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REC programme - Call for Proposals for 2017 Operating Grants open to EU-level networks active in the area: "rights of persons with disabilities" - VP/2016/013
Deadline: Sep 16, 2016  

 Social Affaires and Inclusion
 Health Care
 Development and Cooperation
 Minority groups
 Education and Training
 Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme


1.1. Programme/Legal base

This call for proposals concerns the Regulation (EU) No 1381/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing a Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme for the period 2014 to 2020 ('REC Programme')1.

It implements the respective activities set out in the 2016 Annual Work Programme for the REC Programme adopted on 4 April 2016, and aims to fund proposals with EU added value.

1.2. Policy and economic background

One in six people in the European Union – around 80 million – have a disability that ranges from mild to severe. These numbers are set to rise as the EU population grows progressively older. Many people with disabilities are all too often prevented from fully participating in society and the economy because of physical or other barriers, as well as discrimination.

The European Commission promotes the active inclusion and full participation of disabled people in society, and adopted in 2010 the European Disability Strategy 2010-20202. This Strategy identifies actions at EU level to complement and support national efforts in eight priority areas: (1) Accessibility, (2) Participation, (3) Equality, (4) Employment, (5) Education and Training, (6) Social protection, (7) Health, and (8) External Action. It is underpinned by awareness-raising, financial support, statistics and data collection.

The Disability Strategy aims to support the full and effective implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) by the EU and its Member States. The EU became a party to the UN Convention in 2011. The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities. The Commission published the first report on the implementation of the Convention by the EU in June 2014. In 2015 and for the very first time, a United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reviewed how the EU had been implementing its obligations, and issued concluding observations with recommendations.

1.3. Main Purposes

This call for proposals aims to provide operating grants for 2017 under the Framework Partnership Agreements concluded for the period 2015-2017 to provide for long term cooperation between the European Commission and EU-level networks active in the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. The call will provide grants to fund operating costs and those activities of the network which have EU added value and contribute to the implementation of the objectives of the REC Programme.

The Framework Partnership Agreements were signed in 2015 following the call for proposals JUST/2014/SPOB/OG/NETW. They set out the framework conditions governing potential operating grants and encompass a triennial strategic action plan proposed by the EU-level networks and accepted by the European Commission. 


2.1. Objectives - Priorities

The objective of the Call is to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities. More specifically, the activities of the networks should contribute to one or more of the following priorities:

  • supporting the implementation of the priorities of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, including in the context of its mid-term review;
  • contributing to the implementation of the UNCRPD and promoting the involvement of the national member organisations in the implementation;
  • supporting and contributing to implement the UN Concluding Observations on the report on the implementation of the UNCRPD by the EU;
  • supporting the achievement of the Europe 2020 strategy targets on employment, poverty and education;
  • supporting the development, implementation and monitoring of EU and national policies and legislation in the area of disability;
  • contributing to mainstreaming different aspects of disability matters in the EU and national policies, particularly in the areas of employment, education, social inclusion, social protection, health, human rights, international cooperation and development to make sure that the rights and needs of persons with disabilities are properly addressed;
  • contributing to improving accessibility to goods and services, including by supporting the work on the European Accessibility Act and other EU legislation;
  • contributing to the development of specific policies relevant to disabilities in the area of independent living, in particular as regards the transition from institutional to community-based care.

2.2. Description of the activities to be funded / Type of actions

The types of activities which may be funded under this call for proposals include:

  •   analytical activities

  •   training activities

  •   mutual learning

  •   cooperation

  •   awareness-raising and dissemination activities

The proposed 2017 work programme should be coherent with the action plan 2015-2017 presented in the Framework Partnership Agreement; it must develop it further and describe its implementation in more detail. Minor adaptations due to changes in the overall context or unforeseeable organisational developments are possible and should be clearly indicated in the proposal, but the 2017 work programme cannot contradict the 2015-2017 action plan.

2.3. Expected outputs/results

The activities are expected to result in:

  •   equipping member organisations with the necessary skills and competences to promote the interests and rights of people with disabilities, in particular to enhance equality of opportunities for people with disabilities, namely in employment, and combat discrimination on the basis of disability;

  •   developing information tools (websites, publications or other means) to inform about EU objectives, policies and actions in the disability field, increasing the network capacity and raising public awareness;

  •   supporting national member organisations in their involvement in the implementation, at national level, of main political EU driven processes.

