1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND
This Call for proposals is published under Article 54(2)(b) of the Regulation (EU, Euratom) N°966/2012.
The aim of the Preparatory Action "Subtitling European Cultural TV contents across all Europe" is to try out innovative strategies to enhance the circulation of European content throughout Europe. It was in this context that the European Parliament adopted a budget of 1.5 million euro for this preparatory action.
The annual work programme was adopted under Commission Decision C(2016)2411 of 27/04/2016.
2. OBJECTIVES – THEMES – PRIORITIES
The aim of the Preparatory Action "Subtitling European cultural TV contents across all Europe" is to try out innovative strategies for the provision of subtitled versions of European factual cultural programming to facilitate cross border on-line dissemination of cultural content.
The objective is to test the added value of subtitling on the on-line circulation and outreach of European cultural programming in the European Union. Concretely, the preparatory action should support the provision of a minimum of 300 hours of diverse European factual subtitled cultural content online in a number of European territories via 1-3 projects; and to assess the impact of this provision. The results of the resulting projects should be shared with stakeholders and policy makers, notably through the organisation of a public workshop.
The Call for proposals aims to meet three specific objectives, namely:
1. Test new business models for European audiovisual media service providers and assess whether providing subtitled versions of European TV programmes can help bridge the difficulties caused by linguistic fragmentation and increase audience numbers both within and beyond the European Union;
2. Facilitate cross border online dissemination of cultural content which is often slowed down by linguistic borders;
3. Compare the audience reach of similar audiovisual content with and without subtitling and share the results publicly with EU stakeholders and public policy makers.
- Strengthening the availability of and cross border audience for European factual cultural content via the online provision of a minimum of 300 hours of factual cultural content within certain territories of the European Union;
- Providing analysis to inform policy development on the impact of online provision of non-national subtitled factual content with a view to extending the audience of this factual cultural content in the European Union.
The action will be implemented by way of a call for proposals with a maximum aid intensity of 60% of the total eligible costs of the project(s).
Publication of the call
Deadline for submitting applications
(26/09/2016 – 12.00)
Information to applicants
Signature of grant agreement or notification of grant decision
Starting date of the action/ work programme
4. BUDGET AVAILABLE
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated at 1.5 M euros. The maximum grant will be 1.5 M euros.
The Commission expects to fund between 1 and 3 proposals.
The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.
5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
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
and/or electronic submission system available at www.ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda.
Applications must be drafted in one the EU official languages.
Failure to comply with those requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.
6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
6.1. Eligible applicants
To be eligible, projects must be presented by applicants meeting the following criteria:
The proposal must be submitted by a service or group of services providing a non-linear audiovisual media service or web service with a critical mass of audiovisual content;
The service should provide European factual content and contain a strong cultural added value; services focusing on cinema or TV fiction and animation are ineligible; as is light entertainment, sport news and current affairs;
The services should have been available for a minimum of two years;
The service should have a significant audience in the country of origin and be already available in territories to be targeted by the new linguistic offer (a baseline audience to be defined by the applicant);
Natural persons are not eligible to apply for a grant.
The applicant or applicant group should have their registered offices in a Member State of the European Union;
By way of exception, application may be submitted by one applicant, whether established specifically or not for the action, provided that:
- it is formed of several legal entities complying with the eligibility, non-exclusion and selection criteria set out in this call for proposals, and implementing together the proposed action;
- the application identifies the said entities.
For the purpose of declaring eligible costs as specified under section 11.2, the entities composing the applicant shall be treated as affiliated entities.
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,
- entities without legal personality: documents providing evidence that their representative(s) have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf.
6.2. Eligible activities
Types of activities eligible under this call for proposals.
Only those applications corresponding to the objectives described above will be considered as eligible. Types of activities eligible under this Call for Proposals include:
- costs of subtitling;
- evaluation and research cost;
- promotional cost;
- costs associated with the launch, promotion and implementation of a public event disclosing the results of the action with policy makers and other stakeholders;
- audit costs.
This call may not support any projects including pornographic or racist material or advocating violence.
The maximum period for implementation of the action (including the public conference with stakeholders where the results are to be presented to policy makers and stakeholders is from 1st January 2017 to 30th June 2019.
