EC - Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (EaSI) logo

Support for social dialogue - VP/2018/001
Deadline: 25 Sep 2018   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono EC - Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (EaSI)

 Social Innovation
 Social Affaires and Inclusion
 Youth Workers
 Digital Culture
 Cohesion Policy
 Digital Society
 Social and Welfare
 Migrants and Refugees

1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND

1.1. Programme/Legal base

The legal basis of this call for proposal is the Commission Decision C(2018)25291 of 2 May

2018 amending decision C(2017)5636 concerning the adoption of the 2018 annual work programme for grants and procurements for DG EMPL prerogatives and specific competencies, serving as financing decision .

1.2. Policy and economic background

Budget heading 04 03 01 08 is intended to cover grants for measures promoting social dialogue at cross-industry and sectoral level in accordance with Article 154 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and for developing European social dialogue in its different dimensions of information exchange, consultation, negotiation and joint action.

The measures should help the social partner organisations (representatives of management and labour2) to contribute to addressing the overarching EU employment and social policy challenges as laid down in particular in:

  • the Commission Communication On steps towards Completing Economic and Monetary Union (COM(2015)600);

  • the Commission Communication Establishing a European Pillar of Social Rights (COM(2017)0250) as well as the related joint proclamation of European Parliament, Council and Commission of November 2017 and the Commission Communication Monitoring the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (COM(2018) 130 final)3;

  • the Annual Growth Survey, the Joint Employment Report and the recommendations addressed to the Member States in the context of the European Semester;

  • the Political Guidelines presented by Jean-Claude Juncker in the Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change and the Commission Work Programmes.

The White Paper on the Future of Europe (COM(2017)2025) and the five related thematic Reflection Papers, in particular the Reflection paper on the social dimension of 

Europe (COM(2017) 206) and the Reflection paper on the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (COM(2017) 291 )4.

The budget heading can be used to finance actions involving representatives of the social partners from the Candidate Countries5. It is also intended to promote equal participation of women and men in the decision-making bodies of both trade unions and employers' organisations. These last two components are cross-cutting.

 

2. OBJECTIVES – PRIORITIES – EXPECTED RESULTS – ACTIVITIES

2.1. Objectives – Priorities

General objective

This call will be used to finance consultations, meetings, negotiations and other actions as outlined in the European Commission's Communication on The European social dialogue, a force for innovation and change (COM(2002)341), the Communication on Partnership for change in an enlarged Europe – Enhancing the contribution of European social dialogue (COM(2004)557) and the Commission Staff Working Document on the Functioning and potential of European sectoral social dialogue (SEC(2010)964)..

Definition

European social dialogue refers to discussions, consultations, negotiations and joint actions involving organisations representing the two sides of industry (employers and workers).

Topics of specific interest

Actions that address the following themes will be particularly welcome:

• the employment, social and economic challenges as identified in the European Pillar of Social Rights;

• the adaptation of social dialogue to changes in employment and work related challenges, such as :

  • o modernisation of the labour market, job creation and job matching;
  • o quality of work, anticipation, preparation and management of change and restructuring;
  • o digitalisation of the economy and society – including artificial intelligence-, the greening of the economy, flexicurity and skills;
  • o (intra-EU) labour mobility, migration, youth employment, health and safety at work, modernisation of social protection systems;

General remark

Access for people with disabilities should be guaranteed for measures funded under this call for proposals.

2.2. Expected results - Activities

The following categories of actions are targeted :

  • measures to prepare European social dialogue, such as preparatory surveys, meetings and conferences;

  • measures regarded as part of social dialogue within the meaning of Articles 154 and 155 TFEU, such as negotiations, preparatory meetings for negotiations or activities relating to the implementation of negotiated agreements and other negotiated outcomes;

  • measures to disseminate, promote, monitor and evaluate European social dialogue activities and outcomes, e.g. through European or national events, peer learning or reviews, studies and (paper or electronic) publications (including the translation);

  • measures to improve the coordination, functioning and effectiveness of European social dialogue, including through the identification and development of joint approaches by the social dialogue committees, such as the exchange of good practice and related joint training events;

  • measures by social partners which contribute to the employment and social and economic dimensions of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the monitoring and analysis of its impact on labour markets;

  • measures to support the European social partners and social dialogue committees in their contribution to impact assessment of the employment and social dimensions of EU initiatives.

