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Document 32000Y1212(02)

Falcone programme - Annual programme and call for applications for projects for 2001

OJ C 356, 12.12.2000, p. 4–8 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)

32000Y1212(02)

Falcone programme - Annual programme and call for applications for projects for 2001

Official Journal C 356 , 12/12/2000 P. 0004 - 0008


Falcone programme

Annual programme and call for applications for projects for 2001

(2000/C 356/04)

On 19 March 1998 the Council of Ministers of the European Union adopted the multiannual Falcone programme of exchanges, training and cooperation for persons responsible for action to combat organised crime(1). The programme covers the period 1998 to 2002. The 2001 budget is EUR 2000000(2).

The present annual programme focuses on activities contributing to the implementation and monitoring of the programme entitled "Prevention and control of organised crime: a strategy of the European Union for the next millennium"(3), adopted by the Council on 27 March 2000. It takes into account the conclusions of the European Council in Tampere(4), the resolution on the prevention of organised crime, adopted by the Council on 21 December 1998(5), as well as the communication that the Commission adopted in November 2000.

1. Aims

The Falcone programme is intended, through a multidisciplinary approach to prevention and enforcement, to support projects of benefit to the European Union and involving participants from more than one Member State. It supports training measures and exchanges, research and studies and other ways of improving skills, with the aim of strengthening and facilitating the struggle against organised crime and reducing such obstacles as may exist to cooperation between the Member States.

The programme supports the following specific aims:

- to improve knowledge of the phenomena of organised crime,

- to improve the professional skills of those responsible for combating organised crime by improving their knowledge of the procedures and legislation in force in the various European countries,

- to encourage the exchange of experience acquired in the field,

- to facilitate the organisation of joint projects and a longer-lasting multidisciplinary cooperation,

- to assess requirements in terms of cooperation and legislation for implementing the strategy for the new millennium and the other initiatives mentioned in the introduction,

- to involve the applicant countries in transnational projects.

2. Content of the programme

The Falcone programme provides financial support for projects in the following areas as defined in Article 1(3) of the Joint Action adopted on 19 March 1998:

- training,

- joint projects to improve skills and operational methods in cooperation in the fight against organised crime,

- programmes of traineeships, organisation of meetings and seminars,

- research, specialised studies, including operational feasibility studies, and assessment,

- dissemination and exchange of information,

- all other measures that may promote the implementation of the action plan to combat organised crime.

These measures are directed towards those responsible for the fight against organised crime, as defined in Article 1(2) of the Joint Action, namely judges, public prosecutors, police and customs departments, civil servants, public tax authorities, authorities responsible for the supervision of financial establishments and public procurement, including the fight against fraud and corruption, and representatives of professional circles and of the business world who may be involved in the implementation of some of the recommendations in the action plan, as well as the academic and scientific world.

The projects may involve those responsible in the applicant countries, with a view to helping them prepare for accession, or in other non-member countries where it serves the aims of the projects.

3. Scope of the Falcone programme in relation to other programmes

The Falcone programme has been set up alongside the other Commission programmes under Title VI of the Treaty on European Union, namely:

- Oisin (programme for the exchange and training of, and cooperation between, law enforcement authorities) (OJ L 7, 10.1.1997),

- Grotius (programme of incentives and exchanges for legal practitioners) (OJ L 287, 8.11.1996),

- Odysseus (programme of training, exchanges and cooperation in the field of asylum, immigration and crossing of external borders) adopted on 19 March 1998 (OJ L 99, 31.3.1998),

- STOP (incentive and exchange programme for persons responsible for combating trade in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children) (OJ L 322, 12.12.1996).

The STOP, Grotius and Oisin programmes will expire at the end of 2000 and the Commission expects that on the basis of its proposal, they will be renewed for a further two-year period through a Council decision in 2001.

To avoid duplication of these programmes, the Commission will ensure, within the relevant committees, that these programmes will exclude measures relating specifically to the implementation of the strategy for the next millennium and the other initiatives mentioned in the introduction; this will ensure that such projects are normally financed only through the Falcone programme.