- activities may not start before 1 January 2017;
- activities are to be completed by 30th June 2019;
- the maximum duration of projects is 30 months;
Applications for projects scheduled to run for a longer period than that specified in this call for proposals will not be accepted.
7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA
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 documents
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. SELECTION CRITERIA
8.1. Financial capacity
Applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the period during which the action is being carried out or the year for which the grant is awarded and to participate in its funding. The applicants' financial capacity will be assessed on the basis of the following supporting documents to be submitted with the application:
a) Low value grants (≤ EUR 60 000): - a declaration on their honour.
b) Grants ≥ EUR 60 000:
- 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;
for newly created entities, the business plan might replace the above documents.
In the case of legal entities forming one applicant, as specified in section 6.1, the above requirements apply to those entities.
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;
In the case of legal entities forming one applicant, as specified in section 6.1, the above requirements apply to those entities.
9. AWARD CRITERIA
Eligible applications/projects will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:
Award Criterion No 1: Quality of the activity content (60 points)
– Number, quality, diversity, cultural dimension and editorial coherence of the audiovisual content covered by the action (20 points);
– Number and complementary nature of the linguistic areas and territories covered by the action (15 points)
– Suitability of the marketing strategy and local partnerships (20 points);
– Degree of innovation of the action (5 points).
Award Criterion No 2: Management of the project (40 points)
– Quality of the applicant existing service (10 points);
– Quality of the project management plan, including quality of the personel involved and governance structure (10 points);
– Quality of the proposed methodology for collecting, analysing and putting into perspective the results obtained (10 points);
– Cost/benefit of the proposed action (10 points).
Applicants must reach a minimum threshold of 60% of the points available in order to receive funding.
10. LEGAL COMMITMENTS
In the event of a grant awarded by the Commission, a grant agreement, drawn up in euro and detailing the conditions and level of funding, will be sent to the beneficiary, as well as the procedure in view to formalise the obligations of the parties:
The 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.
11.1. General Principles
a) Non-cumulative award
No grant may be awarded retrospectively for actions already completed.
Costs eligible for financing may neither have been incurred before the grant application was lodged nor before the start of the beneficiary's budgetary year.
Co-financing means that the resources which are necessary to carry out the action or the work programme may not be entirely provided by the EU grant.
Co-financing of the action or of the work programme may take the form of:
the beneficiary's own resources,
income generated by the action or work programme,
financial contributions from third parties.
d) Balanced budget
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/EC15 or contracting entities in the meaning of Directive 2004/17/EC16 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 parties17.
The applications may not envisage provision of financial support to third parties.
11.2. Funding forms
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 60% 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 incurred during the duration of the action or of the work programme, with the exception of costs relating to final reports and audit certificates;
The period of eligibility of costs will start as specified in the grant agreement or the grant decision.
If a beneficiary can demonstrate the need to start the action before the agreement is signed, expenditure may be authorised before the grant is awarded. Under no circumstances can the eligibility period start before the date of submission of the grant application (see section 11.1b).
they are indicated in the estimated 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;
they are reasonable, justified, and comply with the requirements of sound
financial management, in particular regarding economy and efficiency.
The beneficiary's internal accounting and auditing procedures must permit direct reconciliation of the costs and revenue declared in respect of the action/project with the corresponding accounting statements and supporting documents.
The same criteria apply to the affiliated entities.
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:
Personnel Costs are costs of personnel working under an employment contract with the applicant or equivalent appointing act and assigned to the action, comprising actual salaries plus social security contributions and other statutory costs included in the remuneration, provided that these costs are in line with the applicant's usual policy on remuneration. Those 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.
They must be calculated on the basis of the actual daily salary/fee of the employee/service provider, multiplied by the number of days worked on the action. This figure must include all the usual contributions paid by the employer, such as social security contributions.
The Personnel costs shall be substantiated by detailed timesheets of the work done.
The daily salary shall be based on the average salary charged at national level for qualified personnel executing comparable tasks.
The maximum number of days per year per person is 220.
Senior employees and directors shall be identified by name in the Estimated Budget. Their salaries may not be distributed over several Budget Headings.
Personnel costs cannot exceed 30% of the total eligible costs of the action.
Travel and subsistence costs are as follows:
- 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.
Publicity Material: design, layout and printing of publicity material, production of advertising spots, flyers, design and layout of press advertising,
Other costs have to be clearly identified and detailed for them to be eligible.
