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"REACTIVATE" Intra-EU job mobility program for unemployed over 35s - VP/2018/014
Deadline: 05 Sep 2018   CALL EXPIRED

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1. INTRODUCTION - BACKGROUND

1.1. programme/Legal base

This call covers a Preparatory Action within the meaning of Article 54(2)(b) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

The preparatory action is called "Reactivate" and is aimed to test an intra-EU labour market activation measure to support the inclusion of EU unemployed citizens aged 35+ in the labour market.

The Commission Decision on the adoption of the 2018 annual work programme for the implementation of the Preparatory action “Reactivate Intra-EU mobility programme for unemployed over 35s” C(2018)1852 was adopted on 28 March 2018

1.2. Background

Since the outbreak of the financial and economic crisis, unemployment has been particularly high among young people and long-term unemployed in most EU Member States leading to a sharp deterioration in their labour market. The age group over 35 has also been severely touched by the crisis and the job destruction, in particular those affected by lay-offs as a consequence of business downsizing, industrial decline, globalisation and delocalisation of manufacturing activities.

Many workers, with strong skills based on work experience, find themselves excluded from the labour market given the lack of job opportunities in their regions or countries. Other long-term unemployed people generally characterised by low employability and/or multiple disadvantages have also been strongly affected e.g. workers with low or redundant skills or qualifications, young people and older workers (>50 years old), persons with disabilities and disadvantaged minorities.

Those cohorts are often supported through national active labour market measures (ALMPs) (e.g. vocational training and re-skilling, self-employment schemes, etc.) but their chances of faster work inclusion depend often on both their participation in national learning/training programmes and the job opportunities available in a limited geographical job market. ALMPs have a positive effect on people by helping them to move from unemployment to employment and also to find better quality jobs and improve their skills but their coverage varies widely between Member States ranging from around 5% to 50% or more and overall EU coverage has declined since 2009.

At the same time, there are many vacancies across Europe that remain unfilled due to skills shortages, but the potential of intra-EU labour mobility, combined with up- skilling and inclusion measures to help unemployed adults, remains under-exploited.

In the light of the above, the European Parliament proposed a new intra-EU job mobility scheme called "Reactivate", in the form of a preparatory action. The scheme aims to support unemployed citizens in the 35+ age group, including long-term unemployed, to help them finding a job (minimum 6 month duration) or traineeships (minimum 3 month duration) in another Member State.

Building on the features of the "Your first EURES job" (YFEJ) mobility scheme1 (help young jobseekers under 36), "Reactivate" aims to be a pilot extension of that scheme. Similar to YFEJ, it will be featured as an intra-EU labour market activation measure, combining tailor-made recruitment, matching and placement services with financial support for jobseekers and employers (SMEs).

 

2. ECONOMIC AND POLICY OUTLOOK

The EU's economy continued its expansion at a robust and higher than expected pace. Year-on-year growth improved further to 2.8 %. The EU employment rate has increased consistently over the past three years. In the third quarter of 2017, the employment rate of 20-64 years old stood at 72.3 %, the highest ever reached, but still 2.7 pps below the Europe 2020 target of 75 %. Nonetheless, large disparities in employment rates remain among Member States. They ranged from 58 % in Greece to 82 % in Sweden. In around half of the Member States, employment rates are still lower than in 2008.

The unemployment rates in the EU and euro area are approaching their pre-crisis values at a steady pace. The unemployment rate for the whole 2017 averaged to 7.7 % for the EU, 0.9 pps less than in 2016, and 9.1 for the euro area, 0.9 pps less than in 2016. This has been the fourth consecutive year with reductions in the unemployment rate, and 2017 registered the highest annual decrease since the start of the recovery. Unemployment rates decreased in all Member States in the year to December 2017. The largest reductions were registered in Greece (by 2.7 pps down to 20.7 % in October 2017) and Portugal (by 2.4 pps down to 7.8 %). Large differences remain among Member States: the Czech Republic (2.3 %) and Germany (3.6 %) display very low rates, while Greece (20.7 %) and Spain (16.4 %) continue to register high rates despite the strong decreasing trend.2

