Frequently asked questions
In the interest of the equal treatment of Applicants, the Managing Authority cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of an Applicant, a partner, a project or specific activities.
Questions that may be relevant to other Applicants, together with the answers, will be published in this section. It is therefore highly recommended to consult it regularly. Replies will be given within 10 days.
The Managing Authority cannot organise individual consultations with Applicants or partners following the principle of equal treatment. Public events on the call will be announced on the Programme website.
In order to view the answers to your questions, please check on a regular basis the tab “Answers" of your account the Programme website.
To ask a question, please create an account or login.
As of 19th of June 2019, it is not possible anymore to submit questions on the call for strategic projects. According to section 3.3 of the Guidelines for Applicants, “Questions may be sent in English or in French at the latest 15 calendar days before the deadline for the submission of the application form” (i.e. 3th of July 2019). All answers will be given no later than 10 calendar days before the deadline of the call for proposals (i.e. 24th of June 2019).
1. General information on the call for strategic projects
1.1 Can a project focus on more than one Priority?Published on:
NO, according to paragraph 4.4.1 of the Guidelines for Applicants, a proposal can only address one Thematic Objective and one Priority even if there may be cross-over effects with other Priorities. The e-Application Form will not allow to choose more than ONE priority.
1.2 Is there any limitation on the number of proposals that can be submitted by the same Applicant?Published on:
Yes. According to paragraph 4.4.1 of the Guidelines for Applicants, the same organisation can participate only once as an Applicant under each Priority. This means, for example, that one University (despite the functional independence of its departments) will be able to submit, as Applicant, ONLY one project proposal for each of the seven priorities of this call for proposals. No limitation in the number of proposals is foreseen if the one organization participates as a partner.
1.3 What does the word “organisation” mean in order to verify the respect of the limit in the number of project proposals that can be submitted?Published on:
The limitation on the number of applications that the same organization can submit as Applicant is one for each of the 7 Priorities of the call. Paragraph 4.4.1 of the Guidelines for Applicants, footnote n. 16, clarifies the meaning of organization, which is: “Any legal entity, […] that according to the national legislations […], is provided with juridical, economic, technical and human capacities committed by a legal person as a whole. These conditions must result from supporting documents (such as statutes, registration papers and/or other official documents) proving the capacity to undertake legal obligations (signing contracts), to assume financial liability and to manage the resources for the achievement of stated purposes (i.e. Public administrations or Universities will be considered as ONE organisation represented by ONLY ONE legal person despite the functional independence of their departments or units). The participation of each organisation will be checked under step 1 (relevance and quality of the design) on the basis, among other things, of the following information: national registration number (e.g. VAT, national code, social security, etc.), name of the organisation and name of the legal representative".
1.4 Can the same organisation participate as a partner in two projects proposals focusing on the same priority?Published on:
Yes. There is no limitation in the number of proposals where the same organization can participate as partner.
1.5 If the same applicant submits 7 proposals (one per each priority), what is the maximum number of grants that can be awarded as Lead Beneficiary?Published on:
According to section 4.4.1 of the Guidelines for Applicants, an Applicant cannot be awarded more than three grants as Lead Beneficiary under this call for proposals. In case more than three proposals from the same Applicant are preselected according to the rules if this call, only the three best-ranked proposals will be included in the list of projects recommended for funding. This rule does not apply to partners meaning that the same partner could be involved in more than three projects that have been awarded a grant.
1.6 Do the project, financial and communication managers have to be part of the staff of the Applicant or could they be sub-contracted? Can these roles be assigned to partners?Published on:
As per section 2.5 of the Guidelines for Applicants, in order to guarantee a good management of the project and as a minimum requirement, the following project management positions shall be ensured by the Applicant: a project coordinator, a financial manager, and a communication manager. These key staff members should be preferably part of the permanent staff of the Lead Beneficiary. Moreover, since the overall management is considered the main responsibility of the Lead Beneficiary, the whole project management cannot be sub-contracted. This means that the overall coordination shall always remain under the responsibility of the Lead Beneficiary organization that can be supported by external experts. Despite these three main roles shall be ensured by the Applicant, this does not mean that partners cannot be involved in these activities.
1.7 Can two or more different organisations be involved as one single partner in a project proposal?Published on:
No. As stated in footnote n.16 of the Guidelines for Applicants which defines the meaning of organisation, the participation of "each organisation will be checked under step 1 (relevance and quality of the design) on the basis, among other things, of the following information: national registration number (e.g. VAT, national code, social security etc.), name of the organisation and name of the legal representative".
1.8 Will there be a pre-assessment of project ideas?Published on:
No, the project ideas will not be assessed by the Managing Authority (MA). In fact, in the interest of equal treatment of Applicants, the MA cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of an Applicant, a partner, a project or specific activities.
1.9 What is the duration set for project proposals under this first call for standard projects?Published on:
According to paragraph 4.4.4 of the Guidelines for Applicants, the duration of project proposals shall not be lower than 24 months and must not exceed 30 months. According to article 18.3 of the “COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) No 897/2014 of 18 August 2014 laying down specific provisions for the implementation of cross-border cooperation programmes financed under Regulation (EU) No 232/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council establishing a European Neighbourhood Instrument”, all project activities financed by the programme shall end on 31 December 2022 at the latest.
1.10 Where can I can find the list of National Contact Points?Published on:
The updated list of National Contact Points can be downloaded here.
