Call for proposals with a view to the conclusion of a grant agreement for the organisation of a seminar in the context of dissemination of best practice between authorities involved in the implementation of Objective 1 and Objective 2 Structural Fund Programmes.
In October 2003 the Commission (Directorate-general for Regional Policy) organized a first seminar in Sheffield (United Kingdom) in cooperation with the Managing Authority for South Yorkshire, aiming at promoting exchange of experience and dissemination of best practice between authorities involved in the implementation of Objective 1 and Objective 2 Structural Fund programmes. In October 2004 a second seminar of that kind took place in Rovaniemi (Finland) in cooperation with the Finnish Ministry of Interior and the Regional Council of Lapland. In October 2005 a third seminar was organised in Magdeburg (Germany) in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance of Sachsen- Anhalt. These seminars were destined to contribute to improving quality of implementation of Structural Funds on the basis of project presentations and visits. The Commission is planning for 2006 to hold a 3 day-long seminar on best practices in Austria in the city of Graz, preferably in November 2006, that builds on the success of the three preceding seminars. The idea is that best practices seminars will be organised each year in 2 or 3 regions in different Member States in cooperation with Managing Authorities and implementing bodies of Structural Funds from Objective 1 and 2 areas of Structural Funds. The experience of the Austrian regions, and of structural programmes of Styria and of the neighbouring Objective 1 area of Burgenland will be particularly useful (e.g. site visits) in order to evaluate the role of innovation in regional development. 2. Objectives
The objective of carrying out a seminar on best practices in regional policy is to improve the quality of ERDF programme management and implementation. In this respect, the promotion of exchange of experiences and best practices among implementing authorities at the European level has in the past been successful and has been appreciated by participants as well as by the political level. The conference should have a strong political backing and should be organised with high- grade political speakers. The present call for proposals concerns the organisation of the above lined out conference in cooperation with the Commission. The conference should involve a maximum of 250 participants including speakers, chairpersons and moderators and will take place in the city of Graz, Austria. The conference should aim at a balanced share of participants from the old and the new Member States. 3. Tasks
The selected organizer of the conference, beneficiary of the grant, should guarantee the following tasks: the elaboration and submission of an organisational schedule for the seminar on the basis of treatment of three thematic areas. registration of the participants
choice and invitation of speakers, chairpersons and/or moderators, in cooperation with the Commission choice of themes to be dealt with in the seminar, in cooperation with the Commission selection of projects to be presented in the seminar, in cooperation with the Commission choice and invitation of speakers, chairpersons and/or moderators, in cooperation with the Commission organizing flights and/or railway travels and providing accommodation of speakers, chairpersons, moderators and for all participants from EU 10, Rumania and Bulgaria, and reimbursement of travel expenses for these participants1 providing free of charge bus transportation for all participants from the airport and/or railways station to the hotels and/or the seminar venue, from and back to the hotels to and from the dinner venue and to and from the excursions (project visits). organizing and booking appropriate hotel accommodation at special conditions for all other participants (the hotel costs however will have to be borne by the participants other than speakers, chairpersons and moderators) arranging free of charge meals, beverages and dinners during the seminar, including one evening event free of charge preparation of the workshops (guidelines for speakers, problems to be raised, scenariobuilding preparation of an in advance written and free of charge proposal of relevant issues for the plenary session and the workshops preparation of a written introductory report on the themes of the plenary session and the workshops prior to the conference including documentation of the specific project presentations free of charge production of the Conference Report, including follow-up of the conference and specific recommendation for future Structural Funds programming period. providing free of charge sufficient workspace for the seminar and workshops, as the case may be, for a maximum of 250 participants (including speakers, chairpersons and moderators) organizing free of charge appropriate project visits in the region and accordance with the themes selected by the Commission providing free of charge facilities and suitable workspace for interpretation to/from at least four languages creating and updating an own website for the seminar and link it to the Regio Infoview website, and making it accessible to all participants as an information and on-lineregistration tool creating appropriate publicity before and after completion of the seminar with the aim of demonstrating in particular the region’s and the Commission’s strategic interest in such event organizing a 1 to 2 days’ post-tour programme including excursions and project visits; the costs for this programme can partially or in total be borne by the participants
The tasks for the Commission are in particular: planning of the seminar together with the organizer, beneficiary of the grant choice of themes to be dealt with in the seminar, in cooperation with the organizer selection of projects to be presented in the seminar, in cooperation with the organizer
Accommodation costs, travel costs and the costs for organizing the travels, provided for participants from the new Member States, Romania and Bulgaria, will be financed by the European Commission at a rate of 100%.
