ISSN 1977-0677

doi:10.3000/19770677.L_2013.347.eng

Official Journal

of the European Union

L 347

European flag  

English edition

Legislation

Volume 56
20 December 2013


Contents

 

I   Legislative acts

page

 

 

REGULATIONS

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1285/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the implementation and exploitation of European satellite navigation systems and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 876/2002 and Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council

1

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1286/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing an action programme to improve the operation of taxation systems in the European Union for the period 2014-2020 (Fiscalis 2020) and repealing Decision No 1482/2007/EC

25

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1287/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME) (2014 - 2020) and repealing Decision No 1639/2006/EC ( 1 )

33

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing 'Erasmus+': the Union programme for education, training, youth and sport and repealing Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC ( 1 )

50

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1289/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement

74

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 laying down the rules for participation and dissemination in "Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)" and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1906/2006 ( 1 )

81

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC ( 1 )

104

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1292/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 amending Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 establishing the European Institute of Innovation and Technology ( 1 )

174

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1293/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the establishment of a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 614/2007 ( 1 )

185

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1294/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing an action programme for customs in the European Union for the period 2014-2020 (Customs 2020) and repealing Decision No 624/2007/EC

209

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1295/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing the Creative Europe Programme (2014 to 2020) and repealing Decisions No 1718/2006/EC, No 1855/2006/EC and No 1041/2009/EC ( 1 )

221

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1296/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on a European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation ("EaSI") and amending Decision No 283/2010/EU establishing a European Progress Microfinance Facility for employment and social inclusion ( 1 )

238

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1297/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 as regards certain provisions relating to financial management for certain Member States experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability, to the decommitment rules for certain Member States, and to the rules on payments of the final balance

253

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1298/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 as regards the financial allocation for certain Member States from the European Social Fund

256

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1299/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on specific provisions for the support from the European Regional Development Fund to the European territorial cooperation goal

259

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1300/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the Cohesion Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1084/2006

281

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1301/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Regional Development Fund and on specific provisions concerning the Investment for growth and jobs goal and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006

289

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1302/2013 of the european Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 amending Regulation (EC) No 1082/2006 on a European grouping of territorial cooperation (EGTC) as regards the clarification, simplification and improvement of the establishment and functioning of such groupings

303

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006

320

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Social Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006

470

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005

487

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 352/78, (EC) No 165/94, (EC) No 2799/98, (EC) No 814/2000, (EC) No 1290/2005 and (EC) No 485/2008

549

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 637/2008 and Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009

608

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 922/72, (EEC) No 234/79, (EC) No 1037/2001 and (EC) No 1234/2007

671

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014-2020) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006

855

 

*

Regulation (EU) No 1310/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down certain transitional provisions on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), amending Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards resources and their distribution in respect of the year 2014 and amending Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009 and Regulations (EU) No 1307/2013, (EU) No 1306/2013 and (EU) No 1308/2013of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards their application in the year 2014

865

 

*

Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020

884

 

 

DECISIONS

 

*

Decision No 1312/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT): the contribution of the EIT to a more innovative Europe ( 1 )

892

 

*

Decision No 1313/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism ( 1 )

924

 

 

II   Non-legislative acts

 

 

REGULATIONS

 

*

Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1314/2013 of 16 December 2013 on the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (2014-2018) complementing the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

948

 

 

DECISIONS

 

 

2013/743/EU

 

*

Council Decision of 3 December 2013 establishing the specific programme implementing Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decisions 2006/971/EC, 2006/972/EC, 2006/973/EC, 2006/974/EC and 2006/975/EC ( 1 )

965

 


 

(1)   Text with EEA relevance

EN

Acts whose titles are printed in light type are those relating to day-to-day management of agricultural matters, and are generally valid for a limited period.

The titles of all other Acts are printed in bold type and preceded by an asterisk.


I Legislative acts

REGULATIONS

20.12.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 347/1


REGULATION (EU) No 1285/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

of 11 December 2013

on the implementation and exploitation of European satellite navigation systems and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 876/2002 and Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 172 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

After consulting the Committee of the Regions,

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure,

Whereas:

(1)

The aim of the European satellite navigation policy is to provide the Union with two satellite navigation systems, the system established under the Galileo programme and the EGNOS system ('the systems'). These systems arise respectively from the Galileo and EGNOS programmes. Each infrastructure consists of satellites and a network of ground stations.

(2)

The aim of the Galileo programme is to establish and operate the first global satellite navigation and positioning infrastructure specifically designed for civilian purposes, which can be used by a variety of public and private actors in Europe and worldwide. The system established under the Galileo programme functions independently of other existing or potential systems, thus contributing amongst other things to the strategic autonomy of the Union, as emphasised by the European Parliament and the Council.

(3)

The aim of the EGNOS programme is to improve the quality of open signals from existing global navigation satellite systems ('GNSS') as well as those from the open service offered by the system established under the Galileo programme, when they become available. The services provided by the EGNOS programme should cover, as a priority, the Member States' territories geographically located in Europe, including for this purpose the Azores, the Canary Islands and Madeira.

(4)

The European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions have consistently given their full support to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes.

(5)

Since the Galileo and EGNOS programmes are at an advanced development stage leading to systems in an exploitation phase, a specific legal instrument is required to meet their needs, particularly in terms of governance and security, to satisfy the requirement for sound financial management and to promote the use of the systems.

(6)

The systems are infrastructures set up as trans-European networks of which the use extends well beyond the national boundaries of the Member States. Furthermore, the services offered through these systems contribute to a wide range of economic and social activities, including the development of trans-European networks in the areas of transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructures.

(7)

The Galileo and EGNOS programmes are an industrial policy tool and are part of the Europe 2020 strategy, as illustrated by the Commission Communication of 17 November 2010 entitled 'An integrated industrial policy for the globalisation era: putting competitiveness and sustainability at centre stage'. They are also referred to in the Commission Communication of 4 April 2011 entitled 'Towards a space strategy for the European Union that benefits its citizens'. Those programmes provide many advantages for the economy and citizens of the Union, whose cumulative value has been estimated at approximately EUR 130 billion in the period 2014-2034.

(8)

A growing number of economic sectors, in particular transport, telecommunications, agriculture and energy, increasingly use satellite navigation systems. Public authorities can also benefit from these systems in various areas such as emergency services, police, crisis management or border management. Developing the use of satellite navigation brings enormous benefits to the economy, society and the environment. Such socio-economic benefits are broken down into three main categories: direct benefits resulting from the growth of the space market, direct benefits resulting from the growth of the downstream market for GNSS-based applications and services, and indirect benefits resulting from the emergence of new applications in, or technology transfer to, other sectors, leading to new market opportunities in other sectors, productivity gains across industry and public benefits generated by a reduction in pollution or by improved levels of safety and security.

