1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND
The Regulation No 375/2014 of the 3 April 2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - ‘EU Aid Volunteers initiative’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘the EU Aid Volunteers initiative’) establishes a framework for joint contributions from European volunteers to support and complement humanitarian aid in third countries.
Humanitarian aid is defined as per Article 3(d) of Regulation (EU) No 375/2014, i.e. activities and operations in third countries intended to provide needs-based emergency assistance aimed at preserving life, preventing and alleviating human suffering, and maintaining human dignity in the face of man-made crises or natural disasters. It encompasses assistance, relief and protection operations in humanitarian crises or their immediate aftermath, supporting measures to ensure access to people in need and to facilitate the free flow of assistance, as well as actions aimed at reinforcing disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction, and contributing towards strengthening resilience and capacity to cope with, and recover from, crises.
Its objective is to contribute to strengthening the Union’s capacity to provide needs-based humanitarian aid and to strengthening the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster- affected communities in third countries, particularly by means of disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction and by enhancing the link between relief, rehabilitation and development. It also seeks to contribute to increasing and improving the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid through enhancing the coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations.
In this framework, the present call for proposals will provide funding through support for actions aimed at strengthening the capacity of prospective hosting organisations to prepare and respond to humanitarian crises. In addition it will provide support for actions aimed at strengthening the technical capacity of prospective sending organisations to participate in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.
The objective of this call is to strengthen the capacities of sending and hosting organisations intending to participate in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and to ensure compliance with the standards and procedures regarding candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers in order to apply for certification which is required in order to deploy EU Aid Volunteers.
With this call, the European Commission expects to achieve the following results:
Capacities of around 110 sending and hosting organisations are strengthened in areas such as: - Disaster risk management, preparedness and response
- Linking relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD);
- Strengthening local volunteering in third countries;
- Capacities to undergo certification including administrative capacity;
- Capacity to provide early warning to local communities.
Publication of the call
Deadline for submitting applications
July 3rd 2017 – 12pm Brussels Time
Information to applicants
Signature of grant agreement
Starting date of the action
4. BUDGET AVAILABLE
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated at EUR 7,607,000.
The maximum grant will be EUR 700,000. Each grant will amount to between EUR 100,000 and EUR 700,000
Grant requests below EUR 100,000 will not be considered for funding. The Agency expects to fund 22 proposals.
The Agency reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.
5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
Applications shall comply with the following requirements:
- they must be sent no later than the deadline for submitting applications referred to in section 3 of the present call for proposals.
- they must be submitted in writing (see section 14 of the present call for proposals) using the application form
The application form must be accompanied by a balanced budget and all the other documents referred to in the application form.
Failure to comply with those requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.
In order to submit an application, applicants and associates must provide their Participant Identification Code (PIC) in the application form. The PIC can be obtained by registering the organisation in the Unique Registration Facility (URF) hosted in the Education, Audiovisual, Culture, Citizenship and Volunteering Participant Portal. The Unique Registration Facility is a tool shared by other services of the European Commission. If an applicant or associate already has a PIC that has been used for other programmes (for example the Research programmes), the same PIC is valid for the present call for proposals.
The Participant Portal allows applicants to upload or update the information related to their legal status and attach the requested legal and financial documents.
See section 14.2 for more information.
6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
Applications which comply with the following criteria will be subject of an in-depth evaluation.
Applicants may submit projects for both Technical Assistance and Capacity Building actions. In this case, applicants shall indicate in their application that they apply for both actions.
6.1. Eligible bodies
Role of applicants and associates:
Applicants: this term refers to all organisations and institutions participating in the application regardless of their role in the project. It therefore includes the coordinator and all the other applicants. When the grant is awarded and the Grant Agreement is signed, they will become the beneficiaries.
Coordinator: this term refers to the legal entity that submits the project application on behalf of all the applicants. If the application is selected and the project receives a grant, the coordinator will sign a multi-beneficiary grant agreement on behalf of all the applicants.
Its coordinating role stands amongst others for the following duties:
represents and acts on behalf of the applicants vis-à-vis the European Commission and the Agency;
coordinates the project in cooperation with all other project partners.
The coordinator must submit the mandate letters from all applicants involved in the proposal
confirming their participation as annex to the application form (see Section 14).
Associated partners: additionally, the project may benefit from the involvement of associated partners. These specialised organisations contribute to the implementation of specific tasks/activities and/or support the dissemination and sustainability of the project. They have no contractual relationship with the EACEA and do not have to meet the eligibility criteria referred to in this section. If the application is selected for funding, associates will not receive a portion of the grant through the coordinator. They may be for example private for profit companies, universities etc. The associates have to obtain their PIC and be mentioned in the application form (eForm).