Long-term unemployment continued to decline in 2016, by 0.5 pp, but remains an important challenge for the EU. Long-term unemployment usually follows strong changes in unemployment, but with some delay. Therefore, slight decreases in long- term unemployment only started to be observed in 2014, after the start of the recovery in 2013. In 2016, about 9.6 million people (corresponding to 4.0 % of the labour force and almost half of the total unemployed) had been unemployed for more than a year and the majority of these (around 6.1 million) had been unemployed for over two years. During the crisis, the long-term unemployment rate doubled, peaking in 2014 at 5.1 % of the labour force. In 2016 the rate was still 1.4 pps above the 2008 rate. Long-term unemployment is decreasing in most Member States but important differences remain. Only two countries, Luxembourg and Austria, registered minor increases in long-term unemployment in 2016. The greatest declines were observed in the countries with the highest rates. In 2016 the highest rates were seen in Greece, at almost 17 % of the labour force, and Spain, at around 9.5 %. By contrast, the lowest rates were found in Sweden, UK and Denmark (below 1.5 % of the labour force). Compared with 2008, only seven countries had lower long-term unemployment rates in 2016. Germany saw the strongest decrease over this period (by 2.2 pps).3

The employment rates of older men and women have been steadily increasing. For older workers (55 – 64 years old), employment rates by 2016 stood at 55.3 % in the EU and the euro area (62 % for men and 48.9 % for women). This represents a solid increase of 2 pps since 2015. Despite this rise, the employment rate of older workers is still 23.5 pps below that of workers aged 25-54 years old. However, the steady increase is projected to continue against the background of demographic change. Older workers (34.5 million people) accounted for 16.9 % of total employment among those aged 20-64 in 2016. This proportion is projected to rise to 19.5 % in 2060 as the workforce ages.

President Juncker stressed in his political guidelines that this Commission will promote labour mobility not only as a right to free movement of workers, but also as an economic opportunity - especially in the face of persistent vacancies, skills mismatches and globalised economy challenges. Meanwhile, despite public perceptions, labour mobility is low in the European Union. Only around 3.9% of the EU population aged between 15 and 64 years are living in an EU Member State other that their country of birth (mobile EU people) representing around 11,8 million people5. Evidence-based analysis shows that high unemployment and low labour mobility within and between countries co-exist with skills and labour shortages in some countries and regions. Intra-EU labour mobility can help to address labour market imbalances and improve labour market's efficiency. It can contribute to improving the allocation of resources and serve as an adjustment mechanism for unbalanced labour markets whilst enabling economies to cope better with economic shocks.

Several EU legal and operational initiatives already focus on supporting the exercise of the individual right to free movement of EU citizens. The most relevant are the following (mainly for workers, employers and students):

  •   Clarification and completion of articulation of rights (Enforcement Directive on free movement of workers making information and legal advice tools available for migrant workers; recognition of qualifications, supplementary pension’s rights6). Other legislative instruments are currently being revised and/or consolidated include the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive, the revision of the Social Security Coordination rules or the creation of the European Pillar of Social Rights7.

  •   EURES8 (European Employment Services), i.e. the network between the Public Employment Services of Member States, other member organisations (social partners) and the European Commission, giving information and assistance to job seekers and employers on respectively the available job vacancies and living and working conditions in Member States as well as on matching these jobs vacancies with profiles of job seekers interested in finding employment in another EU country.

  •   The EURES Regulation9 to reinforce the organisation and activities of the EURES network. It aims at improving the transparency of the European labour market, facilitating online skills-based matching across borders, enhancing workers' access to mobility support services across the Union and reinforcing cooperation and information exchange on mobility. This is a key EU instrument for promoting the opportunities free movement of workers offers in accordance with Article 45 TFEU.

  •   Drop'pin, a web-based platform embedded in the EURES portal that connects young people with training, up-skilling and mobility opportunities across Europe offered directly by employers, SMEs and NGOs in order to boost their employability and skills.

