SPECIFIC PROGRAMME "CIVIL JUSTICE" (2007-2013) CALL FOR PROPOSALS 2007-1 SPECIFIC TRANSNATIONAL PROJECTS
On 25 September 2007, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Decision No 1149/2007/EC1 establishing for the period 2007-2013 the Specific Programme "Civil Justice" as part of the General Programme ‘Fundamental Rights and Justice’, in order to contribute to the strengthening of the area of Freedom, Security and Justice over the period of 2007 - 2013. This call for proposals aims at selecting specific transnational projects of Community interest to be co-funded by the European Commission within the framework of the Specific Programme "Civil Justice". The projects are anticipated to begin in the second half of 2008 and will have a duration of up to 18 months. Only new projects will be eligible for support; projects that have already begun will not be eligible for co-financing.
1. Objectives and priorities of the Programme
The general objectives of the programme are the following: (a) to promote judicial cooperation with the aim of contributing to the creation of a genuine European area of justice in civil matters based on mutual recognition and mutual confidence; to promote the elimination of obstacles to the good functioning of cross-border civil proceedings in the Member States; to improve the daily life of individuals and businesses by enabling them to assert their rights throughout the European Union, notably by fostering access to justice; to improve the contacts, exchange of information and networking between judicial and administrative authorities and the legal professions, including by way of support of judicial training, with the aim of better mutual understanding among such authorities and professionals.
1 OJ L 257, 3.10.2007, p. 16
The following four types of projects can be supported, based on the four general objectives of the Specific Programme "Civil Justice", as quoted below: a) Projects aimed at promoting judicial cooperation in civil matters, with the aim of contributing to the creation of a genuine European area of justice in civil matters based on mutual recognition and mutual confidence
Projects with this objective may consist of studies and research or meetings and seminars, or a combination of them. Projects can cover any topic in the area of judicial cooperation in civil matters. Priority will be given to projects focusing on the following topics: • improving the enforcement of judgments in cross-border cases in the Union, and in particular the means of recovering debts where the debtor has assets outside his country of residence; improving mutual recognition in family law matters, in particular encouraging mutual recognition of patrimonial effects of the separation of married and unmarried couples on property matters; encouraging mutual recognition of successions and wills; improving and encouraging the recovery of maintenance claims; encouraging the convergence of conflict-of-laws rules, including facilitation of the application of foreign law; ensuring coherence and upgrading the quality of EU legislation in matters concerning contract law; overcoming the practical and administrative barriers encountered by citizens and businesses in the implementation of instruments adopted on the basis of Article 61(c) of the Treaty establishing the European Community; improving the knowledge of the European Judicial Network in Civil and Commercial Matters (EJN) on the part of judges and other legal practitioners; improving the good functioning of the national contact points of the EJN and the cooperation between them and the legal professions. Projects aimed at promoting the elimination of obstacles to the good functioning of cross-border civil proceedings in the Member States
• • • • •
• • b) Scope:
Projects with this objective may consist of training, studies, exchanges between judicial authorities and work experience placements, meetings and seminars, or a combination of these activities.
Priority will be given to projects consisting of exchange and work experience placements. c) Projects aimed at improving the daily life of individuals and businesses by enabling them to assert their rights throughout the European Union, notably by fostering access to justice
Scope: Projects with this objective may consist of dissemination of information. Priority will be given to projects focusing on information for citizens on access to justice in situations involving two or more Member States.
Projects aimed at improving the contacts, exchange of information and networking between legal, judicial and administrative authorities and the legal professions, including by way of support of judicial training, with the aim of better mutual understanding among such authorities and professionals
Scope: Projects with this objective may consist of training, studies and research, meetings and seminars, or dissemination of information, or a combination of these activities. Priority will be given to projects consisting of: • training for practitioners of justice in Community legislative instruments adopted on the basis of Article 61(c) of the Treaty establishing the European Community,2 and in particular Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters and Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims; training for the judges and the central authorities referred to in the parental responsibility Regulation (new Brussels II Regulation)3 on the operation of that Regulation in relation to their judicial cooperation functions;
2 Council Directive 2003/8/EC of 27 January 2003 to improve access to justice in cross-border disputes by establishing minimum common rules relating to legal aid for such disputes, OJ L 26, 31.1.2003, p. 41.
Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 of 28.05.2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters, OJ L 174, 27.6.2001, p. 1. Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, OJ L 12, 16.1.2001 p.1. Council Regulation (EC) 1346/2000 of 29 May 2000 on insolvency proceedings, OJ L 160, 30.6.2000, p. 1. European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 of 21 April 2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims, OJ L 143, 30.4.2004. Council Regulation (EC) No 1348/2000 of 29 May 2000 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters, OJ L 160, 30.6.2000, p. 37.
3 Council Regulation (EC) No 2201 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000.
training for practitioners of justice in mediation techniques.
NOTE: All projects submitted must be within the scope of the programme (i.e. they must correspond to at least one of the general objectives of the Specific Programme "Civil Justice") and will be evaluated against the criteria set for this call for proposals. In 2007, the European Commission is seeking proposals for projects that address the priority areas described in this call. Applicants should be clear which of these priority categories their proposal addresses. Projects submitted outside these priority areas will be considered but only where they clearly do not duplicate actions already taken or being taken, and demonstrate innovation and are clearly European in scope.
2. Who can apply?
2.1 Legal status Project proposals may be submitted by institutions and public or private organisations, including professional organisations, universities, research institutes and legal and judicial training institutes for legal practitioners, international organisations and non-governmental organisations of a EU Member State (with the exception of Denmark). NOTE: Private individuals are not eligible to apply
2.2 Origin Each project proposal must involve at least two different EU Member States or at least one Member State and one other State that may be either an acceding country or a candidate country (with the exception of Denmark). Apart from organisations from the EU Member States (with the exception of Denmark) and international organisations, the Specific Programme "Civil Justice" is also open to participation of organisations from the following countries: • the acceding countries, the candidate countries and the Western Balkan countries included in the stabilisation and association process but specific conditions for these countries must first be met before they can be funded (i.e.: these countries must have signed a memorandum of understanding in order to participate in the Specific Programme "Civil Justice" and must have contributed to the Budget of the European Communities).
NOTE: Projects may also associate participants from Denmark, from candidate countries not participating in the Specific Programme "Civil Justice" where this would contribute to their preparation for accession or from other third countries where this clearly serves the aim of the project. "Associate partners" are public or private organisations from a State authorised to participate but not eligible for Community financing under the Specific Programme at this time.
2.3 Partnership Proposals must have a partnership of at least two eligible organisations from two different EU Member States. In each partnership, an applicant (coordinating organisation or lead organisation) must be chosen. This applicant will submit the proposal for the Commission's appraisal. The Applicant will be legally responsible for managing project, coordinating all tasks, liaising with the Commission and managing the budget (the "Beneficiary").. The partner, in cooperation with the coordinating organisation (applicant), may implement project activities as described in the grant contract. The coordinating organisation and the partners share the relevant tasks and finance. Consequently they must all be from countries eligible for the Specific Programme Civil Justice financing at the time of submitting the application. Applicants' partners participate in designing and implementing the action, and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the grant beneficiary. They must therefore satisfy the same eligibility criteria as applicants. All partners must: satisfy the same eligibility criteria as applicants; and complete and sign a mandate to assign full legal responsibility to the co-ordinating organisation. NOTE: Once the grant agreement has been signed, each partner will be considered as a cobeneficiary. The co-ordinating organisation will receive funds from the Commission and will distribute them among the co-beneficiaries.
2.4 Other parties involved If the project uses service providers, such as media production companies, web design or research companies etc., the budget must include such services and if detailed information about the service providers are known, the applicant may choose to provide them. Service providers must be based in one of the States eligible for the Specific Programme Civil Justice. 2.5 Multiple applications An applicant may apply for support for several separate projects. In this case, separate applications should be submitted for each project. Only one application is required for each project. Applicants may also participate as partners in projects submitted by other organisations. In case more than one project is submitted by the same applicant, the applicant must demonstrate its technical and financial capacities to implement all of its selected projects.
