INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND
This call for proposals is published under Article 54(2)b of the Regulation (EU, Euratom) N°966/2012. The relevant annual work programme was adopted under Commission Decision C(2016)2411 of the 27th April 2016.
Access to an increasing variety of European works has been facilitated on the one hand by digital technologies via online VOD services, and on the other hand, by more flexible programming of cinemas adapting the screening offer to audience demand.
Increasing availability of European films implies costs, in particular for subtitling/dubbing films into the different official languages of the European Union. These costs are frequently co-financed by public bodies such as national film agencies or the European Union, via the distribution and online distribution schemes of the Creative Europe MEDIA sub-programme.
Whilst subtitling/dubbing are key to promote cultural diversity and reach out to new audiences, some inefficiencies prevent operators (cinemas, broadcasters, VoD services) from proposing versions of films in a language other than the official language(s) of the territory where they are shown. For instance, language versions are not easy to find for audiovisual media service providers including broadcasters and VoD services, and this has an impact on the programming of films.
Moreover, the same language version can be subtitled several times by different stakeholders and funded by different public authorities. There is thus scope to streamline and make more efficient public funding of subtitling and dubbing.
The Commission Communication of 9 December 2015 Towards a modern, more European copyright framework, calls for action to make a "more efficient funding for, and use of, subtitling and dubbing by public funds", which is the basis for the present preparatory action. In line with the communication of the Commission, this action complements the development of a European aggregator of online search tools destined to end users (online indexation of available legal offers), which was the subject of the first year of preparatory action back in 2015.
OBJECTIVE(S) – THEME(S) – PRIORITIES
The objective of this action is to increase the availability, the exploitation and the circulation of European works. Specifically, this action shall support the development of an online tool.
This tool would:
Enable to track all language versions available for any given film in as many official EU languages as possible; the online tool shall display a research feature based on diverse parameters, amongst them ISO standard identifiers;
Enable service providers (e.g. VOD services, catch-up TV services or cinema theatres) to easily find and use the different language versions they need following a simple and, if possible, automated transaction mechanism; the info displayed shall be accessible for film funds and potential sponsors of dubbing or subtitled versions, so that they can edit information regarding versions that they had supported;
For this purpose the project retained shall:
Develop a prototype;
Test the tool with the industry and define the conditions of governance and modalities for a sustainable business model;
Expected results of the project:
The sustainable implementation of the tool on the market place;
Expected outcomes of the preparatory action:
Improved flexibility in the use language versions of subtitles regardless of the official language(s) of the territory of the Member States where the European audiovisual work is screened;
Facilitated access to European content to a wider audience;
The results of the experimentation should be shared with stakeholders and policy makers notably through the organisation of a public workshop. The Commission will closely follow-up of the project. This will entail regular meetings in Brussels, to be included in the draft budget to be submitted.
Publication of the call
Deadline for submitting applications
Information to applicants
Signature of grant agreement or notification of grant decision
Starting date of the action/ work programme
DURATION FOR THE ACTION : 1 YEAR
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects amounts up to 500 000 euro
The action will be implemented with a maximum aid intensity of 80% of the total eligible costs of the project.
The Commission expects to fund one to two proposals.
The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.
Applications must be sent no later than the deadline for submitting applications referred to in section 3.
Applications must be submitted in writing (see section 14), using the application form available at www.ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda2.
Applications must be drafted in one of the EU official languages.
Failure to comply with those requirements will lead to the rejection of the
6.1. Eligible applicants
Entities (private companies, public entities, non-profit organisations, associations, charities, foundations, municipalities/Town Councils, etc.) or a grouping of entities established in one of the EU countries and owned directly or by majority participation, by nationals from such countries.
Natural persons may not apply for a grant.
In order to assess the applicants' eligibility, the following supporting documents are requested:
private entity: extract from the official journal, copy of articles of association, extract of trade or association register, certificate of liability to VAT (if, as in certain countries, the trade register number and VAT number are identical, only one of these documents is required);
public entity: copy of the resolution or decision establishing the public company, or other official document establishing the public-law entity;
consortium: in addition to the supporting documents referring to their legal status, consortium members will submit letters confirming their participation to the project.
6.2. Eligible activities
Only those applications corresponding to the objectives above-described will be considered as eligible.
