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Preparatory Action "Subtitling European cultural TV content across Europe"
Deadline: 14 Jan 2019   CALL EXPIRED

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 Single Market
 Audiovisual Services
 Digital Culture
 Film and Media
 Visual Arts
 Video Production


Preparatory action within the meaning of Article 58(2)(b) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 (OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1).

The annual work programme was adopted on 22/10/2018 under Commission Decision C/2018/6834



The aim of the Preparatory Action "Subtitling European Cultural TV content across Europe" is to try out innovative strategies to enhance the circulation of European content throughout Europe.

The objective is to test the added value of subtitling on the on-line circulation and outreach of European cultural programming in the European Union. Concretely, the preparatory action should support the provision of a minimum of 300 hours of diverse European factual subtitled cultural content online in a number of European territories via 1 to 3 projects; and to assess the impact of this provision. The results of the undertaken actions should be shared with stakeholders and policy makers, notably through the organisation of a public workshop.

The Call for proposals aims to meet three specific objectives, namely:

1. Test new business models for European audio-visual media service providers and assess whether providing subtitled versions of European TV programmes can help bridge the difficulties caused by linguistic fragmentation and increase audience numbers both within and beyond the European Union;

2. Facilitate cross border online dissemination of cultural content which is often slowed down by linguistic borders;

3. Compare the audience reach of similar audio-visual content with and without subtitling and share the results publicly with EU stakeholders and public policy makers.

Version: October 2018

Expected results:

- Strengthening the availability of and cross border audience for European factual cultural content via the online provision of a minimum of 300 hours of factual cultural content within certain territories of the European Union;

- Providing analysis to inform policy development on the impact of online provision of non-national subtitled factual content with a view to extending the audience of this factual cultural content in the European Union.



The indicative schedule for the different steps and stages of the selection procedure are as follows:

Date and time or indicative period

(a) Publication of the call


(b) Deadline for submitting applications

14/01/2019- PM 24:00

(c) Evaluation period

Mid-January / February 2019

(d) Information to applicants

February / March 2019

(e) Signature of grant agreement(s)

March 2019

Scheduled start date for the action: as soon as possible upon signature of grant agreement but no later than 2nd quarter 2019.



The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects under this call for proposals is estimated at 1.750.000 euros (one million seven hundred fifty thousand euros).

The maximum rate of co-financing is 60% of eligible costs. Applicants may propose a lower co-funding rate.

Depending on the quality of the proposals, the Commission may fund up to 3 proposals. The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.



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 and

  •   drafted in one of the EU official languages.

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



6.1. Eligible applicants

To be eligible, applicant(s) must :

- be a public or private organization with legal personality (natural persons are not eligible to apply for a grant under this call)

- be a single entity or a grouping of entities established (having their registered legal office) in one of the member states of the European Union and owned directly or by majority participation, by nationals from such countries.

- be a service provider or a group of service providers of a non-linear audio-visual media services within the meaning of the AVMS Directive 2010/13/EU, with a critical mass of audio-visual content (for instance an on-line channel or a catch-up service of a broadcaster);

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.

For British applicants: Please be aware that eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, you will cease to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project on the basis of Article II.17.3 of the grant agreement.

Country of establishment

Only applications from legal entities established in the following countries are eligible:  EU Member States;

Supporting documents

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

Examples of supporting documents:

  • 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, decision or other official document establishing the public-law entity ;

6.2. Eligible activities

To be eligible, the service must:

- provide European factual content and contain a strong cultural added value (for instance the service might include documentaries, TV magazines and programmes with a culture dimension on a wide variety of topics – like history, travel, investigations, the arts, culture, science, geopolitics and society.

Services focusing on cinema or TV fiction and animation as well as light entertainment, sport, news and current affairs content are however ineligible for the purposes of this action.

- have been available for a minimum of two years;

- have a significant audience in the country of origin and be already available in territories to be targeted by the new linguistic offer (a baseline audience to be defined by the applicant);

Only those applications corresponding to the objectives described above will be considered as eligible.