(9)

It is therefore important that the Union support the development of applications and services based on the systems. This will allow the citizens of the Union to reap the benefits derived from the systems, and ensure that public confidence in the Galileo and EGNOS programmes is maintained. The appropriate instrument to finance research and innovation activities relating to the development of GNSS-based applications is Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation ("Horizon 2020") established by Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (2). However, a very specific upstream part of research and development activities should be financed from the budget allocated to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes under this Regulation, where such activities concern fundamental elements such as Galileo-enabled chipsets and receivers, which will facilitate the development of applications across different sectors of the economy. Such financing should nevertheless not jeopardise the deployment or exploitation of the infrastructures established under the programmes.

(10)

Given the increasing use of satellite navigation across a great number of fields of activity, an interruption in the supply of services could lead to significant harm to modern society and result in losses for many economic operators. In addition, due to their strategic aspect, satellite navigation systems are sensitive infrastructures, that could be susceptible to malicious use. These factors could affect the security of the Union, its Member States and its citizens. Security requirements should therefore be taken into account in the design, development, deployment and exploitation of the infrastructures established under the Galileo and EGNOS programmes in accordance with standard practices.

(11)

The Galileo programme includes a definition phase which has been completed, a development and validation phase until 2013, a deployment phase which was launched in 2008 and is due for completion in 2020, and an exploitation phase which should be launched progressively from 2014-15 in order to have a fully operational system in 2020. The first four operational satellites have been constructed and launched during the development and validation phase, while the full constellation of satellites should be completed during the deployment phase and replenishment should occur during the exploitation phase. The associated ground-based infrastructure should be developed and operated accordingly.

(12)

The EGNOS programme has been in the exploitation phase since its open service and 'safety of life' service were declared operational in October 2009 and March 2011 respectively. Subject to technical and financial constraints and on the basis of international agreements, the geographical coverage of the services provided by the EGNOS system could be extended to other regions of the world, in particular to the territories of candidate countries, of third countries associated with the Single European Sky and of countries in the European Neighbourhood Policy. However, such extension to other regions of the world should not be financed by the budgetary appropriations assigned to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes under Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 (3) and should not delay the extension of the coverage throughout the Member States' territories geographically located in Europe.

(13)

The original design of the Galileo safety-of-life service as provided for in Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council (4) has been re-profiled to ensure its interoperability with other GNSS, to respond effectively to safety-of-life user needs and to reduce the complexity, risks and costs of the required infrastructure.

(14)

To maximise the take-up of the EGNOS safety-of-life service, it should be provided without direct user charge. The Galileo public regulated service (PRS) should also be offered free of charge to the following PRS participants, within the meaning of Decision No 1104/2011/EU of the European Parliament and the Council (5): Member States, the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service ("EEAS") and duly authorised Union agencies. The absence of charges should not be understood to affect the provisions regarding the costs of the functioning of a competent PRS authority as laid down in Decision No 1104/2011/EU.

(15)

In order to optimise the use of the services provided, the systems, networks and services emerging from the Galileo and EGNOS programmes should be compatible and interoperable with one another and, insofar as possible, with other satellite navigation systems and with conventional means of radio navigation where such compatibility and interoperability is laid down in an international agreement, without prejudice to the objective of strategic autonomy.

(16)

Since the Union is responsible, in principle, for financing the Galileo and EGNOS programmes in full, provision should be made for the Union to own all tangible and intangible assets created or developed under those programmes. In order to comply fully with any fundamental rights relating to ownership, the necessary arrangements should be made with existing owners, particularly with respect to essential elements of the infrastructures and their security. It should be understood that the provisions on ownership of intangible assets laid down in this Regulation do not cover intangible rights that are not transferable under relevant national laws. Such ownership by the Union should be without prejudice to the possibility for the Union, in accordance with this Regulation and where it is deemed appropriate on the basis of a case-by-case assessment, to make those assets available to third parties or to dispose of them. In particular, the Union should be able to transfer the ownership of or license the intellectual property rights arising from work under the Galileo and EGNOS programmes to third parties. In order to facilitate the market uptake of satellite navigation, there is a need to ensure that third parties can make optimum use in particular of the intellectual property rights arising from the Galileo and EGNOS programmes which belong to the Union, including at social and economic level.

(17)

Assets created or developed outside the Galileo and EGNOS programmes are not affected by the provisions on ownership laid down in this Regulation. However, such assets might, on occasion, be relevant to the performance of the programmes. In order to encourage the development of new technology outside the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, the Commission should encourage third parties to draw its attention to relevant intangible assets and should, where it would be beneficial to the programmes, negotiate terms as to the appropriate use thereof.

(18)

The deployment and exploitation phases of the Galileo programme and the exploitation phase of the EGNOS programme should be entirely financed by the Union. However in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (6), the Member States should be able to provide additional funding to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes or a contribution in kind, on the basis of appropriate agreements, in order to fund additional programme elements relating to the potential particular objectives of the Member States concerned. Third countries and international organisations should also be able to contribute to the programmes.

(19)

In order to ensure the continuity and stability of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes and considering their European dimension and their intrinsic European added value, sufficient and consistent funding is required over financial planning periods. It is also necessary to indicate the amount required between 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 to finance completion of the deployment phase of the Galileo programme and the exploitation phases of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes.

(20)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 allocates a maximum of EUR 7 071,73 million in current prices for the financing of activities relating to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020. For the sake of clarity and in order to facilitate cost control, that overall amount should be broken down into various categories. Nonetheless, in the interest of flexibility and to ensure the smooth running of the programmes, the Commission should be able to re-allocate funds from one category to another. The programme activities should also include the protection of the systems and their operation, including during the launch of satellites. In this respect, a contribution to the costs of services capable of providing such protection could be financed by the budget allocated to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes insofar as possible following rigorous cost management and full compliance with the maximum amount established in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013. Such contribution should be used only for the provision of data and services and not for the purchase of infrastructure. This Regulation lays down a financial envelope for the continuation of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes which is to constitute the prime reference amount, within the meaning of point 17 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (7) for the European Parliament and the Council during the annual budgetary procedure.

(21)

The activities for which the Union budget appropriations assigned to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes for the period 2014-2020 are to be granted should be specified in this Regulation. Such appropriations should be granted mainly for activities relating to the deployment phase of the Galileo programme, including management and monitoring activities for that phase, and activities relating to the exploitation of the system established under the Galileo programme, including actions preceding or in preparation for the exploitation phase of that programme, as well as for activities relating to the exploitation of the EGNOS system. They should also be granted for funding certain other activities required to manage and achieve the objectives of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, in particular support for research and development of fundamental elements, such as Galileo enabled chipsets and receivers, including as appropriate positioning and integrity-monitoring software modules. Those elements constitute the interface between the services offered by the infrastructures and downstream applications, and facilitate the development of applications throughout various sectors of the economy. Their development acts as a catalyst for the maximisation of socio-economic benefits as it facilitates the market uptake of the services offered. The Commission should report annually to the European Parliament and the Council on the cost-management strategy pursued.