choice and invitation of speakers, chairpersons and/or moderators, in cooperation with the organizer sending invitations for participation in the seminar to all Member States inviting key staff of the Commission’s Directorate-general for Regional Policy to participate in the seminar provision free of charge to the beneficiary of the required interpretation service Grant agreement
The Commission’s Directorate-general for Regional Policy will award a grant to the selected organizer/beneficiary to be paid from Technical Assistance Budget of Structural Funds implemented and managed by the Commission. This grant is limited to 80 % of the estimated total eligible costs. The remaining part (20%) of the costs for the seminar can be borne by the Technical Assistance available from Objective 1 or Objective 2 programmes managed by the Member State. Costs for accommodation, travel and the organization of the travels, provided for participants from the new Member States, Romania and Bulgaria, will be financed by the European Commission at a rate of 100%. The allocation of this grant is subject to the approval of the Commission decision in the first quarter of 2006 of the relevant budget within the annual Technical Assistance programme of Structural Funds. 5. Eligibility criteria
Proposals will be accepted from Managing Authorities, and other implementing bodies (legal persons according to Article 114 of the Financial Regulation) involved in Objective 1 or Objective 2 programmes of Structural Funds. 6. Criteria for exclusion
Candidates must declare on their honour that the criteria for exclusion enumerated in Articles 93 (1) and 94 of the Financial Regulation2 do not apply to them. 7. Selection of candidate
The grant shall be awarded on the basis of the following criteria for the candidate’s ability to complete the work, in particular: Its proven level of experience in organizing seminars and conferences of that size and for that target group Its proven knowledge and experience in the implementation of Structural Fund programmes for Objective 1 or Objective 2 given the requirements to propose best practices in Structural Funds in cooperation with the EU managing authorities and implementing bodies and to organize appropriate project visits. Its administrative capacity and resources available for the work required Its readiness to fulfil the tasks listed above under point 3 in close cooperation with the Commission and within the limits of the budget available (an indicative breakdown of the budget is to be submitted as suggested in the annex).
Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No. 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002; OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 26
The candidate shall submit proof for its capacity to fulfil the above criteria, including the availability of the persons mentioned in the proposal until completion of the work. The Directorate-general for Regional Policy will set up a selection panel within one week from closing date (see 9 below) to assess candidates on the basis of the above criteria. The panel will consist of officials from this Directorate-general. The Commission will inform in writing the selected candidate within one week about its decision. Candidates who will not have been retained will also be informed in writing. 8. Award criteria
In order to honour the best candidate, the Commission will base its assessment on the selection criteria listed under point 7 as well as the candidates’ ability to fulfil the tasks listed under point 3 in respect to quality and cost-effectiveness. Specifically the grant shall be awarded to the proposal evaluated with the highest number of points following four criteria (which will be given 5 points each for an overall total of 20 points): The quality and appropriateness of its proposals submitted for fulfilling the tasks listed under point 3, in particular in terms of precision, timetable and feasibility. The assessment of the administrative capacity and resources available for the work required Cost / efficiency considerations for these proposals. The clarity of the provided budget breakdown and the clear relation between the amounts accorded to these activities, the nature of the activities and the methodology of carrying them out Applications
Application forms can be found online right next to the call for proposals in English, German and French. For other languages or any questions regarding the application forms please contact: European Commission Regional Policy DG – Directorate E CSM2 09/62 B-1049 Brussels
Proposals will only be accepted if they are duly completed and signed. They shall be sent, containing all the documents required, with the indication: Call for proposals from Managing Authorities Best Practice IV Applications must be submitted according to the following indications, at the choice of the applicant: a) Either by MAIL/e-mail, posted at the latest on February 3rd 2006, the postmark being taken as a proof, to the address: European Commission Regional Policy DG – Directorate E CSM2 09/62 B-1049 Brussels
b) Or by deposit (directly, or by any representative of the candidate, including a courier services), to the address: European Commission Courrier Central Rue de Genève 1 B-1140 Brussels (Evere) at the latest on February 3rd 2006. In this case, the deposit of the application will be established by means of a dated receipt, signed by an official of the central mail reception service of the Commission to whom the documents were given. This service is open Monday to Friday from 8.00 from 17.00 h (16.00 Friday); it is closed on Saturday, Sunday and Commission public holidays.