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Supporting Initiatives in the Field of Drugs Policy - JUST-2018-AG-DRUGS
Deadline: 16 Jan 2019   CALL EXPIRED

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1. INTRODUCTION

The Justice Programme for the period 2014 to 2020, established by Regulation (EU) No 1382/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on 17 December 2013, and in particular Art. 4 and 6(1), outlines as a specific objective the support of initiatives in the field of drugs policy as regards judicial cooperation and crime prevention aspects closely linked to the general objective of the Programme, in so far as they are not covered by the Instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management, as part of the Internal Security Fund, or by the Health for Growth Programme.

Drugs are a complex social and health problem that affects millions of people in the EU. The human and social costs of drugs addiction are very high. They generate costs for public health (on drug prevention and treatment, healthcare and hospital treatment), public safety, the environment and labour productivity. In many countries around the world, drug trafficking also affects national stability and governance.

The European Union and the Member States have developed together, over the past two decades, a European approach to addressing drugs sustainably. This approach is enshrined in the EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020 and two consecutive four-year Action Plans on Drugs, the first one covering the period 2013-2016 and the second one covering 2017-2020.

The Strategy is structured around two policy areas: drug demand reduction and drug supply reduction, and three cross-cutting themes: (a) coordination, (b) international cooperation and (c) information, research, monitoring and evaluation. These are further developed in the 2 action plans.

Civil society, in particular non-governmental organisations (NGOs), is an important partner in the implementation of EU drugs policy.

In the field of drug demand reduction, the EU Drugs Strategy lists a number of priorities, which include for example the promotion of the use and exchange of best practices, improvements to the availability and effectiveness of prevention programmes (from initial impact to long- term sustainability), raising awareness about the risk of the use of illicit drugs and other psychoactive substances and related consequences, and many other similar issues.

In conformity with Regulation (EU) No 1382/2013 Article 10, in order to implement the drug policy, the Commission has adopted, on 19 December 2017, the 2018 Annual Work Programme, which includes this Call for Proposals. It shall finance actions with European added value which contribute to the further development of a European area in the field of drug policy.

 

2. PRIORITIES OF THIS CALL FOR PROPOSALS

The present Call for Proposals aims at funding projects in the area of EU drugs policy.

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

- to support activities in the area of epidemiology of use of new psychoactive substances, including potent synthetic opioids, as well as activities related to emerging drug problems including the online trade of drugs;

- to support the civil society organisations by reinforcing their (i) advocacy function, (ii) capacity to make a difference at the local level, (iii) best practice sharing methods;

- to support key stakeholders by expanding their knowledge and skills in the context of implementing minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction, particularly in the area of social integration;

- to promote practical application of drug-related research, and, in particular, addiction research with a view of addressing current challenges and new threats.

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

 

3. TIMETABLE

a) Publication of the call

4 September 2018

b) Opening of the call for submission

4 September 2018

c) Deadline for submitting applications

5 December 2018 – 17:00 Brussels time

d) Evaluation period

December 2018 – April 2019

e) Information to applicants

April/May 2019

f) Signature of Grant Agreement

September 2019

 

 

4. BUDGET AVAILABLE

The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated at EUR 2 249 000.

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

 

5. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

5.1. General eligibility provisions

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

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

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

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

Projects cannot be scheduled to last more than 24 months. Applications for projects scheduled to run for a longer period will be rejected.

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

5.2. Eligible applicants and applications

In order to be eligible for a grant the applicant and co-applicants must:

  • be legal persons.
  • be established in a Member State of the European Union participating in the Justice Programme or in Albania1.
  • International organisations2 may be established outside of the Member States of the European Union participating in the Justice Programme.
  • be a public body or a non-profit-making private entity or an international organisation. For-profit entities can only participate as co-applicants. Union agencies cannot submit applications nor be co-applicants.
  • International organisations cannot submit applications; however they may participate as co-applicants.
  • Applications must be transnational involving at least 2 entities established in two different EU Member States participating in the Justice Programme3 or one EU Member State and Albania.