1.11 What happens if, at the time of the submission of the supporting documents, there have been some changes in the name, registration number or legal representative of an institution as indicated in the e-Application Form?Published on:
Changes such as the name of the legal representative or in some cases registration number due for example to the merge of an institution with a pre-existing one are allowed provided that these are fully explained through the supporting documents to be sent for the verification of eligibility. In particular, the supporting documents will have to prove that the institution indicated in the e-Application Form has not changed and justify the modifications regarding the above-mentioned elements. Therefore, copies of a new law, for example, that explains the merge of an institution with another one etc., must be provided. All changes should be indicated in a letter addressed to the MA attached to the supporting documents to be sent within the deadline specified by the MA in the notification letter addressed to the Applicant of the projects admitted to step 2 of the evaluation process.
2. Eligibility of Applicant and partners
2.1 Can the Managing Authority (MA) give a prior opinion on the eligibility of the Applicants and partners if supporting documents are sent in advance?Published on:
No, the MA cannot give a prior opinion on these issues since they will be examined during the verification of eligibility. If further information is needed on the eligibility of an organisation involved in a project, the MA will send a request for clarification to the Applicant.
2.2 In which case the Applicant organisation shall provide the external audit report foreseen in section 5.4.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants in order to certify its accounts for the last two financial years available?Published on:
The obligation to provide an external audit report applies to Applicants and partners but it does not concern public administrations, public bodies and international organisations. In the report, the data concerning the financial capacity (i.e. for companies the total annual income, net income - profit and loss - own funds and total liabilities) have to be pointed out and/or highlighted (see par. 5.4.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants).
2.3 Can a person from a different department of the same organization participating as partner in a project, receive per diem and travels compensation as an associate?Published on:
Provided that the MA cannot give a prior opinion on specific issues concerning the appointment of project staff that remains a decision of the organization participating in the project, associates should be considered as organisations represented by one or more persons that can be invited to attend meetings or events. In particular, associates cannot manage any project budget but their travel and subsistence costs can be covered by the Applicant or a partner, provided that these costs have been included in the budget (the number of travels should be included within the travel and per diem cost category).
2.4 Can an associate participate in tender procedures launched by the Beneficiary/partners or be awarded a sub-grant?Published on:
No. As per section 4.3.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants, “associates play a real role in the project but cannot receive funding from the grant”. Therefore, the role of the associate is not compatible with that of sub-contractor or that of organization being awarded a sub-grant.
2.5 Should the Applicant be audited before submitting a project proposal?Published on:
As per section 5.4.2 "Verification of the eligibility of Applicant and Partner organisations" of the Guidelines for Applicants, both Applicants and partners shall submit an external audit official report made by chartered auditors of the partners’ annual accounts for the last 2 financial years, if available. Those entities which are not requested by the national law to produce such official annual reports will have to provide the annual accounts for the last 2 financial years signed by the legal representative.
2.6 Can one organisation participate in the same project with more departments/units?Published on:
No. As stated in the Guidelines for Grant Applicants (see par. 4.4.1 footnote n. 16), “One organisation can be represented by ONLY ONE legal person despite the functional independence of its departments or units”. The same organisation - with one legal representative and one single registration number - cannot be represented more than once within the same project.
2.7 Are international organisations eligible under this call for proposals?Published on:
International organisations can participate in this call following the rules set in section 4.3.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants, in particular:
- pursuant to Article 43 of the Implementing Rules of the Financial Regulation for the General Budget of the European Union, international organisation means international public-sector organisations set up by intergovernmental agreements, and specialised agencies set up by such organisations
- these organisations may have a worldwide or regional scope. Organisations created under national law are not international organisations (e.g. national NGO with several regional/country offices);
- international organisations can participate only if they have an agreement with the government of the country in which they are going to carry out project activities;
- international organisations can participate as Applicants or Partners only if they have an operational office in the eligible area (see section 4.3.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants). The said office must have the capacity to undertake legal obligations (signing contracts) and assume financial liability.
Finally, international organisations cannot be taken into consideration in calculating the minimum number of countries within a partnership. As far as the 50% rule is concerned, if an international organisation is based in a Mediterranean Partner Country (MPC), its direct costs will be calculated as part of funds managed by MPCs.
2.8 Can companies from the same group (mother company and subsidiaries based in other countries or in the same country) participate as two different partners within the same proposal, even if they have different VAT numbers?Published on:
The principle is that only legal entities can participate. Therefore, if a branch office is registered as a separate legal entity in a country different than the head office, it can be considered as a partner coming from that country. As a minimum requirement, a partnership shall represent 4 different eligible countries, of which at least two EU countries and two Mediterranean Partner Countries. However, situations, whereby this minimum requirement is satisfied for example by a partnership including the head office from Italy and branch offices from Spain, Lebanon and Egypt, should be avoided. Therefore, a partnership should comprise other eligible partners alongside with the branch offices if they participate in the project.
2.9 Where can I find the list of eligible and adjoining regions?Published on:
The list of eligible regions is available in section 4.1 of the Guidelines for Applicants. As per section 4.3.1 of the Guidelines, Applicants cannot come from adjoining regions.
2.10 Is it possible for a university researcher to take part in a project as an independent member of a research team?Published on:
As a rule, the participation in the call for strategic projects is only open to legal persons (i.e. organisations). Since natural persons are not mentioned in the Joint Operational Programme, they are not allowed to participate in calls for proposals as applicant or partner (see par. 4.3.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants, footnote n. 12).
