1.1 Programme/Legal base
This call for proposals is financed by the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation "EaSI" 2014-2020 which is a European-level financing instrument managed directly by the European Commission to contribute to the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy, by providing financial support for the Union's objectives in terms of promoting a high level of quality and sustainable employment, guaranteeing adequate and decent social protection, combating social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions.
The EaSI Programme shall, in all its axes and actions, aim to:
a) pay particular attention to vulnerable groups, such as young people;
b) promote equality between women and men,
c) combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation;
d) promote a high-level of quality and sustainable employment, guarantee adequate and decent social protection, combat long-term unemployment and fight against poverty and social exclusion.
Hence, in designing, implementing and reporting on the activity, beneficiaries/ contractors must address the issues noted above and will be required to provide detail, in the final activity report on the steps and achievements made towards addressing those aims.
The call for proposals is issued in the context of the implementation of the 2016 annual work programme for grants and procurement for EaSI (Progress axis), which can be consulted at: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1082&langId=en
1.2 General background and policy context
The general aim of this Call for Proposals is to fund initiatives in order to enhance the implementation and correct application of Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the transnational provision of services, as well as the implementation of the Enforcement Directive 2014/67/EU.
The Commission is currently providing the Member States with technical assistance in the process of transposing the Enforcement Directive. The deadline for the transposition expires on 18 June 2016.
Some initiatives with the aim to promote administrative cooperation and mutual understanding and fund initiatives relating to the application and enforcement in practice of the applicable rules, have been carried out in the past under the Pilot Projects on "Working and Living Conditions of Posted Workers" (VP/2009/015 and VP/2010/011). A similar call to this one was launched during the last years (VP/2013/008, VP/2014/007, and VP/2015/007).
Furthermore, a call for proposals for preparatory actions with a view to create information centres for migrant and posted workers was launched in 2013 (VP/2013/011) and 2014 (VP/2014/005). No similar call was launched in 2015.
2 Objectives, types of action and expected outputs
2.1 General objectives
This call intends to support the Commission and the Member States to understand existing and new challenges and develop initiatives in the field of posting of workers and a decent work agenda.
The proper functioning of administrative cooperation among Member States and improved access to information on applicable terms and conditions of employment in a transparent and accessible manner, are essential for the correct application, implementation and enforcement of the Directive.
The general objectives are to 1) further improve transnational administrative cooperation between national competent bodies and social partners involved in the monitoring and correct application of the Posting of Workers Directive and its Enforcement Directive and 2) increase mutual trust among stakeholders, including promoting common actions between social partners at different levels, exchanges of relevant officials and training, as well as 3) enhancing the evidence basis, both of qualitative and quantitative nature, and evaluation of original information and data concerning various dimensions of posting of workers .
In order to achieve the objective, it is intended with this call for proposals to fund transnational cooperation initiatives covering at least 7 eligible countries.
2.2 Specific objectives
The specific objectives of this call for proposals are the following:
a) To promote transnational cooperation among public authorities and stakeholders, including the promotion of the use of IMI and sharing experiences and best practices in this respect.
b) To increase the accessibility, transparency and quality of the information concerning the terms and conditions of employment to be respected and the existing practises in the Member States to monitor and enforce the provisions of the Posting of Workers Directive;
c) To promote the evidence basis through the collection and evaluation of original data, analysis and information specific to the posting process, including through the collaboration between universities across various disciplines, research centres and institutes, and stakeholders.
2.3 Types of action
The following actions may be co-financed:
a) Cooperation: developing new or improving existing exchanges, peer reviews and/or training programmes (for example joint visits, joint inspections, short training actions) between officials of competent public authorities and/or between relevant social partners and stakeholders in the contexts of monitoring the compliance with and enforcement of the applicable rules in relation to posted workers, including in subcontracting chains, and/or of administrative cooperation and mutual assistance, including the use of the Internal Market Information System (IMI).
b) Information: developing or upgrading online platforms for the collection and dissemination of quality, user-friendly, and specific information targeted at workers and/or undertakings with respect to the working conditions applicable to posted workers, the procedures and conditions to be respected by undertakings in different Member States, and other relevant information for the posting of workers in the context of the provision of cross-border services.
c) Knowledge: development of joint research projects on different dimensions of the posting of workers in the context of the transnational provision of services and dissemination of results through targeted publication strategies, both in the scientific domain as well as in the specialised and general press.
Applicants must tackle at least two out of the aforementioned types of action in their proposal4.
2.4 Expected outputs - Requirement for an adequate communication and information plan
Adequate communication and dissemination of results is essential in ensuring the EU added value of the action and its sustainability after the funding has ended. Information-giving and awareness raising are key activities to ensure that other interested parties benefit from the project and can create new opportunities to extend it or develop new partnerships. The proposals must therefore include a detailed plan for communication and dissemination of the projects' results. In particular, such a plan must include information on dissemination activities and targeted audiences.
At final report stage, the awarded applicants will be required to provide details about how and to whom the results, best practices and findings have been disseminated and how interested parties have been involved in the project.
The Commission, with the support of an external contractor, will monitor regularly the EaSI Programme. Therefore, beneficiaries/contractors will have to transmit qualitative and quantitative monitoring data on the results of the activities. These will include the extent to which the principles of equality between women and men has been applied, as well as how anti-discrimination considerations, including accessibility issues, have been addressed through the activities. Related templates are attached or will be provided.
In setting up the action, beneficiaries/contractors must foresee the necessary funding for monitoring and reporting to the Commission.