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Support for Civil Society Organisations piloting initiatives of the AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub
Deadline: Jun 21, 2019  

 Humanitarian Aid
 Education and Training
 Youth Exchanges
 Youth Workers
 Arts Education
 Culture and Development
 Policy Evaluation and Governance

1.Support for Civil Society Organisations piloting initiatives of the AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub


The European Union (EU) is committed to supporting civil society organisations (CSOs) as key actors of development and of local and global governance; reinforcing their participation and their capacity. This priority is enshrined in the new European Consensus on Development (the 'Consensus')1 and the policy on Europe’s engagement with CSOs2. CSOs encompass a wide range of diverse actors from the local to international levels3. The commitment is accompanied by funding through the Thematic Programme on “Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities”4, of the Development Cooperation Instrument, the objectives of which include (i) to support civil society at global, regional and country level in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development; (ii) contribute to the enhancement of citizens' understanding, sense of responsibility, skills and critical engagement regarding sustainable development and its underlying causes.

To meet the EU promises for CSOs and in the spirit of the 2030 Agenda, all stakeholders must have the capacity to play their full part in a coherent and coordinated manner. This is a particular challenge for certain actors who have not sufficiently been empowered to have a voice and play an active role, such as youth. The Consensus indeed recognises young people as essential contributors to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. They are considered agents of development and change, notably through their ability to innovate. Youth aspire to have a role in decision-making and accountability as well.


The topic of youth is growing in importance in EU policies and as a key focus of the Africa-EU partnership as well as AU-EU cooperation. The 5th African Union (AU) - EU Summit, held in Abidjan in November 2017, had as overarching theme: "Investing in Youth for Accelerated Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development ". In accordance with the Summit theme and the aspiration to involve young people actively in political processes affecting their livelihoods and future prospects, it was decided to ensure a strengthened and meaningful inclusion of Youth in the preparations of as well as at the actual Summit. To this end, the AU-EU Youth Track was initiated, encompassing the recurring 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit (YS) and the unprecedented AU-EU Youth Plug-In Initiative (YPII). Ahead of the Summit, the YS gathered youth representatives from Africa, Europe, and the Diaspora to develop policy recommendations within six priority themes: 1) Culture, Arts & Sports, 2) Peace & security, 3) Governance & political inclusion, 4) Climate & environmental protection, 5) Education & skills, and 6) Business, jobs & entrepreneurship. These were compiled in the "Abidjan Youth Declaration"5. Subsequently, a selected group of youth representatives from the YS continued the work as part of the YPII. The Youth were tasked to think differently about the complex challenges facing Europe & Africa, to meet with experts and influencers, and to outline possible solutions and priorities to generate positive social impact. The results of this endeavour were concrete proposals within the six themes for operationalising the policy recommendations, compiled in the, “AU-EU Youth Agenda”6. Both documents were presented to Heads of State and Government by youth representatives at the Abidjan Summit.

The AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub7(YCH), an innovative model for Youth inclusion, pivotal to the Call for Proposals, was launched to build on the work of the YPII, to enable the prototyping and testing in reality of these youth approaches. Out of thousands of applicants, 42 Young Experts from 29 countries were selected, based on their knowledge and expertise about the themes and potential innovations. They gathered to propose concrete initiatives based on the AU-EU Youth Agenda, which could first be piloted on a small-scale, but with maximum impact, visibility and result-evidence. For the most part, these do not involve completely new actions, but they either include new methods of implementation or build on emerging innovations that have not yet been coordinated or brought to scale, such as tapping into the potential of digitalisation. Seven first stage pilot initiatives were proposed (in the 6 thematic areas), meeting 4 characteristics: have the potential to bring Europe & Africa closer, be people-centred, be effective and visible and have the potential of being scalable after the pilot phase, should they prove successful.

The Multi-Annual Action Plan (MAAP) of the CSO thematic fund (2018-2020), foresees, as the first objective, to “Strengthen Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as actors of governance and development and strengthen partnership with CSOs and to facilitate an enabling environment for CSOs”. A main priority under this objective is to foster “cooperation between the EU and civil society on youth”, “to strengthen EU support to young people in Africa, and especially their inclusion and empowerment”. This Call for Proposals, managed directly by the European Commission through the EU Delegation to the AU, will support young people through CSOs by enabling the piloting of the AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub’s proposals.