2.11 Can partners from regions adjoining to the eligible ones participate in the call for proposals?Published on:
Yes. According to the Joint Operational Programme (section 1.1.2) and to the Guidelines for Applicants (section 4.3.1 and 4.3.2), participation of partners located in adjoining regions listed in section 4.1 may be allowed by the Joint Monitoring Committee on a case by case basis, taken into account the objective benefits that such participation would ensure a specific project and to the Programme as a whole. Adjoining regions contribute to the fulfilment of the minimum partnership requirement, i.e. at least 4 different countries including at least two EU Mediterranean Countries and two Mediterranean Partner Countries. In any case, the amount of resources allocated to partners from adjoining regions, as listed in paragraph 4.3.1 of the Guidelines for Applicants, should not exceed 20% of the total direct budgeted costs of the project. The Applicant (Beneficiary) cannot come from an adjoining region.
2.12 What are the eligibility criteria concerning the legal status of Applicants and partners?Published on:
The eligibility criteria concerning the legal status of an organisation are defined in the Guidelines for Applicants (section 4.3.2). A “non-exhaustive” list is also contained in footnote n. 13 of the Guidelines for Applicants. Please note that since natural persons are not mentioned in the Joint Operational Programme, they are not allowed to participate in calls for proposals as Applicant or partner (see footnote n. 13 of the Guidelines for Applicants). As a consequence, only legal entities established in accordance with national legislation, laws and regulations can participate in calls for proposals. Please note that it is in the interest of the Applicant and of the whole partnership to know the correct legal status of an organization, since this is relevant to determine the financial capacity.
2.13 Is the participation of an adjoining region to a project linked to that of an eligible region?Published on:
The participation of adjoining regions is allowed at Programme level: it means that they can be involved in a project independently of the participation of eligible regions. The MA reminds that the participation of adjoining regions may be allowed by the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) on a case by case basis, taking into account the objective benefits that such participation would ensure to a specific project and to the Programme as a whole. Therefore, in order to enable the JMC to decide on this issue, the project should clearly describe and justify in the Application Form the added value that the partner coming from an adjoining region would bring to the achievement of project expected results.
2.14 Are there any geographical limitations concerning the Applicant and partners?Published on:
According to section 4.3.1 of the Guidelines, the Applicant and partners shall come from one of the eligible regions of the countries participating in the Programme. The Applicant cannot come from an adjoining region.
2.15 Is it possible to implement activities outside the Programme eligible area?Published on:
As a rule, all activities financed in the framework of the project should be implemented inside the Programme eligible area or in the relevant adjoining regions, if the participation of partners from those regions is allowed (see section 4.3.1 of the Guidelines for Applicants). This means that an event organised for instance in Germany or Ukraine is not eligible.
2.16 Is there a recommended number of partners to be involved in a project?Published on:
There is no specific requirement concerning the maximum number of partners to be involved in a project since this depends on the objectives of the activities and results to be achieved. However, to ensure smooth management of a project, the Joint Operational Programme (see paragraph 4.4) foresees that for strategic projects, the maximum recommended number of organizations to be involved in a partnership is 10 (meaning the Applicant and 9 partners).
2.17 Is there a minimum number of organizations to be involved in a partnership?Published on:
According to the Guidelines for Applicants, the minimum number of countries to be represented in a partnership is 4 (including two EU Mediterranean Countries and two Mediterranean Partner Countries).
2.18 Is it possible to implement activities in an eligible territory from which no organisation is represented in the partnership?Published on:
Despite not recommended, there is no formal requirement that the location of activities must be restricted to the eligible regions of the countries where the Applicant and partners are registered. However, this must be clearly mentioned in the description of the project activities, together with the methodology and the reason why the project wants to implement activities in an eligible region not represented in the partnership.
2.19 Is it possible to participate in events organised by third parties outside the Programme eligible area?Published on:
In this case, the location of the event is something the Lead Beneficiary and partners cannot influence. As long as the participation in such events (seminars, training, conferences, study trips, etc.) is relevant to the rationale of the project and is essential to achieve its objectives, it could be considered as eligible for financing (such participation will, however, have to be duly justified in the Application Form).
2.20 Can a partnership include more than one organization from the same country?Published on:
Yes, provided that the minimum partnership criterion is fulfilled (at least four different countries, representing at least two EU Mediterranean Countries and two Mediterranean Partner Countries). However, please note that according to paragraph 4.4. of the Joint Operational Programme (and paragraph 4.4.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants) the partnership shall not include more than three organisations from the same country.
2.21 What are the geographical rules applying to associates?Published on:
Associates do not have to meet the criteria set in section 4.3.1 of the Guidelines for Applicants on geographical eligibility. This means that associates may also be established in countries other than those eligible under the Programme. Associates are not partners. Therefore, they cannot, in any case, contribute to reaching the minimum partnership requirement. They may not receive Programme funding. They can attend project meetings and events and their subsistence (per diem) and travel costs will be paid by the Beneficiary or by one or more of the partners. In the event they want to play a role in the implementation of the project activities, a description of their tasks will have to be included in the Application Form: this will be assessed during project evaluation, provided that associates have to implement the activities at their own costs. There is no maximum number of associates, however, all of them must sign the Associated Partner Declaration to be uploaded in the E-Application Form and they should also sign a memorandum of understanding with the Beneficiary and partners in order to define their exact role as well as who will pay for their subsistence and travel costs. Associates do not need to sign the Partnership Agreement (compulsory only for the Beneficiary and project partners).
