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Annual Work Programme 2012 for Grants

ANNUAL WORK PROGRAMME 2012 FOR GRANTS

of Joint Managing Authority
of Estonia-Latvia-Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme within European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument
2007-2013



1. Basic act and Financing source



Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument.

Co-financing of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme within European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument 2007-2013 (hereinafter – Programme) allocated to Projects consist of European Union, Russian Federation and Estonian contributions assigned to the Programme in accordance with the following documents:
- Decision of the European Commission No C (2008) 8332 of 17 December 2008 adopting the Programme, financed by European Union funding (budget line No 19 08 02 01 and 19 08 02 02);
- Financing Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the European Community on Financing and implementing the Cross Border Cooperation Programme “Estonia – Latvia – Russia” signed on 18 November 2009;
- Agreement between the Ministry of Regional Development and Local Government of the Republic of Latvia Acting as the Joint Managing Authority, the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Latvia on the Management and Administration of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme within European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument 2007-2013 signed on 22 December 2010;
- Agreement on the management and administration of the Estonian additional financing to the Estonia – Latvia – Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme within European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument 2007-2013.


2. Objectives of the Programme, priorities for year 2012 and expected results



The strategic objective of the Programme is to promote joint development activities for the improvement of the region’s competitiveness by utilising its potential and beneficial location in the cross roads between the European Union and the Russian federation.


The specific objective of the Programme is to make the wider border area an attractive place for both its inhabitants and businesses through activities aimed at improving the living standards and investment climate.


The Programme is divided into three priorities with specified measures:

Priority I: Socio-economic development
Measure 1.1 Fostering of socio-economic development and encouraging business and entrepreneurship;
Measure 1.2 Transport, logistics and communication solutions;
Measure 1.3 Tourism development.

Priority II: Common challenges
Measure 2.1 Joint projects aimed at protection of environment and natural resources;
Measure 2.2 Preservation and promotion of cultural and historical heritage and support of local traditional skills;
Measure 2.3 Improvement of energy efficiency and promotion of renewable energy sources.

Priority III:  Promotion of people to people cooperation 
Measure 3.1 Development of local initiative, increasing administrative capacities of local and regional authorities.
Measure 3.2 Cooperation in spheres of culture, sport, education, social and health.

Each measure can be implemented through different types of cross border joint projects such as among others research and innovation activities, promotion of networks, exchange and transfer of know-how, training, awareness raising campaigns, etc. (Further details can be found in the Programme and Guidelines for Grant Applicants).



The Programme foresees two options for assignment grant for Projects:
Call for Proposals (open or restricted);
Direct award (only for Large Scale Projects (LSPs)).

2 Calls for Proposals of the Programme took place in 2010-2012. All three priorities were opened for submission of Projects proposals.

Under the 1st Open Call for proposals 25 projects were selected and started implementation in the end of 2011 – beginning 2012. 9 of them are implemented under Priority I, 7 under Priority II and 9 under Priority III.



The selected Projects will fulfil the following output indicators:

Infrastructure objects/services developed or renovated (2);
Joint initiatives aimed at increasing accessibility of/in the programme area (2);
Tourism infrastructure developed (5);
Partnerships contracts / agreements (7);
Elaborated joint tourism strategies (5);
New nature related/seasonal tourism products/services created (6);
Joint events or information services aimed at extending the attractiveness of the Programme area (7);
Environmental infrastructure objects (4);
Solutions developed/tested to protect the environment (4);
Number of joint planning activities/initiatives (4);
Institutions involved in projects achieving educational / cultural / sport / social / health objectives (8);



and partly fulfils the following output indicators:

Number of business activities created on the basis of local crafts, know-how and traditional skills (1);
Number of historical and/or cultural sites restored (3);
Networks / agreements involving municipalities, non-governmental organisations and other institutions (1);
Joint trainings, seminars, forums for municipalities, NGOs (1);
Official bodies involved in partnerships contracts/ agreements establishing permanent relations (5).

The 2nd Call for proposals is Restricted. It is implemented in two phases. Under the 2nd Restricted Call for proposals the Concept Notes were submitted by the applicants in the first phase with the deadline 27 February 2012. Full Application Forms must be submitted in the second phase by the successful applicants selected in the first phase. Process of evaluation and selection projects of the 2nd Call for proposals is planned to be completed in autumn 2012.

The LSPs are strategic investment projects contributing to socio-economic development of the whole cross-border area and having a strong political support at the national level; projects, comprising a set of works, activities and services intended to fulfil an indivisible function of a precise nature pursuing clearly identified objectives of common interest for the purpose of implementing cross-border investments. The LSPs focuses on two priorities (Priority I and II).

 
6 LSPs have been selected and approved by the Joint Monitoring Committee; summaries of 5 proposals are approved by the European Commission. 5 LSPs have submitted their Full Application Forms within the set deadline 2 March 2012. It is expected that the first Grant Contract with the LSPs will be signed in summer/autumn 2012.