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

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

  2. (c)  theInternationalFederationofNationalRedCrossandRedCrescentSocieties;

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

 

All EU Member States, with the exception of United Kingdom and Denmark, are participating in the Justice Programme. Legal entities established in the United Kingdom or Denmark cannot participate in this call.
The term "international organisations" is used in this Call for Proposals as defined in the Rules of Application of the EU Financial Regulation (Article 43):

In case the (co-)applicant is an international organisation established in an EU Member State (participating in the Justice Programme), the other (co-)applicant(s) needs to be established in a different EU Member State (participating in the Justice Programme) than the international organisation. In case the (co-)applicant is an

g) Proposals seeking EU co-funding of less than EUR 250 000 will be rejected.

h) the project must not have started prior to the date of submission of the grant application.

Union agencies can be neither Applicants nor Co-applicants.

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

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

5.3. Eligible activities

The following types of activities are eligible under this Call for Proposals:

  • data collection, surveys and research activities;
  • training activities;
  • mutual learning, network development, identification and exchange of good practices, cooperation;
  • events, conferences, expert meetings; dissemination and awareness-raising activities.

 

6. EXCLUSION CRITERIA

Applicants will be excluded from participating in the Call for Proposals procedure and from the grant award if they are in any of the situations referred to in articles 131(4) of the EU Financial Regulation4, i.e. one of the following situations:

Exclusion from participation in the Call for Proposals

  • they are bankrupt or being wound up, are having their affairs administered by the courts, have entered into an arrangement with creditors, have suspended business activities, are the subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or are in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations;
  • they or persons having powers of representation, decision making or control over them have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a judgment of a competent authority of a Member State which has the force of res judicata;
  • they have been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the contracting authority can justify including by decisions of the EIB and international organisations;
  • they are not in compliance with their obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or the payment of taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established or with those of Belgium or those of the country where the action is to be implemented;
  • international organisation established outside the EU, at least two other (co-)applicants established in two different EU Member States (participating in the Justice programme) are required.
  • they or persons having powers of representation, decision making or control over them have been the subject of a judgment which has the force of res judicata for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity, where such an illegal activity is detrimental to the Union's financial interests;
  • they are currently subject to an administrative penalty for: being guilty of misrepresentation in supplying the information required by the Commission as a condition of participation in a procurement or grant award procedure or for failing to supply this information; or having been declared to be in serious breach of its obligations under grant agreements or contracts financed by the Union's budget.

6.2.Exclusion from award

Applicants will not be granted financial assistance if, in the course of the grant award procedure, they:

  1. (a)  are subject to a conflict of interest in connection with the action;

  2. (b)  are guilty of misrepresentation in supplying the information required by the Commission as a condition of participation in the grant award procedure or fail to supply this information;

  3. (c)  find themselves in one of the situations of exclusion, referred to in section 6.1.

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

 

7. SELECTION CRITERIA

7.1. Financial capacity

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

Financial capacity check will be performed by the Research Executive Agency (REA). It will be assessed in line with the requirements of the Financial Regulation (EC) No 966/2012.

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

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

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

  • -  request further documents;

  • -  request budget modifications / reallocations of costs;

  • -  introduce interim payments based on interim reports;

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

  • -  request a change of Co-applicant;

  • -  reject the application.

 

Financial Capacity assessment will not be carried out if:

- the Applicant or Co-applicant is a public body or an international organisation;

- the EU contribution requested by the Applicant or Co-applicant is ≤ EUR 60 000.

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

7.2. Operational capacity

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

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

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

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

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

 

8. AWARD CRITERIA

Eligible applications and their proposed action will be assessed on the basis of the following award criteria:

 

Award Criteria

1. Relevance

Maximum Points 30

Threshold 21

2. Quality of the project

Maximum Points 20

Threshold -

3. Cost effectiveness

Maximum Points 20

Threshold -

4. European added value

Maximum Points 20

Threshold -

5. Expected results, dissemination, sustainability and long-term impact

Maximum Points 10

Threshold -

TOTAL

Maximum Points 100

Threshold 65

 

Evaluation Step 1:

 Relevance: applications will be assessed on the extent to which they match the priorities [and expected outcomes (if applicable)] as identified in this Call for Proposals (section 2 above) and in the relevant EU strategic documents and/or action plans (section 1 above), and on whether the expected impact will be significant on the selected priority(ies) (30 points).

Applications receiving less than 21 points for the "relevance" criterion will not be evaluated further, i.e. will not go to Evaluation Step 2.