  •   Support mobility programmes for young students (Erasmus+), for entrepreneurs (Erasmus for entrepreneurs) or for young jobseekers (Your First EURES Job).

  •   The European Solidarity Corps, launched in December 2016, is the European Union initiative which creates opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in projects that benefit communities and people around Europe.10

  •   Other EU information platforms such as Your Europe, Europe Direct or Solvit.

The EURES Regulation in particular is a key instrument to achieve the reform and modernisation of EURES. It introduces obligations to set up systems in Member States to open up the network to other actors than the public employment services, to provide access to mobility support services in Member States, to increase transparency on job vacancies on the European labour markets and to improve the information exchange on labour shortages across the EU.

Besides the above EU instruments, the Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation on long-term unemployment11 calls on Member States to identify jobseekers' needs (individual assessment) and to propose them a job integration plan. This should consist of a tailor-made plan, involving measures such as mentoring, job search support, further training, health care or family support. It should be delivered through a single point of contact to ensure the continuity and consistency of the support.

 

3. THE POTENTIAL OF EU JOB MOBILITY SCHEMES

In spite of the measures in place as above, before the kick-start of Reactivate in 201612 there was no EU initiative to address specifically the needs of the age group over 35 willing to experience cross border mobility for finding employment or a work trial in another Member State. The business communities in Member States, and in particular the small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), may also find interest in having access to a wide pool of mobile workers and enhanced support to help them address skills shortages and skill mismatches.

The EURES network already provides information and placement support to all jobseekers interested in moving and working in another Member State, irrespective of the age group. At Member State level this support is often complementary to national activation measures implemented by the Public Employment Services (PES).

However, many Member States have not yet equipped their Public Employment Services fully with tailor-made services and financial support measures adapted to the individual needs of jobseekers and employers interested in intra-EU labour mobility.

3.1. The example and lessons from YFEJ

The Commission tested the YFEJ mobility scheme during three consecutive budget years (2011-2013) as a preparatory action. The scheme aimed to help young EU-28 citizens aged 18-30 to find a job, traineeship or apprenticeship in another Member State (remunerated, minimum 6 months contract). It also supported employers (SMEs with up to 250 employees) to find workers in another EU country for their hard-to-fill vacancies. The scheme combined the provision of information, recruitment, matching and placement services with EU financial support, based on a mix of simplified cost options and reimbursement of actual declared costs. A total of 

fifteen projects were selected through three calls for proposals with an overall budget of ca EUR 12 Mio. All projects together resulted in 4251 work placements.

The findings of the YFEJ interim evaluation (2014) outline in particular the relevance, EU added value and complementarity of the scheme with EURES. A study on the YFEJ mobility scheme and options for future EU measures on youth intra-EU labour mobility was completed in December 2016. The study comprised both a retrospective and a prospective dimension. Under the retrospective dimension, the study carried out the ex-post evaluation of the YFEJ mobility scheme, building on the findings of the interim evaluation. Under the prospective dimension, the study examined potential future policy options to support youth intra-EU labour mobility for the European Commission. The ex-post evaluation strengthened the conclusions of the interim evaluation and pinpointed the need to upscale the scheme and improve its operational capacity for gaining effectiveness and efficiency. The options for the future varied from the continuation of the current management model (baseline) up to the inclusion within one of the existing EU mobility programmes e.g. Erasmus + or the ESF.

As of 2014, YFEJ is continued as a Targeted Mobility Scheme under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation13, covering the EU/EFTA countries (EU 28, Norway and Iceland) and the age group 18-35. Four projects are currently rolling on, based in consortia led by the EURES members in Sweden, Italy, Germany and France. Their overall quantitative target is to ensure at least 3600 work placements until the end of 2018.

