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Pilot project – Media literacy for all
Deadline: 14 Oct 2016   CALL EXPIRED

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 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Social Innovation
 Citizenship
 Digital Agenda for Europe
 IT Applications
 Culture and Development
 Digital Culture
 New Media
 Digital Society
 Digital Humanities

1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND

"Media literacy" is an umbrella expression that includes all technical, cognitive, social, civic and creative capacities that allow a citizen to access the media, to have a critical understanding of the media and to interact with it. All these capacities allow the citizen to participate in the economic, social and cultural aspects of society as well as to play an active role in the democratic process. "Media" is to be understood in a broad way: including all kind of media (television, radio, press) and through all kind of channels (traditional, internet, social media).

1. Media literacy is intrinsic to a healthy democracy

Democracy, by definition, requires the participation of well-informed citizens. Citizens inform themselves through the media. Their relationship with the media needs to take place in a context of critical thinking. This furthermore requires certain knowledge of how the media works and how media messages are constructed.

There is a tight connection between media literacy and democracy. Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union enshrines the fact that the Union is founded on the value of democracy. Media literacy is a tool for citizens to acquire critical thinking and become active in a democratic society.

2. Media literacy is a necessary response to a changing and increasingly complex media landscape

The change in the media landscape is brought about both by the digital revolution and by a change of behaviour and attitude on the part of citizens.

The digital revolution means ubiquitous mobile devices, connectivity everywhere, all the time and to almost everything, converging content and more content produced in innovative audiovisual formats. The digital revolution has also changed citizen's attitudes: citizens are not mere passive recipients of media content, but also content creators and media sources, for example through their involvement in social media. Moreover, citizens increasingly receive news through social media, rather than through traditional channels.

What is shared by citizens on social media can also become a source for the news. This proliferation of sources brings a lot of new information, opportunities and potential innovation but also requires critical thinking and verification tools.

While some of the matters related to this complex environment can be dealt through regulation, this needs to be complemented with measures that empower the user to be critical of his sources of information and of the media content. This is precisely what media literacy means.

 

3. Media literacy is one of the building blocks to tackle key societal issues

Media literacy is one of the instruments that can be used to fight radicalisation, to combat hate speech online and to promote Fundamental Rights. Media literacy is also seen as a tool to allow citizens to spot and defend themselves from political propaganda.

2. OBJECTIVES

2.1 General objective and target countries

The objective of the pilot project is to experiment actions aimed at increasing the critical thinking towards the media among citizens of all ages and to test the feasibility and usefulness of such actions. Critical thinking includes, among other skills, the ability to distinguish information from propaganda, to deconstruct media communication and to interact with social media in a mindful way.

Media is to be understood as covering all kind of media tools and through all kind of channels.

The target group is citizens at large, of all ages. However, some of the actions should tackle minorities, low-skilled people and people at risk of being socially marginalised.

The European Commission expects projects to cover a wide range of EU Member States and at least 5 of them, with a minimum coverage of 3 EU official languages.

The Commission invites applicants to identify and extend existing good practices or to test actions which do not duplicate activities undertaken by other entities. It is also a hands-on oriented counterpart to purely academic activities.

2.2 Description of the activities to be funded

The pilot project should have clearly defined objective(s) to advance/target specific area(s)/goal(s) within the field of media literacy, as defined in the Background Section. It should propose the adequate mixture of tools and activities to achieve those objectives. These could include:

  • creation of multilingual on-line material and interactive tools to improve the capacities of citizens to acquire a critical understanding of the media and to interact with it;

  • awareness-raising and efficient dissemination of the material created by the project or other similar material/activities that can be adapted to the same purpose, in particular through networks that can act as multipliers;

  • efficient dissemination of best practices, for instance through conferences, workshops, on-line platforms and/or training programmes;

  • social media campaigns aimed at helping citizens to interact with new media in a mindful way;

  • any other relevant innovative activities that can develop citizens' ability to distinguish information from propaganda, to deconstruct media communication or any other capacity related to critical thinking towards the media;

 

• activities with local communities or networks to tailor and make accessible some of the above tools to minorities, low-skilled people or people at risk of being socially marginalised.