2.22 Can an Applicant or partner having its headquarter out of the eligible territories but only a decentralised office in the eligible regions submit a project proposal?Published on:
Yes, the participation of Applicants and partners not having their main headquarter but only a decentralised registered office or structure in the eligible regions is admitted. The said structure must have the capacity to undertake legal obligations (meaning that there must be a responsible person of this office who is independent in terms of being able to launch call for tenders, recruit temporary staff and sign contracts) and assume financial liability (for example the said person shall be able to sign payment orders referred to the contracts signed with contractors, etc.), provided that this office has been established for at least 2 years before the deadline set for the submission of the Application Form. These conditions must be proved by supporting documents (such as statutes, registration papers and/or other official documents). The supporting documents shall be provided only upon request of the MA as foreseen by section 5.4.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants. Since the possibility to comply with the above-mentioned conditions may vary depending on the national legislations, in case of doubt please refer to the concerned National Contact Point.
2.23 Can a Ministry or a National Authority located out of the eligible territories take part in a project?Published on:
Yes, according to paragraph 4.3.1 of the Guidelines for Applicants, Ministries or National Public Administrations located in non-eligible areas of the participating countries can participate, as Applicant or partner, if not represented locally in the eligible areas or if they have a local office that cannot take legal or financial obligations, provided that they can demonstrate that the activities will be carried out in and for the full benefit of the eligible regions of the Programme. In case a Ministry or a National Authority is represented at the local level in an eligible territory, the project activities should be implemented by the local structure. During the verification of the eligibility within the evaluation process, the MA may require proof of the territorial competence of the institution.
2.24 What are the main rules concerning sub-grants?Published on:
According to paragraph 4.5.6 of the Guidelines for Applicants, sub-grants may be awarded by the Beneficiary or partners to offer financial support to third parties (including physical persons) to be involved in carrying out some specific project activities. Sub-grantees have to be resident or established in the Programme eligible area of the participating countries of the Applicant and partners. They should be duly justified and compliant with the State Aid provisions (de minimis regime) as referred in paragraph 5.6 of the Guidelines. Moreover, according to paragraph 4.4 of the Joint Operational Programme, there are some financial limitations that apply to sub-grants:
- a maximum of amount of €60.000 can be given to each third party;
- maximum of 30% of the total direct costs of a project can be awarded as sub-grants. The amount of project direct costs to be sub-granted must be included in the Budget heading “Other costs”.
Finally, the Applicant will have to provide information on how the sub-grant procedures will be managed, on the selection criteria the indicative number of sub-grants to be awarded, the final beneficiaries and the expected impact of the sub-grants. The Programme does not foresee any specific requirement to select sub-grantees. Since sub-grandees need to be selected, their names cannot be identified a priori in the application form.
2.25 Do sub-contractors have to be established in territories eligible under the Programme?Published on:
As far as the rule of nationality of the sub-contractors is concerned, there is no specific geographical restriction according to article 15 of the Grant Contract when the amount of the service to be contracted is below 100.000€. For purchases above 100.000€, the Beneficiary or Project Partner will have to contract a service provider eligible according to the aforementioned Regulation (art.8 and art.9).
2.26 Can an organization based in the Lisbon area be the Applicant of a project under the Thematic Objective "A.3 Promotion of social inclusion and the fight against poverty"?Published on:
In general, the participation of organisations from the Lisbon area is allowed (as Applicant and partners) under all the seven Priorities of the three Thematic Objectives (A.1, A.2 and A.3) within the Overarching Objective 1. Please note that only Priorities A.1.1, A.1.2, A.2.1 and A.3.1 are covered by the call for strategic projects.
2.27 Is there a list of the entities that are included in the category "Body governed by public law" as defined by Directive 2014/24/EU?Published on:
There is no pre-defined list so Applicants and partners shall refer to the criteria mentioned by the EU Directive reported in par. 4.3.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants. Since the inclusion under this category may depend also from national legislations, in case of doubts please contact the respective National Contact Point of the concerned participating country.
2.28 The Guidelines for Applicants state private organizations shall be established at least two years from the launch of the call for proposals. Is there any derogation for start-ups?Published on:
No, as per par. 4.3.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants, "Private organisations are eligible under the ENI CBC MED Programme, but they shall be established at least for 2 years from the launching date of the call to participate." No derogation is foreseen for start-ups and any private organization must be established since 2 years from the 21.03.2019, date of the launching of the call for strategic projects.
2.29 Can Algerian organizations coming from governorates which are not included in the “eligible territories” participate as adjoining regions?Published on:
Since Algeria has not yet defined the adjoining regions, only eligible territories can be included in project proposals.
3. Budget and eligible costs
3.1 Should the awarded sub-contractor or sub-grantee contribute to the 10% co-financing of the received sub-contract/sub-grant?Published on:
According to paragraph 4.4 of the Joint Operational Programme, a minimum co-financing of at least 10% of the total costs of the project must be provided by the partnership. Since sub-contractors and sub-grantees are not involved in the partnership, they cannot be requested to co-finance the project. According to paragraph 4.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants, the co-financing can be provided with the Applicants’ and partners’ own resources, or with public or private (national/regional/local) sources other than the European Union Budget and the European Development Fund. Please note that co-financing in kind is not eligible. Expenditure for staff (Human Resources) is not considered as an “in-kind” contribution and may therefore be considered as part of 10% contribution to be provided by the project as co-financing.