3.2. Improving access to intra-EU labour markets

In order to tackle intra-EU mobility challenges, jobseekers - low skilled or long-term unemployed people in particular - need a package of support services to succeed their endeavour. Both YFEJ and "Reactivate" are conceived as inclusive schemes. They can play the role of intra-EU active labour measures in support of workers and employers contributing to a more effective implementation of the EURES Regulation, notably the strengthening of the provision of support services14. "Reactivate" in particular can offer the age group 35+ an unprecedented opportunity to benefit from tailor-made employment support, acquire diversified knowledge and skills, learn new languages and strengthen their EU citizenship values.

 

4. OBJECTIVES – PRIORITIES – TYPE OF ACTION AND EXPECTED RESULTS

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Guidelines on the implementation of the action are laid down in the following annexes:

ANNEX I: Implementing Guidelines
ANNEX II: Financial Guidelines for Applicants

 

4.1 Objectives - Priorities

This call aims to ensure the continuity of the preparatory action for the third year. The objective of the action is to test the feasibility of an intra-EU job mobility scheme for the age group above 35 years, with a particular focus on unemployed citizens, including long-term unemployed. Similar to the targeted mobility scheme "Your first EURES job"(YFEJ) helping young jobseekers under 35s, “Reactivate” intends to help adults to find employment or traineeship opportunities in other EU countries and foster their full integration into the labour market.

Being strongly result-oriented, the action aims to improve the conditions for jobseekers and workers to exercise their right of freedom of movement across the EU and to address labour markets' imbalances and skills shortages. Building on the YFEJ features and objectives (help young jobseekers under 35), "Reactivate" aims also to be an innovative extension of that scheme. It is featured as an EU labour market activation measure, combining tailor-made recruitment, matching, training and placement services with financial incentives. The support measures may vary according to labour market needs but should at least include provisions for interviews in another Member State, relocation, linguistic training as well as work and country integration support.

The end beneficiaries will be jobseekers and job changers and trainees aged 35+ as well recruiting enterprises, including SMEs. Both individuals and enterprises may receive direct financial support in the form of targeted allowances, including allowances for spouse and dependent children as well as financial contribution needed for upskilling and certification of qualifications needed by future employer. Placements may, inter alia, take place in the context of regional cross-border initiatives and/or projects dedicated to particular sector(s).

Applicant organisations are free to choose the activities, methods and tools etc. to implement their action, on condition that they comply with the mandatory framework for the provision of assistance and financial support to target groups laid down in Annexes I and II.

4.2 Type of action

All projects under this call shall be named "Reactivate" (mandatory).

Applicant organisations are invited to find inspiration from YFEJ mobility scheme to elaborate the concept of their projects for "Reactivate" and the corresponding set of measures15.

The action supported by the projects shall

  •   carry out outreach and information activities towards target groups and in particular to employers and other stakeholder organisations interested in sharing opportunities, offers or job vacancies with the consortium;

  •   provide information on the Reactivate work opportunities and support available to the EU citizens over 35 years;

  •   establish cooperation with other organisations willing to act as information multipliers on Reactivate e.g. trade unions, employers' associations, chambers of commerce, vocational and education organisations, etc.

  •   develop and deliver a comprehensive, tailor-made package of mobility services, combining customized activation measures with direct financial support to both the target group of EU citizens over 35 years of age and employers (in particular SME's);

  •   include at least, as activation measures within this package, information and assistance with offers and vacancies, matching these with candidates and the preparation of the placement/recruitment in a number of Member States involving jobs and/or traineeships;

  •   provide one or more items of direct financial support to both the target group of EU citizens over 35 years of age and employers (in particular SME's) in accordance with the five pre-defined items in this call (Annex I);

  •   test the feasibility of the services and support measures above also for placement of candidates in traineeships in another country, having regard to the diversity (or lack) of regulatory frameworks at national level (notably for open market opportunities). For those placements, applicant organisations could identify one or more economic sector(s) and/or country(ies) offering such vacancies and provide support services adapted to the specificity and needs of both candidates and employers. The scope of the action in terms of traineeship placements could represent a small percentage of the overall number of expected placements.

In the light of the above, applicants shall submit proposals focusing on Job placements and Traineeships16.

