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Annexes 5, 6 and 7 should be prepared on partner-based principle and in order to have smoother process of Administrative eligibility check the current documents can be supplemented with number, title of the project and name of concrete partner (information to be listed below the number of concrete Annex).

Those amendments are not considered as changes in templates.

Technical documentation shall be submitted electronically by uploading it to the eMS as attachment (1 file up to 50 MB).

In case the size of each file exceeds 50 MB the documents to be uploaded in the Programme cloud storage. JTS will provide access to this storage by request from the project. (Guidelines for the 1st Call for proposals chapter 8.2.2).

The Full Application Form and documents listed in Chapter 8.2.1 of the Guidelines for the 1st Call for proposals in points 6, 7, 17 and 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18  (if applicable) should be submitted electronically via eMS environment by the set deadline.

The documents in points 2-5 and 8 (if applicable) of chapter 8.2.1 should be submitted as originals.  

Digitally signed documents presented by Estonian partners via eMS are considered as originals.   In this case no paper version of the enumerated Annexes from EST partners is needed.
Russian partners should submit documents both on paper (signed, dated and stamped, if applicable) and scanned versions to be attached in eMS.
Documents should be presented in one envelope in paper form from All RUS partners either to Main Office in Tartu or Branch office in St. Petersburg or Branch office in Pskov. It is kindly recommended  to deliver original documents from RUS partners by hand.

In order to evaluate financial sustainability of SMEs and NGOs a table for analyzing economic performance data can be asked for submission (Chapter 8.2.1. Point 19). Provided data will be analyzed during the assessment of full applications (Guidelines for the 1st Call for proposals chapter 7.2).

The economic performance data will be requested and respective form provided via eMS during the administrative eligibility check, if applicable. Data may be requested from the Lead Applicant and the partners.

These costs are to be included under Budget Heading 5 – EXTERNAL EXPERTISE & SERVICES. To choose concrete service provider (organization or expert) the applicable procurement procedure has to be followed according to the legal status of the beneficiary. In case service provider is natural person, please be aware that travel costs of expert shall be included in the costs of the contract. No limits do exist for expert’s country/region of origin.

In case your project´ technical documentation file size exceeds 50MB we kindly ask you to approach the JTS in order to get access to our cloud storage. For that please provide number of your project, contact data of one person to whom the access should be granted (name, surname and e-mail) and send the request till 8 February 2018 to e-mail address: info@estoniarussia.eu

Associates form Latvia and Finland may be reimbursed for costs paid for external expertise procured for the project needs during project implementation. Those costs should be reflected in the partner´ budget the Associated partners are associated to, under the Budget Heading External expertise & services. The agreement about reimbursing cost shall be conducted between the Partner and Associated partner and agreement to grant access to relevant procurement documents shall be made.

These items well fit to the Budget Heading 3 – EQUIPMENT as supplies,
see reference to  Guidelines for Project Applicants.
______________________________________________________________

Estonia-Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020

Guidelines for Project Applicants, 1st Call for proposals, page 39

Heading 3 – EQUIPMENT

Costs for purchase or rent of equipment (new or used) and supplies are eligible, if these items are specifically needed for the purposes of the implementation of the project, are listed in the approved project budget, correspond to market prices and are purchased following the relevant procurement procedures.

Please note: Used equipment cannot be originally bought by public funds (another project etc.). The price of the used equipment is lower than for same new equipment. The technical specification of the equipment met the applicable requirements of rule of origin (the declaration of origin of the equipment has to be provided etc.).

The applicant is asked to provide a breakdown (cost estimation) of costs for equipment in the Application Form. Therefore, please make sure that all cost items of equipment are listed.  Every co-financed piece of equipment must comply with the information and visibility rules.

The Statutes or Articles of Association of the applicant organisation and of each project partner organisation can be submitted in national language, may be signed by authorized person and stamped.

This obligation does not apply to public bodies.

Such recommendation is based on the Programme’s concern (in line with others) about Project’s results sustainability and visualization.