For all tools and activities proposed it will need to be demonstrated in what way they will directly or indirectly benefit citizens lacking medial literacy skills.

Proposals should provide an assessment of its implementation risks and make suggestions about how to address them.

Proposals should also provide an assessment of and a plan for the sustainability of the action(s) after the end of the project.

The length of the pilot project should be 12 months.
All activities shall be conducted in an independent manner. 

 

3. TIMETABLE

 

Publication of the call

30 August 2016

 

Deadline for submitting applications

14 October 2016 17:00 Brussels time

 

Evaluation period

Q4 2016

 

Information to all applicants2

Q1 2017

 

Signature of grant agreement or notification of grant decisions

Q1 2017

 

Starting date of the action/ work programme

Q1 2017

 

4. BUDGET AVAILABLE
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated EUR 250 000

(two hundred fifty thousand euro).

The maximum budget per project will be EUR 125 000 (one hundred twenty five thousand euros)

The EU grant is limited to a maximum co-funding rate of 75% of eligible costs. 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 3.

Applications must be submitted in writing (see section 14), using the application form available at https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/news-redirect/327513

Applications must be drafted in one the EU official languages.
Failure to comply with these requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.

6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA4

6.1 Eligible applicants
Only applications from legal entities established in the EU Member States are eligible.

Application may be submitted by one applicant, whether established specifically or not for the action, provided that:

- it is formed of one or several legal entities, all of which complying with the eligibility, non-exclusion and selection criteria set out in this call for proposals, and implementing together the proposed action;

- the application identifies the said entities.

For the purpose of declaring eligible costs as specified under section 11.2, the entities composing the applicant shall be treated as affiliated entities.

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

- private entity: extract from the official journal, copy of articles of association, extract of trade or association register, certificate of liability to VAT (if, as in certain countries, the trade register number and VAT number are identical, only one of these documents is required);

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

- consortium: in addition to the supporting documents referring to their legal status, consortium members will submit letters confirming their participation to the project,

- 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 11.2.

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:

  • creation of multilingual on-line material and interactive tools to improve the capacities of citizens to acquire a critical understanding of the media and to interact with it;

  • awareness-raising and efficient dissemination of the material created by the project or other similar material/activities that can be adapted to the same purpose, in particular through networks that can act as multipliers;

  • efficient dissemination of best practices, for instance through conferences, workshops, on-line platforms and/or training programmes;

  • social media campaigns aimed at helping citizens to interact with new media in a mindful way;

  • any other relevant innovative activities that can develop citizens' ability to distinguish information from propaganda, to deconstruct media communication or any other capacity related to critical thinking towards the media;

  • activities with local communities or networks to tailor and make accessible some of the above tools to minorities, low-skilled people or people at risk of being socially marginalised.

For all tools and activities proposed it will need to be demonstrated in what way they will directly or indirectly benefit citizens lacking medial literacy skills.

Activities purely consisting in studies and academic research are not-eligible activities under this call.

7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA

7.1. Exclusion from participation:

Applicants will be excluded from participating in the call for proposals procedure if they

are in any of the following situations:

  1. (a)  they are bankrupt or being wound up, are having their affairs administered by the courts, have entered into an arrangement with creditors, have suspended business activities, are the subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or are in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations;

  2. (b)  they or persons having powers of representation, decision making or control over them have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a judgment of a competent authority of a Member State which has the force of res judicata;

  3. (c)  they have been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the contracting authority can justify including by decisions of the EIB and international organisations;

  4. (d)  they are not in compliance with their obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or the payment of taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established or with those of the country of the RAO or those of the country where the grant agreement is to be performed;

  5. (e)  they or persons having powers of representation, decision making or control over them have been the subject of a judgment which has the force of res judicata for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity, where such an illegal activity is detrimental to the Union's financial interests;

  6. (f)  they are currently subject to an administrative penalty referred to in Article 109(1) of the Financial Rules5 (hereinafter ‘FR’).