3. Target group
The participants and/or target group for the projects should be legal practitioners, including judges, prosecutors, advocates, solicitors, notaries, academic and scientific personnel, ministry officials, court officers, bailiffs, court interpreters and other professionals associated with the judiciary in the area of civil law, national authorities and citizens of the Union in general.
4. Budget and financial aspects
The indicative budget available for specific projects under this call for proposals is EUR 3,500,000. 4.1 Financial provisions o The Commission’s contribution towards a single project cannot be less than EUR 50,000 nor greater than EUR 200,000. The Commission will determine the amounts of financial assistance to be awarded to individual projects, based on the available budget. o The Community’s financial contribution may not exceed 80 per cent of the total direct eligible costs of the project. Each applicant will therefore have to secure complementary funding from other sources to cover the balance of the project costs. o A minimum of 20% of the total eligible costs must therefore be provided as a cash contribution, either from the applicant organisation and/or partners, or from another donor source. This complementary funding must be secured at the time of the application. o Contributions in kind shall not count as actual project expenditure and shall not constitute eligible costs. o Project funding is based on the principle of shared costs. If the amount awarded by the Commission is lower than the amount requested by the applicant, it is the responsibility of the applicant to find the additional amount required or to reduce the total cost of the project. o An advance payment (pre-financing) of 70% of the Commission’s contribution will be paid within 45 days of the countersignature of the grant agreement. The balance will be paid once the Commission has accepted the final report and financial accounts. Sums due shall be paid within no more than forty-five calendar days by the Commission. On expiry of the time-limit, the creditor shall be entitled to late payment interest. o At the time of payment of the balance, the amount granted will be proportionate to the eligible costs of the project and will be reduced proportionally where the total eligible costs turn out to be lower than the total estimated costs. o Commission grants are attributed for non-commercial purposes only and projects must be strictly non-profit making. o Selected projects will begin as soon as the grant agreement is signed by both parties. No expenditure is eligible before the starting date of the grant agreement. Information and guidance on eligible costs can be found in the guides available on the website of the Specific Programme "Civil Justice":
5. What form should the application take?
Applications must include the following documents to be eligible Documents Grant Application Form for 2007-1 Comments Number copies of
Completed by Applicant in WORD (the Commission 1 signed recommends applicants to submit their applications in DE, original + 2 EN, or FR) photocopies + electronic version
ANNEXES (all 12 sets obligatory): 1. Budget Form Completed in EXCEL 1 signed original + 2 [Note that the form is protected and most calculations are photocopies + automatic] electronic version
signed 2. Staff Cost Completed in EXCEL (included as separate sheets in the 1 Budget Form) original+ 2 Analysis photocopies + Form electronic version 3. Timetable 4. Financial Identification Form Completed in EXCEL (included as last sheet of the 3 copies Budget Form) Typewritten, signed and stamped by both the 1 signed Applicant’s legal representative and the bank. The stamp original of the bank and the signature of the bank's representative are not required if a copy of a recent bank statement is attached. The signature of the account-holder is obligatory in all cases. http://ec.europa.eu/budget/execution/ftiers_en.htm signed 5. Legal Entity Typewritten and signed by the Applicant’s legal 1 original representative: Form http://ec.europa.eu/budget/execution/legal_entities_en.htm Completed and signed by Applicant (in DE, EN, or FR) to 1 signed 6. Declaration on Exclusion certify that it is not in one of the situations listed under the original Exclusion criteria Criteria This is to allow verification of the applicant’s legal status 1 copy 7. Applicant’s Articles of and that it is properly constituted under the law Association or Statutes,
as relevant 8. Curriculum The curriculum vitae of people performing the work in 1 copy of each connection with the project is required CV vitae NOTE: This requirement is universities and public bodies. for 1 copy of each supporting document a. Annual financial reports/accounts for the last 3 years available; b. Copy of balance sheet for the last year (closed accounts year; and c. "Simplified balance sheet", filled in for 3 years and duly signed; and d. copy of "Profit and Loss Account" for the last year; and e. "Simplified Profit and Loss Account", filled in for 3 years and duly signed. [Note that recently established organisations have only to submit (i) the start-up Balance Sheet and (ii) and the projection of the "Simplified Balance Sheet" and the "Simplified Profit and Loss Account" covering the period of the project.] 10. Co-financing Declaration Form 1 form for each source of co-financing other than from 1 signed Applicant, Partners or Associate Partners original + 2 [Note that applicants declare their co-financing by signing photocopies for the Budget Form and partners by indicating a financial each source of contribution on and signing the Partner Declaration funding Form.] not applicable
9. Applicant's financial capacity
11. Partner Declaration Form
1 form for each partner
1 signed original + 2 photocopies of each Partner’s Declaration Form 1 signed original + 2 photocopies of each Associate Partner’s Declaration Form
12. Associate Partner 1 form for each associate partner Declaration Form
In addition, applicants should submit the following supporting documents, if they exist: • • Certificate of legal registration of applicant organisation; List of members of the Board of Directors or executive officers;
Annual technical/narrative report of the applicant organisation for the previous year; Most recent audit report by independent authorised firm of auditors.
