EC - Internal Security Fund logo

Protection - ISFP-2018-AG-CT-PROTECT
Deadline: 19 Mar 2019   - 152 days

EU logo mono EC - Internal Security Fund

 Social Affaires and Inclusion
 Disadvantaged People
 Citizenship
 Urban Management
 Public Safety
 Violence
 Human Rights

1. INTRODUCTION

Article 67(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) declares as the European Union’s objective ensuring a high level of security within an area of freedom, security and justice.

To achieve this objective, enhanced actions at European Union level should be taken to protect people and goods from increasingly transnational threats and to support the work carried out by Member States’ competent authorities. Terrorism, organised crime, itinerant crime, drug trafficking, corruption, cybercrime, trafficking in human beings and arms, inter alia, continue to challenge the internal security of the Union.

The Internal Security Strategy for the European Union (Internal Security Strategy), adopted by the Council in February 2010, constituted a shared agenda for tackling these common security challenges and identified the following relevant strategic objectives for 2010-2014: to disrupt international crime networks, to prevent terrorism and address radicalisation and recruitment, to raise levels of security for citizens and businesses in cyberspace and to increase Europe’s resilience in the face of crises and disasters.

To promote the implementation of the Internal Security Strategy and to ensure that it becomes an operational reality, the Internal Security Fund (ISF Police) was set up.

In April 2015 the European Commission adopted the European Agenda on Security for the coming five years, which builds on the actions undertaken under the previous Internal Security Strategy, thus ensuring consistent and continued action. The European Agenda on Security represents an effective and coordinated response at European level to new and complex threats and sets out how the European Union can bring added value to support the Member States in ensuring security. It has identified the following three priorities: tackling terrorism and preventing radicalisation, disrupting organised crime and fighting cybercrime.

On the basis of the European Agenda on Security, the Council adopted in June 2015 the renewed European Union Internal Security Strategy 2015-2020 confirming tackling and preventing terrorism, radicalisation to terrorism and recruitment as well as financing related to terrorism, preventing and fighting serious and organised crime and preventing and fighting cybercrime as the main priorities for European Union's actions.

Legal basis of ISF Police are the following regulations:

- Regulation (EU) No 513/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing the Instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management (OJ L 150 of 20 May 2014);

- Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 laying down general provisions on the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and on the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management (OJ L 150 of 20 May 2014).

The ISF Police Regulation sets out two specific objectives, respectively:

(i) crime prevention, combating cross-border, serious and organised crime including terrorism, and reinforcing coordination and cooperation between law enforcement authorities and other national authorities of Member States, including with Europol or other relevant Union bodies, and with relevant third countries and international organisations;

(ii) enhancing the capacity of Member States and the Union for managing effectively security-related risks and crises, and preparing for and protecting people and critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks and other security-related incidents.

In conformity with Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 Article 6.2, in order to implement the ISF Police, the Commission has adopted, on 4 October 20181, the 2018 Annual Work Programme for Union actions and emergency assistance, which includes this call for proposals.

On 18 October 2017, the Commission presented – as part of the Counter-Terrorism Package, two action plans. One focused on improving the protection of public spaces and the other aiming at strengthen CBRN security. Both action plans list initiatives which need to be implemented in the nearest future.

With the increasing number of attacks to public spaces and other soft targets in Europe, the European Commission has stepped up its efforts to address and mitigate such threats, by strengthening cooperation among EU Member States and supporting them in reinforcing soft target protection measures. In a new EU Action Plan on the Protection of Public Spaces, the Commission proposes more measures to better protect our citizens against attacks to public space. The action plan includes actions such as to enhance coordination at EU level, to develop better capacities to detect and mitigate threats, to improve the resilience of public spaces, as well as raising citizens awareness, and engaging more at regional and local level, as well as at international level.