If applicant organisations do not deal with traineeships or are not experienced in this field, they could include in the project other public or private co-applicant or associate organisation(s) with proven knowledge and experience in this domain e.g. Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers or Chambers of Commerce. The projects may include further measures such as post-placement support (welcome and integration services) and other tailor-made support like coaching packs for trainees and apprentices, combined (or not) with the above mentioned direct financial support.

4.3 Expected outputs/results

The action is quality-oriented and outcome-driven: the scheme aims to deliver quality placements to ensure candidates' skills development/reactivation and employability. Applications shall clearly indicate the expected number and nature of placements (jobs or traineeships) as well as the targeted recruiting sectors.

4.4 Monitoring

The monitoring of Reactivate activities is a crucial part of the responsibilities assigned to the ‘beneficiaries', as to take stock of results as well as of success and failure factors in the scheme. The collection of data provides a sound basis for critical review of the scheme with a view to its future improvement. The awarded projects shall monitor closely their activities and make data available to the Commission. The implementation of the preparatory action will be monitored based on the adopted rules laid down by the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/170 of 2 February 2018 on uniform detailed specifications for data collection and analysis to monitor and evaluate the functioning of the EURES network.17 Moreover, the reporting of the activities co-financed must contribute, wherever appropriate, to the exchange of information between Member States and to the EURES programming cycle in accordance with chapter V of the EURES Regulation. The projects must therefore work together with National Coordination Offices to provide the relevant data under the PMS and assist those Offices to indicate in the PMS where there is the overlap or not.

 

The ‘Reactivate beneficiaries' are responsible for collecting data on progress with the scheme and for submitting quantitative and qualitative data to the Commission during the implementation phase on the basis of a common data collection template. The practicalities to provide that information will be agreed with the ‘Reactivate beneficiaries' as from the kick-off of the projects. The submission of data is planned on a bi-annual basis, and includes also a survey to posted candidates completing at least 3 months placement with the support of the project. This activity is supervised by the Commission or an authorised external contractor. Related templates will be provided.

The Commission will also promote networking among the project beneficiaries. To that end, maximum four meetings will be held with the Commission in Brussels or another Member State (one meeting every six months). The purpose is to provide guidance and take stock of progress made. The lead applicant must nominate the project coordinator and will participate in the networking meetings with the Commission. Lead applicants may also be invited to other ad hoc meetings or events during the lifetime of the action. These venues can be an opportunity for raising awareness to the action and disseminating information. The estimated budget should include provisions for participation in the monitoring and reporting activities and meetings above as well as in, at least, one EU level events (for further information, see section 16 below).

As the monitoring of Reactivate scheme involves the collection and further processing of personal data, Regulation (EC) 45/2001, of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 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, is applicable.

 

5. TIMETABLE

The indicative timetable for this call for proposals is as follows:

Deadline for proposal submission: 05 September 2018

 

Publication of the call for proposals
June 2018

Deadline for submitting applications
05 September 2018 Swim, Courier and Post: 24:00 Brussels time (CET) Hand deliveries 16:00 Brussels time

Deadline for questions and request for clarifications
24 August 2018

Evaluation period (indicative)
September – October 2018

Information to applicants (indicative)
October – November 2018

Signature of Grant Agreement (indicative)
November 2018

Starting date of the action (indicative)
As from December 2018

 

5.1. Starting date and duration of the projects

The actual starting date of the action will either be the first day following the date when the last of the two parties signs the grant agreement, the first day of the month following the date when the last of the two parties signs or a date agreed upon between the parties. In the interest of applicant organisations, they are invited to indicate their starting month preferably within December 2018.

Applicants should note that if their project is selected, they may receive the grant agreement after the start date of the action that they have indicatively set in the application form. It is therefore advisable to number the months in the work programme instead of indicating the name of the months, for ease of reference.

Any expenditure incurred before the signature of the Grant Agreement will be at the applicant’s risk. No expenditure can be incurred before the deadline for submission.

The indicative duration of projects should be 24 months.