All organisations involved in the project will be referred to hereafter as the "Consortium".
All applicants involved in applying within this call, are acting as either sending or hosting organisations.
The organisation applying on behalf of all applicants (the coordinator) will be legally responsible for the Consortium in its contractual relationship with the Agency.
For both actions, the applicants must submit a mandate to be signed by the persons authorised to enter into legally binding commitments, thereby enabling the coordinator to act on behalf of them.
Proposals for both, Technical assistance and Capacity building activities, must be submitted by:
- non-governmental not-for-profit organisations formed in accordance with the law of a Member State and whose headquarters are located within the Union; or
- public law bodies of a civilian character governed by the law of a Member State; or - the International Federation of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Only applications from legal entities established in the following countries are eligible:
- the Member States of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom.
For both Technical Assistance and Capacity Building activities, the coordinator in each project is active in the field of humanitarian aid as defined in article 3 (d) of the Regulation1 for at least 3 years;
6.1.1. For Technical Assistance
The applicants shall belong to any of the following categories:
non-governmental not-for-profit organisations formed in accordance with the law of a Member State and whose headquarters are located within the Union, or
public law bodies of a civilian character, or
- Projects are designed and implemented by transnational consortia involving entities from at least three countries participating in the programme and belonging to one of the categories mentioned in Article 10(3)(c) of the Regulation;
- At least the coordinator or one applicant in each project must have been active in the field of volunteer management for at least 3 years.
6.1.2 For Capacity Building
The applicants shall belong to any of the following categories:
non-governmental not-for-profit organisations operating or established in a third country under the laws in force in that country, or
public law bodies of a civilian character, or
international agencies and organisations which cannot act as the coordinator and must be from a third country.
- Projects are designed and implemented by transnational partnerships involving entities from at least two countries participating in the programme belonging to one of the categories mentioned in the Regulation (Article 10(3)(c)) and at least two third countries in which humanitarian aid activities and operations as per Article (3)(d) take place and which belong to one of the categories mentioned under Article 10(4)(c).
- In each project, the coordinator and at least one applicant from a country participating in the programme must have been active in the field of humanitarian aid as defined in Article 3(d) of the Regulation for at least 3 years.
- In each project, at least one applicant from third countries in which humanitarian aid activities and operations take place is active in the field of humanitarian aid as defined in Article 3(d) of the Regulation.
- At least the coordinator or one applicant from a country participating in the programme in each project must have been active in the field of volunteer management for at least 3 years.
6.3 Eligible activities
Technical assistance and capacity building can include the following dimensions:
— (Internal) organisational development, i.e. capacity building and technical assistance for the proper internal running of the organisation.
— (External) organisational development, i.e. capacity building with regard to how the organisation interacts and engages with other stakeholders.
— Other types of capacity building, of a specific technical or thematic nature notably with regards to the technical requirements set by the standards and procedures of Article 9 of Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 with a view to certifying prospective sending and hosting organisations; and technical capacities in sectors linked to humanitarian aid.
The themes covered by these activities can include: EU humanitarian aid:
Functioning and principles;
Monitoring and evaluation;
Organisational development/strategic planning/change management;
Administration/financial management/accounting; improving
Research/producing evidence; programme and project management;
(Local) volunteering development;
Standards and procedures of the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative.
In terms of methods and tools of capacity building and technical assistance the following interventions can be considered:
- Skills-focused interventions such as training focused on bringing about behaviour change/organisational development.
- Organisational development interventions that can range from team building events or facilitated retreats to build organisational strategy to consultancy packages that include needs assessment, a series of targeted trainings and organisational reviews and assessments, and development, implementation, and evaluation of an organisational strategy.
- System-building interventions bringing together a range of national and/or local stakeholders in humanitarian aid focusing on building capacity for humanitarian aid responses and/or preparedness programmes. They can include needs assessments, coordination and facilitation, training, group exercises, technical support.