(22)

It is important to note that the investment and operating costs of the systems as estimated for the period 2014-2020 do not take account of unforeseen financial obligations which the Union may be obliged to assume, in particular those relating to liability arising from the performance of the services or Union ownership of the systems, especially with regard to any malfunctioning of the systems. Those obligations are the subject of a specific analysis by the Commission.

(23)

It should also be noted that the budgetary resources planned under this Regulation do not cover work financed by funds allocated to Horizon 2020, such as that associated with the development of applications derived from the systems. Such work will help to optimise the use of the services provided in the context of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, to ensure a good social and economic return on the investments made by the Union and to increase the know-how of businesses in the Union with regard to satellite navigation technology. The Commission should ensure that there is transparency and clarity regarding the different sources of funding for the different aspects of the programmes.

(24)

In addition, the revenue generated by the systems arising, in particular, from the commercial service provided by the system established under the Galileo programme, should accrue to the Union in order to partially compensate it for the investments that it has made previously, and that revenue should be used to support the objectives of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes. A revenue-sharing mechanism might also be provided for in contracts concluded with private sector entities.

(25)

In order to avoid the cost over-runs and delays which have affected the progress of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes in the past, efforts need to be stepped up to control risks which might lead to excess costs and/or delays as requested by the European Parliament in its resolution of 8 June 2011 on the mid-term review of the European satellite navigation programmes: implementation assessment, future challenges and financing perspectives (8) and by the Council conclusions of 31 March 2011, and as shown by the Commission Communication of 29 June 2011 entitled 'A budget for Europe 2020'.

(26)

Sound public governance of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes requires, first, that there be a strict division of responsibilities and tasks, in particular between the Commission, the European GNSS Agency and the European Space Agency (ESA) and, second, that the governance be progressively adapted to the operational requirements of the systems.

(27)

Given that the Commission represents the Union, which, in principle, provides financing for the Galileo and EGNOS programmes alone and owns the systems, the Commission should be responsible for the progress of those programmes and their overall supervision. It should manage the funds allocated to the programmes under this Regulation, supervise the implementation of all activities of the programmes and ensure a clear division of responsibilities and tasks, in particular between the European GNSS Agency and ESA. Accordingly, in addition to the tasks associated with these general responsibilities and the other tasks incumbent upon it under this Regulation, the Commission should be assigned specific tasks. In order to optimise the resources and competences of the various stakeholders, it should be able to delegate certain tasks by means of delegation agreements, in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

(28)

Considering the importance for the Galileo and EGNOS programmes of the ground-based infrastructure of the systems and its impact on their security, the determination of the location of the infrastructure should be one of the specific tasks assigned to the Commission. The deployment of the ground-based infrastructure of the systems should continue to follow an open and transparent process. The location of such infrastructure should be determined by taking into account geographical and technical limitations associated with the optimum geographical distribution of the ground-based infrastructure and the possible presence of existing installations and equipment suitable for the relevant tasks, as well as by ensuring compliance with the security needs of each ground station and with the national security requirements of each Member State.

(29)

The European GNSS Agency was set up by Regulation (EU) No 912/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council (9) in order to achieve the objectives of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes and implement certain tasks associated with the progress of those programmes. It is an agency of the Union which, as a body within the meaning of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, is subject to the obligations applicable to Union agencies. It should be assigned certain tasks associated with programme security and its potential designation as a competent PRS authority. It should also contribute to the promotion and marketing of the systems, including by establishing contacts with users and potential users of the services provided under the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, and it should collect information on their requirements and developments on the satellite navigation market. Furthermore, it should perform tasks which the Commission confers on it by means of one or more delegation agreements covering other various specific tasks associated with the programmes, in particular tasks associated with the exploitation phases of the systems, including the operational management of the programmes, the promotion of the applications and services on the satellite navigation market and the promotion of the development of fundamental elements relating to the programmes. In order for the Commission, representing the Union, to exercise its power of control fully, those delegation agreements should include the general conditions governing the management of funds entrusted to the European GNSS Agency.

The transfer of responsibility to the European GNSS Agency for tasks associated with the operational management of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes and their exploitation should be gradual and conditional on the successful completion of an appropriate handover review as well as on the readiness of the European GNSS Agency to take on such tasks, in order to secure those programmes' continuity. For EGNOS, the handover should take place on 1 January 2014; for Galileo, it is expected to occur in 2016.

(30)

For the deployment phase of the Galileo programme, the Union should conclude a delegation agreement with ESA setting out the tasks of ESA in that phase. The Commission, representing the Union, should make every effort to conclude that delegation agreement within six months of the date of application of this Regulation. In order for the Commission to exercise its power of control fully, the delegation agreement should include the general conditions for managing the funds entrusted to ESA. In respect of activities exclusively financed by the Union, such conditions should ensure a degree of control comparable to that required if ESA were an agency of the Union.

(31)

For the exploitation phase of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, the European GNSS Agency should conclude working arrangements with ESA setting out the latter's task in developing future generations of the systems and in providing technical support in relation to the existing generation of systems. Those arrangements should comply with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. They should not cover the role of ESA as regards activities relating to research and technology, or the early phases of evolution and research activities relating to the infrastructures established under the Galileo and EGNOS programmes. Such activities should be financed outside the scope of the budget allocated to the programmes, for instance by funds allocated to Horizon 2020.

(32)

Responsibility for the progress of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes includes, in particular, responsibility for their security and the security of their systems and operation. Except in the case of application of Council Joint Action 2004/552/CFSP (10), which needs to be reviewed to reflect the changes in the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, their governance and the changes to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union resulting from the Treaty of Lisbon, the Commission is responsible for security, even if certain security-related tasks are entrusted to the European GNSS Agency. It is the responsibility of the Commission to establish mechanisms to ensure suitable coordination between the various entities responsible for security.

(33)

In the application of this Regulation, for matters relating to security, the Commission should consult the relevant security experts of the Member States.

(34)

Given the specific expertise of EEAS and its regular contact with administrations of third countries and international organisations, it is in a position to assist the Commission in performing certain of its tasks relating to the security of the systems and the Galileo and EGNOS programmes in the field of external relations, in accordance with Council Decision 2010/427/EU (11). The Commission should ensure that EEAS is fully associated with its activities in implementing security-related tasks in the field of external relations. To that end, all necessary technical support should be provided to EEAS.

(35)

To ensure the secure circulation of information, within the scope of this Regulation, the relevant security regulations should offer a degree of protection for EU-classified information equivalent to that provided by the rules on security as set out in the Annex to Commission Decision 2001/844/EC, ECSC, Euratom (12) and by the security rules of the Council set out in the Annexes to Council Decision 2013/488/EU (13). Each Member State should ensure that its national security regulations apply to all natural persons resident on its territory and to all legal entities established on its territory which deal with EU-classified information regarding the Galileo and EGNOS programmes. The security regulations of ESA and the Decision of 15 June 2011 of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (14) should be considered as equivalent to the rules on security set out in the Annex to Decision 2001/844/EC, ECSC, Euratom and to the security rules set out in the Annexes to Decision 2013/488/EU.