The historical and contextual background for each of the thematic clusters/ pilots of the YCH:

1: Culture, Arts & Sports: Culture, Arts & Sports (CAS) can address major global challenges – such as conflict prevention and resolution, social integration, prevention of violent extremism, and protection of cultural heritage. CAS is also a key vector for collaboration between Africa & Europe, building bridges, as outlined in the AU-EU Abidjan Summit Declaration (2017)8. CAS can contribute to socio-economic stability, sustainable development and economic growth, through cultural entrepreneurship; the culture and creative arts industry is indeed considered to be one of the fastest growing sectors of the world economy, with an estimated growth rate of 7% of the global GDP9. The 2007 Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) proposes a stronger cultural cooperation. A budget of EUR 40 million was allocated under the European Development Fund to support the contribution of cultural industries to the socio-economic development of ACP countries. However, the sector's potential deserves to be further harnessed, through visible initiatives that can also help connect young people to opportunities (financing, networks, and necessary skills to build their careers).


2: Peace & Security: A decade of violence by Boko Haram has triggered a humanitarian crisis in the least developed parts of the four countries10 of the Lake Chad Basin, displacing more than 2.5 million people, hindering economic activities, and restricting access to basic services11. To bring stability to the region, there has been a significant support to humanitarian and development actors in recent years, as well as to the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF). Between 2014 and 2017, the EU alone has invested over EUR 700 million12. Despite these interventions, and even in secured areas, progress is still scarce; the lack of coordination of stabilisation activities leads to gaps between political intentions and realities on the ground, on which accurate information is lacking. The role of young people is key to stabilisation, as recognized by the UNSCR 225013 which calls for the effective participation of young people in peacebuilding efforts in fragile areas. The role of youth is further highlighted in the Stabilisation Strategy14 adopted by Member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission in August 2018 and endorsed by the AU Peace & Security Council in December 2018. The Stabilisation Strategy offers a renewed impetus for a "new way of working" focusing on bridging the gap between political will, financing and reality of progress on the ground.


3: Governance and Political Inclusion (Accountability): Ensuring “a transparent, democratic and accountable environment” is a strategic objective of the AU-EU Partnership, which contributes “to reducing fragility, fostering political stability and effective governance, and enabling sustainable and inclusive development and growth”15. The AU has developed the African Governance Architecture. The EU has invested significantly in developing skills to be used in governance-enabling activities, with some of its member States (like Estonia) at the forefront. Accountability initiatives already exist, from the international level (including the International Aid Transparency Initiative), to the local (with social auditing and budget reviews). However, collaboration among stakeholders can be further enhanced. The under-representation of youth in governance, notably, is a clear challenge which wide-spread information and youth-attractive digital tools can help address. The large proportion of youth in the EU and AU presents an opportunity for further action in transparency and accountability.


4: Governance and Political Inclusion (Remittances): remittances are a focus of EU-AU cooperation16, helping to reduce poverty and generate domestic resources. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10 aims to reduce the transaction costs of migrant remittances to under 3% and eliminate corridors with costs above 5%. Despite recent progress, costs stagnate around 7% with strong disparity between corridors17. This disproportionately affects young people, who are more likely to be 'undocumented', 'unbanked', and poor18. And yet youth are at the forefront in the use of new technologies like mobile money. In 2014, the AU established the African Institute for Remittances (AIR) with support from the EU. It provides statistical data (SendMoneyAfrica comparison database) and promotes change in legal and regulatory frameworks. However, further awareness and transparency about remittance fees and standards is needed, as well as more user-friendly applications and capacity support to innovative solutions from both regions.