The activities relate to the design and experimentation of an online tool meeting the objectives defined in this call.
The activities must relate to European audiovisual works i.e. fiction, animation and creative documentary, including feature films (i.e. feature length films), TV films or series.
European content should comply with the following conditions:
Majority produced by a producer or producers established in the European Union. To be considered as the actual producers the production companies must be credited as such. Other elements such as creative control, ownership of exploitation rights and share of profits may also be taken into account to determine who the actual producer is; and
Produced with the significant participation of professionals who are nationals/residents of EU countries.
7.1. Exclusion from participation:
Applicants will be excluded from participating in the call for proposals procedure if they are in any of the following situations:
(a) they are bankrupt or being wound up, are having their affairs administered by the courts, have entered into an arrangement with creditors, have suspended business activities, are the subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or are in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations;
(b) they or persons having powers of representation, decision making or control over them have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a judgment of a competent authority of a Member State which has the force of res judicata;
(c) they have been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the contracting authority can justify including by decisions of the EIB and international organisations;
(d) they are not in compliance with their obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or the payment of taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established or with those of the country of the RAO or those of the country where the grant agreement is to be performed;
(e) they or persons having powers of representation, decision making or control over them have been the subject of a judgment which has the force of res judicata for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity, where such an illegal activity is detrimental to the Union's financial interests;
(f) they are currently subject to an administrative penalty referred to in Article 109(1).
7.2. Exclusion from award:
Applicants will not be granted financial assistance if, in the course of the grant award procedure, they:
(a) are subject to a conflict of interest;
(b) are guilty of misrepresentation in supplying the information required by the Commission as a condition of participation in the grant award procedure or fail to supply this information;
(c) find themselves in one of the situations of exclusion, referred to in section 7.1.
The same exclusion criteria apply to affiliated entities.
Administrative and financial penalties may be imposed on applicants, or affiliated entities where applicable, who are guilty of misrepresentation.
7.3. Supporting documents4
Applicants must sign a declaration on their honour certifying that they are not in one of the situations referred to in articles 106(1) and 107 to 109, filling in the relevant form attached to the application form accompanying the call for proposals and available at www.ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda.
8.1. Financial capacity6
Applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the period during which the action is being carried out or the year for which the grant is awarded and to participate in its funding. The applicants' financial capacity will be assessed on the basis of the following supporting documents to be submitted with the application:
a declaration on their honour and, EITHER
the profit and loss account, the balance sheet for the last financial year for which the accounts were closed;
On the basis of the documents submitted, if the RAO considers that financial capacity is not satisfactory, he may:
8.2 Operational capacity
Applicants must have the professional competencies as well as appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action or work programme. In this respect, applicants have to submit a declaration on their honour, and the following supporting documents
curriculum vitae or description of the profile of the people primarily responsible for managing and implementing the operation (accompanied where appropriate, like in the field of research and education, by a list of relevant publications);
the organisations’ activity reports;
an exhaustive lists of previous projects and activities performed and connected to
the policy field of a given call or to the actions to be carried out;
a description of the technical equipment, tools or facilities and patents at the disposal of the applicant;
an inventory of natural or economic resources involved in the project.
In the case of legal entities forming one applicant, as specified in section 6.1, the above requirements apply to those entities.
Eligible applications/projects will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:
Relevance and European added value
This criterion evaluates the relevance of the content of the action including
European dimension vis a vis the objectives of the call for proposals. => 30
Quality of the activities
- This criterion evaluates the adequacy of the methodology to the objectives, including (a) the potential of synergy and collaboration with other projects, (b) the tools including the digital technology proposed to be used, (c) the relevance of the business model, and (d) the feasibility and cost- efficiency of the project. => 30
Dissemination of project results, impact and sustainability
This criterion assesses the dissemination strategy of the project's results with a view to ensuring information-sharing and transparency and monitoring the impact of the support on the definition of creative and sustainable solutions. => 30
Quality of the project team and the grouping
This criterion will take into account the distribution of the roles and responsibilities of the team vis-à-vis the general and specific objectives of the action. => 10
Applicants must reach a minimum threshold of 60% of the points available in order to receive funding.