The likelihood of CBRN attacks in the EU remains low, but the overall threat picture is evolving, and there is growing evidence suggesting that certain groups have not only the intention of acquiring CBRN weapons but also the knowledge and capacity to use them. EU Member States' authorities need to be therefore prepared to prevent an attack and if need be to respond to it in an efficient, coordinated manner. The new Action Plan on Strengthening CBRN security includes actions on enhancing knowledge of CBRN risks, reducing the accessibility of CBRN materials, enhancing preparedness and response to CBRN incidents as well as creating stronger internal-external links and engagement in CBRN Security.

Projects under this call should support the implementation of both Action Plans.

 

2. PRIORITIES OF THIS CALL FOR PROPOSALS

The present call for proposals aims at funding projects on the protection of public spaces, Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN), Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), explosives and explosives precursors.

Project applications submitted under the present call for proposals must address at least one of the following priorities:

1. Improving the protection of public spaces and other soft targets in line with the EU Action Plan to improve the protection of public spaces;

2. Improving protection against CBRN attacks in line with the Action Plan to enhance preparedness against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear security risks;

3. Enhancing the capacity of Member States' authorities and other stakeholders to implement the Regulation 98/2013, including the Commission Recommendation on the implementation of Regulation 98/2013;

4. Addressing CBRN-E as well as emerging threats to critical infrastructure and public spaces.

Projects must be aiming to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

Protecting public spaces:

  • Development, implementation and roll-out of new concepts of urban landscape design aiming at reducing the vulnerability of public spaces, offering shelters in case of active shooting attack, blocking the way of ramming vehicles and mitigating blast waves;

  • Increase cross-sectoral preparedness of EU Member States' agencies and authorities to terrorist attack against public spaces, incl. via trainings, exercises and establishment of regional law enforcement training facilities providing comprehensive training programmes for law enforcement/security authorities in protection of public spaces and other soft targets. The training programmes should be closely aligned with the Commission's ongoing activities in this area;

  • Development of cross-border, cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination mechanisms for first responders in the immediate response to terrorist attacks, incl. via trainings, exercises and exchange of best practice and lessons learned;

  • Enhancing protection of public spaces, urban areas and other soft targets via trainings, sharing of best practices and awareness raising activities.

    Strengthening CBRN security:

  • Increase preparedness – in cooperation with law enforcement – of operators of confined public spaces such as concerts halls, shopping malls, supermarkets against CBRN threats;

  • Increase awareness of high-risk CBRN materials amongst EU export control experts, including training programme;

  • Explore possibilities of restricting further access for unauthorised individuals to CBRN materials and agents.

    Commission Recommendation on the implementation of Regulation 98/2013:

• Capacity building in restricting and controlling the marketing and use of explosives precursors: Projects supporting the Commission Recommendation on the implementation of Regulation 98/2013 by, e.g., designing wide-reaching awareness- raising initiatives, increasing cross-border cooperation, identifying low-risk alternatives to high-risk chemicals, and/or developing innovative methods and tools for enforcing legislation and for helping public authorities and the supply chain assess their risks and vulnerabilities and comply with requirements and recommendations.

Emerging threats to critical infrastructure and public spaces:

  • Increase protection against existing and new threats, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs);

  • Address the issue of insider threats in the context of private operators (outside the aviation sector).

    Projects under this call should support the implementation of the Action Plans on improving the protection of public spaces and aiming at strengthen CBRN security. Considering that successful implementation of these Action Plans requires cooperation between public and private actors, project proposals submitted by a consortium composed of public and private entities would be particularly welcome.

4

Any action under this call for proposals shall respect and shall be implemented in line with the rights and principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Applications should pay appropriate attention to the effects of the project on individual rights and freedoms, as well as to possible remedies. In addition, any action under this call for proposals should comply with all relevant ethical principles and all applicable international, EU and national law on ethical issues while carrying out the project.