(36)

This Regulation is without prejudice to existing and future rules on access to documents adopted in accordance with Article 15(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Furthermore, this Regulation should not be understood as imposing an obligation on Member States to disregard their constitutional requirements in respect of access to documents.

(37)

In order to allocate the Union funds attributed to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes with a ceiling total that the Commission should not exceed, effective public procurement procedures should be applied and, in particular, contracts negotiated so as to ensure optimum use of resources, satisfactory services, smooth running of programmes, good risk management and compliance with the proposed schedule. The relevant contracting authority should make every effort to meet those requirements.

(38)

As the Galileo and EGNOS programmes will be, in principle, financed by the Union, public procurement under those programmes should comply with Union rules on public contracts and should aim, first and foremost, to obtain best value for money, control costs, mitigate risks, improve efficiency and reduce reliance on a single supplier. Open access and fair competition throughout the supply chain and the balanced offering of participation opportunities to industry at all levels, including, in particular, new entrants and small and medium-sized enterprises ('SMEs'), should be ensured. Possible abuse of dominant position and of long-term reliance on single suppliers should be avoided. In order to mitigate programme risks, to avoid reliance on a single source of supply and to ensure better overall control of the programmes and their costs and schedules, multiple sourcing should be pursued, wherever appropriate. Moreover, the development of European industry should be preserved and promoted in all areas relating to satellite navigation, in accordance with international agreements to which the Union is Part. The risk of poor contract performance or of non-performance should be mitigated as much as possible. To that end, contractors should demonstrate the sustainability of their contractual performance with respect to the commitments undertaken and the duration of the contract. Therefore, contracting authorities should, wherever appropriate, specify requirements relating to the reliability of supplies and of the provision of services.

In addition, in the case of the purchase of goods and services of a sensitive nature, contracting authorities may subject such purchase to specific requirements, particularly with a view to ensuring security of information. Union industries should be permitted to rely on non-Union sources for certain components and services where substantial advantages are demonstrated in terms of quality and costs, taking account, however, of the strategic nature of the programmes and of Union security and export control requirements. Advantage should be taken of public sector investment and industrial experience and competence, including that acquired during the definition and development and validation phases of the programmes, while ensuring that the rules on competitive tendering are not contravened.

(39)

In order to better evaluate the total cost of a product, service or work being tendered, including its long term operational cost, the total cost over the useful lifecycle of the product, service or work being tendered should be taken into account wherever appropriate during the procurement, by using a cost effectiveness approach such as lifecycle costing when pursuing procurement based on the criterion of the most economically advantageous tender award. For that purpose, the contracting authority should make sure that the methodology intended to compute the costs for the useful lifecycle of a product, service or work is expressly mentioned in the contract documents or the contract notice and that it allows the accuracy of the information supplied by the tenderers to be verified.

(40)

Satellite navigation is a complex and constantly changing technology. This results in uncertainty and risk for public contracts concluded under the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, insofar as such contracts may involve long-term commitments to equipment or services. Those characteristics require specific measures to be implemented concerning public contracts which apply in addition to the rules laid down in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. The contracting authority should thus be able to restore a level playing-field when one or more companies have, prior to a call for tenders, privileged information on the activities associated with the call for tender. It should be possible to award a contract in the form of a conditional stage-payment contract, introduce an amendment, under certain conditions, in the context of its performance, or even impose a minimum level of subcontracting. Finally, due to the technological uncertainties that are a feature of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, contract prices cannot always be forecast accurately and it is therefore desirable to conclude contracts in a specific form that do not stipulate a firm fixed price and include clauses to safeguard the financial interests of the Union.

(41)

It should be noted that, in accordance with Article 4(3) of the Treaty on European Union ("TEU"), the Member States should not take measures which could be detrimental to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes or the services. It should also be made clear that the Member States concerned should take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of the ground stations established on their territories. In addition, Member States and the Commission should work together and with appropriate international bodies and regulatory authorities to ensure that the radio spectrum necessary for the system established under the Galileo programme is available and protected to allow for the full development and implementation of applications based on that system, in compliance with Decision No 243/2012/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (15).

(42)

In view of the global nature of the systems, it is essential that the Union enter into agreements with third countries and international organisations in the context of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes under Article 218 TFEU, in particular to ensure their smooth implementation, deal with certain questions relating to security and charging, optimise the services provided to citizens of the Union and meet the needs of third countries and international organisations. It is also useful, where necessary, to adapt existing agreements to changes in the Galileo and EGNOS programmes. When preparing or implementing those agreements, the Commission may have recourse to the assistance of EEAS, ESA and the European GNSS Agency, within the limits of the tasks allocated to them under this Regulation.

(43)

It should be confirmed that the Commission, in performing certain of its tasks of a non-regulatory nature, may have recourse, as required and insofar as necessary, to the technical assistance of certain external parties. Other entities involved in the public governance of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes may also make use of the same technical assistance in performing tasks entrusted to them under this Regulation.

(44)

The Union is based on respect for fundamental rights and in particular Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union expressly recognize the fundamental right to privacy and to the protection of personal data. Protection of personal data and private life should be ensured under the Galileo and EGNOS programmes.

(45)

The financial interests of the Union should be protected through proportionate measures throughout the expenditure cycle, including the prevention, detection and investigation of irregularities, the recovery of funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used and, where appropriate, administrative and financial penalties in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

(46)

It is necessary to ensure that the European Parliament and the Council are kept regularly informed about the implementation of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, in particular with regard to risk management, cost, schedule and performance. In addition, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission will meet in the Galileo Interinstitutional Panel in accordance with the Joint declaration on the Galileo Interinstitutional Panel published together with this Regulation.

(47)

Assessments, based on agreed indicators, should be carried out by the Commission in order to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the measures taken to achieve the objectives of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes.

(48)

In order to ensure the security of the systems and their operation, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the high level objectives necessary to ensure the security of the systems and their operation. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(49)

In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council (16).

(50)

As sound public governance requires uniform management of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, faster decision-making and equal access to information, representatives of the European GNSS Agency and ESA should be able to take part as observers in the work of the European GNSS Programmes Committee ("the Committee") established to assist the Commission. For the same reasons, representatives of third countries and international organisations who have concluded an international agreement with the Union should be able to take part in the work of the Committee subject to security constraints and as provided for in the terms of such agreement. These representatives of the European GNSS Agency, ESA, third countries and international organisations are not entitled to take part in Committee voting procedures.

(51)

Since the objective of this Regulation, namely the establishment and exploitation of satellite navigation systems, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States since it exceeds the financial and technical capacities of any single Member State, and can therefore, by reason of its scale and effects, be better achieved by action at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 TEU. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective.

(52)

The Galileo Joint Undertaking created by Council Regulation (EC) No 876/2002 (17) ceased its operations on 31 December 2006. Regulation (EC) No 876/2002 should therefore be repealed.