The following types of activities are eligible under this call for proposals: For example
- Study / scoping visits to refine and finalise needs assessment of the action;
- Activities to build / strengthen capacities;
- Seminars and workshops;
- Job shadowing;
- Twinning arrangements and exchange of staff;
- Exchange of knowledge, organisational learning and good practices;
- Study visits;
- Activities to foster partnership building
- Activities to assist organisations in meeting the Core Humanitarian Standards;
- Activities to strengthen regional cooperation;
- Development of, and managing online volunteer opportunities
Additional eligible activities per sub-action:
- Coaching/mentoring of key sending organisation paid staff and volunteers;
- Training courses for third country trainers/coaches/mentors/ multipliers;
- Study visits of up to 3 months for key paid staff or volunteers from third countries to be based in EU applicant/partner organisations;
- Technical capacity building on humanitarian operations focusing on:
Needs assessment methodologies/information management;
Disaster risk management;
Disaster risk reduction/disaster preparedness;
Crisis response (and related sectors);
Linking relief, rehabilitation and development;
Projects for both actions must start between 1st January 2018 and 30th April 2018, with a minimum duration of 6 months and a maximum duration of 24 months. Applications for projects scheduled to run for longer periods than that specified in this call for proposals will not be accepted.
No extension to the eligibility period beyond the maximum duration will be granted.
Only applications that fulfil the eligibility criteria will be considered for a grant. If an application is deemed ineligible, a letter indicating the reasons will be sent to the applicant.
7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA
7.1. Exclusion from participation
An applicant will be excluded from participating in calls for proposals procedure, if it is in any of the following situations:
a) it is bankrupt, subject to insolvency or winding up procedures, its assets are being administered by a liquidator or by a court, it is in an arrangement with creditors, its business activities are suspended or it is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for under national legislation or regulations;
b) it has been established by a final judgement or a final administrative decision that the applicant is in breach of its obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions in accordance with the law of the country in which it is established, with those of the country in which the authorising officer is located or those of the country of the implementation of the grant;
c) it has been established by a final judgement or a final administrative decision that the applicant is guilty of grave professional misconduct by having violated applicable laws or regulations or ethical standards of the profession to which the applicant belongs, or by having engaged in any wrongful conduct which has an impact on its professional credibility where such conduct denotes wrongful intent or gross negligence, including, in particular, any of the following:
(i) fraudulently or negligently misrepresenting information required for the verification of the absence of grounds for exclusion or the fulfilment of selection criteria or in the performance of a contract, a grant agreement or a grant decision;
(ii) entering into agreement with other persons with the aim of distorting competition; (iii) violating intellectual property rights;
(iv) attempting to influence the decision-making process of the Agency during the award procedure;
(v) attempting to obtain confidential information that may confer upon it undue advantages in the award procedure;
d) it has been established by a final judgement that the applicant is guilty of any of the following:
(i) fraud, within the meaning of Article 1 of the Convention on the protection of the European Communities' financial interests, drawn up by the Council Act of 26 July 1995;
(ii) corruption, as defined in Article 3 of the Convention on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of EU Member States, drawn up by the Council Act of 26 May 1997, and in Article 2(1) of Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA, as well as corruption as defined in the legal provisions of the country where the authorising officer is located, the country in which the applicant is established or the country of the implementation of the grant;
(iii) participation in a criminal organisation, as defined in Article 2 of Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA;
iv) money laundering or terrorist financing, as defined in Article 1 of Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council;
(v) terrorist-relatedoffencesoroffenceslinkedtoterroristactivities,asdefinedinArticles 1 and 3 of Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA, respectively, or inciting, aiding, abetting or attempting to commit such offences, as referred to in Article 4 of that Decision;
(vi) child labour or other forms of trafficking in human beings as defined in Article 2 of Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council;
e) it has shown significant deficiencies in complying with the main obligations in the performance of a contract, a grant agreement or a grant decision financed by the Union’s budget, which has led to its early termination or to the application of liquidated damages or other contractual penalties, or which has been discovered following checks, audits or investigations by an Authorising Officer, OLAF or the Court of Auditors;
f) it has been established by a final judgement or final administrative decision that the applicant has committed an irregularity within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95;
g) in the absence of a final judgement or where applicable a final administrative decision, the applicant is in one of the cases provided in (c) to (f) above based in particular on :
i. facts established in the context of audits or investigations carried out by the Court of Auditors, OLAF or internal audit, or any other check, audit or control performed under the responsibility of an authorising officer of an EU institution, of a European office or of an EU agency or body;
ii. non-final administrative decisions which may include disciplinary measures taken by the competent supervisory body responsible for the verification of the application of standards of professional ethics;
iii. decisions of the ECB, the EIB, the European Investment Fund or international organisations;
iv. decisions of the Commission relating to the infringement of the Union's competition rules or of a national competent authority relating to the infringement of Union or national competition law.
v. decisions of exclusion by an authorising officer of an EU institution, of a European office or of an EU agency or body.
(h) where a person who is a member of the administrative, management or supervisory body of the applicant, or who has powers of representation, decision or control with regard to that applicant (this covers the company directors, members of the management or supervisory
bodies, and cases where one person holds a majority of shares), is in one or more of the situations referred to in points (c) to (f) above.