3. TIMETABLE

 

Stages

Date and time or indicative period

a)

Publication and opening of the call

10 October 2018

b)

Deadline for submitting applications

16 January 2019 – 17:00 Brussels Time

c)

Evaluation period

January–May 2019

d)

Information to applicants

June 2019

e)

Signature of Grant Agreement

October 2019

f)

Starting date of the action

Second half 2019

 

4. BUDGET AVAILABLE

The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated at EUR 9 500 000.

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

 

5. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

5.1. General eligibility provisions

Applications must be sent no later than the deadline for submitting applications referred to in section 3.

Applications must be submitted using the Electronic Submission System of the Participant Portal originally developed for the Horizon 2020 Research programmes2.

Applications must be submitted using the standard Submission Form Part A and Part B. They must include all the mandatory information and be accompanied (if applicable) by the Audit Report3 Annexes.

Applications must be drafted in one of the EU official languages. English is preferred in order to speed up the evaluation procedure.

Projects cannot be scheduled to last more than 36 months4. Applications for projects scheduled to run for a longer period will be rejected.

2 The Participant Portal will in the near future be replaced by the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal (FTOP).

3 If the share of a grant requested by an organisation (applicant or co-applicant) exceeds EUR 750 000, this organisation must provide an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying its accounts for the last closed financial year.

4 The project duration may be extended during its implementation for duly justified reasons subject to the Commission's approval via an amendment to the Grant Agreement.

 

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

5.2. Eligible applicants and applications

In order to be eligible for a grant, the Applicant and the Co-applicants must be:

  1. a)  be legal persons, application from natural persons are not eligible;

  2. b)  a public body5, a non-profit-making private entity, a for-profit entity, or an international organisation6. A for-profit entity may only participate in conjunction with a public body. The lead Applicant cannot be an international organisation;

  3. c)  be established in an Member State participating in the ISF Police Regulation. International organisations may be established outside of the Member States participating in the ISF Police instrument.

In order to be eligible for a grant, applications must be:

  1. a)  transnational, i.e. involving at least two entities established in two different EU Member States participating in the ISF Police instrument7;

  2. b)  seeking EU co-funding equal to or more than EUR 350 000 and equal to or less than EUR 2 000 000.

  3. c)  activities must not have started prior to the date of submission of the grant application.

Union agencies can be neither Applicants nor Co-applicants.

Affiliated entities, i.e. legal entities having a legal or capital link with Applicants, shall take part in the action as individual Co-applicants in order to declare eligible costs.

To prove these eligibility requirements, Applicants and Co-applicants will have to provide the relevant information and upload necessary documents showing their legal status in the Beneficiary Register. The information needs to be provided before the submission deadline.

5.3. Eligible activities

The following types of activities are eligible under this call for proposals:

  1. a)  the activities promoting networking, public-private partnerships, mutual confidence, understanding and learning, identification and dissemination of best practices and innovative approaches at Union level, training and exchange programmes;

  2. b)  the acquisition, maintenance and/or further upgrading of technical equipment, expertise, secure facilities, infrastructures, related buildings and systems, especially ICT systems and their components at the Union level;

  3. c)  the activities enhancing awareness of Union policies on priorities listed under point 2 among stakeholders and the general public;

5 The term "public body" is used in this call for proposals as defined in the rules on legal entity validation applicable in the context of applications for EU grants http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/lev/h2020-rules-lev-lear- fvc_en.pdf

6 The term "international organisations" is used in this call for proposals as defined in the Rules of Application of the EU Financial Regulation (Article 43):

(a) international public-sector organisations set up by intergovernmental agreements, and specialised agencies set up by such organisations;

  1. (b)  the International Committee of the Red Cross;

  2. (c)  theInternationalFederationofNationalRedCrossandRedCrescentSocieties;

  3. (d)  other non-profit organisations assimilated to international organisations by a Commission decision.