(53)

Given the need to evaluate the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, the extent of the changes to be made to Regulation (EC) No 683/2008, and in the interests of clarity and legal certainty, Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 should be repealed,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

Subject

This Regulation lays down the rules in relation to the implementation and exploitation of the systems under the European satellite navigation programmes, in particular those relating to the governance and the financial contribution of the Union.

Article 2

European satellite navigation systems and programmes

1.   The European satellite navigation programmes, Galileo and EGNOS, shall cover all the activities needed to define, develop, validate, construct, operate, renew and improve the European satellite navigation systems, namely the system established under the Galileo programme and the EGNOS system, and to ensure their security and interoperability.

Those programmes shall also aim to maximise the socio-economic benefits of the European satellite navigation systems, in particular by promoting the use of the systems and fostering the development of applications and services based on those systems.

2.   The system established under the Galileo programme shall be a civil system under civil control and an autonomous global navigation satellite system (GNSS) infrastructure consisting of a constellation of satellites and a global network of ground stations.

3.   The EGNOS system shall be a regional satellite navigation system infrastructure monitoring and correcting open signals emitted by existing global satellite navigation systems, as well as the open service signals offered by the system established under the Galileo programme, when they become available. It consists of ground stations and several transponders installed on geostationary satellites.

4.   The specific objectives of the Galileo programme shall be to ensure that the signals emitted by the system established under that programme can be used to fulfil the following functions:

(a)

to offer an open service (OS), which is free of charge to the user and provides positioning and synchronisation information intended mainly for high-volume satellite navigation applications;

(b)

to contribute, by means of Galileo open service signals and/or in cooperation with other satellite navigation systems, to integrity-monitoring services aimed at users of safety-of-life applications in compliance with international standards;

(c)

to offer a commercial service (CS) for the development of applications for professional or commercial use by means of improved performance and data with greater added value than those obtained through the open service;

(d)

to offer a public regulated service (PRS) restricted to government-authorised users, for sensitive applications which require a high level of service continuity, free of charge for the Member States, the Council, the Commission, EEAS and, where appropriate, duly authorised Union agencies; this service uses strong, encrypted signals. The question of whether to charge the other PRS participants referred to in Article 2 of Decision No 1104/2011/EU shall be assessed on a case-by-case basis and appropriate provisions shall be specified in the agreements concluded pursuant to Article 3(5) of that Decision;

(e)

to contribute to the search and rescue support service (SAR) of the COSPAS-SARSAT system by detecting distress signals transmitted by beacons and relaying messages to them.

5.   The specific objectives of the EGNOS programme shall be to ensure that the signals emitted by the EGNOS system can be used to fulfil the following functions:

(a)

to offer an open service (OS), which is free of charge to the user, and provides positioning and synchronisation information intended mainly for high-volume satellite navigation applications in the area covered by the EGNOS system;

(b)

to offer a service for the dissemination of commercial data, namely the EGNOS Data Access Service (EDAS), to promote the development of applications for professional or commercial use by means of improved performance and data with greater added value than those obtained through its open service;

(c)

to offer a safety-of-life service (SoL) service aimed at users for whom safety is essential; this service, which is provided free of direct user charges, fulfils in particular the requirements of certain sectors for continuity, availability and accuracy and includes an integrity message alerting the user to any failure in, or out-of-tolerance signals from, systems augmented by the EGNOS system over the coverage area.

As a priority, those functions shall be provided within the Member States' territories geographically located in Europe as soon as possible.

The geographical coverage of the EGNOS system may be extended to other regions of the world, in particular to the territories of candidate countries, of third countries associated with the Single European Sky and of countries in the European Neighbourhood Policy, subject to technical feasibility and on the basis of international agreements. The cost of such extension, including the related exploitation costs, shall not be covered by the resources referred to in Article 9. Such extension shall not delay the extension of the geographical coverage of the EGNOS system throughout the Member States' territories geographically located in Europe.

Article 3

Galileo programme phasing

The Galileo programme shall consist of the following phases:

(a)

a definition phase during which the structure of the system was designed and its elements determined, which ended in 2001;

(b)

a development and validation phase, scheduled to be completed by 31 December 2013, comprising the construction and launch of the first satellites, the establishment of the first ground-based infrastructure and all the work and operations necessary to validate the system in orbit;

(c)

a deployment phase to be completed by 31 December 2020, comprising:

(i)

the construction, establishment and protection of all space-based infrastructure, in particular of all the satellites necessary to achieve the specific objectives referred to in Article 2(4) and of the required spare satellites, and the related evolutive maintenance and operations;

(ii)

the construction, establishment and protection of all ground-based infrastructure, in particular of the infrastructure required to control the satellites and process the satellite radio-navigation data, and of service centres and other ground-based centres, and the related evolutive maintenance and operations;

(iii)

preparations for the exploitation phase, including preparatory activities relating to the provision of the services referred to in Article 2(4);

(d)

an exploitation phase comprising:

(i)

the management, maintenance, continuous improvement, evolution and protection of the space-based infrastructure, including replenishment and obsolescence management;

(ii)

the management, maintenance, continuous improvement, evolution and protection of the ground-based infrastructure, in particular of service centres and other ground-based centres, networks and sites, including replenishment and obsolescence management;

(iii)

the development of future generations of the system and the evolution of the services referred to in Article 2(4);

(iv)

certification and standardisation operations associated with the programme;

(v)

the provision and marketing of the services referred to in Article 2(4);

(vi)

cooperation with other GNSS; and

(vii)

all other activities needed to develop the system and ensure that the programme runs smoothly.

The exploitation phase shall begin progressively between 2014 and 2015 with the provision of the initial services for the open service, search and rescue service and public regulated service. Those initial services shall be gradually improved and the other functions specified in the specific objectives referred to in Article 2(4) shall be gradually implemented with the aim of reaching full operational capability by 31 December 2020.

Article 4

The EGNOS exploitation phase

The EGNOS exploitation phase mainly comprises:

(a)

the management, maintenance, continuous improvement, evolution and protection of the space-based infrastructure, including replenishment and obsolescence management;

(b)

the management, maintenance, continuous improvement, evolution and protection of the ground-based infrastructure, in particular networks, sites and support facilities, including replenishment and obsolescence management;

(c)

the development of future generations of the system and the evolution of the services referred to in Article 2(5);

(d)

certification and standardisation operations associated with the programme;

(e)

the provision and marketing of the services referred to in Article 2(5);

(f)

all elements justifying the reliability of the system and its exploitation;

(g)

coordination activities relating to the completion of the specific objectives pursuant to the second and third subparagraphs of Article 2(5).

Article 5

Compatibility and interoperability of the systems

1.   The systems, networks and services resulting from the Galileo and EGNOS programmes shall be compatible and interoperable from a technical point of view.