(i) where a natural or legal person that assumes unlimited liability for the debts of that applicant is in one or more of the situations referred to in point (a) or (b) above.
If an applicant is in one of the situations of exclusion listed above, it should indicate the measures it has taken to remedy the exclusion situation, thus demonstrating its reliability. They may include e.g. technical, organisational and personnel measures to prevent further occurrence, compensation of damage or payment of fines. This does not apply for the situations referred in point (d) of this section.
In the cases provided in (c) to (f) above, in the absence of a final judgement or where applicable a final administrative decision, the Agency may exclude an applicant provisionally from participating in a call for proposals where their participation would constitute a serious and imminent threat to the Union's financial interests.
7.2. Rejection from the award procedure
An applicant will not be awarded a grant for this procedure if
(a) it is in an exclusion situation established in accordance with the above section 7.1;
(b) it has misrepresented the information required as a condition for participating in the procedure or has failed to supply that information;
(c) it was previously involved in the preparation of a call for proposals where this entails a distortion of competition that cannot be remedied otherwise.
Rejection from this procedure and administrative sanctions (exclusion or financial penalty) may be imposed on applicants, if any of the declarations or information provided as a condition for participating in this procedure prove to be false.
The applicants should be informed that the Agency may publish on its internet site the following information related to the exclusion and, where applicable, the financial penalty in the cases referred to in points (c), (d), (e) and (f) of the section 7.12:
(a) the name of the applicant concerned; (b) the exclusion situation;
(c) the duration of the exclusion and/or the amount of the financial penalty.
In case of a preliminary classification in law (i.e. absence of a final judgement or a final administrative decision), the publication shall indicate that there is no final judgement or final administrative decision. In those cases, information about any appeals by the applicant, their status and their outcome, as well as any revised decision of the authorised officer, shall be published without delay. Where a financial penalty has been imposed, the publication shall also indicate whether that penalty has been paid.
The decision to publish the information is taken by the Agency either following the relevant final judgement, final administrative decision or preliminary classification in law, as the case may be. That decision shall take effect three months after its notification to the economic operator.
The information published shall be removed as soon as the exclusion has come to an end. In the case of a financial penalty, the publication shall be removed six months after payment of that penalty.
In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001, where personal data is concerned, the Agency shall inform the applicant of its rights under the applicable data protection rules and of the procedures available for exercising those rights.
7.3. Supporting documents
Applicants must sign a declaration on their honour certifying that they are not in one of the situations referred to in the above sections 7.1. and 7.2, filling in the relevant form attached to the application form accompanying the call for proposals. If applicable, the relevant documentary evidence which appropriately illustrates any remedial measures taken should be provided in annex to this declaration.
The declaration is available at http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/eu-aid-volunteers/funding/technical- assistance-and-capacity-building_en
8. SELECTION CRITERIA
8.1. Financial capacity
Applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the period during which the action is being carried out or the year for which the grant is awarded and to participate in its funding. The applicants' financial capacity will be assessed on the basis of the following supporting documents to be submitted with the application:
- a declaration on their honour
- the financial statements (including the balance sheet, the profit and loss accounts and the annexes) of the last two financial years for which the accounts have been closed;
- financial capacity form provided for in the application form, filled in with the relevant statutory accounting figures, in order to calculate the ratios as detailed in the form.
On the basis of the documents submitted, if the Agency considers that financial capacity is not satisfactory, it may:
- - - -
request further information;
propose a grant agreement without pre-financing;
propose a grant agreement with a pre-financing paid in instalments;
propose a grant agreement with a pre-financing covered by a bank guarantee (see section 11.4 below);
where applicable, require the joint and several financial liability of all the co- beneficiaries;
reject the application.
Applicants must have the professional competencies as well as appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action. In this respect, applicants have to submit a
declaration on their honour, and have to fill in the specific part in the application form available on the website.
The partners/associate partners must fill as well the specific part in the application form available on the website
For Technical Assistance, all participants have the operational capacity, professional qualifications and experience to carry out a project according to the proposed objectives and deliverables;
- Financial soundness of all project participants: financial viability and co-financing capacity;
- The project applicant has a relevant track record in providing technical assistance to other organisations in the fields related to the EU Aid Volunteers initiative
For Capacity Building, all participants have the operational capacity, professional qualifications and experience to carry out a project according to the proposed objectives and deliverables;
- Financial soundness of all project participants: financial viability and co-financing capacity;
- At least the applicant or partner from a country participating in the programme has a relevant track record in providing capacity building in the field of humanitarian aid to organisations in third countries in the fields related to the EU Aid Volunteers initiative. Applicants must submit a declaration on their honour, completed and signed, attesting to their financial and operational capacity to complete the proposed activities.