 

 

6. EXCLUSION CRITERIA

Applicants will be excluded from participating in the call for proposals procedure and from the grant award if they are in any of the exclusion situations referred to in articles 136(1) of the EU Financial Regulation8, i.e. one of the following situations:

6.1. Exclusion from participation in the call for proposals

(a) the person or entity 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 Union or national law;

(b) it has been established by a final judgment or a final administrative decision that the person or entity is in breach of its obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions in accordance with the applicable law;

(c) it has been established by a final judgment or a final administrative decision that the person or entity is guilty of grave professional misconduct by having violated applicable laws or regulations or ethical standards of the profession to which the person or entity 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:

(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 implementation of the legal commitment;

(ii) entering into agreement with other persons or entities with the aim of distorting competition;

(iii) violating intellectual property rights;

(iv) attempting to influence the decision-making of the authorising officer responsible during the award procedure;

(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 person or entity is guilty of any of the following:

(i) fraud, within the meaning of Article 3 of Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council (44) 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 (45);

(ii) corruption, as defined in Article 4(2) of Directive (EU) 2017/1371 or active corruption within the meaning of 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 (46), or conduct referred to in Article 2(1) of Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA (47), or corruption as defined in other applicable laws;

(iii) conduct related to a criminal organisation as referred to in Article 2 of Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA (48);

(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 (49);

(v) terrorist offences or offences linked to terrorist activities, as defined in Articles 1 and 3 of Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA (50), respectively, or inciting, aiding, abetting or attempting to commit such offences, as referred to in Article 4 of that Decision;

(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 (51);

(e) the person or entity has shown significant deficiencies in complying with main obligations in the implementation of a legal commitment financed by the budget which has:

  1. (i)  led to the early termination of a legal commitment;

  2. (ii)  led to the application of liquidated damages or other contractual penalties;

or

(iii) been discovered by an authorising officer, OLAF or the Court of Auditors following checks, audits or investigations;

(f) it has been established by a final judgment or final administrative decision that the person or entity has committed an irregularity within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 (52);

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

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

6.2. 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 in connection with the action;

  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 6.1.

Administrative and financial penalties may be imposed on Applicants and Co-applicants who are guilty of misrepresentation.

 

7. SELECTION CRITERIA

7.1. Financial capacity

Applicants and Co-applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the period during which the action is being carried out and to participate in its funding. Organisations participating in several projects shall have sufficient financial capacity to implement multiple projects.

Financial capacity check will be performed by the Research Executive Agency (REA). It will be assessed in line with the requirements of the Financial Regulation (EC) No 2018/1046.

 

The documents that will be requested when assessing the financial capacity include (1) the profit and loss accounts and (2) the balance sheets. For newly created entities the business plan may replace the above documents.

The financial documents must be uploaded in the Beneficiary Register when uploading the application package.

In case of low financial capacity, the Commission may decide the following:

  • -  request further documents;

  • -  request budget modifications / reallocations of costs;

  • -  introduce interim payments based on interim reports;

  • -  modify pre-financing percentage.
    In case of insufficient financial capacity, the Commission may decide the following:

  • -  request a change of Co-applicant;

  • -  reject the application.
    Financial Capacity assessment will not be carried out if:

 

the Applicant or Co-applicant is a public body or an international organisation; the EU contribution requested by the Applicant or Co-applicant is ≤ EUR 60 000.

Operational capacity

If the share of a grant requested by an organisation (Applicant or Co-applicant) exceeds EUR 750 000, this organisation must also provide an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying its accounts for the last closed financial year. This provision shall not apply to public bodies or to international organisations.

Applicants and Co-applicants must have the professional competencies as well as appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action. This capacity shall be assessed based on the experience of the Applicants and each Co-applicant or, as an alternative, on the relevant experience of their directly involved employees.

As evidence, the following information must be provided in the Submission Form Part B of the proposal:

-  general profiles (qualifications and experiences) of the staff primary responsible for managing and implementing the proposed action to be described under point 5.1.3,

-  a description of the partnership in the context of the proposed action to be provided under point 5.1.1.

The operational capacity assessment is not applicable to public bodies and international organisations.



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