Projects proposed jointly by employers' and workers' organisations which aim at implementing (parts of) the work programme of European social dialogue committees, as well as measures to foster the implementation of European social dialogue outcomes, reinforce their impact and visibility, and support follow-up and reporting are a high priority.

Strengthening synergies and exchanges between European sectoral social dialogue committees and/or between the sectoral committees and the cross-industry level, including through projects developing a multi-sectoral approach on themes of common interest, is also considered a priority.

Actions are also expected to contribute to the priorities and activities of European social dialogue, including those laid down in the work programmes of the EU cross-industry and sectoral social dialogue committees, as well as those that form part of the June 2016 Statement of the Presidency of the Council, the European Commission and the European social partners on "a new start for social dialogue"6. In that context, particular emphasis is put on the following objectives :

  • strengthening the involvement of social partners in the European Semester and enhancing their contribution to EU policy making;

  • further developing and strengthening the membership of European social partner organisations;

  • building and reinforcing the capacity of national (cross-industry and/or sectoral) social partners to engage in national social dialogue and to participate in and contribute to European social dialogue, in particular in those Member States where social dialogue is underdeveloped7, e.g. through information and training seminars aiming at developing legal expertise or organisational/administrative skills, or at expanding membership and representativeness.

Measures that aim mainly at improving expertise in the field of industrial relations through analysis and research and by promoting the exchange of information and experience among relevant actors, are not covered by this call for proposals. This type of actions can be funded under a separate call for proposals.

2.3. Other elements to be taken into account

When drafting the proposal, applicants are invited to pay particular attention to the following elements:

  • The proposal should provide a clear explanation of the rationale and problem definition/analysis underpinning the proposed action, as well as the specific contribution of the action to the objectives of the call for proposals and its expected impact.

  • In case of follow-up actions by the same applicant on similar or related topics, the added value of the new proposal as compared to ongoing and previous actions8 should be clearly explained.

  • The choice of organisations involved and countries covered should be duly explained and justified as regards their relevance towards the specific objectives of the action.

The Commission welcomes in particular projects that provide for a full project cycle, including preparatory, implementation and dissemination, follow-up and reporting activities.

Taking account of beneficiaries' interest, the Commission may organise a networking day in Brussels for beneficiaries under the 2018 call (date to be defined). Applicants must therefore ensure that the travel, daily subsistence allowances and accommodation costs

 

http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=15738&langId=en.
National capacity-building activities which could be funded under the European Social Fund (Regulation

(EU) No 1304/2013 on the European Social Fund, Article 6.2) are not eligible.

Including projects funded under other budget headings. 6

for up to 2 persons – the Project Manager and possibly the Financial Manager – to attend this meeting are included in their proposed project budget. If the applicant fails to do this, the Commission will not be able to fund the beneficiary's participation in the networking day.

 

3. TIMETABLE

a) Publication of the call

June 2018

b) Deadline for questions and requests for clarification

14 September 2018

c) Deadline for submitting proposals

25 September 2018

Swim, Courier and Post : 24:00 Brussels' time (CET)

Hand deliveries 16:00 Brussels' time (CET

d) Evaluation period (indicative)

Until November 2018

e) Information to applicants (indicative)

November 20189

f) Signature of the grant agreement (indicative)

December 201810- January 2019

g) Starting date of the action (indicative)

As of 1 January 2019

3.1. Starting date and duration of the projects

The actual starting date of the action will be the first day of the month following the date when the last of the two parties signs the Grant Agreement 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. It is, therefore, advisable to number the months in the work plan instead of indicating the precise name of the months.