2.   The systems, networks and services resulting from the Galileo and EGNOS programmes shall be compatible and interoperable with other satellite navigation systems and with conventional means of radio navigation, where such compatibility and interoperability requirements are laid down in an international agreement concluded pursuant to Article 29.

Article 6

Ownership

The Union shall be the owner of all tangible and intangible assets created or developed under the Galileo and EGNOS programmes. To that effect, agreements shall be concluded with third parties, wherever appropriate, with regard to existing ownership rights.

The Commission shall ensure, through an appropriate framework, the optimal use of the assets referred to in this Article; in particular, it shall manage the intellectual property rights relating to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes as effectively as possible, taking into account the need to protect and give value to the Union's intellectual property rights, the interests of all stakeholders, and the necessity of harmonious development of the markets and of new technologies. To that end, it shall ensure that the contracts entered into, under the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, include the possibility of transferring or licensing intellectual property rights arising from work performed under those programmes to third parties.

CHAPTER II

BUDGETARY CONTRIBUTION AND MECHANISMS

Article 7

Activities

1.   The Union budgetary appropriations assigned to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes for the period 2014-2020 under this Regulation shall be granted to finance activities relating to:

(a)

the completion of the deployment phase of the Galileo programme as referred to in Article 3(c);

(b)

the exploitation phase of the Galileo programme as referred to in Article 3(d);

(c)

the exploitation phase of the EGNOS programme as referred to in Article 4;

(d)

the management and monitoring of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes.

2.   The Union budgetary appropriations assigned to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes shall, in accordance with Article 9(2), also be granted to finance activities relating to research and development of fundamental elements, such as Galileo-enabled chipsets and receivers.

3.   The Union budgetary appropriations assigned to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes shall also cover Commission expenditure relating to the preparation, monitoring, inspection, audit and assessment activities required for the management of the programmes and the implementation of the specific objectives referred to in Article 2(4) and (5). Such expenditure may cover in particular:

(a)

studies and meetings with experts;

(b)

information and communication activities, including institutional communication on the policy priorities of the Union where they are directly linked to the objectives of this Regulation, with a particular view to creating synergies with other relevant Union policies;

(c)

IT technology networks, with the objective of processing or transferring data;

(d)

any other technical or administrative assistance given to the Commission for the management of the programmes.

4.   The costs of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes and of the different phases of those programmes shall be clearly identified. The Commission shall, in accordance with the principle of transparent management, inform the European Parliament, the Council and the Committee referred to in Article 36 ("the Committee") on an annual basis of the allocation of Union funds, including the contingency reserve, to each of the activities specified in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this Article and of the use of those funds.

Article 8

Financing of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes

1.   In accordance with Article 9, the Union shall finance the activities relating to Galileo and EGNOS programmes referred to in Article 7(1), (2) and (3), to fulfil the objectives as set out in Article 2, without prejudice to any contribution from any other funding source, including those referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article.

2.   Member States may make a request to provide additional funding for the Galileo and EGNOS programmes to cover additional elements in particular cases, on condition that such additional elements do not create any financial or technical burden or any delay for the programme concerned. On the basis of a request from a Member State, the Commission shall decide, in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 36(3), whether those two conditions have been met. The Commission shall communicate any impact on the Galileo and EGNOS programmes resulting from the application of this paragraph to the European Parliament, the Council and the Committee.

3.   Third countries and international organisations may also provide additional funding for the Galileo and EGNOS programmes. The international agreements referred to in Article 29 shall stipulate the conditions and arrangements for their involvement.

4.   The additional funding referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article shall constitute external assigned revenue in accordance with Article 21(2) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

Article 9

Resources

1.   The financial envelope for the implementation of the activities referred to in Article 7(1), (2) and (3) and for covering the risks associated with those activities is set at EUR 7 071,73 million in current prices for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020.

The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the European Parliament and the Council within the limits of the multiannual financial framework.

The amount referred to in the first subparagraph shall be broken down in the following categories of expenditure in current prices:

(a)

for the activities referred to in point (a) of Article 7(1), EUR 1 930 million;

(b)

for the activities referred to in point (b) of Article 7(1), EUR 3 000 million;

(c)

for the activities referred to in point (c) of Article 7(1), EUR 1 580 million;

(d)

for the activities referred to in point (d) of Article 7(1) and in Article 7(3), EUR 561,73 million.

2.   Without prejudice to any amounts allocated to the development of applications based on the systems within Horizon 2020, the budgetary appropriations assigned to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, including assigned revenues, shall finance the activities as referred to in Article 7(2) up to a maximum of EUR 100 million at constant prices.

3.   The Commission may re-allocate funds from one category of expenditure, as laid down in points (a) to (d) of the third subparagraph of paragraph 1, to another, up to a ceiling of 10 % of the amount referred to in the first subparagraph of paragraph 1. Where the re-allocation reaches a cumulative amount greater than 10 % of the amount referred to in the first subparagraph of paragraph 1, the Commission shall consult the Committee in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 36(2).

The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council of any re-allocation of funds between categories of expenditure.

4.   The appropriations shall be implemented in accordance with the applicable provisions of this Regulation and Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

5.   Budgetary commitments for the Galileo and EGNOS programmes shall be appropriated in annual instalments.

6.   The Commission shall manage the financial resources referred to in paragraph 1 in a transparent and cost-effective manner. The Commission shall report annually to the European Parliament and the Council on the cost-management strategy pursued.

Article 10

Revenue generated by the Galileo and EGNOS programmes

1.   Revenue generated by the exploitation of the systems shall be collected by the Union, paid to the Union budget and allocated to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, and in particular to the objective referred to in Article 2(1). If the income proves to exceed that required to fund the programme exploitation phases, any adaptation of the principle of allocation shall be approved by the European Parliament and the Council on the basis of a proposal from the Commission.

2.   A revenue-sharing mechanism may be provided for in contracts concluded with private sector entities.

3.   The interest generated by pre-financing payments made to entities responsible for implementing the budget indirectly shall be assigned to activities subject to the delegation agreement or the contract concluded between the Commission and the entity concerned. In accordance with the principle of sound financial management, the entities responsible for indirect implementation of the budget shall open accounts enabling the funds and corresponding interest to be identified.

CHAPTER III

PUBLIC GOVERNANCE OF THE GALILEO AND EGNOS PROGRAMMES

Article 11

Principles for governance of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes

Public governance of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes shall be based on the principles of:

(a)

a strict division of tasks and responsibilities between the various entities involved, in particular the Commission, the European GNSS Agency and ESA, under the overall responsibility of the Commission;

(b)

sincere cooperation between the entities referred to in point (a) and the Member States;

(c)

strong control of programmes, including for strict adherence to cost and schedule by all the entities involved, within their fields of responsibility, with respect to the objectives of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes;

(d)

optimisation and rationalisation of the use of existing structures, in order to avoid any duplications of technical expertise;

(e)

the use of the best practice project management systems and techniques to oversee the implementation of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, in the light of the specific requirements and with the support of experts in the field.