9. AWARD CRITERIA
Eligible applications/projects will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria
- Relevance of the project (maximum 30 points)
- Quality of the project design and implementation (maximum 30 points)
- Quality and relevance of the partnership and cooperation arrangements (maximum 20
- Impact and dissemination (maximum 20 points)
Relevance of the project to the objectives of the call (maximum 30 points):
- The relevance of the proposal to the objectives and the priorities of the call for proposals.
- The extent to which:
o the objectives are clearly defined, realistic and address issues relevant to the participating organisations and target groups;
o projects demonstrate that they are based on a thorough needs assessment concerning the overall needs for capacity building addressed by the project;
Quality of the project design and implementation (maximum 30 points):
- The clarity, completeness and quality of the action, including appropriate phases for preparation, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and (as appropriate) dissemination;
- The appropriateness and quality of the methodology proposed: Consistency between project objectives and activities proposed; logical links between the identified problems, needs and solutions proposed (e.g. Logical Frame Concept); feasibility of the project within the proposed time frame;
- The existence and relevance of quality control measures to ensure that the project implementation is of high quality, completed in time and on budget;
- Cost effectiveness: the proposed budget is sufficient for proper implementation and the project is designed so as to ensure the best value for money;
Quality and relevance of the partnership and cooperation arrangements (maximum 20 points):
- The extent to which the project involves an appropriate mix of complementary participating organisations with the necessary profiles and experience to successfully deliver all aspects of the project;
- The existence of effective mechanisms for coordination and communication between the participating organisations;
For Technical assistance projects only, a supplementary award criterion is applicable:
- The extent to which the project proposed benefits organisations from countries that joined the EU in 2004 or thereafter or organisations from other countries participating in the programme that are underrepresented in humanitarian aid.
Impact and dissemination (maximum 20 points):
- The quality of measures for evaluating the impact of the project and for assuring the sustainability of the project
- The potential impact of the project on participants and partner organisations, during and after the project lifetime;
- The quality of the dissemination plan: the appropriateness and quality of measures aimed at sharing the outcomes of the project within and outside the participating organisations;
- European dimension:
o the expected results display the understanding and capacity of the applicant
and partners to communicate the Union’s humanitarian aid principles agreed in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid and raise awareness levels and visibility of its humanitarian aid.
o the expected results serve the interest of a large number of countries participating in the programme and could be efficiently reproduced and/or transferred to other participating states, regions or organisations.
Projects scoring less than 60 overall points will not be considered for funding.
All projects, regardless whether they cover capacity building or technical assistance will be ranked according to the number of points they reach.
10. LEGAL COMMITMENTS
The beneficiary is the coordinating organisation selected for funding and receiving a grant
from the European Union on behalf of the partners of the project".
In the event of a grant awarded by the Agency, a grant agreement, drawn up in euro and detailing the conditions and level of funding, will be sent to the beneficiary, as well as the procedure in view to formalise the obligations of the parties.
The two copies of the original agreement must be signed first by the beneficiary on behalf of the consortium and returned to the Agency immediately. The Agency will sign them last.
Please note that the award of a grant does not establish an entitlement for subsequent years.
11. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
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 in the application form 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.3
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 such cases, costs eligible for financing may not have been incurred prior to the date of submission of the grant application.
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 estimated budget of the action is to be attached to the application form. It must have revenue and expenditure in balance.
The budget must be drawn up in euros.
Applicants which foresee that costs will not be incurred in euros shall use the exchange rate published on the Infor-euro website available at http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/inforeuro/inforeuro_en.cfm on the date of the publication of this call for proposals.
e) Implementation contracts/subcontracting
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 retain the documentation for the event of an audit.
In the event of procurement exceeding € 60 000, the beneficiary must abide by special rules as referred in the grant agreement annexed to the call. Moreover the beneficiary is expected to clearly document the tendering procedure and retain the documentation for the event of an audit.
Entities acting in their capacity of contracting authorities in the meaning of Directive 2014/24/EU4 or contracting entities in the meaning of Directive 2014/25/EU5 shall abide by the applicable national public procurement rules.
Sub-contracting, i.e. the externalisation of specific tasks or activities which form part of the action as described in the proposal and which cannot be performed by the beneficiary itself must satisfy the conditions applicable to any implementation contract (as specified above) and in addition to them the following conditions:
- it may only cover the implementation of a limited part of the action;
- it must be justified having regard to the nature of the action and what is necessary for its implementation;
- it must be clearly stated in the proposal or prior written authorisation from the Agency must be obtained.
f) Financial support to third parties.