The following types of activities are eligible under this call for proposals: - costs of subtitling;
- evaluation and research cost;

- promotional cost (including an organisation of a contest to raise awareness about the project amongst the European audience and promote subtitled content available thanks to the preparatory action);

- costs associated with the launch, promotion and implementation of a public event disclosing the results of the action with policy makers and other stakeholders;

- audit costs.
- financial support to third parties (see point 11.8. d).

This call may not support any projects including pornographic or racist material or advocating violence.

Implementation period

The maximum period for implementation of the action (including the public conference with stakeholders where the results are to be presented to policy makers and stakeholders) is 24 months.

The activities shall start not later than 2nd quarter 2019 and shall be completed within 24 months.

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



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, its assets are being administered by a liquidator or by a court, it is in an arrangement with creditors, its business activities are suspended, or it is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for under EU or national laws or regulations;

  1. (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 applicable law;

  2. (c)  ithasbeenestablishedbyafinaljudgmentorafinaladministrativedecisionthatthe 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 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 eligibility or 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;

  3. (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 3 of Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council and 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 4(2) of Directive (EU) 2017/1371 or 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, or conduct referred to in Article 2(1) of Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA, or corruption as defined in the applicable law;

    3. (iii)  conduct related to a criminal organisation, as referred to in Article 2 of Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA;

    4. (iv)  money laundering or terrorist financing within the meaning of Article 1(3), (4) and (5) of Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council;

    5. (v)  terrorist 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 offences concerning trafficking in human beings as referred to in Article 2 of Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council;

  4. (e)  theapplicanthasshownsignificantdeficienciesincomplyingwithmainobligations 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;

  5. (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;

  6. (g)  It has been established by a final judgement or final administrative decision that the applicant has created an entity in a different jurisdiction with the intent to circumvent fiscal, social or any other legal obligations of mandatory application in the jurisdiction of its registered office, central administration or principal place of business;

  7. (h)  it has been established by a final judgement or final administrative decision that an entity has been created with the intent referred to in point (g);

  8. (i)  for the situations referred to in points (c) to (h) above, the applicant is subject to:

    1. (i)  facts established in the context of audits or investigations carried out by European Public Prosecutor's Office after its establishment, the Court of Auditors, the European Anti-Fraud Office or the internal auditor, 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 judgments or 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)  facts referred to in decisions of persons or entities being entrusted with EU budget implementation tasks;

    4. (iv)  information transmitted by Member States implementing Union funds;

    5. (v)  decisions of the Commission relating to the infringement of Union competition law or of a national competent authority relating to the infringement of Union or national competition law; or

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

7.2. Remedial measures

If an applicant declares one of the situations of exclusion listed above (see section 7.4), it must 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 correct the conduct and prevent further occurrence, compensation of damage or payment of fines or of any taxes or social security contributions. 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. (a)  is in an exclusion situation established in accordance with section 7.1; or

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

  3. (c) was previously involved in the preparation of documents used in the award procedure where this entails a breach of the principle of equal treatment, including distortion of competition, that cannot be remedied otherwise.

The same exclusion criteria apply to affiliated entities.

Administrative sanctions (exclusion) may be imposed on applicants, or affiliated entities where applicable, if any of the declarations or information provided as a condition for participating in this procedure prove to be false.

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 136(1) and 141 FR, by filling in the relevant form attached to the application form accompanying the call for proposals and available at

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

  1. (i)  the coordinator of a consortium signs a declaration on behalf of all applicants and their affiliated entities; OR

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

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



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


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

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

  •   the table with the financial figures provided for in Annex to the application form, filled in with the relevant statutory accounting figures.

c) Grants for an action > EUR 750 000:

(i) the information and supporting documents mentioned in point b) above, and

(ii) an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying the accounts for the last two financial years available, where such an audit report is available or whenever a statutory report is required by law.

If the audit report is not available AND a statutory report is not required by law, a self-declaration signed by the applicant's authorised representative certifying the validity of its accounts for the last two financial years available must be provided.

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 Commission 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 11.7.2 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 qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action. 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 organisation's 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;

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

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


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



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