Article 12

Commission's role

1.   The Commission shall have overall responsibility for the Galileo and EGNOS programmes. It shall manage the funds allocated under this Regulation and oversee the implementation of all programme activities, in particular with respect to their cost, schedule and performance.

2.   In addition to the overall responsibility referred to in paragraph 1 and the specific tasks referred to in this Regulation, the Commission shall:

(a)

ensure a clear division of tasks between the various entities involved in the Galileo and EGNOS programmes and to this end it shall allocate the tasks referred to in Article 14(2) and Article 15 respectively, in particular by means of delegation agreements, to the European GNSS Agency and ESA;

(b)

ensure the timely implementation of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes within the resources allocated to the programmes and in accordance with the objectives laid down in Article 2.

To that end, it shall establish and implement the appropriate instruments and structural measures necessary to identify, control, mitigate and monitor the risks associated with the programmes;

(c)

manage, on behalf of the Union and within its field of competence, relationships with third countries and international organisations;

(d)

provide to the Member States and the European Parliament, in a timely manner, all relevant information pertaining to the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, in particular in terms of risk management, overall cost, annual operating costs of each significant item of Galileo infrastructure, revenues, schedule and performance, as well as an overview of the implementation of the project management systems and techniques referred to in point (e) of Article 11;

(e)

assess the possibilities for promoting and ensuring the use of the European satellite navigation systems across the various sectors of the economy, including by analysing how to take advantage of the benefits generated by the systems.

3.   For the smooth progress of the deployment and exploitation phases of the Galileo programme and the exploitation phase of the EGNOS programme referred to respectively in Articles 3 and 4, the Commission shall lay down, where necessary, the measures, required to:

(a)

manage and reduce the risks inherent in the progress of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes;

(b)

define the key decision stages to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the programmes;

(c)

determine the location of the ground-based infrastructure of the systems in accordance with security requirements, following an open and transparent process and ensure its operation;

(d)

determine the technical and operational specifications necessary to fulfil the functions referred to in points (b) and (c) of Article 2(4) and to implement systems evolutions.

Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 36(3).

Article 13

Security of the systems and their operation

1.   The Commission shall ensure the security of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, including the security of the systems and their operation. To that effect, the Commission shall:

(a)

take into account the need for the oversight and integration within all the programmes of security-related requirements and standards;

(b)

ensure that the overall effect of those requirements and standards will support the successful progress of the programmes, in particular in terms of costs, risk management and schedule;

(c)

establish coordination mechanisms between the various bodies involved;

(d)

take into account the security standards and requirements in force in order not to lower the general level of security and not to affect the functioning of existing systems based on those standards and requirements.

2.   Without prejudice to Articles 14 and 16 of this Regulation and Article 8 of Decision No 1104/2011/EU, the Commission shall adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 35, laying down the high level objectives necessary to ensure the security of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes referred to in paragraph 1.

3.   The Commission shall establish the necessary technical specifications and other measures to implement the high level objectives referred to in paragraph 2. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 36(3).

4.   EEAS shall continue to assist the Commission, in the exercise of its functions in the area of external relations, in accordance with Article 2(2) of Decision 2010/427/EU.

Article 14

The role of the European GNSS Agency

1.   In accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Commission, the European GNSS Agency shall:

(a)

ensure, with regard to the security of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, and without prejudice to Articles 13 and 16:

(i)

through its Security Accreditation Board, the security accreditation in accordance with Chapter III of Regulation (EU) No 912/2010; accordingly, it shall initiate and monitor the implementation of security procedures and perform system security audits;

(ii)

the operation of the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre, as referred to in Article 6(d) of Regulation (EU) No 912/2010, in accordance with the standards and requirements referred to in Article 13 of this Regulation and the instructions pursuant to Joint Action 2004/552/CFSP;

(b)

perform the tasks provided for in Article 5 of Decision No 1104/2011/EU, and assist the Commission in accordance with Article 8(6) of that Decision;

(c)

contribute, in the context of the deployment and exploitation phases of the Galileo programme and the exploitation phase of the EGNOS programme, to the promotion and marketing of the services referred to in Article 2(4) and (5), including by carrying out the necessary market analysis, in particular through the market report produced annually by the European GNSS Agency on the market for applications and services, by establishing close contacts with users and potential users of the systems with a view to collecting information on their needs, by following developments in satellite navigation downstream markets, and by drawing up an action plan for the uptake by user community of the services referred to in Article 2(4) and (5), comprising in particular relevant actions relating to standardisation and certification.

2.   The European GNSS Agency shall also perform other tasks relating to the implementation of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, including programme management tasks, and shall be accountable for them. Those tasks shall be entrusted to it by the Commission by means of a delegation agreement adopted on the basis of a delegation decision, in accordance with Article 58(1)(c) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and shall include:

(a)

operational activities including systems infrastructure management, maintenance and continuous improvement of the systems, certification and standardisation operations and provision of the services referred to in Article 2(4) and (5);

(b)

development and deployment activities for the evolution and future generations of the systems, and contribution to the definition of service evolutions, including procurement;

(c)

promoting the development of applications and services based on the systems, as well as raising awareness of such applications and services, including identifying, connecting and coordinating the network of European centres of excellence in GNSS applications and services, drawing on public and private sector expertise, and evaluating measures relating to such promotion and awareness-raising;

(d)

promoting the development of fundamental elements, such as Galileo-enabled chipsets and receivers.

3.   The delegation agreement referred to in paragraph 2 shall confer an appropriate level of autonomy and authority on the European GNSS Agency, with particular reference to the contracting authority, within the framework of Article 58(1)(c) and Article 60 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. In addition, it shall lay down general conditions for the management of the funds entrusted to the European GNSS Agency and, in particular, the actions to be implemented, the relevant financing, management procedures, monitoring and control measures, the measures applicable in the event of inadequate implementation of contracts in terms of costs, schedule and performance, as well as the rules regarding ownership of all tangible and intangible assets.

The monitoring and control measures shall, in particular, provide for a provisional cost forecast system, for systematic information to the Commission on costs and schedule, and, in the event of a discrepancy between the planned budgets, performance and schedule, for corrective action ensuring the implementation of the infrastructures within the limits of the budgets allocated.

4.   The European GNSS Agency shall enter into the working arrangements with ESA that are necessary for the fulfilment of their respective tasks under this Regulation for the exploitation phase of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes. The Commission shall inform the European Parliament, the Council and the Committee of such working arrangements concluded by the European GNSS Agency and any changes thereto. Whenever appropriate, the European GNSS Agency may also consider having recourse to other public or private sector entities.

5.   In addition to the tasks referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 and within the scope of its mission, the European GNSS Agency shall provide the Commission with its technical expertise and supply any information necessary for the performance of its tasks under this Regulation, including for the assessment of the possibility of promoting and ensuring the use of the systems referred to in point (e) of Article 12(2).