The applications may not envisage provision of financial support to third parties.
11.2 Funding forms: Budget-based financing
The grants financed through reimbursement of eligible costs in combination with flat rate covering overheads are calculated on the basis of a detailed estimated budget, indicating clearly the costs that are eligible for EU funding.
The financial contribution from the EU is EUR 100,000 minimum and cannot exceed EUR 700,000.
It is limited to a maximum co-financing rate of 85 % of the total eligible costs of the action.
Consequently, part of the total eligible expenses entered in the estimated budget must be financed from sources other than the European Union grant.
The grant amount may neither exceed the eligible costs nor the amount requested. Amounts are indicated in euros.
Acceptance of an application by the Executive Agency does not constitute an undertaking to award a grant equal to the amount requested by the beneficiary.
11.2.1 Eligible costs
Eligible costs are costs actually incurred by the beneficiary of a grant which meet the following criteria:
- they are incurred during the duration of the action as specified in the grant agreement, with the exception of costs relating to final reports and certificates.
The period of eligibility of costs will start as specified in the grant agreement.
If a beneficiary can demonstrate the need to start the action before the agreement is signed, expenditure may be authorised before the grant is awarded. Under no circumstances can the eligibility period start before the date of submission of the grant application (see section 11.1b).]
- they are indicated in the estimated overall budget of the action;
- they are incurred in connexion with the action which is the subject of the grant and are necessary for the implementation of the action;
- they are identifiable and verifiable, in particular being recorded in the accounting records of the beneficiary and determined according to the applicable accounting standards of the country where the beneficiary is established and according to the usual cost-accounting practices of the beneficiary;
- they comply with the requirements of applicable tax and social legislation;
- they are reasonable, justified, and comply with the requirements of sound financial management, in particular regarding economy and efficiency.
The beneficiary's internal accounting and auditing procedures must permit direct reconciliation of the costs and revenues declared in respect of the action/project with the corresponding accounting statements and supporting documents.
a) Eligible direct costs
The eligible direct costs for the action are those costs which, with due regard for the conditions of eligibility set out above, are identifiable as specific costs directly linked to the performance of the action and which can therefore be booked to it directly, such as:
- the cost of personnel working under an employment contract with the applicant or equivalent appointing act and assigned to the action/project, comprising actual salaries plus social security contributions and other statutory costs included in their remuneration, provided that these costs are in line with the applicant's usual policy on remuneration or, where applicable, its partners. NB: this cost must be actual cost incurred by the beneficiary; the co-beneficiary, and staff cost of other organisations is eligible only if it is paid directly or reimbursed by the beneficiary. These costs may include additional remuneration, including payments on the basis of supplementary contracts regardless of their nature, provided that it is paid in a consistent manner whenever the same kind of work or expertise is required and independently from the source of funding used;
The corresponding salary costs of personnel of national administrations are eligible to the extent that they relate to the cost of activities which the relevant public authority would not carry out if the project concerned was not undertaken;
- subsistence allowances (for meetings, including kick-off meetings where applicable, European conferences, etc.) provided that these costs are in line with the beneficiary's usual practices and that they do not exceed the scales approved annually by the Commission;
- costs of travel (for meetings, including kick-off meetings where applicable, European conferences, etc.), provided that they are in line with the beneficiary's usual practices on travel, and that they do not exceed the scales approved annually by the Commission;
- depreciation cost of equipment (new or second-hand), only the portion of the equipment's depreciation corresponding to the duration of the action/project and the rate of actual use for the purposes of the action may be taken into account by the Agency, except where the nature and/or the context of its use justifies different treatment by the Agency;
- costs of consumables and supplies, provided that they are identifiable and assigned to the action;
- costs entailed by other contracts awarded by the beneficiary or its partners for the purposes of carrying out the action, provided that the conditions laid down in grant agreement are met;
- costs arising directly from requirements linked to the performance of the action (venue rent, equipment hire, interpretation, publication, production, translation, reproduction, dissemination of information, exploitation of results, specific evaluation of the action etc.);
- costs relating to a pre-financing guarantee lodged by the beneficiary of the grant, where required;
- costs relating to external audits where required in support of the requests for payments;
- non-deductible value added tax ("VAT") for all activities which are not activities of the public authorities in the Member States
b) Eligible indirect costs (overheads)
- a flat-rate amount up to 7% of the eligible direct costs of the action, is eligible under indirect costs, representing the beneficiary's general administrative costs which can be regarded as chargeable to the action/project.