5: Environment Preservation and Climate Change: Soil degradation and unsustainable land/water management are key causes and impacts of climate change in Africa. The Great Green Wall initiative19, launched in 2007, is the AU's flagship initiative to slow the expansion of the Sahara Desert, address land degradation, boost food security, and to support transformational resilience of communities to adapt to climate change. However, coordination between the various projects composing the Great Green Wall should be further improved. A coherent mapping can help further develop the GGW, while enhanced support for agroforestry can represent additional incentives for youth to stay in rural areas and engage in activities promoting the sustainable use of natural resources. Agroforestry has proven suitable to mitigate the consequences of climate change and can provide livelihood opportunities for youth in the region.


6: Education & Skills: Access to quality education and the opportunity to develop skills and competencies is vital to prepare youth for the future. An investment in their human capital is an investment in the socio-economic future of our societies.20 The AU and EU both aspire to provide high quality education and training systems, that are efficient and that facilitate young people’s access and integration.21 However, youth on both continents face high unemployment rates and difficulties transitioning into the world of work. In light of the UNESCO 2030 goals, SDG 4 and AU & EU commitments, relevant stakeholders must be assisted in providing quality education to equip youth with skills and competencies to take on future challenges and opportunities in society: “21st century skills”.22 Innovative schooling systems, under different forms, have been shown to improve student success, active citizenship and transversal skills, needed for the future job market.23 There are good examples of multi-stakeholder collaborations in creating innovative learning environments (e.g. ESTEM, VET and Global Education). Coordination and dissemination of these efforts in both AU and EU is necessary.


Lot 7: Business, Job Creation and Entrepreneurship: Sub-Saharan Africa will need to create 18 million new jobs a year by 2035, while currently only 3 million are annually created. This issue is a crucial priority for the AU-EU Partnership. In this endeavour of job creation, young people are uniquely positioned to stimulate innovation and create social capital, especially in key sectors such as agribusiness and renewable energy. Youth must be empowered to participate in shaping a shared future and economy, working closely in partnership with the private sector (large and small), local communities, CSOs and the public sector to tap into the immediate and long term opportunities created by agribusiness and renewable energy. There are gaps in support services for young entrepreneurs, in knowledge of and access to flagship initiatives, such as the European External Investment Plan24 (EIP) and in cooperation between European and African youth.

1.2. Objectives of the programme and priority issues

The global objective of this call for proposals is: of this Call for Proposals is to strengthen youth as actors of governance and development, and foster youth inclusion and empowerment by piloting proposals emerging from the AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub.


The specific objective(s) of this call for proposals are: the 7 cluster themes and YCH pilot proposals are turned into 7 lots for the call, each of which has a specific objective:

Lot 1 Culture, Arts & Sports (CAS):

  • To support young sports and creative professionals, by promoting collaboration and enabling access to investment, capacity building and opportunities.

  • Existing and emerging CAS projects and creations are promoted, with attention to indigenous forms of CAS and showing the potential of CAS in building bridges between African & Europe.

  • Networks of young CAS professionals in the AU and EU are formed and reinforced through cultural exchanges and intercultural dialogues.

  • Capacities of young CAS professionals are built, through skills development and empowerment activities.

  • Innovative means of investment and financial support for the creative sector are promoted.

  • Socio-economic benefits of the creative industry and of CAS are stimulated.



Lot 2 Peace & Security:

  • To strengthen stabilisation efforts in the Lake Chad Basin through a) enhanced coordination and accountability (enabling the mapping of key basic services and causal factors for peace) and b) stronger involvement of local youth as monitors.

  • An objective, simplified overview of all efforts unfolding on the ground through the mapping of stabilisation activities in the Lake Chad Basin.

  • The capacity and role of local youth is strengthened through their involvement in the mapping and monitoring processes.

  • Data analysis, transparency, accountability and integrity are strengthened.

  • Improved coordination between stakeholders leads to better-targeted resource allocation.


Lot 3 Governance, Accountability:

  • To enable the effective and active engagement of many more young citizens in policy and democratic processes and accountability, through digital means.

  • Citizen/community driven approaches to transparency, accountability, social auditing and/or budget reviews, especially by youth, are promoted, through a scalable, accessible and user-friendly digital platform.

  • The platform's tools and data management functions simplify citizens’ oversight activities and enable real-time linkages between public commitments and accountability initiatives.

