implementation of the pilot project. As such, the beneficiary will launch calls for projects related to deliverables 1 to 3 in order to grant financial support to artists, groups of artists and culture organisations and institutions in the OR and the OCTs and monitor the implementation of these projects.
The beneficiary will also provide the European Commission with recommendations and lessons learned on how to effectively support culture in the OR and OCTs, drawing from the experience of the implementation of the pilot project and taking into account existing tools such as the Creative Europe programme.
The implementation of the pilot project will include the launch of calls for projects resulting in a minimum of 45 projects supported with a maximum amount of EUR 20,000 each. The amount of financial support per third party must not exceed EUR 10,000 for each individual artist and EUR 20,000 for cultural organizations or institutions.
The proposal should contribute to the aforementioned general objective by addressing the 4 specific objectives below.
Specific Objective N°1 -Implementation of activities to safeguard, support, foster and promote local and indigenous culture, popular arts and practices as well as the ancestral culture of OR and OCTs
Under this objective, the beneficiary is expected to launch and manage calls for projects to support projects that safeguard/support/foster/promote indigenous culture, popular arts and practices, and thus contribute to improving knowledge about local cultures.
Under this objective, the role of digital technologies in supporting culture should also be explored as a way to build resilience against crisis limiting social proximity and to ensure sustainability and a broader outreach.
Conferences, seminars, training activities, mapping projects, research and analysis papers, exhibitions as well other relevant small scale events real or virtual such as creation of online platforms, awareness and dissemination actions, etc. about local culture, practices and traditions such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, or the knowledge and skills required for traditional crafts.
Such activities should also aim at increasing local actors’ capacity to safeguard, support, foster and promote culture and cultural identity, notably in terms of access to funding opportunities. A proportion of the budget dedicated to this objective should be reserved to projects promoting the use of digital technology.
Specific Objective n°2 - Implementation of activities to improve cultural dialogue and exchanges amongst OR and OCTs and across the European Union.
Under this objective, the beneficiary is expected to launch and manage call(s) for projects to support exchanges and cooperation projects for the promotion, safeguard and improvement of knowledge about OR and OCTs’ local cultures.
Under this objective, the role of technology in supporting virtual mobility should also be explored as a way to: build resilience to crisis that limit mobility; reduce the footprint of mobility linked to cultural exchanges and thus increase sustainability; and to ensure a broader outreach. A proportion of the budget dedicated to this objective should be reserved to projects promoting the use of digital technology.
Exchanges of cultural experiences among the OR, between OR and OCTs and across the European Union through actions such as mobility of artists/groups of artists and/or creative works in the framework of projects, the creation and development of networks, exchanges of good practices, twinning of institutions, virtual mobility (e.g. live recording and streaming) to promote culture and intercultural dialogue, resulting in increased knowledge about cultural diversity and establishing bonds between communities.
Specific Objective N°3- Implementation of activities to promote the dissemination of cultural and creative works.
Under this objective, the beneficiary should organize call for projects supporting small exhibitions and/or cultural shows aimed at promoting the OR’s and the OCT’s culture across OR, OCTs and continental European Union.
Such initiatives should aim at defining and illustrating the cultural specificities of the OR and OCTs and /or their historical links with the EU Member States, thus contributing to the safeguard and promotion of their culture. Such initiatives are to be organized in tandem with events supported by the European Union involving the OR and/or the OCT’s to benefit from the large attendance at these events to raise the visibility and the knowledge about these regions and countries. The organisation of such small exhibitions or cultural shows should encompass the use of digital technology.
Organization of small exhibitions and/or a cultural shows from (some) ORs or (some) OCTs in tandem with events supported by the European Union aimed at increasing the knowledge and visibility of the cultural heritage of OR and OCTs.
Specific Objective n°4 - Analysis and Recommendations on the funding opportunities for the mobility of artists and/or cultural professionals
Building on the experience and lessons learnt from the implementation of this project, the beneficiary is expected to provide recommendations to the European Commission on how to further support OR and OCTs’ culture, with reference to existing tools and programmes such as the Creative Europe programme.
An annex to the final report including feedback from beneficiaries and other stakeholders; providing recommendations to the European Commission on how to support culture in the OR and OCTs, identifying/exploring synergies with existing policies and programmes as a way to build local actors’ capacity to benefit from various EU policies and programmes.