6. Selection process – Applicable Criteria
6.1 Exclusion criteria Potential applicants and partners may not participate in calls for proposals or be awarded grants if they are in any of the situations: (a) they are bankrupt or being wound up, are having their affairs administered by the court, have entered into an arrangement with creditors, have suspended business activities, are the subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or are in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations; they have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a judgement which has the force of res judicata; they have been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the contracting authority can justify; they have not fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or the payment of taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established or with those of the country of the contracting authority or those of the country where the contract is to be performed; they have been the subject of a judgement which has the force of res judicata for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation or any other illegal activity detrimental to the Communities’ financial interests; they are currently subject to an administrative penalty imposed by the contracting authority on (i) applicants which are guilty of misrepresentation in supplying the information required by the contracting authority as a condition of participation in the grant application procedure or fail to supply this information; or (ii) contractors who have been declared to be in serious breach of their obligations under contracts covered by the EC budget.
(b) (c) (d)
6.2 Eligibility criteria
Proposals will be declared ineligible if they do not respect one of the following criteria. If a grant application is declared ineligible, it will not be considered for evaluation (i.e. it will be rejected without being evaluated against the selection and award criteria). a) The applicant and each partner must be eligible to participate in the Specific Programme "Civil Justice" (legal status and country of origin). Projects may be submitted by institutions and public or private organisations, including professional organisations, universities, research institutes and legal and judicial training institutes for legal practitioners, international organisations and non-governmental organisations of the EU Member States. The following countries may participate in the actions of the Programme: the acceding countries, the candidate countries and the Western Balkan countries included in the stabilisation and association process in accordance with the conditions laid down in the association agreements or additional protocols thereto relating to participation in Community programmes concluded or to
be concluded with those countries. Projects may associate legal practitioners from Denmark, from candidate countries not participating in the Specific Programme Civil Justice where this would contribute to their preparation for accession, or from other third countries not participating in the Programme where this serves the aim of the projects. b) Projects must involve at least two EU Member States or at least one Member State and a candidate / acceding country, whether they are working together to organise them or actually participating. Projects may also associate practitioners from Denmark or from non-member countries not participating in this framework for activities, where this serves the aims of the projects. Projects which are eligible for financing must correspond to one of the four objectives of the framework programme. The audience targeted by the proposal: the project must target practitioners of justice, except for projects concerning public information, which must target the general public or specified categories. There must be no overlap or duplication with other activities, in particular with previous projects financed under the programme or under the old Schuman, Grotius, Grotius Civil programmes or the Framework Programme for Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters. Projects should have a duration of maximum 18 months and begin before the end of 2008. The Community grant applied for must be lower or equal to 80% of the total eligible cost of the project and be between EUR 50,000 and 200,000. The applicant must provide written proof, through the signed budget form, the Partner Declaration(s) and Co-financing Declaration(s), that it has secured co-financing of at least 20% of the total eligible cost of the project Only requests submitted on the standard request forms, signed and accompanied by the annexes required in the call for proposals, will be taken into account. Any alterations made to the form will disqualify the application. The form must be completed in full, in one of the European Union's official languages. It must be signed by the person authorised to enter into legally binding commitments on behalf of the applicant. Requests must be presented within the time allowed by the call for proposals (see section 9).