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

An action grant may be awarded for an action which has already begun only where the applicant can demonstrate in the grant application the need to start the action before the grand agreement is signed

9 And in any case no later than 6 months after the submission deadline.

10 And in any case no later than 3 months after the date of information to applicants. 7

The project's duration should indicatively be between 12 and 24 months.

 

4. AVAILABLE BUDGET AND CO-FINANCING RATE

4.1. Available budget and indicative grant amounts

The total budget earmarked for the EU co-financing of projects under this call is estimated at EUR 9 815 250.

The EU grant requested should indicatively be between EUR 150 000 and EUR 650 000.

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

The Commission reserves the right to increase the amount of the funds and distribute them to proposals admitted in the reserve list, if available. This top-up is limited to 20% of the initial budget of the call.

4.2. Co-financing rate

Under this call for proposals, the EU grant may not exceed 90 % of the total eligible costs of the action.

In derogation from the previous paragraph, the European Commission will finance up to 95% of the total cost of social dialogue actions involving negotiations in accordance with Articles 154 and 155 TFEU, meetings to prepare for these negotiations or joint social partner actions relating to the implementation of the agreements resulting from these negotiations.

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 budget11.

 

5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

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).

Applications must be sent no later than the deadline for submission referred to in section 3(c).

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

 

Applicants are encouraged to submit their project proposal in English, French or German 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, French or German (see section 14, checklist point 3).

 

6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

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 the article of the Grant Agreement allowing termination due to a change of the legal situation of the beneficiary (Article II.7.2.1(a) for mono-beneficiary and Article II.17.3.1(a) for multi- beneficiary Grant Agreements).

6.1. Eligibility of the applicants (single applicants, lead applicants, co-applicants and affiliated entities)12

a) Place of establishment

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

• EU Member States;
Legal entities properly established and registered in the following countries are eligible as co-applicants, associated organisations13 or affiliated entities: • EU Member States;

• Candidate Countries: Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey14

b) Types of entities:

• Single applicants, lead applicants, co-applicants and affiliated entities must be legal entities. In application of Article 131 of the Financial Regulation, social partner organisations without legal personality are also eligible provided that the conditions of the Financial Regulation related thereto are met15;

 

c) 1. Single applicant

The single applicant must be a European level social partner organisation representing employers.

Affiliated entities and associate organisations may be part of the single-applicant proposal.

Affiliated entities and associate organisations must fall within one of the following categories: social partners, non-profit-making organisations, universities and research institutes, public authorities, international organisations.

2.Consortia16
Actions may involve consortia.

To be eligible as consortium, actions must include a lead applicant and at least one co- applicant :

The lead applicant must be a social partner organisation at European, national or regional level.

Co-applicants must fall within one of the following categories: social partners, non-profit- making organisations, universities and research institutes, public authorities, international organisations.

If a social partner organisation representing workers is the lead applicant, the mandatory co-applicant must be a social partner organisation representing employers.

If the lead applicant is not a social partner organisation at European-level, it must be in consortium with at least one organisation (co-applicant) from a different eligible country to that of the lead applicant and a European-level social partner organisation (co-applicant)17.

 

One of the two mandatory co-applicants may be an affiliated entity of the lead applicant or the co-applicant (see point d) below) or an associate organisation (see point e)) below.

If a proposal submitted by one applicant is not considered to be eligible, the application will be rejected.

For consortia, if the lead applicant is considered not 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 proposal evaluated on that basis. In addition, the costs that are allocated to a non-eligible co-applicant will be removed from the budget.

d) Affiliated entities

Legal entities having a legal or capital link with applicants or co-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. e) Associate organisations18.
An associate organisation can participate in the action but may not declare eligible costs.