Evaluation Step 2:

 Quality: applications will be assessed with regards to the appropriateness of their design and planned implementation, taking into account the envisaged activities, methodology, organisation of work and strategy for project management, evaluation and dissemination (20 points);

  •   Cost-effectiveness: applications will be assessed with regards to whether the costs of the proposed action are adequate to the activities and proportionate to the expected results (20 points);

  •   European added value: the project activities, outcomes and impact should have a broad EU relevance; applications will be assessed on whether a suitable number of countries is involved in the project activities and on whether the expected impact will concern a significant number of countries (20 points);

  •   Expected results, dissemination, sustainability and long-term impact : the expected results are appropriate for the achievement of the objectives in the action; the dissemination strategy is clear, targeted and appropriate; the stream of benefits is likely to continue after the period of external support has ended; the project's results ensure a long-term impact on the target groups and/or general public (10 points.

    Applications that pass the threshold of minimum 65 points will be considered for funding within the limits of the available budget.

 

9. LEGAL COMMITMENTS

The award of each grant is subject to the conclusion of a Grant Agreement in writing.

The coordinators of projects proposed for funding will be invited to engage in a grant agreement preparation process, which will be carried out via an online IT system (SYGMA). If successful, it will conclude with the signature of a Grant Agreement, drawn up in euro and detailing the conditions and level of funding.

The Grant Agreement must be signed electronically first by the coordinator on behalf of the consortium and then by the European Commission. All co-beneficiaries must accede to the Grant Agreement by signing electronically the accession form to the grant.

Please note, that if international organisations are involved in the application, no other specific clauses applicable to international organisations than the ones already included in the Model Grant Agreement will be added.

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

 

10.FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

10.1.General Principles

a) Non-cumulative award

An action may only receive one grant from the EU budget.

In no circumstances shall the same costs be financed twice by the Union budget. To

ensure this, applicants shall indicate the sources and amounts of Union funding received or applied for the same action or part of the action or for its functioning during the same financial year as well as any other funding received or applied for the same action (Submission Form Part B, section 6).

b) Non-retroactivity

No grant may be awarded retrospectively for actions already completed. A grant may be awarded for an action which has already begun only where the Applicant can demonstrate the need to start the action before the Grant Agreement is signed. In any case, costs eligible for financing may not have been incurred prior to the date of submission of the grant application.

c) Co-financing

Co-financing means that the resources which are necessary to carry out the action may not be entirely provided by the EU grant.

Co-financing of the action may take the form of:

  • the Beneficiary's own resources,
  • income generated by the action, financial contributions from third parties.

d) Balanced budget

The Budget Estimate of the action is to be included in the Application Form. It must have revenue and expenditure in balance and must be drawn up in euro.

Beneficiaries with general accounts in a currency other than the euro shall convert costs incurred in another currency into euro at the average of the daily exchange rates published in the C series of Official Journal of the European Union, determined over the corresponding reporting period.5 Where no daily euro exchange rate is published in the Official Journal of the European Union for the currency in question, conversion shall be made at the average of the monthly accounting rates established by the Commission and published on its website, determined over the corresponding reporting period.

Beneficiaries with general accounts in euro shall convert costs incurred in another currency into euro according to their usual accounting practices.

Where the implementation of the action requires the award of procurement contracts (implementation contracts), the Beneficiary must award the contract to the bid offering best value for money or the lowest price (as appropriate), avoiding conflicts of interests and retaining the documentation for the event of an audit. Detailed information on subcontracting is provided in the Guide for Applicants.

e) Financial support to third parties
The applications may not envisage provision of financial support to third parties. f) Non-profit rule

EU grants may not have the purpose or effect of producing a profit within the framework of the action. Profit shall be defined as a surplus of the receipts over the eligible costs incurred by the Beneficiary, when the request is made for payment of the balance. In this respect, where a profit is made, the Commission shall be entitled to recover the percentage of the profit corresponding to the Union contribution to the eligible costs actually incurred by the Beneficiary to carry out the action.

10.2. Maximum amount requested

The EU grant is limited to a co-funding rate of 80% of the total eligible costs of the action.

Consequently, part of the total eligible expenses must be financed from sources other than the EU grant (see section 10.1.c).

10.3. Payment arrangements

A pre-financing payment corresponding to maximum 80% of the EU grant amount will be transferred to the Coordinator after the signature of the Grant Agreement by both parties and in accordance with its terms.