E.g.:
1. It can be organization, which will in the after-Project period use products developed by the project
2. Provide promotion of the Project’s products/results on the wider geographical scale in the Programme’s area.

All  costs  reported  to  the  Programme  are  subject  to  verification  of  expenditures. Declared costs have to be examined every 6 months. The verification of expenditure of Lead beneficiary and beneficiaries which are registered and located in Estonia will be performed by INTERREG Programmes Supervision Unit of Ministry of Finance of Republic of Estonia.

The  Lead  beneficiary  and  beneficiaries  which  are  registered  and  located  in  Russian Federation have to subcontract an auditor who will provide expenditure verification service. The indicative costs of expenditure verification may be up to 5% of the costs sum to be verified.

Details on Verification of the Project’s Expenditures are given on pages 54-55 of the Guidelines for Project Applicants 1st Call for proposals, Estonia-Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020.

The auditor who will provide expenditure verification service for the Lead  beneficiary  and  beneficiaries  which  are  registered  and  located  in the Russian Federation have to be approved by MA either before signing the Grant Contract or before the Lead beneficiary’s request for the initial pre-financing to the MA.

The minimum Work Packages are WP-Management, WP-Core Activity and WP-Communication and Visibility. In case there are works, services related to construction, infrastructure foreseen the WP-Investment to be added and WP-Preparation in case preparatory works for the project are carried out (expenditure in amount of EUR 1000 are to be included in PSF and FAF).

No specific proportions are set on project budget allocation between WPs, it depends on the list of planned activities and outputs needed to achieve the objectives of the project. Please note, same activities are not to be repeated in different WPs to escape double financing.

WP Management – includes activities related to project management on the strategic and operational levels (incl. staff costs, reporting, audit, project monitoring and evaluation, etc.).
WP Core Activity - includes all so-called „soft activities“, as well competences development and capacity building of the project participants.

 

 

No requirements on the minimum percentage of the total project budget to be allocated to the WP Communication and Visibility are established by the Programme.

Please note that visibility of the Programme’s co-financing by the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation in line with co-financing from the European Commission should be ensured by beneficiaries in all project’s materials, outputs produced by the project.

 

WP Communication and Visibility should include activities described in the Information and Communication Plan of the project. Content of specific list of activities depends on the nature of the project, chosen communication strategy. Specific requirements for visualization of the project and Programme are laid down in Communication and Visibility Guidelines for Implementation of Projects http://www.estoniarussia.eu/documents-for-beneficiary/. In particular, general information about project and its progress are to be published on the websites of the Lead Beneficiary and Beneficiaries. The Programme logo should be placed on all printed materials (other requirements depend on the type of publication). As the minimum - preparation and publishing of two press-releases, in the beginning and in the end of the project, in case of investment projects also establishment of display  panels and commemorative plaques.

Please note that visibility of the Programme’s co-financing by the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation in line with co-financing from the European Commission should be ensured by beneficiaries in all project’s materials, outputs produced by the project.

The Application form and Logical Framework have to be in line with each other.

Assumptions - factors outside the project management's control that may impact on outcome-impact (outcomes) and output-outcome linkage (outputs and activities). If formulated as negative statements, assumptions become ‘risks’.

Audit is to be carried out each 6 months of the project implementation (i.e. 4 times within the 24 months period). Audit of Estonian partners will be carried out centrally by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Estonia. For Russian partners relevant sums for audit procurement are to be planned in partner’s budgets. In the Guidelines for the 1st Call for proposals point 10.6.1 Reporting requirements and deadlines it is formulated following way “Interim reports by Beneficiary(ies) have to be submitted in eMS not later than 1 month after the end of each reporting period (6 months)”.

Please NOTE: the detailed budget provided in Full Application Form may differ from the preliminary budget provided in Project Summary Form up to 10%, except in case of changes requested by the JMC after evaluation of Project Summary Form.

When will be opened the 2nd Call for proposals?