The main planned activities in those projects are:

Reconstruction of the road across the border - connecting Estonia and Russian Federation (19,1 km) ;
Elaboration of truck (3 ha) and bus (0.5 ha) parking areas on the border of Estonia and Russia;
Reconstruction of 2 border crossing points - on the border of Estonia and Russian Federation (Narva – Ivangorod); on the border of Latvia and Russian Federation (Vientuli – Brunishevo);
Reconstruction of pedestrians’ bridge and road in Estonia (Narva);
Development of 4 harbours’ infrastructure in Estonia (Peipsi lake);
Construction/reconstruction of 6 wastewater treatments’ plants in Russia (Pskov region);
Creation of the visitor centre in Estonia (Narva fortress Powder Cellar);
Conservation and reconstruction of Ivangorod fortress Small Powder Granary in Russia;
Development of tourism infrastructure in Russia - Ivangorod fortress.




The selected Projects will fulfil the following output indicators:
infrastructure objects/services developed or renovated (5)
joint initiatives aimed at increasing accessibility  of/in the programme area(4)
tourism infrastructure developed (2)
new nature related/seasonal tourism products/services created (2)
joint events or information services aimed at extending the attractiveness of the Programme area (3)
environmental infrastructure objects (1)
historical and/or cultural sites restored(1)


3. Eligibility conditions

Taking into account that Projects under the 1st Call for Proposals are already selected, the following Eligibility conditions are relevant for the 2nd Restricted Call for Proposal.
Beneficiaries and project partners, participating in the Call for proposal, must be located (have their legal address) in the Programme area. The Programme funding up to a limit of 20% may be used for financing the expenditure incurred by the partners from adjoining areas in the Republic of Estonia or the Republic of Latvia. If it is necessary for implementation of the project and for the benefit of the Programme territory, in duly justified cases up to 10 % of the project's total budget can be spent for implementation of the project soft activities outside the Programme area. In accordance with the Article 40 of the Implementing Rules each project shall involve at least two partners, of whom at least one project partner shall be located in the Programme area in one of the Member States and at least one project partner located in the Programme area in Russian Federation.

The LSPs are selected and contracted through the direct award procedure. No more LSPs, excluding already submitted, will be selected. Each LSP involves at least two partners, of whom at least one partner is from Estonia and/or Latvia and at least one partner from the Russian Federation. LSP activities take place in Programme area. Limit of 20% set for the expenditure incurred by the project partners from adjoining areas in Estonia and Latvia is not applicable to the Beneficiaries and project partners of the LSPs. Private entities are eligible for participation with limits for co-financing from the Programme.
Different types of actors can participate in the Programme: national, regional and local public authorities, associations of these, public equivalent bodies and associations formed by these, NGOs and other non-profit making bodies, educational organizations as well as certain types of small or medium sized enterprises (who can participate only within Priority 1 in projects selected through Open/Restricted calls for proposals), and private entities (who can participate within Priority 1 and 2 in Large Scale Projects). More detailed definition of eligible partners can be found in the Programme and Guidelines for Grant Applicants.


4. Selection and award criteria

The evaluation of the project proposals have been carried out in accordance with:
   - the Programme;
   - the Guidelines for Grant Applicants;
   - Regulation No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument;
   - Commission Regulation No 951/2007 of 9 August 2007 laying down implementing rules for cross-border cooperation programmes financed under Regulation No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument;
   - The procedures set out in the Practical Guide to Contract procedures for EC external projects and derogations to them approved by the European Commission.


5. Maximum rate of Programme financing



The financing rate of the Programme funds shall be up to 90% of total eligible expenditure of the project.

 
In case of small and medium size enterprises selected through Open call and Restricted call for proposals, the financing rate of the Programme funds may be up to 50% of total eligible costs of respective small and medium size enterprise. 

In case of participation of private entities in the Large Scale Project maximum Programme co-financing rate is 50% for respective project partner from Estonia and Latvia and 90% of the total eligible costs for respective project partner from the Russian Federation.


6. Schedule of the calls for proposals



No more Calls for Proposals are planned to be launched in 2012.

Under the 2nd Call for proposals the evaluation and selection of the Concept Notes is to be completed and invitations to submit the Full Application Form are to be issued in June 2012. Deadline for submission of the Full Application Forms is planned for August 2012. Completion of the whole evaluation and selection process is scheduled by November 2012.

The Large Scale Projects are to be submitted as the Full Application Forms by the 2 March 2012.  Full Applications submitted by the Applicants are evaluated, decisions of the JMC are prepared and the approved applications are forwarded to the EC for admissibility check during II quarter 2012. Grant Contracts are to be signed and implementation of the LSP started in II-III quarter.


7. Indicative amount of the calls for proposals

The overall indicative amount made available from the Programme under 2nd Call for Proposals is 6 014 639 EUR.

Programme financing for LSPs is 26 096 744 EUR. Additional financing to the LSPs has been made available from the Estonian State budget 9 081 558 EUR.


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