3.2 Is it possible to purchase through a single tender launched by the Applicant or a partner the equipment and supplies for two or more organizations involved in the partnership?Published on:
Yes, it is possible to launch a single tender to purchase equipment or supplies and then have separate invoices for each organization that will pay its own quota. However please note as follows:
- each organization must agree to have a common procedure on a clear legal basis (e.g. Partnership Agreement);
- partners have to make sure that they have the possibility to pay an invoice issued by the provider contracted by a different organization (the Applicant or partner that launched the tender according to the applicable procurement rules);
- the use of the common tender has to be mentioned in the Application Form when describing the activities for which the equipment or supplies need to be purchased. The costs will have to be indicated in the budget according to the quota that each organization will manage. When the contractor issues the invoices, there should be a clear reference to the project and the detailed share of the concerned organizations.
3.3 Are there any budget limitations concerning the allocation of the budgeted direct costs among partners?Published on:
In general, the budgeted direct costs shall be allocated on the basis of the actual involvement of each organization in the management/implementation of the project and according to some specific financial limitations foreseen by the call for proposals (see par. 4.4.3 of the Guidelines for Applicants) as follows:
- maximum percentage of directs costs that can be allocated to the same organization: 35%;
- minimum percentage of budgeted direct costs to be dedicated to activities implemented in MPCs territories: at least 50%;
- maximum percentage of directs costs that can be allocated to organizations coming from adjoining regions: 20% regardless of the number of organizations from adjoining regions involved in a project).
- maximum percentage of direct costs dedicated to Work Package 1 “Management”: 20%.
Finally, please take into consideration the specific limitations (see par. 4.6.3 of the Guidelines for Applicants) concerning some types of costs (for sub-grants for example: maximum €60.000 per third party up to a maximum of 30% of the total budgeted direct costs) when allocating the direct costs to each organization involved in the partnership.
3.4 Is there a maximum amount to be allocated to expenditure verification costs?Published on:
According to footnote n. 23 of the Guidelines for Applicants, “costs for external expenditures verification shall not exceed 3% of the total eligible budget costs”. Please note that in line with other financial limitations contained in the Guidelines, this means that the costs for external expenditure verification shall not exceed 3% of the total direct budgeted costs.
3.5 In case a proposal is awarded a grant, is there a pre-payment at the beginning of the project?Published on:
Yes, according to par. 4.10 of the Joint Operational Programme and to art. 7 of the model Grant Contract (published among the “Documents published for information” for this call), “A first pre-financing ..... corresponding to … (maximum 40%) of the total ENI contribution (as specified in Article 3.2 of the Grant Contract) shall be paid to the Lead Beneficiary within 30 working days, as from the date of reception by the Managing Authority of the signed Contract........”. According to the different options foreseen by the said art. 7 of the model of the Grant Contract, each year different percentages of the total ENI contribution may be given as further pre-financing instalments or final balance depending on the project duration and on the portion of expenditure that has been actually incurred. In particular, the portion of the expenditures financed through Programme contribution shall stand at least at 70% of the last payment (and at 100% of any previous payments) as supported by the corresponding interim/final report.
3.6 How should staff costs be calculated in order to fill in the budget per Work Package?Published on:
According to par. 4.5.3 of the Guidelines for Applicants, “Human Resources/staff costs" shall correspond to the "actual gross salaries including social security charges and other remuneration-related costs of the staff assigned to the project, including social security charges and other remuneration-related costs”. In order to fill in the budget, Applicants and partners shall include the indicative unit rate costs for positions which have a similar level of remuneration (senior or junior positions), based on the estimated actual costs. This means that if the project needs two senior positions (technical and financial managers for example) with a similar level of remuneration, the concerned Applicant or partner could simply indicate, in one line of the budget, the total number of days needed for those positions. As far as the unit cost is concerned, the cost should be the weighted average of the total actual costs over the total number of days.
Below is an example:
- 400 days at 500 euro per day for the project manager;
- 340 days at 540 euro for the financial manager;
- N. of days to be indicated: 740;
- Unit cost=total actual costs / total number of days.
Therefore= [(400*500)+(340*540)]/700 days=518 euro. In the event the Applicant or a partner does not want to include in just one line similar positions, they can always add a specific line for each position. When verifying the reported expenditures, the auditor will check the actual amount disbursed and if the expenditures comply with the eligibility rules set by art. 48 of the ENI Implementing Regulation 897/2014, for instance, that they must not exceed those normally borne by the Beneficiary and the partners.
3.7 Are there any budget thresholds applying to the different Work Packages or direct cost categories?Published on:
In general terms, there is no maximum or minimum percentage of costs foreseen for the different Work Packages (WP). The only threshold is set for WP1 “Management”, that it cannot be higher than 20% of the project total direct costs.
As far as the direct costs are concerned, the following thresholds apply:
- €10,000 at project level for preparatory costs (only travel and subsistence costs are allowed under WP0);
- maximum €60,000 per third party and up to a maximum of 30% of the total direct costs for sub-grants.
No other thresholds are foreseen for other cost categories.
3.8 Can Italian partners obtain the 10% co-financing through the "Fondo di Rotazione" as in other Community Programmes (ETC programmes, etc.)?Published on:
The CIPE Decree n. 10/2015 indicates that Italian Applicants/partners of the ENI CBCB MED projects can obtain as national co-financing the quota foreseen by the Programme by accessing the "Fondo di Rotazione” national mechanism managed by Ministry of Economy and Finance (IGRUE), up to a maximum of 10% of their own budget. The national co-financing cannot be given to private organisations. The modalities to access the national co-financing (the funds will be reimbursed at the end of the project) will be defined in a specific note to be published on the Programme website.
