Step 2 of the first call for proposals of the Interreg Sudoe Programme was launched on the 29th of February 2016 and will close on the 29th of April 2016, which is the deadline to submit the proposals.
The Steering Committee will meet at the end of June 2016 in Portugal to decide upon the projects submitted to Step 2 of the call for proposals and set up the list of approved projects.
Since the list of the programmed projects will be released at the end of June 2016, project implementation can safely begin on the 1st of July 2016. However, some projects may have begun their implementation before this date, provided it doesn’t infringe State aid rules (especially the incentive effect rule), and that this date had been mentioned in the project application form.
The conditions are identical to those of step 1 that are included in the official text of the call announcement, save for the calendar, which is specific to step 2.
For the projects that have more than two beneficiaries, one or two changes are allowed, depending on the initial number of partners. For more detail, you can refer to item 3.4 of the fact sheet 3.2 in the Sudoe programme manual.
Regarding the budget, you can reduce the global budget of the project or modify the allocation between the partners, but you are not allowed to increase the global project budget foreseen in Step 1. Besides, you have to respect the thresholds mentioned in the Sudoe programme manual (100,000 euro mimimum budget per entity or 5,000 euro for an entity under category IV).
Regarding the working groups and the schedule, no change is allowed. The number and name of the working groups may not be changed, and the total project duration in months may not be modified.
For further information about changes between the two steps of the call for proposals, you can refer to item 1.3 of the fact sheet 5.0 in the Sudoe programme manual.
You can consult full detail about these documents in item 1.1.2 of the fact sheet 5.0 in the Sudoe programme manual. The application form for Step 2 includes the following documents:
- The application form.
- The commitment and responsible statement.
- The project schedule.
- The financial plan.
- The budget justification.
- The certification letter of the national contribution.
- The cooperation agreement.
- The VAT declaration.
- If applicable, the agreement (or similar document) with a third party for the implementation of an activity.
The certification letter of the national contribution allows to justify the existence of resources allocated by the potential beneficiaries to the implementation of the project. It is an essential document, inasmuch as it proves that the potential beneficiaries are able to pre-finance the project implementation.
This document must be signed by the legal representative of each beneficiary and must be submitted before the closure of Step 2, with the application form and its appendices. However, in some organisations, for example local government organisations included in category I, the regulations do not allow the legal representative to commit resources without the previous approval of a plenary session. In this case, the formal approval of the plenary session shall also be presented. If the session can’t be held before the 29th of April, the legal representative must provide a certificate before the closure of Step 2, precising the date the session is planned. The entities must provide to the Joint Secretariat the approval of the plenary session that ensures the national contribution on the 29th of June at the latest.
The use of an agreement with a third party must be used only in exceptional cases. It allows a beneficiary to declare expenditure that was not made by himself. The agreement must comply with the minimum contents annexed to the application form, and must be provided to the corresponding national authority during the instruction phase of the applications in order to be verified. If the project is approved in the end, the use of such agreement must be mentioned in the ERDF grant agreement.
It is by no means possible to use an agreement with a third party as a substitution to a classical procurement procedure.
Regarding this type of agreement, you can refer to item 1.3 of the fact sheet 8.0 in the Sudoe programme manual, as well as to the examples given in the document 'complementary information' available on the programme website, as complement to the documents of the technical meeting about Step 2, held in Santander on the 16th and 17th of March 2016.
The admissibility criteria in Step 2 are the eight criteria already used in Step 1, plus five additional criteria, meaning a total of thirteen admissibility criteria. For further information on this issue you can refer to item 2.1 of the fact sheet 6.0 in the Sudoe programme manual.
The selection criteria in Step 2 are the five criteria already used in step 1, plus three additional criteria, meaning a total of eight selection criteria, with a different weighting factor than that of Step 1. For further information on this issue, you can refer to item 2.2 of the fact sheet 6.0 in the Sudoe programme manual.
As a general principle, Step 2 is a fully competitive step, just as was Step 1. Therefore, the ranking of the projects set up in Step 1 isn’t related in any way to the one that will be set up at the end of Step 2: the projects start from scratch again.
Besides, the selection procedure is similar to that of Step 1. For further detail you can refer to the fact sheet 6.0 of the Sudoe programme manual.