In the event of a grant awarded by the Commission, a grant agreement, a framework partnership agreement, or a grant decision, drawn up in euro and detailing the conditions and level of funding, will be sent to the beneficiary, as well as the procedure in view to formalise the obligations of the parties:
The 2 copies of the original agreement must be signed first by the beneficiary on behalf of the consortium and returned to the Commission immediately. The Commission will sign it last.
Please note that the award of a grant does not establish an entitlement for subsequent years.
the beneficiary's own resources,
income generated by the action or work programme,
financial contributions from third parties.
The estimated budget of the action or work programme is to be attached to the application form. It must have revenue and expenditure in balance.
The budget must be drawn up in euros.
Applicants which foresee that costs will not be incurred in euros, are invited to use the exchange rate published on the Infor-euro website available at http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/inforeuro/inforeuro_en .cfm.
e) Implementation contracts/subcontracting
Where the implementation of the action or the work programme requires the award of procurement contracts (implementation contracts), the beneficiary must award the contract to the bid offering best value for money or the lowest price (as appropriate), avoiding conflicts of interests and retain the documentation for the event of an audit.
In the event of procurement exceeding € 60 000, the beneficiary must abide by special rules as referred in the grant agreement annexed to the call. Moreover the beneficiary is expected to clearly document the tendering procedure and retain the documentation for the event of an audit.
Entities acting in their capacity of contracting authorities in the meaning of Directive 2004/18/EC16 or contracting entities in the meaning of Directive 2004/17/EC17 shall abide by the applicable national public procurement rules.
Sub-contracting, i.e. the externalisation of specific tasks or activities which form part of the action/work programme as described in the proposal must satisfy the conditions applicable to any implementation contract (as specified above) and in addition to them the following conditions:
- it may only cover the implementation of a limited part of the action;
- it must be justified having regard to the nature of the action and what is necessary for its implementation;
- it must be clearly stated in the proposal.
f) Financial support to third parties
The applications may not envisage provision of financial support to third parties.
Mixed financing grants are calculated on the basis of a detailed estimated budget indicating clearly the costs that are eligible for EU funding. The grant amount may neither exceed the eligible costs nor the amount requested. Amounts are indicated in euros.
Maximum amount requested
The EU grant is limited to a maximum co-funding rate of 80% of eligible costs taking
into account the maximum grant amount referred to in section 4.
Consequently, part of the total eligible expenses entered in the estimative budget must be financed from sources other than the EU grant (see section 11.1c).
Eligible costs are costs actually incurred by the beneficiary of a grant which meet all the
they are indicated in the estimated budget of the action or work programme;
they are necessary for the implementation of the action or of the work programme
which is the subject of the grant;
they are identifiable and verifiable, in particular being recorded in the accounting records of the beneficiary and determined according to the applicable accounting standards of the country where the beneficiary is established and according to the usual cost accounting practices of the beneficiary;
they comply with the requirements of applicable tax and social legislation;
The beneficiary's internal accounting and auditing procedures must permit direct reconciliation of the costs and revenue declared in respect of the action/project with the corresponding accounting statements and supporting documents.
Eligible direct costs
The eligible direct costs for the action/ work programme are those costs which, with due regard for the conditions of eligibility set out above, are identifiable as specific costs directly linked to the performance of the action or the work programme and which can therefore be booked to it directly, such as :
- The cost of personnel working under an employment contract with the applicant or equivalent appointing act and assigned to the action/project, comprising actual salaries plus social security contributions and other statutory costs included in their remuneration, provided that these costs are in line with the applicant's usual policy on remuneration policy of the beneficiary or, where applicable, its partners. NB: this cost must be actual cost incurred by the beneficiary, the co-beneficiary and staff cost of other organisations is eligible only if it is paid directly or reimbursed by the beneficiary. These costs may include additional remuneration, including payments on the basis of supplementary contracts regardless of their nature, provided that it is paid in a consistent manner whenever the same kind of work or expertise is required and independently from the source of funding used. Personnel costs cannot exceed 40% of total eligible costs.
- subsistence allowances (for meetings, including kick-off meetings where applicable, conferences etc.) provided that these costs are in line with the beneficiary's usual practices;
- costs of travel (for meetings, including kick-off meetings where applicable, conferences etc.), provided that these costs are in line with the beneficiary's usual practices on travel.