    The networks are also expected to contribute to a number of specific initiatives where their role may have a clear added-value, such as:

  •   Work Forum on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the EU and the Member States;

  •   European Commission Conference on the European day of persons with disabilities in December;

  •   European Full Participation Award (i.e. Access City Award).



Publication of the call

July 2016



Deadline for submitting proposals




Evaluation period (indicative)




Information to applicants (indicative)




Signature of the grant agreement (indicative)




Starting date of the action (indicative)




3.1. 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.

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. However, the start date cannot be earlier than the date of submission of the grant application nor be earlier than the start of the applicant's financial year 2017.

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 or the start of the applicant's financial year.

The duration of the project should coincide with the budgetary (financial) year of the applicant.



4.1. Available Budget

The total budget earmarked for the EU co-financing of projects under this call is estimated at 3,000,000.00€.

The Commission expects to fund 8 proposals.
The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available. 4.2. Co-financing rate

Under this call for proposals, the EU grant may not exceed 80% of the total eligible costs of the action. 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 budget.



  •   Applications must be sent no later than the deadline for submission referred to in section 3(b)

  •   Applications must be submitted using the electronic submission system available at, and by sending a signed, printed version of the application form and its annexes by post or courier service (see section 11)

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, in order to facilitate the 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 (checklist point 3). 


6.1. Eligibility of the applicants5
To be eligible, applicants must fulfil the following criteria:

Proposals can only be submitted by organisations having signed a Framework Partnership Agreement with the European Commission following the 2014 Call for Proposals establishing three-year Framework Partnership Agreements for the period 2015-20176.

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

6.2. Eligible activities

a) Geographical Location

To be eligible, actions must be fully carried out in eligible participating REC countries:  All EU Members States

 Iceland

 Liechtenstein

Activities taking place in other countries are therefore not eligible in this Call for proposals. However, where the Beneficiary can adequately justify that such activities are vital for the implementation of its annual work programme and maximise its European added value, and where they contribute to achieving the objectives of the funding programme, costs relating to participation in these activities could be accepted as eligible provided that they are incurred in a REC programme country, and subject to prior explicit approval by the Commission.

b) Types of activities
The grant will finance the activities indicated in section 2.2.

6.3. Ineligible activities

Financial support to third parties as defined in point 3 of the Financial Guidelines is not eligible under this call.

The following types of activities are not eligible for EU funding: 

  • sponsorships/scholarships to individuals for their participation in workshops, seminars, conferences, congresses, training courses etc.;

  • activities supporting individual political parties;

  • legal actions before national or international courts regardless of their grounds or objectives. 




Applicants (lead and co-applicants) must sign a declaration on their honour 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

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


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

 Relevance and coherence (Max. 20 point) Particular attention will be paid to the:

  • o extent to which the activities and objectives of the proposed 2017 annual work programme address the priorities announced by the Commission
  • o coherence with the organisation's Action plan 2015-2017 annexed to the Framework Partnership Agreement

 Quality of the annual work programme (Max. 40 point) Particular attention will be paid to the quality of:

  • o the proposed methodology for implementing the annual work programme o the roles and responsibilities and the division of tasks within the team
  • o the arrangements taken for the evaluation and monitoring of the action
  • o the identification of risks and the measures to mitigate them
  • o the results and in particular their use and appropriateness to the network's objectives for the 2017 work programme, including a clear, targeted and appropriate dissemination strategy

 European added value (Max. 20 point) Particular attention will be paid to the activities':

  • o contribution to the consistent and coherent implementation of Union law and policies and to wide public awareness about the rights deriving from it
  • o potential to develop mutual trust among Member States and to improve cross-border cooperation
  • o transnational impact 
  • o contribution to the elaboration and dissemination of best practices or their potential to create practical tools and solutions that address cross-border or Union-wide challenges 

 Cost-effectiveness (Max. 20 point) Particular attention will be paid to the:

  • o financial feasibility of the proposed activities by means of a clear, detailed, realistic and reasonable budget, coherent with the 2017 annual work programme of the applicant.

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 70% of the maximum possible mark. 