 

6. AVAILABLE BUDGET AND CO-FINANCING RATE

6.1. Available Budget

The total budget earmarked for the EU co-financing of projects under this call is estimated at EUR 5,000,000.

The Commission expects to fund 2 to 6 projects. For illustrative purposes, the Union funding per project is indicatively estimated to be not less than EUR 500,000.

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

6.2. Co-financing rate

Under this call for proposals, the EU grant may not exceed 95% of the total eligible costs of the actions. The applicants must guarantee their co-financing of the remaining amount covered by the applicants' own resources or from other sources other than the European Union budget18.

 

7. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  •   Applications must be sent no later than the deadline for submission referred to in section 5;

  •   Applications (application form including budget and description of the action including work plan) must be submitted using the electronic submission system available at https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/swim, and by sending a signed, printed version of the application form and the other afore-mentioned documents by post or courier service (one original dossier and one copy; see also section 12).

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

Applicants are encouraged to submit their project proposal in English, French or German in order to facilitate treatment of the proposals and speed up the evaluation process. It should be noted, however, that proposals in all official languages of the EU will be accepted. In this case, applications should be accompanied by an executive summary in English, French or German (checklist point 3).

 

8. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
8.1. Eligibility of applicants (lead and co-applicants) and

affiliated entities19

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, British beneficiaries 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.17.3.1(a) (multi-beneficiary) of the grant agreement.

a) Place of establishment

Legal entities properly established and registered in the following countries are eligible as lead applicants and co-applicants:

- EU Member States b) Type of entities

To be eligible, lead applicants must be a:

- public or private employment service or an organisation specialised in work-based placements whose core activity is the provision of information, recruitment, matching, placement and pre- and post- placement support to jobseekers, job changers , trainees and employers.

To be eligible, co-applicants must:

- public or private organisation, including social partners20, providing the same services as lead applicants and/or complementary customer- oriented services in other support fields such as information, training, education, career guidance, mentoring, legal advice, integration support or other equivalent.

Applicants and co-applicants may be profit or non-profit making entities c) Consortia21

To be eligible, applications must be submitted by a consortium composed of a minimum of two organisations (i.e. lead applicant and at least 1 co-applicant) established in at least two different Member States.

If the lead applicant is not considered to be eligible, the application will be rejected.

If a co-applicant is considered not to be eligible, this organisation will be removed from the consortium and the eligibility of the modified consortium will be re-evaluated. In addition, the costs that are allocated to a non-eligible co- 

applicant will be removed from the budget. If the modified consortium is still eligible, the application will be evaluated on that basis. If the application is accepted for funding, the work plan will have to be adapted as appropriate.

d) Affiliated entities

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 and which satisfy the eligibility criteria, may take part in the action as affiliated entities, and may declare eligible costs.

For that purpose, applicants shall identify such affiliated entities in the application form.

8.2 Eligible activities

  1. a)  Geographical location

    To be eligible, applications must demonstrate that the proposed activities will be implemented in at least two (2) Member States where the applicant organisations are established.

  2. b)  Types of activities

    The grant will finance the activities indicated in section 4 of this document.

  3. c)  Coreactivities

    The following activities are considered to be core activities and may not be subcontracted:

- Project coordination and management. d) Financial support to third parties

Financial support to third parties as defined in point 3 of the Financial Guidelines is eligible under this call provided that the overall amount allocated to this type of support does not exceed EUR 30 000 per third party (see also section 16.1.3). For further details on applicable ceilings, an exhaustive list of types of activities for which a third party may receive financial support and related award criteria please refer to Annex I.

 

9. EXCLUSION CRITERIA

9.1. Exclusion

Applicant(s) (applicant or lead applicant and each co-applicant) must sign a declaration on their honour signed in their name [(and on behalf of the affiliated entities, should they be part of the application)], certifying that they are not in one of the situations referred to in article 106(1) and 107.1(b) and (c) of the Financial Regulation concerning exclusion and rejection from the procedure respectively, using the relevant form attached to the application form available at https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/swim/external/displayWelcome.do.