Applicants are recommended, when drawing up their projects and before submitting a plan to the Falcone programme, to take account also of these other programmes and their annual priorities to ensure that they have made the right choice(6). Concerning in particular the Oisin programme, it is worth noting that this programme is aimed at supporting projects that strengthen law enforcement techniques and methods.

Financial support under the Falcone programme may not be combined with grants from other programmes financed out of the Community budget, with the exception of Community programmes specifically aimed at supporting the efforts of applicant countries to prepare for accession to the European Union.

However, specific projects touching on Community fields can be cofinanced by the Falcone programme when they cover complementary aspects relating to the fight against and the prevention of organised crime.

4. Selection criteria

Projects will be selected according to the following criteria:

- compatibility of the project with work undertaken or planned under the Council's priorities in the field of combating organised crime, and in particular the priorities of the strategy for the new millennium and the other initiatives mentioned in the introduction,

- the European dimension of the project in terms of content and participation by Member States (minimum of two Member States); the possible participation of candidate countries in a project,

- the involvement of different entities and the combined use of their particular expertise in the organisation of the project,

- the openness to practitioners from different Member States and disciplines and the opportunity for them to benefit from each other's experience,

- the contribution to the development of new instruments or the implementation of instruments already adopted or to be adopted in this field,

- the operational purpose and practical value, i.e. the extent to which stress is placed on passing on knowledge of immediate use in carrying out the professional activity concerned,

- the number and nature of the departments or categories of persons targeted and the number of professionals likely to derive some benefit from the project, either directly or through contact between those who have taken part and those who have not had the opportunity to participate,

- the accessibility of the project, i.e. the approach taken and the allowance which the organisational arrangements make for participants' existing knowledge and for professional constraints,

- the degree of preparation and the standard of organisation, as well as clarity and precision as regards the objectives, design and planning of the project,

- the extent to which the projects complement each other, the way in which they contribute to creating a forward momentum rather than merely juxtaposing isolated operations,

- the scope for drawing on results achieved in order to reinforce cooperation between Member States.

5. General guidelines

The following guidelines, based on the above criteria, should be of assistance to applicants:

- ambitious schemes, schemes of long duration or those for which a large grant is being applied, should be supported by pilot projects or studies that justify and demonstrate their feasibility,

- any plan for setting up a documentation network, databases, etc., should state in detail the sources, the field of investigation, the methodological approach, the frequency of updates and the intended users of the information, etc.,

- research projects should not be limited to studies based purely on written material but should be based on practical experience and aim to produce usable conclusions,

- the knock-on effect of a project will be assessed on the basis of the number of participants and their status and capacity to disseminate the results of the project; attention will be paid to a balanced participation of persons from the requesting Member State and from other Member States and non-member countries,

- justification will be required as to the benefits likely to be derived from very small projects, the organisation of traineeships or exchanges for a small number of participants. Projects likely to benefit only the applicant organisation will not be considered,

- meetings between institutions responsible for basic or continuing training should be considered only where they aim at a well-defined purpose in relation to a particular project or policy,

- the standard of preparation will be assessed both objectively, as regards project design and planning, and subjectively, as regards the experience and reputation of the applicant organisation. Previous records will be given attention if other applications have been received from the same organisation. Initiatives submitted by organisations or associations having neither well-established structures nor significant human and financial resources will be disregarded,

- for a seminar project, the attention of the applicants is drawn to the importance to develop the project in partnership. A detailed programme of the seminar indicating the subjects of the interventions, the participants' profile, the names and qualities of the speakers contacted and the way in which these seminars form part of the activities and working programmes of the applicant will have to be attached to the application,

- the conferences, which pursue a broader objective consisting in presenting the state of play in a particular field and in allowing the contacts between the professionals, must necessarily have a strong multidisciplinary dimension and a very high European dimension. They will also have to take into account the outcome of work and results of conferences on similar topics, in order to avoid duplication and provide a real added value,

- applicants are invited to examine with their partners the possibility of complementary projects, in terms of contents or of timetable, in such a way that results are developed better,

- a high degree of interaction between the project organisers and the participants will be regarded as a positive feature.