Travel and subsistence costs may be claimed only for journeys directly linked to the action and relating to specific and clearly identifiable activities; it is requested to justify in the ‘Note to the Budget’ the relevance of expenses to the action activities and the calculation method. Beneficiaries are required to use the cheapest means of travel and will have to make every effort to take advantage of reduced fares;
- depreciation cost of equipment (new or second-hand), only the portion of the equipment's depreciation corresponding to the duration of the action/project and the rate of actual use for the purposes of the action may be taken into account by the Commission, except where the nature and/or the context of its use justifies different treatment by the Commission ;
- costs of consumables and supplies, provided that they are identifiable and assigned to the action/project;
- costs entailed by other contracts awarded by the beneficiary or its partners for the purposes of carrying out the action/project, provided that the conditions laid down in grant agreement are met;
- costs arising directly from requirements linked to the performance of the action/project (dissemination of information, specific evaluation of the action/project, translations, reproduction, etc.);
- costs relating to a pre-financing guarantee lodged by the beneficiary of the grant, where required;
- costs relating to external audits where required in support of the requests for payments;
- non deductible value added tax ("VAT") for all activities which are not activities of the public authorities in the Member States.
A flat-rate amount, limited to a maximum of 7% of the eligible direct costs of the action, is eligible under indirect costs, representing the beneficiary’s general administrative costs which can be regarded as chargeable to the project.
Overhead costs encompass the following categories:
a) Premises and related expenses (e.g. rent, insurance, administration and management costs...)
b) Office expenses and consumables (e.g. telephone, postal services, photocopies, goods or equipment)
Other costs have to be clearly identified and detailed for them to be eligible.
A space is provided in the form for the disclosure of other costs directly linked to the action which are not expressly provided for in the form and have to be clearly identified and detailed in the application form and in the financial report for them to be eligible. Moreover, those costs normally associated with the running of the company are not eligible under this heading.
These “other costs” must not fall under costs listed as ineligible costs
– return on capital;
– debt and debt service charges;
– provisions for losses or debts;
– interest owed;
– doubtful debts;
– exchange losses;
– costs of transfers from the Commission charged by the bank of a beneficiary;
– costs declared by a beneficiary and covered by another action receiving a European Union grant. In particular, indirect costs shall not be eligible under a grant for an action awarded to a beneficiary who already receives an operating grant financed from the Union budget during the period in question;
– contributions in kind;
– excessive or reckless expenditure.
– others (in accordance with the relevant legal base).
Calculation of the final grant amount
The final amount of the grant to be awarded to the beneficiary is established after completion of the action or work programme, upon approval of the request for payment containing the following documents:
- a final report providing details of the implementation and results of the action/work programme ;
- the final financial statement of costs actually incurred,
- a certificate on the financial statements of the action or the work programme and underlying accounts22.
EU grants may not have the purpose or effect of producing a profit within the framework of the action or the work programme of the beneficiary. Profit shall be defined as a surplus of the receipts over the eligible costs incurred by the beneficiary, when the request is made for payment of the balance. In this respect, where a profit is made, the Commission shall be entitled to recover the percentage of the profit corresponding to the Union contribution to the eligible costs actually incurred by the beneficiary to carry out the action or work programme.
11.3. Payment arrangements
A pre-financing payment24 corresponding to 50% of the grant amount will be transferred to the beneficiary within 3025 days either of the date when the last of the two parties signs the agreement, or of the notification of the grant decision, provided all requested guarantees have been received.
The Commission will establish the amount of the final payment to be made to the beneficiary on the basis of the calculation of the final grant amount (see section 11.2 above). If the total of earlier payments is higher than the final grant amount, the beneficiary will be required to reimburse the amount paid in excess by the Commission through a recovery order26.
11.4. Pre-financing guarantee
In the event that the applicant's financial capacity is not satisfactory, a pre-financing guarantee for up to the same amount as the pre-financing may be requested in order to limit the financial risks linked to the pre-financing payment.
The financial guarantee, in euro, shall be provided by an approved bank or financial institution established in one of the Member State of the European Union. When the beneficiary is established in a third country, the authorising officer responsible may agree that a bank or financial institution established in that third country may provide the guarantee if he considers that the bank or financial institution offers equivalent security and characteristics as those offered by a bank or financial institution established in a Member State. Amounts blocked in bank accounts shall not be accepted as financial guarantees.