  • Enhanced linkages between accountability initiatives in Africa and Europe, through an augmented model of city twinning between an AU and an EU city.


Lot 4 Governance, Remittances:

  • With an end-objective of lower remittance costs, to increase transparency on remittance fees and expand transfer options.

  • Remittance market transparency is increased, reducing AU-EU remittance costs and improving industry standards as well as collaboration between private and public stakeholders, through a comprehensive remittance service platform.

  • The platform is citizen- and youth-centric, easy to access and user-friendly, and provides up-to-date sourcing of remittance prices.

  • The platform raises awareness of innovative and emerging remittance transfer solutions on both continents.

  • Networking events build capacities for emerging transfer solutions, help build bridges between them and support innovative solutions which are today only active on one of the two continents.


Lot 5 Environment:

  • To contribute to the Great Green Wall Initiative and bolster efforts against desertification (mapping existing agroforestry initiatives, building capacity of women & young farmers, and initiating incentives with mobile payments for ecosystem services).

  • Information sharing and coordination between Great Green Wall (GGW) activities are enhanced through a digital map, helping visualise sustainable development projects driven by local communities.

  • Capacity and participation in climate-friendly practices is boosted through creative, youth-oriented messaging and communications.

  • Wider citizen and corporate participation in the GGW is enhanced through the possibility to finance local projects and trace impact.

  • A local and scalable payment for ecosystem services (PES) scheme for drought-tolerant tree planting results in an increase in agroforestry practices among young farmers and raises income.

  • Women and youth are empowered to show environmental leadership in their communities.


Lot 6 Education & Skills:

  • To enhance cooperation between African and European "innovative secondary schools" and key stakeholders promoting 21st century learning (equipping youth with relevant skills for the future job market and using cutting-edge & digital pedagogy).

  • Build a partnership between two "innovative schools", one in Europe and one in Africa, with a focus on “21st Century skills” and “student-centred learning methods”25. Joint learning, innovation, and experience-sharing are achieved through partnerships, virtual and physical mobility exchanges.

Students and teachers acquire the skills, knowledge and certifications needed to continuously improve teaching and learning outcomes and to succeed in the labour market.

  • A Euro-African network of “innovative” secondary schools that equip students with “21st Century skills” (abilities, and learning dispositions required for success in today's society and workplaces26).

Mutual learning and sharing of best practices is achieved through networking between African and European stakeholders.

Informed policy recommendations are developed, advising policy makers on innovative pedagogy.


Lot 7 Business, Jobs & Entrepreneurship:

  • To harness the job creation potential of agribusiness and renewable energy by fostering collaboration, investment, knowledge transfer, organisational support and scale-up for young incubators/accelerators of start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

  • Two or more incubators are strengthened to deliver services to young entrepreneurs in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors.

  • An initial group of high-potential young entrepreneurs is trained, mentored and supported, enabling their start-ups/SMEs to grow (job creation, turnover increase, partnerships) and addressing gaps in the agribusiness and renewable energy value chains.

  • Enhanced knowledge transfer between EU and AU entrepreneurship stakeholders, focused on agribusiness and renewable energy.


The priorities of this call for proposals are:

Three cross-cutting principles


  1. Youth focus and participation: Ideas for the Lots originate from the Abidjan Youth Declaration and the AU-EU Youth Plug-In Initiative. Young people are agents of development, decision-making, leadership, and governance, in line with the “Consensus”. This call will focus strongly on concrete actions to benefit young people and empower youth and their organisations as active participants and implementers27. The beneficiaries of this call also commit to work in close collaboration with the AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub (“The Hub”).


  1. A gender-responsive rights-based approach: Actions should be framed in a gender-responsive Rights-Based Approach (RBA), The RBA implies that target groups are considered as ‘rights-holders’ with legal entitlements, and government institutions are not mere service providers but ‘duty-bearers,’ who are under an obligation to deliver on people’s human rights. Development cooperation should contribute to the development of the capacities of ‘rights-holders’ to claim their rights and ‘duty-bearers’ to meet their obligations. Programmes and projects therefore need to assess the capacities of rights-holders and duty-bearers and develop the appropriate strategies to build these capacities. At the heart of the RBA is the recognition that unequal power relations and social exclusion deny people their human rights and often keep them in poverty. The approach puts strong emphasis on marginalised, disadvantaged, and excluded groups (such as women, children, persons living with disabilities, minorities, or indigenous people).