Indirect costs may not include costs entered under another budget heading.
Applicants’s attention is drawn to the fact that in the case of organisations receiving an operating grant, indirect costs are no longer eligible under specific actions.
11.2.2. Ineligible costs
The following costs shall not be considered eligible:
- return on capital;
- debt and debt service charges;
- provisions for losses or debts;
- interest owed;
- doubtful debts;
- exchange losses;
- costs of transfer from the Agency charged by the bank of the beneficiary;
- costs declared by the beneficiary and covered by another action receiving a European Union grant. In particular, indirect costs shall not be eligible under a grant for an action awarded to the beneficiary who already receives an operating grant financed from the Union budget during the period in question;
- contributions in kind
- excessive or reckless expenditure.
11.2.3 Calculation of the final grant amount – Supporting documents
The final amount of the grant to be awarded to the beneficiary is established after completion of the action, upon approval of the request for payment containing the following documents:
- a final report providing details of the implementation and results of the action;
- the final financial statement of costs actually incurred,
- The beneficiary is required to submit, in support of the final payment, a “Report of Factual Findings on the Final Financial Report - Type I” produced by an approved auditor or in case of public bodies, by a competent and independent public officer.
The procedure and the format to be followed by an approved auditor or in case of public bodies, by a competent and independent public officer, are detailed in the following “Guidance Notes”:
The use of the report format set by the “Guidance Notes” is compulsory.
If the eligible costs actually incurred by the beneficiary are lower than anticipated, the Agency will apply the rate of co-financing stated in the grant agreement to the expenditure actually incurred.
In the event of non-execution or clearly inadequate execution of an activity planned in the application attached to the funding agreement, the final grant will be reduced accordingly.
11.2.4 Non-profit rule
EU grants may not have the purpose or effect of producing a profit within the framework of the action of the beneficiary. Profit shall be defined as a surplus of 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 Agency shall be entitled to recover a percentage of the profit corresponding to the Union contribution to the eligible costs actually incurred by the beneficiary to carry out the action.
11.3. Payment arrangements
A pre-financing payment corresponding to 75% of the grant amount will be transferred to the beneficiary within 30 days either of the date when the last of the two parties signs the agreement, provided all requested guarantees have been received.
The Agency will establish the amount of the final payment to be made to the beneficiary on the basis of the calculation of the final grant amount (see section 11.2 above). If the total of earlier payments is higher than the final grant amount, the beneficiary will be required to reimburse the amount paid in excess by the Commission through a recovery order.
11.4. Pre-financing guarantee
In the event that the applicant's financial capacity is not satisfactory, a pre-financing guarantee for up to the same amount as the pre-financing may be requested in order to limit the financial risks linked to the pre-financing payment.
The financial guarantee, in euro, shall be provided by an approved bank or financial institution established in one of the Member State of the European Union.
When the beneficiary is established in a third country, the authorising officer responsible may agree that a bank or financial institution established in that third country may provide the guarantee if he considers that the bank or financial institution offers equivalent security and characteristics as those offered by a bank or financial institution established in a Member State. Amounts blocked in bank accounts shall not be accepted as financial guarantees.
The guarantee may be replaced by a joint and several guarantees by a third party or by a joint guarantee of the beneficiaries of an action who are parties to the same grant agreement.
The guarantee shall be released as the pre-financing is gradually cleared against interim payments or payments of balances to the beneficiary, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the grant agreement.
This requirement does not apply to:
12. COMMUNICATION AND VISIBILITY
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.
Partner organisations and volunteers must raise awareness on the EU Aid Volunteers programme as an example of European solidarity and in line with the EU Aid Volunteers communication plan: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/en/what/humanitarian-aid/eu-aid-volunteers
The communication plan outlines the communication objectives and key communication messages to be used at all levels. The plan provides further detailed descriptions of the roles and responsibilities of all participating stakeholders in the communication strategy and recommends activities for all participants in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative throughout the project cycle.
All communication and dissemination material and activities must use the EU Aid Volunteers visual identity so as to identify the volunteers as part of the EU Aid Volunteers programme and raise awareness about the European dimension of their identity: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/eu-aid-volunteers/beneficiaries-space/technical-assistance-and- capacity-building_en. Guidance on how to apply the EU Aid Volunteers visual identity can be found in the EUAV visibility guidelines http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/eu-aid- volunteers/library_en).
Furthermore, the following text acknowledging the EU's contribution to projects must be used in all material 'This project is co-funded by the EU under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative'.