Basic programme requirements

3.01.2018

2nd Restricted Call for proposals will be opened on 10 January 2018 with the deadline for submission of Project Summary Forms on 7 March 2018.
2nd Call is open only under Thematic Objective 6 specific area “Fostering shared actions in risk management and a readiness to cope with environmental disasters”.
The allocated Programme funds for this call is EUR 870 000 and the maximum grant per project is EUR 400 000.

Due to Administrative reform in Estonia many municipalities have merged and changed the titles. From 4 January 2018 Partner related information fields in eMS are open for changes. Please be aware, that change in partnership is only allowed as a result of Administrative reform in Estonia (or JMC recommendation) and has to be justified in eMS field „Partnership description“ and confirmed by respective partners´ letter in attachment part of the eMS.

The Guidelines for Large Infrastructure Project Applicants with changes approved via JMC written procedure on 26 May 2017 (further – Guidelines) chapter 8.2.7 PROCUREMENT (TENDERING) says:
“Project Lead beneficiaries and beneficiaries from Estonia, as well as Russian Federation public entities, must follow their national procurement legislation”.

Agreement on financing and implementation of Cross-Border Cooperation Programme "Estonia-Russia" 2014-2020 signed on 29 December 2016 between the European Union, Government of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Estonia” Annex I “General Conditions” in Article 6 “Procurement” stipulates:

“6.2. Where the beneficiary is a Public Entity established in the Russian Federation in accordance with Article 1 or a legal entity established in the Russian Federation which is subject to national procurement legislation, it shall apply the legislation of the Russian Federation.”

Art 9(1) of Regulation 236/2014 lists the tenderers, applicants and candidates from the countries which are eligible for cooperation with third countries.

In addition to above set, art 9(2) of Regulation 236/2014 stipulates that tenderers, applicants and candidates from non-eligible countries or supplies from a non-eligible origin may be accepted as eligible by the Commission in the case of:

(a) countries having traditional economic, trade or geographical links with neighbouring beneficiary countries; or

(b) urgency or the unavailability of products and services in the markets of the countries concerned, or in other duly substantiated cases where application of the eligibility rules would make the realisation of a project, programme or action impossible or exceedingly difficult.

To sum it up – Guidelines does not in any way replace obligations and provisions set out in respective EU, national legislation and Financing agreement. Please note, that in case of any doubt the provisions set there prevail.

The Regulation 236/2014 can be found here.

How can I print the application form from eMS?

Basic programme requirements

31.03.2017

To print the application form you first have to click „Save Phase 1 As Pdf File“. Saved file will appear under „Generated files“ (it might take a few minutes). Then you can open .pdf file and print it out.

 

In the Letter of intent please  state the total indicative budget amount of your organization what is planned in the project, including the co-financing of the Programme and your organization (in euros).

 

In accordance with the Guidelines, s.8.1.4, Intent Letter(s) should be submitted by the Applicant as original in electronical form with the digital signature in case of the Estonians or as original in paper form in case of the Russians.

In case Estonian Applicant submits an Intent Letter with digital signature (as original), then Russian partner(s) submits both versions: scanned Intent Letter(s) in electronical folder (all Project partners’ Intent Letters should be in one electronical folder) and original in paper form in one envelope by mail or by hand-delivery to JTS or Branch Office.

Small and medium size enterprises can act as a partner/beneficiary in the Estonia-Russia CBC Programme with some restrictions:
- SMEs cannot act as the only partner from the participating country (Chapter 4 of the Guidelines for the 1st Call for proposals).
- SMEs cannot act as the applicant (lead beneficiary) of the project (Chapter 7.2 of the Guidelines for the 1st Call for proposals).
- Participation of SME is allowed only under TO1 Business and SME development.

Small and medium size enterprises (SME) can act as a partner/beneficiary in the Estonia-Russia CBC Programme with some restrictions:
- SMEs cannot act as the only partner from the participating country (Chapter 4 of the Guidelines for the 1st Call for proposals).
- SMEs cannot act as the applicant (lead beneficiary) of the project (Chapter 7.2 of the Guidelines for the 1st Call for proposals).
- Participation of SME is allowed only under TO1 Business and SME development.