Actions should respect the principles of dignity and non-discrimination, the rule of law, and good governance28, and should take into account the participation, buy-in of, and accountability to local populations, especially youth and women.

The projects must be rooted in the EU gender equality policy (GAP II)29. Gender equality and women's empowerment must be addressed through concrete, tangible, and measurable elements.

All the concept notes/full applications should be inspired by and contribute to the implementation of relevant African instruments. An indicative list of relevant instruments per lot is provided here30.

  1. Building partnerships, sustainability and scale-up potential, linking the AU and EU: The projects must, whenever possible have a multi-stakeholder approach (through all types of project roles)31. Projects should be based on solid evidence and innovative methods; they should maximize synergies to avoid duplications, articulating with existing best practices and institutions and sharing, when possible, costs with other actors. Projects will also be expected to have an effective strategy for sustainability and scale-up, including the search for future potential partners, in coordination with the AU-EU Youth Hub. Finally, and as prioritised in the European Consensus for Development32, the links between Africa and Europe are critical for success on the most challenging issues. The projects will therefore draw concrete links between the regions, enabling exchanges, mutual learning and joint search for solutions.


As the results and scalability of the projects to be selected under this call might depend on close coordination and collaboration with key stakeholders, including key institutions, local authorities, public entities, private sector actors and grass-roots/community-based movements or entities, it is strongly encouraged that the projects include relevant stakeholders or their organisations/associations as Associates when possible.


Private sector participation is encouraged for all lots of this Call for proposals (e.g. work of digitalization- platform or software development or management, mass communication, …).




This call promotes network/partnership actions, mass communications and/or advocacy efforts for all Lots, which are supported by a solid constituency basis. To this end the applicants must:

    • clearly include activities related to network/partnership relations and strengthening,

    • clearly include activities of collaboration with relevant stakeholders and key institutions (especially those mandated by the AU and/or the EU), and

    • clearly include strong visibility, extensive and online/offline communications, and public relations messaging/campaigning.

1.3. Financial allocation provided by the contracting authority

The overall indicative amount made available under this call for proposals is 10.000.000 EUR. The contracting authority reserves the right not to award all available funds.

5.000.000 EUR shall be contracted by the end of 2019, while additional 5.000.000 EUR shall be contracted in 1st quarter of 2020 pending the approval of 2020 budget by the budgetary authority. The preference of contracting in 2019 will be given to the lots with longest estimated implementation duration (Lots 2, 3, 5, 6).

Indicative allocation of funds by lot:

If the allocation indicated for a specific lot cannot be used due to insufficient quality or number of proposals received, the contracting authority reserves the right to reallocate the remaining funds to other lots.

Size of grants

Any grant requested under this call for proposals must fall between the following minimum and maximum amounts:

  • Lot 1 CAS: minimum amount: EUR 1 million, maximum amount: EUR 1.8 million

  • Lot 2 Peace: minimum amount: EUR 1.2 million, maximum amount: EUR 1.4 million

  • Lot 3 Governance/Accountability: minimum amount: EUR 900,000 max. amount: EUR 1.4 million

  • Lot 4 Remittances: minimum amount: EUR 400.000 maximum amount: EUR 800.000

  • Lot 5 Environment: minimum amount: EUR 1.2 million, maximum amount: EUR 1.6 million

  • Lot 6 Education: minimum amount: EUR 1 million, maximum amount: EUR 1.5 million

  • Lot 7 Entrepreneurship minimum amount: EUR 1 million maximum amount: EUR 1.5 million


Any grant requested under this call for proposals must fall between the following minimum and maximum percentages of total eligible costs of the action:

  • Minimum percentage: 75 % of the total eligible costs of the action.