3.9 How should the co-financing split among partners? Published on:
According to par. 4.4 of the Joint Operational Programme, a minimum co-financing of at least 10% of the project total costs must be provided by the partnership at the project level. This means that the percentage of co-financing chosen in the budget will be the same for each organization involved in the partnership. Moreover, according to par. 2.4 of the Guidelines for Applicants, the co-financing can be provided with the Applicant’s and partners’ own resources, or with public or private (national/regional/local) sources other than the European Union Budget and the European Development Fund. Please note that co-financing in kind is not eligible. Expenditure for staff (Human Resources) is not considered as contributions “in kind” and may, therefore, be considered as part of 10% contribution to be provided by the project as co-financing.
3.10 Can a project proposal contain the name of the subcontractors? Published on:
No. Given that the purchase of any good, work or service is subject to specific procurement procedures, the name of the sub-contractors cannot be known in advance. For further details on the procurement procedures please refer to article 15 of the Grant Contract and articles 52 to 56 of the ENI Implementing Regulation 897/2017.
3.11 Is the EU contribution percentage to a project linked to the legal status of an organisation?Published on:
No, the Programme finances up to a maximum of 90% of the total eligible costs of a project, regardless the legal status of an organization (therefore also NGOs or private companies may receive this percentage).
3.12 Can the Managing Authority give a prior opinion on the type of costs to be included as indirect costs in order to fill in the administrative costs justification file?Published on:
No, the Managing Authority cannot enter into detail on this specific item. Since in the administrative costs justification file requires to use the data from the last financial year, you should use what the organisation has among “indirect costs” in its accounts.
3.13 Is the purchase or rental of equipment subject to depreciation?Published on:
No, depreciation is not foreseen as it is not mentioned in the text of the call for proposals.
3.14 Can Greek partners obtain the 10% co-financing through the "Programme of Public Investment" as in other Community Programmes (ETC programmes, etc.)?Published on:
According to the Common Ministerial Decision Number 300488/ΥΔ1244 for the programming period 2014-20, entitled “Σύστημα διαχείρισης και ελέγχου των προγραμμάτων συνεργασίας του στόχου - ΕΥΡΩΠΑΪΚΗ ΕΔΑΦΙΚΗ ΣΥΝΕΡΓΑΣΙΑ” (articles 5 - 12), all the Greek partners will receive the national co-financing except the private companies with commercial or industrial character. After the approval of the projects, the Greek National Contact Point will communicate give more specific instructions about national co-financing. For further information or clarification on how to calculate the quotas to be included in the financial plan, please refer to the Greek National Contact Point (see the "Contacts" of the Programme website).
3.15 Is it possible for a EU partner to allocate budget for sub-grants to be implemented in Mediterranean Partner Countries in order to reach the 50% threshold?Published on:
All direct costs categories but human resources and travel and subsistence costs, can be used by EU organisations to implement activities in Mediterranean Partner Countries to comply with the 50% rule. Therefore, the sub-grants (which shall be indicated under “Other” cost category) can also contribute to reach the 50% threshold.
3.16 Are all the organisations (private and public) included in the partnership obliged to include in the budget of the project the costs (up to 3% of the total eligible budget costs) related to the external expenditure verification?Published on:
Yes, each organisation must have its own budget for the verification of expenditure. In fact, it is not possible to have one single auditor for the entire partnership due to the need for validating the selected auditors at national level through the Control Contact Points of the participating countries. More details on the validation of the auditors will be provided during project implementation.
4. Application form
4.1 Is it mandatory for a project proposal to fulfil all the result and output indicators for the chosen Priority?Published on:
Projects are requested to address at least one result and one output indicator under the selected Priority.
4.2 In relation to the general information to be indicated for the Applicant and each partner, what does the national registration number refer to? Can the VAT number be indicated?Published on:
The registration number depends on the national legislation and can correspond to the VAT number, fiscal or social security code, etc. Please check with your National Contact Point in case you need more information (contact details available here).
4.3 With reference to the document "Calculation of administrative costs", is it necessary that the Applicant and each partner fill in and submit a separate document? Does the document have to be signed?Published on:
No, a single file containing the requested information for the Applicant and each partner shall be submitted. The signature is not foreseen. Please note that the information included must be accurate and correspond to actual data since the auditor will check the correctness of the calculation method if the project is approved. This check will be performed in the framework of the first expenditure verification report.
4.4 Which organisations shall fill in the State aid self-assessment grid?Published on:
This grid must be filled in by all organizations coming from the EU, Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan. Stamp and signature of the concerned organizations are not requested. Please note that if in sections 1.1 and 1.2 the box “No” has been selected, section 2 shall not be filled in. Sections 3 and 4 must always be filled in while section 5 needs to be filled in only by organizations coming from the above Mediterranean Partner Counties for which the State aid regulation applies.
The Applicant shall upload one single pdf file, containing the scanned documents of each concerned organization, into the “Documents" section of the e-application form.
4.5 Where can I find the e-application form?Published on:
The e-application form is available here and is the only means to submit a project under the call for strategic projects. In case, you submit a proposal in the framework of the call for standard projects, please note that you need to create a new account to participate in this call for proposals.