 

Investments are financed only in case they are necessary for reaching the results of the project and the Programme, including delivering a cross-border impact and benefits.

Technical documentation related to the infrastructure/investment works shall be submitted to the programme at the stage of Full Application Form that provides circumstantial evidence that design and construction works should be divided in the framework of one project.

In addition, realistic character of project outputs/results and its possible achievement within given resources – i.e. time, partners, budget and other resources will be assessed under award criterion of FAF (point 3.2.).

What content has to be reflected in the Feasibility study?

Basic programme requirements

1.03.2017

The structure of Feasibility Study for projects with investment component could be as following:

  1. Introduction (up to 5 pages)
  2. Overview of object (incl. history, description of existing situation and problem, location and ownership, previous preparatory development activities)
  3. Operational model/ idea of object (incl. need and corresponding objective of development, expected results and impact in case of implementation of project, project solution, clients of object, organisation and project team)
  4. Competition analysis (main competitors in the market, their share, advantages of competitors, advantages of partner)
  5. Sustainability analysis (which income from which sources will cover the costs of object in long term perspective)
  6. Financial/ cost-benefit analysis (incl. discount rate and the forecasts of macro indicators, scenarios, investment, operating income and costs, etc.; if clients will be charged for using the services at object, then use special table for calculations (provided by the Programme) concerning the operating profit of the investment
  7. Marketing analysis (size of market, growth rate, profitability trends, marketing channels)
  8. Socio-economic analysis (incl. overall economic environment, possible new investments emerging as a result of current project, direct and indirect impact on employment, new workplaces to be created, environmental protection, etc.)
  9. Risk analysis (possible risks and consequences related to project implementation and achievement of expected impact; ways of managing the risks)
  10. Summary

 

Using this structure is highly recommended by the Programme. In case the project partner orders the Feasibility study from independent contractor the additional independent quality review is not requested. In case partner composes Feasibility study by itself, the independent quality review has to be provided. The independent quality review has to follow the same structure as Feasibility study and to evaluate how and to which extend the provided review corresponds to the proposed content of Feasibility study.

Detailed budget provided in Full Application Form may differ from the preliminary budget provided in Project Summary Form up to 10%, except in case of changes requested by the JMC after evaluation of Project Summary Form.

No substantial changes are recommended between Budget Headings as well.

Can NGO be a Lead Beneficiary?

Basic programme requirements

16.02.2017

NGOs that are established and have their legal address in the Programme area can act as an Applicant (Lead Beneficiary).

How often audit is needed?

Basic programme requirements

16.02.2017

Each Interim Report and Final Report has to be audited. Reporting period is 6 months.

Lump sum of 1000 EUR is eligible for preparation costs incurred before submission of the Project Summary Form. These costs are limited to travel and subsistence costs of the staff involved in the project preparation.

Only awarded projects will be able to claim the reimbursement of the costs incurred before submission of the Project Summary Form.

Employees can be employed either full-time or part-time for the project. If staff is not working full time for the project, percentage of involvement should be indicated in the description of the costs.

Eligible costs are related to actual gross salaries including social security charges, compulsory taxes and other remuneration-related costs.

Staff costs are eligible only if they are sufficiently justified and documented in beneficiary document recording system and accountancy according to national legislation and internal procedures of concrete beneficiary

More information is available under Chapter 10.2, point 10.1.2. heading 1 (staff).

Can a national level organization be involved as a partner?

Basic programme requirements

16.02.2017

National, regional or local authorities and their associations are eligible. More information is available under Chapter 4.

Can project make profit of a grant?

Eligibility

16.02.2017

The rule of non-profit is essential in the calculation of the final amount of grant. Projects have to follow non-profit rule during its execution period of the project.

What are responsibilities of Beneficiaries?