 

9.2. Rejection from the call for proposals

The Commission shall not award a grant to an applicant who: a) is in an exclusion situation;

b) has misrepresented the information required as a condition for participating in the procedure or has failed to supply this information;

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

[The same exclusion criteria apply to any affiliated entities which must, therefore, be included in the above-mentioned declaration(s).]

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

 

10. SELECTION CRITERIA

The lead applicant and each co-applicant must have the financial and operational capacity to complete the activities for which funding is requested. Only organisations with the necessary financial and operational capacity may be considered for a grant.

10.1. Financial capacity

Applicants (lead applicants and co-applicants) must have access to solid and adequate funding to maintain their activities for the period of the action and to help finance it as necessary. The verification of financial capacity will not apply to public bodies.

The applicant's (lead and co-applicants) financial capacity will be assessed on the basis of the following supporting documents to be submitted with the application:

  • -  Declaration on honour (section 16, checklist, point 4).

  • -  The annual balance sheet and profit and loss accounts available from the last financial year (section 16, checklist, point 14).

  • -  Profit and loss accounts and balance sheet summary for the lead and co- applicant organisations (section 16, checklist, point 15).

  • -  For grants of EUR 750 000 or more, an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying the accounts for the last financial year available (see section 16, checklist point 19).

The ratio between the total assets in the applicant’s (lead and co-applicant(s) balance sheet and the total budget of the project or the part of the project budget for which that organisation is responsible for, according to the budget in the application form would be considered strong if it is equal or greater than 0.65.

If the applicant or lead applicant is considered not to have a strong financial capacity, the application as a whole will be rejected.

If a co-applicant or several co-applicants are considered not to have a strong financial capacity, the Commission will also take into account any other relevant information on the financial capacity provided by the applicant and in particular the information provided in section "Financial Resources" of the SWIM application form.

After this further analysis, the Commission will take various proportional measures depending on the level of weaknesses identified, which may be to:

  1. reject the whole application;

  2. remove the co-applicant from the consortium and re-evaluate the proposal

    without this co-applicant;

  3. proposeagrantagreementwithoutpre-financing;

  4. proposeagrantagreementwithapre-financingpaidinseveralinstalments;

  5. propose a grant agreement with pre-financing payment(s) covered by (a)

    financial guarantee(s);

  6. propose a grant agreement with joint financial liability of 2 or more

    applicants/co-applicants;

  7. propose a grant agreement with a mix of the measures 4,5 and 6;

10.2. Operational capacity

Applicants (lead and co-applicants) must have the professional competencies as well as appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action. In particular, applicants (lead and co-applicants) must have:

  • -  a strong track record of competence and experience in the field and in particular in the type of action proposed;

  • -  the necessary operational resources (technical, management) to carry out the action;

  • -  declaration on honour signed by the legal representative (including operational capacity to carry out the activity) (see section 16, checklist point 4).

    The operational capacity of the applicant (lead and co-applicant) to complete the proposed action must be confirmed by the submission in the proposal of the following:

  • -  a list of the main projects carried out, if any, in the last three years relating to the subject of the call (section 16, checklist, point 17);

  • -  the curriculum vitae of the persons responsible for managing the action and the persons who will perform the main tasks (section 16, checklist, point 16);

If the lead applicant is considered not to have the required financial or operational capacity, the application as a whole will be rejected. If a co-applicant is considered not to have the required financial or operational capacity, this co-applicant will be removed from the consortium and the application will be evaluated without this co- applicant22. In addition, the costs that are allocated to the non-selected co-applicant will be removed from the budget. If the application is selected, the work programme may have to be slightly adjusted.

Only proposals which comply with the requirements of the above selection criteria will be considered for further evaluation.

 

11. AWARD CRITERIA

The proposals which fulfil the eligibility and selection criteria will be assessed according to the following award criteria:

  •  Relevance of the proposal to the call (max. 25 points)
  •   The degree to which the proposal meets the objectives of the call, in particular the minimum requirements for ensuring application by the action of the common scheme as indicated in Section 16 below and in Annex I.