4.6 Some of the Priorities of the call have more than one expected result. In designing a project proposal, should we focus on one expected result or should we consider all of them?Published on:
As a minimum requirement, project proposals shall consider at least one expected result and include one result indicator and one output indicator. However, the partnership may address any additional expected result(s) listed under the same Priority (i.e. there are three expected results under Priority A.1.1). In this case, the list of result and output indicators should be integrated consistently.
4.7 How the logical framework is linking my project proposal to the Programme strategy?Published on:
The logical framework links - in a cause-effect logic - the project general and specific objective(s) to the Programme thematic objective and the priority. Moreover, each project is requested to indicate at least one Programme (expected) result and link up to 4 technical work packages (WP 3, 4, 5 and 6) to ensure its contribution to the Programme strategy. Finally, each work package shall include at least one project output whose cost and delivery date are expected to be estimated. All activities needed to complete the identified outputs are then to be described for each work package.
4.8 In quantifying the target value of selected result and output indicators, what kind of information shall be considered? Published on:
Your indicators will measure the (expected) quantifiable results/outputs delivered by your project. They must be realistically quantified and achieved by the end of the project (both results and output indicators). They are the main reference to monitor project performance and assess whether technical or financial adjustments are needed. The Indicative evaluation and monitoring and plan provides detailed information on all Programme indicators including their description and target values at Programme level.
4.9 What is the difference between WP0, WP1 and WP2 and the (up to 4) “technical work packages” that I may include in my project?Published on:
WP0, WP1 and WP2 are considered as “transversal” work packages (WPs) concerning preparation (WP0), management (WP1) and communication (WP2). In particular, WP0 is optional and may be considered in case - after the publication of the call and until its deadline - you have carried out preparatory activities (i.e. travel for partnership meetings) implying preparation costs up to 10.000 euro (see the Guidelines). These costs can be eligible, only in case your application is selected for funding. Both WP1 and WP2 are mandatory WPs, as no project may be funded without these two components. Please note that you may consider an indicative list of technical outputs to be included in these WPs (see the courtesy form). Finally, WPs from WP3 and up to WP6 are linked to the selected expected result(s) in the section “Logical Framework”. You can find the mandatory expected result(s) by Priority and an indicative list of thematic outputs in the ENI CBC Med Joint Operational Programme 2014-2020. You can identify with your partners your own outputs and include them in your proposal, even if not mentioned in the lists provided in the Joint Operational Programme.
4.10 How many outputs shall be associated with each work package?Published on:
There is no fixed number of outputs per work package (WP). There must be at least one output per WP. As a general recommendation, you should consider 4 / 5 key outputs for each WP.
4.11 Shall the documents for the eligibility check listed in paragraph 5.4.2. of the Guidelines for Applicants be provided during the submission of the proposal?Published on:
No, these documents shall not be provided with the proposal. In fact, according to par. 5.4.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants, “These documents will be requested by the Managing Authority only to Applicants and partners whose proposals have been shortlisted for STEP 2.”
4.12 What is the maximum number of Work Packages (WPs) to be included in the Application Form?Published on:
The maximum total number of WPs is 7, including optional WP0 - Preparation and two mandatory WPs (WP1 - Management and WP2 - Communication). This means that up to 4 technical WPs can be added. Please note that at least one technical WP shall be included. WP0 should be included only in case preparation costs (only travel and subsistence costs up to €10.000) are to be reported.
4.13 Is there a way to link within the same Work Package several outputs to just one activity?Published on:
Please note that the online application form does allow to associate one activity to more than one output. In fact, you are expected to describe and schedule one activity (or more) to complete a single output. This methodology follows the logical framework approach sets as follows: Activities -> Output(s) -> Work Package(s) -> Expected result(s) -> Specific objective(s) -> General objective.
4.13 Is there a list of predefined specific/general objectives to choose from when drafting a project proposal?Published on:
No, there is no predefined list of specific and general objectives to choose from while expected results, result/output indicators shall be chosen from those contained for each Priority in the Joint Operational Programme and automatically sorted out in the e-application form.
4.15 If the financial accounts of an organization are in another currency than the Euro, which year exchange rate should be used?Published on:
The use of the average year exchange rate of the European Commission system called “InforEuro” is recommended.
4.16 What is the meaning of “local partners” in point 20 of the Partner Statement (and mentioned in article 22.5 of the Grant Contract)?Published on:
Since this article refers to the obligation to transfer the equipment and vehicles (which single value is more than 5.000 euro) purchased by EU organizations to beneficiaries in Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs), the meaning of “local partners” is “project partners from MPCs”.
4.17 When filling in the file on the justification of the administrative costs, in which case should the “YES” cell be selected in column in the “Operating Grant”?Published on:
The “YES” cell must be selected in the event the Applicant or a partner organization has an operating grant, such as, for example, another contract financed by other EU programmes, which explicitly does not allow to claim additional administrative costs on projects financed by other EU instruments.
4.18 How should the administrative costs be indicated for large organizations with several departments/offices?Published on:
As a general rule, each organization should have an internal regulation with a methodology on how to estimate the administrative costs in the annual balance. The most common criteria are the number of square meters or the number of staff of each department. In the event such methodology is not available, the organization may establish its own methodology to be verified, if the project is approved, by the auditor that will check the expenditures related to the first interim report.