7. Selection criteria
Applicants must show (in the application and its annexes) that they have: (a) sufficient operational capabilities to manage and complete the project (judged on the basis of the data relating to the applicant organisation and its activities in previous years provided in the grant application form and its annexes);
sufficient financial capacities to manage and complete the project (judged on the basis of the applicant organisation’s financial results in previous years and of the resources available to it for co-financing the project and for financing all project-related expenditure until the moment of payment of the Commission’s contribution); sufficient professional capacities to manage complete the project (judged on the basis of the CVs of persons involved in the project).
The aforesaid selection criteria will be evaluated for all eligible proposals. If one or more of the selection criteria has not been met, the proposal will not be considered for further evaluation (i.e. it will be rejected without being evaluated against the award criteria).
8. Award criteria
Only proposals respecting the exclusion, eligibility and selection criteria described above will be subject to in-depth evaluation. The evaluation will be carried out according to the following criteria. Each criterion will be assessed against the maximum number of points indicated below, the maximum total for all the award criteria together being 100 points: a) European dimension: the geographical scope of the project in terms of partners, participants and target group and/or its added value at European level. (maximum: 15 points) Relevance to the programme's objectives and complementarity with other Community activities, avoiding duplication with projects funded by other Community programmes. Ability of the project to attain the desired objective, particularly in terms of the relevance of the expected results and practical impact (maximum: 15 points) Quality of the proposed action regarding its conception, organisation, presentation, methodology and the appropriate use of financial resources. (maximum: 40 points) Sustainability of the project: Likely impact of the expected results, measures planned for the dissemination of the results and to ensure adequate follow-up of project outputs. (maximum: 30 points)
Once the evaluation procedure is completed, including receipt of the Programme Committee’s opinion and the Commission’s decision, the Commission will inform each applicant of the final decision taken, including reasons for rejection, and of the next steps. The Commission will then set in motion the procedures necessary for preparation of the grant agreement (including dialogue with the applicant concerning any necessary technical and financial adjustments as well as procedures relating to expenditure commitments).
9. How and where to send the grant application form
The forms necessary for the grant application, its annexes and the guide for submitting a grant application can be accessed and downloaded from the website of the Specific Programme "Civil Justice" at the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/funding/civil/funding_civil_en.htm For reasons of efficiency, the Commission recommends that the applicants should submit their applications in English, French or German. • • •
Send applications to the address given below by 20 May 2008. The envelope must be clearly marked "Application under the Specific Programme "Civil Justice" – Specific Transnational Projects Call 2007-1". Grant Application forms sent by e-mail or by fax will not be accepted.
Applications must be submitted in a sealed envelope by registered mail, private courier service or by hand-delivery at the address below. If a private courier service is used including express courier services - the application must arrive before 16.00 hrs CET on the day of the deadline. The date of receipt will be noted by the Commission. In the case of handdelivery, a signed and dated certificate of receipt issued by the Commission will be given to the deliverer. In the case of applications arriving by post, the postmark will attest to the date sent. By registered mail (postmark + time 16.00 hrs. CET) By hand or messenger service (16.00 hrs. CET)
European Commission European Commission DG Justice, Freedom and Security Unit OR CENTRAL MAIL DEPARTMENT JLS/C/4 (Registered post) LX 46 07/122 Att: DG JLS/C/4 B-1049 Brussels LX 46 07/122 Belgium Avenue du Bourget, 1 B-1140 Brussels (Evere) Belgium
Where to get further information
Directorate General Justice, Freedom and Security website: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/justice_home/index_en.htm Website of the Specific Programme "Civil Justice": http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/funding/civil/funding_civil_en.htm Specific answers about the call for proposals can be obtained at: JLS-FRAMEWORK-CIVIL@ec.europa.eu In the interest of equal treatment of applicants, the Commission cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of an applicant, a partner or an action. Questions that may be relevant to other applicants, together with the answers, will be published on the internet at the Civil Justice website (FAQ). The evaluation process will most probably take place in the second quarter of 2008. The standard grant agreement is available on the Civil Justice website.