  •   The degree to which the set of activation measures proposed for the action is suitable in light of the specific needs and obstacles assumed to affect the target group(s) of the 35+ age group and employers specifically chosen in the proposal.

  •   The innovative dimension of the package of services, combining activation measures and items of direct financial support, in light of the objectives of the call.

 Quality of the project design and implementation methodology (max. 25 points)

  •   Clarity and consistency of the proposed project.

  •   The coherence of the distribution of tasks, responsibilities, resources and management tools among the members of the consortium (lead and co- applicants).

  •   The extent to which the methodology and proposed activities are adequate to ensure an efficient delivery of services to the target groups.

  •  The methods and procedures for securing effective and prompt direct financial support for target groups, for monitoring the overall budget expenditure for all forms of financial support and for ensuring sound financial management.

  •   The measures to ensure adequate quality control relating to the information and assistance with offers and vacancies, matching these with candidates and the preparation of the placement /recruitment.

  •   The consistency of the planned timetable for activities.

     Expected impact of the proposal (max. 20 points)

  •   The added value, geographical coverage, transnational dimension and expected impact of the project at both national and EU level.

  •   The extent to which the proposed action is likely to ensure the project's expected number of work placements in other Member States, in light of inter alia the distribution of the roles of the members in the partnership involved with the scheme and the resources allocated for its implementation.

     Visibility of the action (max. 20 points)

  •   The quality and potential multiplier effect of the outreach activities towards the target groups.

  •   The appropriateness of the activities involving evaluation of the project and the dissemination of its final results.

  •  The financial quality of the proposal and the cost-effectiveness of the operation (max. 10 points)

  •   Clarity and consistency of the estimated budget description and justification of costs.

  •   The clarity, consistency and soundness of the calculation of the funding modalities applicable to financial support to third parties (i.e. jobseekers/ employers).

  •   The degree to which the amount of the requested grant is proportional to the scale and scope of the project.

Applications will be ranked according to the total score awarded. Taking into account the available budget, the proposals with the highest total scores will be recommended for award, on condition that:

  •  The total score reaches at least of 70% of the total available points.

 

12. 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 beneficiary, or to the coordinator in the case of multi-beneficiary grant agreements.

The 2 copies of the original agreement must be signed by the beneficiary, or the coordinator in the case of multi-beneficiary grant agreements, and returned to the Commission immediately. The Commission will sign it last.

The grant agreement may include corrections and deletion of ineligible costs or activities made by the Commission – therefore the applicant should carefully read the whole agreement before signing and returning the copies to the Commission.

A model Grant Agreement is published on the Europa website under the relevant

call: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=629&langId=en.
Please note that the award of a grant does not establish an entitlement for subsequent years.

 

13. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

Details on financial provisions are laid out in the Financial Guidelines for Applicants and the model Grant Agreement, both published on the Europa website under the relevant call: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=629&langId=en.

The above-mentioned documents, together with Annex I (Implementing Guidelines) to the present call for proposals provide more details for the applicant organisations, especially guidelines for presenting the proposals' provisional budget along with the rules governing which categories of expenditure are eligible and which are not.

 

14. SUBMISSION PROCEDURES

The procedure to submit proposals electronically is explained in section 14 of the "Financial Guidelines for Applicants". Before starting, please read carefully the SWIM user manual: http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/calls/pdf/swim_manual_en.pdf

Once the application form is filled in, applicants must submit it both electronically and in hard copy, before the deadline set in section 5 above.

The SWIM electronic application form is available until midnight on the day of the submission deadline. Since the applicants must first submit the form electronically, and then print, sign and send it by post service or hand delivery by the submission deadline, it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the appropriate postal or courier services are locally available on the day of the deadline.

The hard copy of the proposal must be duly signed and sent in duplicate (one marked “original” and one marked “copy”), including all documents listed in section 16, by the deadline (the postmark or the deposit slip of the express courier service serving as proof) to the following address:

 

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