The Commission will establish the amount of the final payment to be made to the Coordinator on the basis of the calculation of the final grant amount. If the total of earlier

 

11. PROCEDURE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS

11.1. How to apply

Proposals must be submitted by the deadline indicated in section 3 via the Electronic Submission System. The list of available calls can be found at the calls for proposals page.

Before submitting a proposal both the Applicant and Co-applicants must be registered via the Beneficiary Register and obtain the 9-digit Participant Identification Code (PIC) (one for each applicant).

In submitting a proposal, the Applicant accepts the procedures and conditions as described in this Call for Proposals and in the documents to which it refers.

No modification of the application is allowed once the deadline for submission has elapsed. However, if there is a need to clarify certain aspects or for the correction of clerical mistakes, the Commission may contact the Applicant for this purpose during the evaluation process6.

Applicants will be informed in writing about the results of the evaluation process.

11.2. Related documents

The following documents are available via the Electronic Submission System: — Application form (Submission Form Part A and Part B)
— Required annex –Audit Report7 if applicable
— ModelGrantAgreement

— Guideforapplicants

11.3. Applications for several projects

The Applicant may submit more than one application under this call for proposals. The Applicant may be awarded more than one grant under this call for proposals. An organisation may participate as Applicant or Co-applicant in several applications.

11.4. Several applications for the same project

Only one application will be accepted and evaluated for any given project. In case there are several applications for the same project, the Applicant will be asked to clarify which application shall be evaluated.

An action may receive only one grant from the EU budget.

 

11.5. Contacts

For questions on the online submission tools, please contact the IT helpdesk set-up for this purpose via the Participant Portal website.

Non-IT related questions shall be sent to the following email address: HOME- DRUGS@ec.europa.eu. In order to ensure an efficient handling of any enquiry please indicate clearly the reference of this Call for Proposals.

Questions will be answered as soon as possible. Questions received later than 7 calendar days before the deadline for submitting applications will not be answered. In the interest of equal treatment of applicants, the Commission cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of applicants or actions or on the outcome of the Call for Proposals before the official announcement of results.

Applicants are advised to consult the Call's website regularly. The Commission will publish at this website any additional information relevant to the Call, such as responses to frequently asked questions (if appropriate) and the results of the selection procedure.

 

12. PUBLICITY
12.1. By the Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries must clearly acknowledge the European Union’s contribution in all publications or in conjunction with activities for which the grant is used. Please refer to the Grant Agreement for more details.

12.2. By the Commission

All information relating to grants awarded in the course of a financial year shall be published on an internet site of the European Union institutions no later than the 30 June of the year following the financial year in which the grants were awarded. The Commission will publish the following information:

  • -  name and address of the beneficiary,

  • -  subject of the grant,

  • -  amount awarded.

Upon a reasoned and duly substantiated request by the Beneficiary, the publication shall be waived if such disclosure risks threatening the rights and freedoms of individuals concerned as protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union or harm the commercial interests of the beneficiaries.

 

13. DATA PROTECTION

The reply to any call for proposals involves the recording and processing of personal data (such as name, address and CVs of individuals participating in the co-financed action). Such data will be processed pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council 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. Unless indicated otherwise, the questions and any personal data requested in order to evaluate the application in accordance with the specifications of the Call for Proposal will be processed solely for that purpose by the Commission or third parties acting on behalf and under the responsibility of the Commission. Data subjects may be informed regarding further details of the processing operations, their rights and how they may be enforced by referring to the privacy statement published in the Legal Notice page of the Participant Portal.

Applicants are invited to check the relevant privacy statement at regular intervals so as to be duly informed on possible updates that may occur by the deadline for submission of their proposals or afterwards. Beneficiaries assume the legal obligation to inform their staff on the relevant processing operations that are to be performed by the Research Executive Agency; in order to do so, they have to provide them with the privacy statements published by the Agency in the Participant Portal before transmitting their data to the Agency. Personal data may be registered in the Early Detection and Exclusion System (EDES) of the European Commission provided for in Articles 105a and 108 of the EU Financial Regulation according to the applicable provisions.

 

14. MEANS OF REDRESS

If, at any stage of the administrative treatment of grant applications, the persons or entities concerned consider that they have been affected by an instance of maladministration, they may, irrespective of any other means of redress, make a complaint to the European Ombudsman in accordance with Article 228(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and as provided by the Parliament Decision of 9 March 1994 on the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman's duties published in Official Journal L 113 of 4 May 1994.



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