In the event of a grant being 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.

The 2 copies of the original agreement must be signed by the beneficiary 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 and the budget and work programme sections in particular, before signing and returning the copies to the Commission.

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

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


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:


The procedure to submit proposals electronically is explained in point 14 of the "Financial Guidelines for Applicants". Before starting, please read carefully the SWIM user manual:

Once the application form is filled in, applicants must submit it both electronically and in hard copy, before the deadline set in section 3.b 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 2 copies (one marked “original” and one marked “copy”), including all documents listed in section 13, by the deadline (the postmark or the express courier receipt date serving as proof) to the following address: 

European Commission
Call for proposals VP/2016/013 – DG EMPL.C3 J-27 – 02/241
B-1049 Bruxelles - BELGIUM 

Please send your proposal by registered post, express courier service or by hand delivery only. Proof of posting or express courier receipt should be kept as it could be requested by the European Commission in cases of doubt regarding the date of submission.

Hand-delivered proposals must be received by the European Commission before 4 p.m. on the date of the deadline for submission as indicated in section 3(b) at the following address: 

European Commission
Service central de réception du courrier Call for proposals VP/2016/013 – DG EMPL.C3 Avenue du Bourget, 1
B-1140 Evere 

At that time the European Commission's Mail Service will provide a signed receipt which should be conserved as proof of delivery.

If an applicant submits more than one proposal, each proposal must be submitted separately.

Additional documents sent by post, by fax or by electronic mail after the deadlines mentioned above will not be considered for evaluation unless requested by the European Commission.

The applicant's attention is also drawn to the fact that incomplete or unsigned forms, hand- written forms and those sent by fax or e-mail will not be taken into consideration.


The information contained in the present call document together with the Financial Guidelines for Applicants provides all the information you require to submit an application. Please read it carefully before doing so, paying particular attention to the priorities of the present call. 

All enquiries must be made by e-mail only to:

For any technical problems please contact: 


Questions may be sent by to the above address no later than 10 days before the deadline for the submission of proposals.

The Commission has no obligation to provide clarifications to questions received after this date.

Replies will be given no later than 5 days before the deadline for submission of proposals. To ensure equal treatment of applicants, the Commission will not give a prior opinion on the eligibility of applicants, or affiliated entity(ies), an action or specific activities.

No individual replies to questions will be sent but all questions together with the answers and other important notices will be published (FAQ in EN) at regular intervals on the Europa website under the relevant call:

The Commission may, on its own initiative, inform interested parties of any error, inaccuracy, omission or clerical error in the text of the call for proposals on the mentioned Europa website. It is therefore advisable to consult the above mentioned website regularly in order to be informed of the questions and answers published.

No modification to the proposal is allowed once the deadline for submission has elapsed. If there is a need to clarify certain aspects or to correct clerical mistakes, the Commission may contact the applicant for this purpose during the evaluation process.

Applicants will be informed in writing about the results of the selection process. Unsuccessful applicants will be informed of the reasons for rejection. No information regarding the award procedure will be disclosed until the notification letters have been sent to the beneficiaries.


13.1. Instructions for the presentation of the application

The annual work programme must be written using the template available in SWIM. All the information related to the annual work programme must be presented in one single document.

In case of subcontracting any tasks comprising part of the action (see the Financial Guidelines), the description of the action must provide details on the tasks to be subcontracted and the reasons for doing so and these tasks must be clearly identified in the budget. 

13.2. Required documents

The table in annex includes the documents that must be provided on submission of the proposal. It also indicates where originals are required. We recommend that applicants use the table as a checklist in order to verify compliance with all requirements.

While some information must be supplied using the templates available in the SWIM, other documents may need to be completed and/or attached electronically, usually either administrative documents or free format text descriptions. The SWIM application indicates in each section where SWIM templates should be used as well as which and where free format documents can be uploaded electronically.

Regarding the compilation of the application file, it is recommended to:

  1. 1)  follow the order of documents as listed in the checklist (and attach a ticked checklist as below to the proposal);

  2. 2)  print the documents double-sided;

  3. 3)  use 2-hole folders (do not bind or glue; stapling is acceptable). 



( -- TRUNCATED For Futher details please visit the public link of the call) 

Public link:   Only for registered users

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