Publicity Space: purchase of advertising spaces (TV, radio, internet, press as appropriate), distribution of publicity material (trailers, flyers, posters, mailing...) and other advertising costs.
Other costs have to be clearly identified and detailed for them to be eligible.
Promotion material and events: material such as press files, press screenings; previews and receptions for launching the service in the territory, organisation of test screenings and market research; Press Agency, Press officer, Publicist and PR fees, other promotion costs.
Other costs have to be clearly identified and detailed for them to be eligible.
These costs include the costs of the subtitling of the European factual audiovisual content to be provided by the service.
Cost of evaluation activities
These costs include the costs of evaluation activities to compare the audience reach of the audiovisual content with and without subtitling; and the costs of sharing the results of this research publically with EU stakeholders and public policy makers.
In the framework of the execution of an eventual financial support contract, the Commission requires the beneficiary to produce a statement of the final costs of the action. This document can be certified by an independent approved auditor, external to the company on the basis of justifying documents and the accountancy records of the beneficiary. The costs of this certification are the only costs eligible beyond the eligibility period.
Any amount paid to an external party which is not part of the contractor’s consortium of the partnership and is carrying out a specific one-off task in connection with the action must be detailed under this sub-heading.
Sub-contracting costs are only admissible if the staff of the member organisations of the partnership does not have the skills required. Subcontracting costs must be substantiated by receipted invoices. In the event of sub-contracting exceeding EUR 60 000, the beneficiaries must clearly document the tendering procedure, submit a copy of the relevant documents together with the final report at the end of the action and retain the documentation in the event of an audit.
The sub-contracting costs required, the justification for sub-contracting and the procedure to be followed in identifying the relevant sub-contractor, should be clearly set out in the note accompanying the Estimated Budget. Sub-contracting costs should be limited to those specified in the original application. Any significant change will require the express prior agreement of the Commission.
All other Costs
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 under Section 10.5 - Ineligible costs
Eligible indirect costs (overheads)
- a flat-rate amount of 7% of the total eligible direct costs of the action, is eligible under indirect costs, representing the beneficiary's general administrative costs which can be regarded as chargeable to the action/project.
Indirect costs may not include costs entered under another budget heading.
Applicants’s attention is drawn to the fact that in the case of organisations receiving an operating grant, indirect costs are not eligible under specific actions.
Overhead costs encompass the following categories:
a) Premises and related expenses (e.g. rent, insurance, administration and
b) Office expenses and consumables (e.g. telephone, postal services, photocopies,
goods or equipment)
– The acquisition of Licenses, copyright is ineligible under this Call;
– 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.
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 documents21:
- 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 40% 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.
A second pre-financing payment26 of 30% of the grant amount will be made within 60 days of receipt by the Commission of the progress report on the action’s implementation. This second pre-financing payment may not be made until at least 70% of the previous pre-financing payment has been used up. Where the consumption of the previous pre- financing is less than 70%, the amount of the new pre-financing payment shall be reduced by the unused amounts of the previous pre-financing.
The total amount of pre-financing payments shall not exceed 70% of the maximum grant amount.
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 order.
11.4. Pre-financing guarantee
In the event that the applicant's financial capacity is not satisfactory, a pre-financing guarantee for up to the same amount as the pre-financing may be requested in order to limit the financial risks linked to the pre-financing payment.
The financial guarantee, in euro, shall be provided by an approved bank or financial institution established in one of the Member State of the European Union. When the beneficiary is established in a third country, the authorising officer responsible may agree that a bank or financial institution established in that third country may provide the guarantee if he considers that the bank or financial institution offers equivalent security and characteristics as those offered by a bank or financial institution established in a Member State. Amounts blocked in bank accounts shall not be accepted as financial guarantees.
The guarantee may be replaced by a joint and several 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, or against 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 www.ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda.
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
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
- 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.
13. DATA PROTECTION
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 CNECT.G.6. 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)
14. 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 Applications must be sent to the following address32:
Directorate General Communication Networks, Content and Technology Directorate I – Unit I3- Audiovisual Industry and Media Programme Office: BU25 05/130
- by post, date as postmark;
- in person, date as receipt;
- 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:
- grant application form
- grant application budget - declaration of honour