6. Priority topics and themes for 2001

The following topics and themes, based on the Joint Action establishing the Falcone programme, the recommendations of the strategy to combat organised crime, the resolution on organised crime prevention and the communication of the Commission on prevention of organised crime are put forward as being of particular interest.

(a) Training and exchanges

- preparation and implementation of programmes of in-service training and exchanges,

- organisation of meetings, seminars and conferences.

These events and measures may be concerned either with general and multidisciplinary questions relating to organised crime or with specific aspects(7).

- Preparation of teaching modules and manuals with a view to promoting:

- reciprocal knowledge of regulations and legislation on prevention and enforcement, and procedures applicable to the different aspects and actors involved in the fight against organised crime,

- reciprocal knowledge of practices and methods for prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of the various forms of organised crime, employed by those responsible for combating it.

Preferably, these manuals will have to be carried out jointly between an operator pertaining to the academic field or to a training institute and partners of public authorities. The end-users of the manuals will have to be precisely described in the project application.

(b) Joint projects to improve skills and operating methods

- preparation and implementation of projects designed to improve skills and operating methods in the field of cooperation in the prevention and repression of organised crime. This type of project includes practitioners and responsible persons from public authorities (possibly also researchers) and builds upon a common analysis of present practice, needs of and obstacles to transnational cooperation in specific areas, so as to help define practical and immediate suggestions, procedures and arrangements which could favour cooperation and evaluate their feasibility,

- innovative projects aiming at greater effectiveness in prevention and repression of organised crime. Such projects can also be connected to the setting up of transnational cooperation instruments,

- support for the networking of experts in prevention of various forms of organised crime.

These joint projects, of limited duration, are to be organised for the categories of person referred to in Article 1(2) of the Joint Action establishing the Falcone programme. They may also include Europol when they fall within its sphere of responsibility.

(c) Comparability and circulation of information

- feasibility studies on the collection and exchange of data as well as the creation of databases on prevention and repression of organised crime,

- definition of common standards and methodology for identifying phenomena, data collection and analysis,

- mobilisation of data via networks involving in particular criminology departments and universities,

- dissemination of information to the persons responsible as defined in Article 1(2) of the Joint Action,

- feasibility study of a mechanism allowing potential applicants to find partners for the preparation and submission of European projects of prevention and fight against organised crime.

(d) Studies, analyses and strategies

- scientific and technical research activities, as well as specialised and comparative studies in the various areas of interest for combating criminal organisations and preventing their activities. The topics concerned are in particular public procurements, subsidies and public licences, corruption, fraud, counterfeiting, protection of vulnerable economic sectors and professions, money-laundering (including financial and banking techniques and the role of offshore centres), urban criminality, informatic crime and crime connected to the new technologies and transnational environmental crime,

- multidisciplinary analysis of the risk and impact of certain forms of transnational economic crime with a view to better understanding the phenomena and contribute to the formulation of preventive and repressive instruments with a multidisciplinary approach. Such analyses can also cover the development of techniques used by public authorities and by business in order respectively to combat and to prevent economic crime,

- studies on strategies, legislation and regulations for improving cooperation in prevention, enforcement and prosecution, and in particular the possibility of drawing up common policies and identifying areas of possible convergence or harmonisation which could constitute a long-term objective of the European Union. Such approaches could be based on preliminary, comparative studies on existing national law enforcement and judicial structures and procedures,

- feasibility studies on the setting up of multidisciplinary information networks,

- feasibility studies on the investigation, analysis or translation tools using the new information technologies,

- comparative studies on the experiences in crime-prevention of EU Member States and non-member countries and on the way of associating the actors of civil society to this policy.