  • Maximum percentage: 90 % of the total eligible costs of the action (see also Section 2.1.5).


Any grant requested under this call for proposals which includes in the proposed budget in-kind contributions (including volunteer work) and/or non-eligible taxes must further be limited to ensure the co-financing of 10% of the estimated total accepted costs33. In case during the implementation of the action progress and final reports show that the total accepted costs are equal to the total eligible costs, the percentage applicable to the total accepted costs applies to the total eligible costs to ensure the required co-financing.

Wherever in the call for proposals a reference to the percentage of eligible costs is made, the further limitation to the percentage applicable to the total accepted costs will apply. As a reminder, before sending your application please check that the requested contribution is equal to or less than the maximum percentage of the estimated total accepted costs allowed.

The balance (i.e. the difference between the total cost of the action and the amount requested from the contracting authority) must be financed from sources other than the general budget of the Union or the European Development Fund34.

  1. Rules FOR thIS call for proposalS

These guidelines set out the rules for the submission, selection and implementation of the actions financed under this call, in conformity with the practical guide, which is applicable to the present call (available on the internet at this address

2.1. Eligibility criteria

There are three sets of eligibility criteria, relating to:

  1. the actors:

  • The ‘lead applicant’, i.e. the entity submitting the application form (2.1.1),

  • if any, its co-applicant(s) (where it is not specified otherwise the lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) are hereinafter jointly referred as ‘applicant(s)’) (2.1.1),

  • and, if any, affiliated entity(ies) to the lead applicant and/or to a co-applicant(s). (2.1.2);

  1. the actions:

Actions for which a grant may be awarded (2.1.4);

  1. the costs:

  • types of cost that may be taken into account in setting the amount of the grant (2.1.5).

2.1.1. Eligibility of applicants (i.e. Lead applicant and co-applicant(s))

Lead applicant

(1) In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must:

  • be a legal entity and

  • be non-profit-making and

  • be a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) 36 or an association of CSOs and

  • be established37 in a Member State of the European Union38 or be established in a Member State of the African Union39

  • be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary

  • The lead applicant must provide financial statements demonstrating the financial capacity necessary for carrying out the project.

  • The lead and/or co-applicant(s) must prove they have carried out a minimum of 3 projects to a total value of at least €1 million in the past 5 years.

  • either the lead applicant or one of the co-applicants must be a youth organisation40.


(2) Potential applicants may not participate in calls for proposals or be awarded grants if they are in any of the situations listed in Section of the practical guide;


Lead applicants, co-applicants, affiliated entities and, in case of legal entities, persons who have powers of representation, decision-making or control over the lead applicant, the co-applicants and the affiliated entities are informed that, should they be in one of the situations of early detection or exclusion according to Section of the practical guide, personal details (name, given name if natural person, address, legal form and name and given name of the persons with powers of representation, decision-making or control, if legal person) may be registered in the early detection and exclusion system, and communicated to the persons and entities concerned in relation to the award or the execution of a grant contract.


In Part A, Section 3 and Part B Section 8 of the grant application form (‘declaration(s) by the lead applicant’), the lead applicant must declare that the lead applicant himself, the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies) are not in any of these situations.

The lead applicant must act with co-applicants as specified hereafter.

If awarded the grant contract, the lead applicant will become the beneficiary identified as the coordinator in Annex E3h1 (special conditions). The coordinator is the main interlocutor of the contracting authority. It represents and acts on behalf of any other co-beneficiary and coordinates the design and implementation of the action.

International organisations (inter-governmental) as defined by Article 43 of the rules of application of the EU Financial Regulation, as well as public sector operators (with the exception of LAs and/or their associations) are not eligible as applicants.


The lead applicant must act with a minimum of one co-applicant.

Co-applicants participate in designing and implementing the action, and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the lead applicant.

Co-applicants must satisfy the eligibility criteria as applicable to the lead applicant himself.

Co-applicants must sign the mandate in Part B Section 4 of the grant application form.

The co-applicant(s) must be an organisation carrying out activities in a country or locality targeted by the project, or able to do so prior to grant contract signature.