Basic programme requirements

16.02.2017

All beneficiaries shall actively cooperate in the development and implementation of projects. In addition, they shall cooperate in the staffing and financing of projects. Each beneficiary shall be legally and financially responsible for the activities that it is implementing and for the share of the Programme funds that it receives. The specific obligations as well as the financial responsibilities of the beneficiaries shall be laid down in the partnership agreement.

More description can be found in Chapter 10, point 10.1.2.

Project Lead beneficiaries and beneficiaries must follow their national procurement legislation.

The project budget has to be in line with the principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

PRAG rules may be followed as an example of sound financial management.

Presentations will be published on the programme web-site after holding all three seminars in Viljandi (24-25 January), Pskov (7-8 February) and St. Petersburg (20-21 February).

The main results of the project should be linked to the programme result indicator and their contribution to be described.

The achievement of programme result indicator will be evaluated at the end of the programme by conducting respective survey by the programme.

Flat rate is calculated on a basis of a fair, equitable and verifiable calculation method. Methods should relate to either statistical data/similar objective means or certified or auditable historical data of the beneficiary or its usual cost accounting practices.

Flat rate costs shall not be confirmed by supporting documents.

Own contribution has to come from partner budget and be paid from partner`s account. Sources of own contribution can be different and shall come from source other that the European Union.

Is contribution in-kind eligible?

Basic programme requirements

16.02.2017

Contributions in kind are not eligible.

What is co-financing rate?

Basic programme requirements

16.02.2017

Each project must have own contribution of at least 10% of the total eligible costs. With that, every beneficiary except of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) has to co-finance the project with at least 10% contribution of their own part of the project budget.

For the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) participating in the project from the Russian Federation the maximum co-financing from the Programme cannot exceed 50% of the total eligible costs for respective project partner.

In case of participation of the SME from the Republic of Estonia, the Programme co-financing rate shall be in the line with State aid regulations.

Can it be more than 2 partners in the project?

Basic programme requirements

16.02.2017

Yes, the number of partners is not limited and should be in accordance with needs and objectives of the project.

In order to be eligible for a grant, the applicant and the project partner(s) must be one of the following:
1) national, regional and local public authority;
2) association formed by one or several national, regional or local authorities;
3) public equivalent body (any legal body governed by public or private law):
a. established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not having an industrial or commercial character;
b. having legal personality;
c. is financed by national, regional or local authorities.
4) Other bodies that are governed by public legal acts, or which are subject to management supervision by those bodies, or which have an administrative, managerial or supervisory board more than half of whose members are appointed by national, regional, or local authorities, or by other bodies which are governed by public legal acts (such as, for example, municipal and national enterprises, trade unions, medical institutions, museums, etc.)
5)Associations formed by one or several bodies governed by public legal acts as defined under point 3 of this section above;
6) NGOs and other non-profit making bodies;
7) Educational organisations (schools, preschool institutions, vocational schools, colleges, institutes, universities);
8) Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) (only under TO 1).

Technical documentation for (re)-construction works has to be provided in line with the national building legislation. Building permission (if applicable and available) should be submitted with Full Application.

What is the Large Infrastructure project duration?

Large Infrastructure Projects

25.07.2016

The latest date for signing the Grant Contract is 30 June 2019. The project duration cannot exceed 31 December 2021.

The information seminars aiming to provide information on the Programme‘s requirements will be organized in the eligible Programme regions of Estonia and Russia. Detailed time schedule of information events will be available on the Programme website.

The term “Applicant” means the body submitting the package on behalf of project partnership of documents necessary when submitting a proposal. In case of project award Applicant becomes a Lead beneficiary.

Project partner” is the body participating in the development of the project application, signing the Partnership Statement. In case of project award Project partner becomes a Beneficiary.

The “Lead Beneficiary” is a legal person with whom a grant contract is signed. The responsibilities of Lead Beneficiary are described in  Guidelines for Call for Proposals.