7.2. Exclusion from award:

Applicants will not be granted financial assistance if, in the course of the grant award procedure, they:

  1. (a)  are subject to a conflict of interest;

  2. (b)  are guilty of misrepresentation in supplying the information required by the Commission as a condition of participation in the grant award procedure or fail to supply this information;

  3. (c)  find themselves in one of the situations of exclusion, referred to in section 7.1.

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.

7.3. Supporting documents

Applicants must sign a declaration on their honour certifying that they are not in one of the situations referred to in articles 106(1) FR and 107 to 109 FR, filling in the relevant form attached to the application form accompanying the call for proposals and available at https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/news-redirect/32751

8. SELECTION CRITERIA

8.1. Financial capacity

Applicants must be able to demonstrate stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the period during which the action is being carried out or the year for which the grant is awarded 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:

  1. a)  Low value grants (≤ EUR 60 000): - a declaration on their honour.

  2. b)  Grants ≥ EUR 60 000:
    - a declaration on their honour and, 
    EITHER
     the profit and loss account, 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 
    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. 

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

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

8.2. Operational capacity

Applicants must have the professional competencies as well as appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action or work programme. Moreover, applicants must demonstrate the ability to attract staff members with proven expertise in the media literacy sector and in the media sector. 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);

  •  the organisations’ activity reports;

  •  an exhaustive lists of previous projects and activities performed and connected to

    the policy field of a given call or to the actions to be carried out;

  •  an inventory of natural or economic resources involved in the project. 

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

 

9. AWARD CRITERIA10

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

  • the relevance and feasibility of the proposed actions towards the goal of the call (this includes the question whether the proposal fits within the scope of the call and in how far they address the objectives in a realistic way);
  •  the geographical coverage including the number of Member States;

  •  the effectiveness and rationality of the proposed methodology and organisation (including the timetable and monitoring; this should address the question how well the proposed methodology can achieve the proposed actions);

  •  the relevance and quality of the means of implementation and the resources deployed in relation to the objectives envisaged (particularly in terms of cost- effectiveness) 

 


Award criterion 

Relevance and feasibility of the proposed actions towards the goal of the call

20 (Maximum score/ weighting)

12 (Threshold)

 

Geographical coverage including the number of Member States covered

20 (Maximum score/ weighting)

12 (Threshold)

 

Effectiveness and rationality of the proposed methodology and organisation (including the timetable and monitoring)

30 (Maximum score/ weighting)

18 (Threshold)

 

Relevance of the means of implementation and the resources deployed in relation to the objectives envisaged (particularly in terms of cost-effectiveness)

30 (Maximum score/ weighting)

18 (Threshold)

 

TOTAL

100 (Maximum score/ weighting)

60 (Threshold)

 

Minimum score per criterion (threshold): Proposals scoring less than 60% of the maximum score for any 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, a framework partnership agreement, or a grant decision, drawn up in euro and detailing the conditions and level of funding, will be sent to the beneficiary, as well as the procedure in view to formalise the obligations of the parties.

  1. a)  Agreement:
    the 2 copies of the original agreement must be signed first by the beneficiary on behalf of the consortium and returned to the Commission immediately. The Commission will sign it last.

  2. b)  Decision:
    the decision must not be returned to the Commission. The general conditions applicable to the decision are available at https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single- market/news-redirect/32751. As regards grant decisions, beneficiaries understand that: 
    Submission of a grant application implies acceptance of these General Conditions. These General Conditions bind the beneficiary to whom the grant is awarded and shall constitute an annex to the Grant Decision. 

 Please note that the award of a grant does not establish an entitlement for subsequent years. 

 

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