Minimum elements to be included in the proposal:
In addition to the elements required by this call for proposals, the applicants shall indicate in their proposals the organizational framework to deliver the pilot project and all necessary arrangements to manage the pilot project in compliance with the objectives of the call and the applicable legal framework, including the following:
An implementation plan and timetable of the project presenting the time and sequence of implementation of the various activities.
The organisation details/geographical coverage/sequence of the calls for projects needed to implement the objectives of the pilot project, following one of the two options below:
1. Three calls during the pilot project: first call on objective 1; second call on objective 2, third call on objective 3.
2. Two calls during the pilot project: first call on objectives 1, 2 and 3; second call on objectives 1, 2 and 3;
The estimated number of beneficiaries/number of projects to support and the proposed budget to be assigned to each objective. The budget assigned to each objective should be at least EUR 200,000 for each of objectives 1 and 2 and at least EUR 100,000 for objective 3.
The methodology to implement the full cycle of the project selection and support, including publication of the calls for projects, reception, evaluation and selection of applications, signature of the grant agreements with the applicants, support to project implementation, monitoring and evaluation, ensuring financial management and project closing and reporting. This should include the methodology to ensure that the pilot project provides ample opportunity for potential beneficiaries to apply for funding the number, sequence and scope of the calls for projects.
A communication and information strategy for the dissemination of funding opportunities under this pilot project and a methodology for the dissemination of information on the results (e.g. promotional material, photos and video recording of testimonials, statistics on the use of communication channels, communication campaigns, etc.) among beneficiaries and stakeholders.
A light reporting system to collect data on the individual financial support awarded per region and per theme and to collect feedback from the beneficiaries and other stakeholders about the benefits, synergies, lessons learnt, as well as difficulties. The data will support the recommendations to be provided to the Commission in the final report.
A minimum of 55% of the total budget should be allocated to financial support to third parties and personnel costs cannot go beyond 25% of the total budget.
Elements requiring formal validation by the European Commission during project implementation
The beneficiary is expected to work in close contact with the European Commission throughout the project implementation process. In particular, the following elements will have to be validated by the Commission prior to their implementation:
3. BUDGET AVAILABLE
The text of the calls for projects, including the text of all material prepared to assist the third parties in submitting their applications.
The nomination of the call for projects’ evaluation committees. A representative of the Commission may take part in these committees as an observer.
The call for projects’ evaluation reports, including the final list of thirds parties selected to benefit from financial support.
The contents of the communication campaign.
Changes in the team dealing with the implementation of the call.
(a) Publication of the call
14th September 2020
(b) Deadline for submitting applications
16th November 2020
(c) Evaluation period
November – December 2020
(d) Information to applicants
(e) Signature of grant agreement(s)
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects under this call for proposals is estimated at EUR 1 000 000.
The Commission expects to fund one proposal.
The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.
5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
In order to be admissible, applications must be:
− sent no later than the deadline for submitting applications referred to in section 3;
− submitted in writing (see section 14), using the application form available at http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/newsroom/funding-opportunities/calls-for- proposal/ and
− drafted in one of the EU official languages.
Failure to comply with those requirements will lead to rejection of the application.
6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
6.1. Eligible applicants
Proposals may be submitted by any of the following applicants:
− non-profit organisations (private or public);
− public authorities (national, regional, local);
− international organisations;
− educational institutions;
Natural persons are not eligible.
For UK applicants: Please be aware that following the entry into force of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement3 on 1 February 2020 and in particular Articles 127(6), 137 and 138, the references to natural or legal persons residing or established in a Member State of the European Union are to be understood as including natural or legal persons residing or established in the United Kingdom. UK residents and entities are therefore eligible to participate under this call.
Country of establishment
Only applications from legal entities established in the following countries are eligible: −EU Member States, including EU Outermost regions;
−Overseas Countries and Territories.
In order to assess the applicants' eligibility, the following supporting documents are requested:
Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community
The beneficiary is expected to manage the financial support to third parties in the creative and cultural fields, from the selection of applicants to the supervision of the implementation of projects for all the related administrative aspects. The following types of activities are eligible under this call for proposals:
− The activities indicated under section 2 “Expected results” of objectives 1, 2 and 3 of this call;
− Financial support to third parties (see point 11.8. d));
− Studies and analysis. Implementation period
− activities may not start before the signature of the grant agreement;
− the duration of the project is of 24 months.
Applications for projects scheduled to run for a longer period than that specified in this call for proposals will not be accepted.