The “Beneficiary” is a participant in the project, legally and financially responsible for implementation of part of the activities, in accordance to the Application Form and to the Partnership Agreement signed with the Lead beneficiary.

What is the official working language of the Programme?

Basic programme requirements

25.07.2016

The official working language of the Programme is English. Project Summary and in second phase the Full Application shall be filled in English, Grant Contracts shall be concluded in English, all official documentation and communication related to the implementation of projects should be in English.

Interpretation and translation costs foreseen during the project implementation can be included in the budget of the project.

What are the Programme thematic objectives?

Basic programme requirements

25.07.2016

Strategic objectives are supported by four thematic objectives (TO) based on a socio-economic and environmental analysis of the Programme area, thematic seminars, and input from potential beneficiaries:

  • Business and SME development (strategic objective A, TO1)
  • Promotion of border management and border security, mobility and migration management (strategic objective A,B,C, TO10)
  • Environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation (strategic objective B, TO6)
  • Support to local and regional good governance (strategic objective A,B,C, TO5)

The thematic objectives, in turn, aim at supporting specific areas within each strategic objective:

-TO1 Business and SME development

  • Increasing SME development and entrepreneurship by fostering cross-border business contacts and the development of services and products
  • Increasing SME competitiveness and entrepreneurship by fostering cooperation between public, private and R&D sectors
  • Improving the business environment through the development of business support measures and infrastructure

-TO10 Promotion of border management and border security, mobility and migration management

  • Increasing the throughput capacity of existing border crossing points through the development of BCP infrastructure and border management procedures
  • Increasing the throughput capacity of existing border crossing points by refurbishing and improving border crossing roads and supporting infrastructure

-TO6 Environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation

  • Improving the biodiversity of joint natural assets
  • Improving the quality of shared water assets by reducing their pollution load (including improving wastewater treatment facilities, improving solid (household and industrial) waste management and relevant facilities, and reducing pollution that is caused by the agricultural sector
  • Increasing awareness of environmental protection and efficient use of energy resources
  • Fostering shared actions in risk management and a readiness to cope with environmental disasters

-TO5 Support to local and regional good governance

  • Improving cooperation between local and regional authorities and their sub-units
  • Improving cooperation between local and regional communities

What are the Programme’s strategic objectives?

Basic programme requirements

25.07.2016

There are three strategic objectives under the Programme:

  • A- Promotion of economic and social development in regions on both sides of the common borders;
  • B- Addressing common challenges in environment, public health, safety and security;
  • C- Promotion of better conditions and modalities for mobility of persons, goods and capital.

Each project shall involve at least two partners, of whom at least one project partner shall be located in the Programme area in Estonia and at least one project partner located in the Programme area in Russian Federation.

What organisations are eligible to submit the project?

Basic programme requirements

25.07.2016

In order to be eligible for a grant, the applicant and the project partner(s) must be one of the following:
1) national, regional and local public authority;
2) association formed by one or several national, regional or local authorities;
3) public equivalent body (any legal body governed by public or private law):
a. established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not having an industrial or commercial character;
b. having legal personality;
c. is financed by national, regional or local authorities.
4) Other bodies that are governed by public legal acts, or which are subject to management supervision by those bodies, or which have an administrative, managerial or supervisory board more than half of whose members are appointed by national, regional, or local authorities, or by other bodies which are governed by public legal acts (such as, for example, municipal and national enterprises, trade unions, medical institutions, museums, etc.)
5)Associations formed by one or several bodies governed by public legal acts as defined under point 3 of this section above;
6) NGOs and other non-profit making bodies;
7) Educational organisations (schools, preschool institutions, vocational schools, colleges, institutes, universities);
8) Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) (only under TO 1).

The eligible territories of the Programme are following:

  • Estonia: Kirde-Eesti, Lõuna-Eesti, Kesk-Eesti; adjoining area: Põhja-Eesti including Tallinn
  • Russia: St. Petersburg, Leningrad and Pskov regions.