7. General financing rules and 2001 budget

A maximum of 80 % of expenditure arising directly from the implementation of the project and committed during the period laid down in the contract can be co-financed. It should be pointed out that with the aim of supporting a higher number of projects, the Falcone Committee has decided in the previous rounds of selection to grant lower co-financing rates (except in exceptional cases) which, on average, ranged from 60 to 65 %.

Any project for which financing is provided out of the Community budget for 2001 must have made a significant start on its work before the end of 2001. As a general rule, all projects must be finalised within 12 months of the date of dispatch of the letter confirming the granting of the subsidy.

Expenditure contracted before the committee meeting at which the financing decision is taken is ineligible.

Project organisers may be public authorities or institutions or private operators, notably in the field of initial or continuing training and research.

Projects submitted by private individuals are ineligible under this programme.

Applications, which do not comprise a detailed financial statement, which makes it possible to appreciate the adequacy of expenditure in relation to the different contents of the project, will not be examined. As an example, a budget-type appears in the operational guide accessible on the Internet (see below).

The projects can include persons and institutions in the candidate countries, which are responsible for the fight against organised crime in order to familiarise them with the policies of the European Union and to facilitate their accession, as well as persons and organisations from other non-member countries, if this lies in the interest of the project. It needs to be stressed, however, that it is not the purpose of the Falcone programme to give assistance to the central and east European countries, the financing of which falls under the PHARE programme.

The budget for 2001 is EUR 2000000 and, as a guide, could be distributed as follows:

>TABLE>

8. How to apply

Applications for grants must be submitted by 28 February 2001 to the European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice and Home Affairs, for the attention of Mr Jean-Jacques Nuss, LX 46 04 for 151, rue de la Loi 200, B-1049 Brussels, in one of the 11 European Union languages, using an application form. A translation may be added in a second working language.

Application forms are available on the Europa web site of the European Commission (http://europa.eu.int/). Detailed information as well as an operational guide is available:

In German: http://europa.eu.int/comm/justice_home/index_de.htm

In English: http://europa.eu.int/comm/justice_home/index_en.htm

In French: http://europa.eu.int/comm/justice_home/index_fr.htm

Forms may be requested by writing to the address above, by fax (32-2) 295 01 74), or by mail from: jean-jacques.nuss@cec.eu.int

The application, duly signed, must be submitted in three copies as originals (not by fax), and include:

- the application form,

- a complete and detailed outline of the project,

- a summary of a maximum of two pages describing the objective of the project, its content, the list and profile of the partners who developed the project, the number and quality of participants, the completion date, the way in which the results will be disseminated and the number and quality of the addressees,

- a detailed and complete budget estimate, post by post, established in euro. The budget must show the expected overall cost of the project. The requested cofinancing may not exceed 80 % of the total cost. The awarded co-financing may be for a lower amount than the percentage requested. The running costs of an organisation are not eligible.

Beneficiaries of a co-financing are required to state in any advertising or published material that their project is in receipt of financial support from the European Commission under the Falcone programme.

In the case of seminars, conferences and colloquia, the beneficiaries are required to use the questionnaire to participants which is published as an annex in the financial guidelines. They will have to ensure participation of a representative of the Falcone programme, if this is requested when the decision of granting cofinancing is taken.

Within three months of the completion of the project, beneficiaries must submit to the Directorate-General for Justice and Home Affairs a report on the execution of the project, the results obtained, obstacles encountered, assessment by the participants, the dissemination of the results and the conclusions drawn from the project.

(1) Joint Action 98/245/JHA (OJ L 99, 31.3.1998).

(2) The financial reference amount of the programme for its full duration is EUR 10 million.

(3) OJ C 124, 3.5.2000.

(4) http://ue.eu.int/nl/Info/eurocouncil/index.htm

(5) OJ C 408, 29.12.1998.

(6) If it appears that a bid, submitted under the Falcone programme, falls under the scope of another of these mentioned EU-programmes, the Commission will endeavour to ensure, where possible, that the bid is transferred to the appropriate programme.

(7) With the exception of specific aspects addressed in the STOP programme (trafficking in human beings) and Odysseus programme (illegal immigration and falsified documents).

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