The guarantee may be replaced by a joint and several guarantee by a third party or by a joint guarantee of the beneficiaries of an action who are parties to the same grant agreement
The guarantee shall be released as the pre-financing is gradually cleared against interim payments or payments of balances to the beneficiary, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the grant agreement.
12.1. By the beneficiaries
Beneficiaries must clearly acknowledge the European Union’s contribution in all publications or in conjunction with activities for which the grant is used.
In this respect, beneficiaries are required to give prominence to the name and emblem of the European Commission on all their publications, posters, programmes and other products realised under the co-financed project.
To do this they must use the text, the emblem and the disclaimer available at http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/communication/services/visual_identity/index_en.htm.
If this requirement is not fully complied with, the beneficiary’s grant may be reduced in accordance with the provisions of the grant agreement or grant decision.
12.2. By the Commission
With the exception of scholarships paid to natural persons and other direct support paid to natural persons in most need, all information relating to grants awarded in the course of a financial year shall be published on an internet site of the European Union institutions no later than the 30 June of the year following the financial year in which the grants were awarded.
The Commission will publish the following information:
- name of the beneficiary
- address of the beneficiary when the latter is a legal person, region when the beneficiary is a natural person, as defined on NUTS 2 level29 if he/she is domiciled within EU or equivalent if domiciled outside EU,
- subject of the grant,
- amount awarded.
Upon a reasoned and duly substantiated request by the beneficiary, the publication shall be waived if such disclosure risks threatening the rights and freedoms of individuals concerned as protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union or harm the commercial interests of the beneficiaries.
The reply to any call for proposals involves the recording and processing of personal data (such as name, address and CV). Such data will be processed pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data. Unless indicated otherwise, the questions and any personal data requested are required to evaluate the application in accordance with the specifications of the call for proposal will be processed solely for that purpose by [entity acting as data controller]. Details concerning the processing of personal data are available on the privacy statement at: http://ec.europa.eu/dataprotectionofficer/privacystatement_publicprocurement_en.pdf.
Personal data may be registered in the Early Warning System (EWS) only or both in the EWS and Central Exclusion Database (CED) by the Accounting Officer of the Commission, should the beneficiary be in one of the situations mentioned in:
- the Commission Decision 2014/792 of 13.11.2014 on the Early Warning System (for more information see the Privacy Statement on: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/legal_entities/legal_entities_e n.cfm ),
- the Commission Regulation 2008/1302 of 17.12.2008 on the Central Exclusion Database (for more information see the Privacy Statement on http://ec.europa.eu/budget/explained/management/protecting/protect_en.cfm).
PROCEDURE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
Proposals must be submitted in accordance with the formal requirements and by the deadline set out under section 5.
No modification to the application is allowed once the deadline for submission has elapsed. However, if there is a need to clarify certain aspects or for the correction of clerical mistakes, the Commission may contact the applicant for this purpose during the evaluation process30.
Applicants will be informed in writing about the results of the selection process.31 Submission on paper
Application forms are available at www.ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda.
Applications shall be submitted on the correct form, duly completed, dated, showing a balanced budget (revenue/expenditure), submitted in 3 copies (one original clearly identified as such, plus 2 certified copies), and signed by the person authorised to enter into legally binding commitments on behalf of the applicant organisation.
Where applicable, all additional information considered necessary by the applicant can be included on separate sheets.
Applications must be
- sent by post, date as postmark, to the following address32:
Directorate General Communication Networks, Content and Technology Directorate I – Unit I3- Audiovisual Industry & Media Programme Office: BU25 05/130
- or in person, date as receipt, at the following address:
Ms Lucia Recalde
Avenue de Beaulieu 25
5th floor, office 130
1160 Auderghem (Brussels) Belgium
- or by courier service, date of receipt by the courier service. Applications sent by fax or e-mail will not be accepted.
In addition to the submission by registered mail, an electronic version of the following documents must be submitted by 26th September 2016, 12.00, Brussels time at the latest to the following email address: CNECT-I3@ec.europa.eu
- grant application form
- grant application budget - declaration of honour