(3) Applicants included in the lists of EU restrictive measures (see Section 2.4. of the PRAG) at the
moment of the award decision cannot be awarded the contract41.

If awarded the grant contract, the co-applicant(s) (if any) will become beneficiary(ies) in the action (together with the coordinator)

2.1.2. Affiliated entities

Affiliated entity(ies)

The lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) may act with affiliated entity(ies).

Only the following entities may be considered as affiliated entities to the lead applicant and/or to co-applicant(s):

Only entities having a structural link with the applicants (i.e. the lead applicant or a co-applicant), in particular a legal or capital link.

This structural link encompasses mainly two notions:

(i) Control, as defined in Directive 2013/34/EU on the annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related reports of certain types of undertakings:

Entities affiliated to an applicant may hence be:

  • Entities directly or indirectly controlled by the applicant (daughter companies or first-tier subsidiaries). They may also be entities controlled by an entity controlled by the applicant (granddaughter companies or second-tier subsidiaries) and the same applies to further tiers of control;

  • Entities directly or indirectly controlling the applicant (parent companies). Likewise, they may be entities controlling an entity controlling the applicant;

  • Entities under the same direct or indirect control as the applicant (sister companies).

(ii) Membership, i.e. the applicant is legally defined as a e.g. network, federation, association in which the proposed affiliated entities also participate or the applicant participates in the same entity (e.g. network, federation, association) as the proposed affiliated entities.


The structural link shall as a general rule be neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation. This means that the link would exist independently of the award of the grant; it should exist before the call for proposals and remain valid after the end of the action.


By way of exception, an entity may be considered as affiliated to an applicant even if it has a structural link specifically established for the sole purpose of the implementation of the action in the case of so-called ‘sole applicants’ or ‘sole beneficiaries’. A sole applicant or a sole beneficiary is a legal entity formed by several entities (a group of entities) which together comply with the criteria for being awarded the grant. For example, an association is formed by its members.

What is not an affiliated entity?


The following are not considered entities affiliated to an applicant:


  • Entities that have entered into a (procurement) contract or subcontract with an applicant, act as concessionaires or delegatees for public services for an applicant,

  • Entities that receive financial support from the applicant,

  • Entities that cooperate on a regular basis with an applicant on the basis of a memorandum of understanding or share some assets,

  • Entities that have signed a consortium agreement under the grant contract (unless this consortium agreement leads to the creation of a ‘sole applicant’ as described above).


How to verify the existence of the required link with an applicant?


The affiliation resulting from control may in particular be proved on the basis of the consolidated accounts of the group of entities the applicant and its proposed affiliates belong to.


The affiliation resulting from membership may in particular be proved on the basis of the statutes or equivalent act establishing the entity (network, federation, association) which the applicant constitutes or in which the applicant participates.

If the applicants are awarded a grant contract, their affiliated entity(ies) will not become beneficiary(ies) of the action and signatory(ies) of the grant contract. However, they will participate in the design and in the implementation of the action and the costs they incur (including those incurred for implementation contracts and financial support to third parties) may be accepted as eligible costs, provided they comply with all the relevant rules already applicable to the beneficiary(ies) under the grant contract.

Affiliated entity (ies) must satisfy the same eligibility criteria as the lead applicant and the co-applicant(s). They must sign the affiliated entity(ies) statement in Part B Section 5 of the grant application form.

2.1.3 Associates and contractors

The following entities are not applicants nor affiliated entities and do not have to sign the ‘mandate for co-applicant(s)’ or ‘affiliated entities' statement’:

  • Associates

Other organisations or individuals may be involved in the action. Such associates play a real role in the action but may not receive funding from the grant, with the exception of per diem or travel costs. Associates do not have to meet the eligibility criteria referred to in Section 2.1.1. Associates must be mentioned in Part B Section 6 — ‘Associates participating in the action’ — of the grant application form.

  • Contractors

The beneficiaries and their affiliated entities are permitted to award contracts. Associates or affiliated entity(ies) cannot be also contractors in the project. Contractors are subject to the procurement rules set out in Annex IV to the standard grant contract.



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