6.2. Eligible activities

a) Geographical Location

To be eligible, actions must be fully carried out in the Member States of the European Union or the Candidate Countries. This applies equally to International Organisations. However, in duly justified circumstances, project management costs incurred in the headquarters of International Organisations established outside the EU Member States or the candidate countries could be considered eligible.

b) Types of activities

The grant will finance inter alia the activities indicated in section 2.2.

c) Core activities

The project management of the action and the role of coordinator (in the case of a multi- beneficiary Grant Agreement) as laid down in Article II.2.3 of the Grant Agreement, are considered to be core activities and may not be subcontracted19.

 

6.3. Ineligible activities

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

National capacity-building activities which could be funded under the European Social Fund (Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013 20on the European Social Fund, Article 6.2) are not eligible.

 

7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA

7.1. Exclusion

Applicants (lead and co-applicants) must sign a declaration on their honour (see section 14, checklist point 4) 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.

The same exclusion criteria apply to any affiliated entities.

7.2. 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.

 

8. SELECTION CRITERIA

The single applicant or 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.

8.1. Financial capacity

Single or lead 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 and to international organisations.

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

  • Declaration on honour, including financial capacity to carry out the action (see section 14, checklist point 4);

  • Annual balance sheet and profit and loss accounts for the last financial year available (see section 14, checklist point 15);

  • Information on the financial capacity provided by the applicant and in particular the information provided in section "Financial Resources" of the SWIM application form;

  • for grants of EUR 750 000 or more per beneficiary or affiliated entity, an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying the accounts for the last financial year available (see section 14, checklist point 17).

If the ratio between the total assets in the applicants' (lead and co-applicants) balance sheet and the total budget of the project or the part of the project budget for which that organisation is responsible according to the budget in the application form, is equal or greater than 0.70 (formula for each applicant in the case of consortia: applicant's own assets/part of the cost of the action corresponding to that applicant > 0.70), then the financial capacity is strong.

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. propose a grant agreement without pre-financing;

  4. propose a grant agreement with a pre-financing paid in several instalments;

  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;

8.2. Operational capacity

Single applicants or lead applicants and each co-applicant must have the professional competencies and operational resources (technical, management) as well as appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action. In particular, applicants must have competence and experience in the field of social dialogue and/or industrial relations (such as involvement in social dialogue and/or research on industrial relations) and in particular in the type of action proposed.

The operational capacity of the applicant and co-applicant(s) to complete the proposed action must be confirmed by the submission of the following supporting elements:

  • the information provided in section F.1 of the SWIM application form on the operational structure of the lead applicant and co-applicants and on previous and current actions undertaken by them;

  • The CVs of the proposed project manager and of the persons who will perform the main tasks, showing their relevant professional experience (see section 14, checklist point 12).

  • Declaration on honour signed by the legal representative, including operational capacity to carry out the action (see section 14, checklist point 4).

If the applicant or lead applicant for consortia is considered not to have the required operational capacity, the application as a whole will be rejected. If a co-applicant is considered not to have the required operational capacity, this co-applicant will be removed from the consortium and the application will be evaluated on that basis21. In addition, the costs that are allocated to the non-eligible co-applicant will be removed from the budget. If the application is accepted, the work plan may have to be slightly adjusted.

 

9. AWARD CRITERIA

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

  1. The extent to which the action meets the objectives and priorities of the call for proposals and contributes to European social dialogue22 (maximum possible score: 10)
  2. The transnational dimension of the action, including the genuine involvement of a European-level social partner organisation in case of proposals not submitted by a European-level organisation. (maximum possible score: 10)
  3. The quality of the consortium and broader partnership, including the degree of involvement and commitment of the partners in the action23 and the appropriateness and efficiency of the internal working arrangements24 (maximum possible score: 10)
  4. The cost-effectiveness of the action and the clarity and completeness of the budget explanation25 (maximum possible score: 10)
  5. The quality of the arrangements to publicise the action and disseminate the results, and to ensure the action's impact and/or multiplier effect26 (maximum possible score: 10)
  6. The overall quality and structure of the work plan (maximum possible score: 10)

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 60% of the maximum possible total score;

 

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