In addition to the relevant text and the EU Aid Volunteers visual identity, EACEA will provide beneficiaries with a disclaimer stating that the EU is not responsible for the views displayed in the publications and/or in conjunction with the activities for which the grant is used.
If these requirements are not fully complied with, the beneficiary’s grant may be reduced in accordance with the provisions of the grant agreement.
12.2. By the EACEA and/or the European Commission
With the exception of scholarships paid to natural persons and other direct support paid to natural persons in most need, all information relating to grants awarded in the course of a financial year shall be published on the 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 EACEA and/or the European Commission will publish the following information:
- name of the beneficiary,
- locality of the beneficiary: address of the beneficiary when the latter is a legal person, region when the beneficiary is a natural person, as defined on NUTS 2 level6 if he/she is domiciled within the EU or equivalent if domiciled outside EU,
- the amount awarded,
- nature and purpose of the grant.
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
All personal data (such as names, addresses, CVs, etc.) will be processed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the European Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data.7
Unless marked as optional, the applicant's replies to the questions in the application form are necessary to evaluate and further process the grant application in accordance with the specifications of the call for proposals. Personal data will be processed solely for that purpose by the department or Unit responsible for the Union grant programme concerned (entity acting as data controller). Personal data may be transferred on a need to know basis to third parties involved in the evaluation of applications or in the grant management procedure, without prejudice of transfer to the bodies in charge of monitoring and inspection tasks in accordance with European Union law. In particular, for the purposes of safeguarding the financial interests of the Union, personal data may be transferred to internal audit services, to the European Court of Auditors, to the Financial Irregularities Panel or to the European Anti- Fraud Office and between authorising officers of the Commission and the executive agencies. The applicant has the right of access to, and to rectify, the data concerning him or her. For any question relating to these data, please contact the Controller. Applicants have the right of recourse to the European Data Protection Supervisor at any time. A detailed Privacy statement, including contact information, is available on EACEA's website: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/about/documents/calls_gen_conditions/eacea_grants_privacy_statem ent.pdf
Applicants and, if they are legal entities, persons who are members of the administrative, management or supervisory body of that applicant or who have powers of representation, decision or control with regard to that applicant, or natural or legal persons that assume unlimited liability for the debts of that applicant, are informed that, their personal data (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 (EDES) by the Authorising Officer of the Agency, should they be in one of the situations mentioned in the Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298 of 26.10.2012, p. 1) as amended by the Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 2015/1929 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 October 2015 (OJ L 286, 30.10.2015, p. 1).
14. PROCEDURE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
The call for proposals is being published in the Official Journal of the European Union and on the Internet site of the EACEA Agency at the following address:
14.2 Registration in the Participant Portal
Before submitting an electronic application, applicants and associates will have to register their organisation in the Education, Audiovisual, Culture, Citizenship and Volunteering Participant Portal and receive a Participant Identification Code (PIC). The PIC will be requested in the application form.
The Participant Portal is the tool through which all legal and financial information related to organisations will be managed. Information on how to register can be found in the portal under the following address:
The tool also allows applicants to upload different documents related to their organisation. These documents have to be uploaded once and will not be requested again for subsequent applications by the same organisation.
Details on the supporting document that need to be uploaded in the portal can be found under the following address:
14.3 Submission of the grant application
Proposals must be submitted in accordance with the admissibility requirements set out under section 5 and by the deadline set out under section 3.
Applicants may submit projects for both Technical Assistance and Capacity Building. In this case, applicants shall indicate in their application that they apply for both actions.
No modifications to the application are 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 Agency may contact the applicant for this purpose during the evaluation process.
All applicants will be informed in writing about the results of the selection process.
Applicants are requested to log in at http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/eu-aid- volunteers/funding/technical-assistance-and-capacity-building_en and follow the procedure for submitting an electronic application (E-form).
The electronic application form duly completed must be received by 12:00 (midday, Brussels time) on July 3rd 2017. After this time, the on-line application system will be closed.
14.4 Rules applicable
Regulation (EU, Euratom) N° 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p.1) as amended by the Regulation (EU, Euratom) N°1929/2015 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 October 2015 (OJ L 286, 30.10.2015, p. 1).
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) N° 1268/2012 of 29 October 2012 on the rules of application of Regulation (EU, Euratom) N° 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (OJ L 362, 31.12.2012, p.1) as amended by the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2015/2462 of 30 October 2015 amending Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 on the rules of application of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (OJ L 342, 29.12.2015, p. 7)..
Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (‘EU Aid Volunteers initiative’) (OJ L 122, 24.4.2014, p. 1):
In case of questions, please contact: EACEA-EUAID-VOLUNTEERS@ec.europa.eu