4.19 Is it possible to submit 2 or more proposals with the same access (i.e. same username and email)?Published on:
No. A new account has to be created for each proposal to be submitted, with a different email address. This solution allows the automatic check on the rule concerning the submission of one proposal per priority as Applicant only, and the notification to the concerned Applicant on its risk of possible double submission of more than one proposal under the same priority. The account must be used by the Applicant only and it shall be operated only through one single access. The system may not register the information included in the application form if multiple accesses are made at the same time. The Managing Authority is not responsible for inappropriate use of the account.
4.20 Which documents shall be uploaded to submit my project proposal?Published on:
Each proposal - depending on the priority addressed and the level of information required for the environmental check - shall include all information required in the e-application form. Moreover, the following mandatory documents have to be uploaded in the e-application form (section "Documents"):
- Declaration by the Applicant;
- Partner Statement;
- Declaration for International Organisations (to be submitted only in case one or more international organizations are involved in the project. If an international organisation presents a project proposal as an Applicant, it shall also submit the "Declaration by the Applicant" in addition to the "Declaration for International Organisations");
- Associated partner declaration (to be submitted only in the case associated partners are involved in the project);
- State aid self-assessment grids (all the grids must be scanned in one file);
- Calculation of the administrative costs.
After the deadline of the call for proposals, the Managing Authority may request additional documents and information.
4.21 If the deadline of the call has not yet expired, may I modify the content of my proposal even if I have already submitted the application?Published on:
Yes. You can modify the content of the proposal until the deadline of the call, also in case it has been already “submitted”, by using “back to draft” option in the e-application form. Please note that an email will be sent to the email address of the person holding the credentials of the account in order to confirm (by clicking on a link) the will to go “back to draft”. After this confirmation, the proposal will be back to draft and it will not be considered as submitted anymore. Therefore, once the modifications have been made, the Applicant must submit the proposal again.
4.22 If requested by the Managing Authority, is it possible to submit a copy of the supporting documents requested during the eligibility check?Published on:
Provided that the documents listed in par. 5.4 of the Guidelines for Applicants must be provided only upon request of the Managing Authority (MA), in the event the original documents - such as the external audit report for the last 2 years - need to be kept in the official accountancy documentation of the Applicant or partner organization, a copy of the said documents can be provided instead of the original version. The MA, in its request for supporting documents, will provide additional information on how to submit these documents, as the case may be.
4.23 If my organisation has several departments, which information shall I indicate in section “Applicant and partners details” of the e-application form?Published on:
Large organisations such as universities, national research centers etc., should indicate the financial and technical information at “department” level (the one involved in the project). If this information is not available, a weighted average of the overall structure divided by the number of departments according to the amount that they manage per year can be indicated. The same approach shall be followed for the calculation of the administrative cost, where a large organization could take into account the percentage of total budget managed by the department that participates in the project. The methodology used to determine the information shall be described as it may be requested by the Managing Authority during the evaluation process.
4.24 How should the Financial Plan be completed by Lead Applicants?Published on:
The Financial Plan has to be filled in after the completion of the sections “Budget 1” and “Budget 2”. The Financial Plan gives an overview of the project cash flows by the project at partner level for each semester. It also informs on how far a budget is balanced during the project life. Lead Applicants should complete only the Financial Plan cells appearing in light grey as those appearing in dark grey cannot be modified. The section "EU contribution" includes amounts in some semesters which are automatically generated and correspond to the pre-financing installments that will be made by the Programme throughout the project duration in accordance with the Grant Agreement (see article 7 of the model of Grant Agreement available on the Programme website). Lead Applicants may use the sections "Other contributions/other incomes", "Revenues", and "Interests from pre-financing" only in the case they receive/generate this type of cash flows. In the section "Cash advance" the Lead Applicants will indicate, for each partner and for each semester, the amount of funds that must be advanced to match the payments regardless of the fact that the organization will advance staff costs which will be used as co-financing. This means that the total payments shall match the total budget of the project (direct + indirect) excluding the “contingency reserve” as this reserve does not generate any cash flow. As the payments of each semester/partner are generated automatically on the basis of the expenditures uploaded when completing the section “Budget 1”, the Lead Applicants will have to ensure, by filling in the "Cash advance" row, for those semesters where the "difference" appears in negative and in red. In these cases, the amount appearing in red will be the amount to indicate as "Cash advance". Please note that, for each partner, the final total difference should either be equal to "0" or to a positive amount. Finally, in order to avoid errors in the financial plan, the section “Budget 1”, shall be entirely finalized and in particular there must be an indication of the semester(s) in which every cost corresponding to each row of the cost category will be incurred (meaning paid out). Despite not recommended, even though the financial plan does not have balance zero, the proposal can still be submitted.
4.25 Does the function “Validate” included in the e-application form ensure that my project is compliant with all Programme rules and, therefore, eligible?Published on:
No. This feature is meant as a technical support to verify the compliance with the main rules of the call for proposals before submitting your project. While we strongly encourage to use the “Validate” button, the checks performed during the administrative verification will include other criteria - listed in the Guidelines for Applicants - that cannot be verified by the system (e.g. use of only one language, content of uploaded declarations, etc.).
Moreover, the “Validate” button allows checking, for each of the four (4) sections of the application form (General, WP, Budget and Financial), if there are errors preventing the submission of the proposal. Please note that this button is the only command allowing to check errors prior to the submission. In order to submit your application, all 4 sections must state “no errors found”.
The percentage in the left menu only indicates if there is any paragraph that is blank but it does not detect the completeness of each section.