6.   The Committee shall be consulted on the delegation decision referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article, in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 36(2). The European Parliament, the Council and the Committee shall be informed in advance of the delegation agreements to be concluded by the Union, as represented by the Commission, and the European GNSS Agency.

7.   The Commission shall inform the European Parliament, the Council and the Committee of the interim and final results of the evaluation of any procurement tenders and of any contracts with private sector entities, including the information relating to subcontracting.

Article 15

The role of the European Space Agency

1.   For the deployment phase of the Galileo programme as referred to in Article 3(c), the Commission shall conclude a delegation agreement without delay with ESA detailing the latter's tasks, in particular as regards the design, development and procurement of the system. The delegation agreement with ESA shall be concluded on the basis of a delegation decision adopted by the Commission in accordance with Article 58(1)(c) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

The delegation agreement shall, insofar as necessary for the tasks and budget implementation delegated, lay down the general conditions for the management of the funds entrusted to ESA, and, in particular, the actions to be implemented as regards the design, development and procurement of the system, the relevant financing, management procedures and monitoring and control measures, the measures applicable in the event of inadequate implementation of contracts in terms of costs, schedule and performance, as well as the rules regarding ownership of all tangible and intangible assets.

The monitoring and control measures shall, in particular, provide for a provisional cost forecast system, for systematic information to the Commission on costs and schedule, and, in the event of a discrepancy between the planned budgets, performance and schedule, for corrective action ensuring the implementation of the infrastructures within the limits of the budgets allocated.

2.   The Committee shall be consulted on the delegation decision referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 36(2). The European Parliament, the Council and the Committee shall be informed in advance of the delegation agreement to be concluded by the Union, as represented by the Commission, and ESA.

3.   The Commission shall inform the European Parliament, the Council and the Committee of the interim and final results of the evaluation of the procurement tenders and of the contracts with private sector entities to be concluded by ESA, including the information relating to subcontracting.

4.   For the exploitation phase of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes as referred to in Article 3(d) and Article 4, the working arrangements between the European GNSS Agency and ESA, referred to in Article 14(4) shall address the role of ESA during that phase and its co-operation with the European GNSS Agency, in particular as regards:

(a)

conception, design, monitoring, procurement and validation in the framework of the development of future generations of the systems;

(b)

technical support in the framework of operation and maintenance of the existing generation of the systems.

Those arrangements shall comply with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and with the measures laid down by the Commission in accordance with Article 12(3).

5.   Without prejudice to the delegation agreement and the working arrangements referred to in paragraphs 1 and 4 respectively, the Commission may request from ESA technical expertise and information necessary for the performance of its tasks under this Regulation.

CHAPTER IV

ASPECTS RELATING TO THE SECURITY OF THE UNION OR OF THE MEMBER STATES

Article 16

Joint Action

Whenever the security of the Union or its Member States may be affected by the operation of the systems, the procedures set out in Joint Action 2004/552/CFSP shall apply.

Article 17

Application of the rules on classified information

Within the scope of this Regulation:

(a)

each Member State shall ensure that its national security regulations offer a degree of protection of EU classified information equivalent to that provided by the rules on security as set out in the Annex to Decision 2001/844/EC, ECSC, Euratom and by the security rules of the Council set out in the Annexes to Decision 2013/488/EU;

(b)

Member States shall without delay inform the Commission of the national security regulation as referred to in point (a);

(c)

natural persons resident in and legal persons established in third countries may deal with EU classified information regarding the Galileo and EGNOS programmes only where they are subject, in those countries, to a security regulation ensuring a degree of protection at least equivalent to that provided by the Commission's rules on security set out in the Annex to Decision 2001/844/EC, ECSC, Euratom and by the security rules of the Council set out in the Annexes to Decision 2013/488/EU. The equivalence of the security regulation applied in a third country or international organisation shall be defined in a security of information agreement between the Union and that third country or international organisation in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article 218 TFEU and taking into account Article 13 of Decision 2013/488/EU;

(d)

without prejudice to Article 13 of Decision 2013/488/EU and to the rules governing the field of industrial security as set out in the Annex to Decision 2001/844/EC, ECSC, Euratom, a natural person or legal person, third country or international organisation may be given access to EU classified information where deemed necessary on a case by case basis, according to the nature and content of such information, the recipient's need-to-know and the degree of advantage to the Union.

CHAPTER V

PUBLIC PROCUREMENT

SECTION I

General provisions applicable to public procurement conducted as part of the deployment and exploitation phases of the Galileo programme and the exploitation phase of the EGNOS programme

Article 18

General principles

Without prejudice to measures required to protect the essential interests of the security of the Union or public security or to comply with Union export control requirements, Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 shall apply to the deployment and exploitation phases of the Galileo programme and the exploitation phase of the EGNOS programme. Moreover, the following general principles shall also apply to the deployment and exploitation phases of the Galileo programme and to the exploitation phase of the EGNOS programme: open access and fair competition throughout the industrial supply chain, tendering on the basis of the provision of transparent and timely information, clear communication of the applicable procurement rules, selection and award criteria and any other relevant information allowing a level-playing field for all potential bidders.

Article 19

Specific objectives

During the procurement procedure, the following objectives shall be pursued by the contracting authorities in their calls for tender:

(a)

to promote the widest and most open participation possible throughout the Union by all economic operators, in particular by new entrants and SMEs, including through encouraging recourse to sub-contracting by the tenderers;

(b)

to avoid possible abuse of a dominant position and reliance on a single supplier;

(c)

to take advantage of prior public sector investments and lessons learned, as well as industrial experience and competences, including that acquired in the definition, development and validation and deployment phases of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, while ensuring that competitive tendering rules are complied with;

(d)

to pursue multiple sourcing wherever appropriate in order to ensure better overall control of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, their costs and schedule;

(e)

to take into account wherever appropriate the total cost over the useful lifecycle of the product, service or work being tendered.

SECTION 2

Specific provisions applicable to public procurement conducted as part of the deployment and exploitation phases of the Galileo programme and the exploitation phase of the EGNOS programme

Article 20

Establishing fair competition conditions

The contracting authority shall take the appropriate measures to ensure fair competition conditions when the previous involvement of a company in activities associated with the subject of the call for tender:

(a)

may confer significant advantages on that company in terms of privileged information and therefore may give rise to concerns as to compliance with the principle of equal treatment; or

(b)

affect normal competition conditions or the impartiality and objectivity of the award or performance of the contracts.

These measures shall not distort competition, or jeopardise equal treatment or the confidentiality of data collected about undertakings, their business relations and cost structure. In that context, those measures shall take into account the nature and particulars of the intended contract.

Article 21

Security of information

When contracts involve, require and/or contain classified information, the contracting authority shall specify in the tender documents the measures and requirements necessary to ensure the security of such information at the requisite level.

Article 22

Reliability of supply

The contracting authority shall specify in the tender documents its requirements in relation to the reliability of supplies and of the provision of services for the execution of the contract.

Article 23

Conditional stage-payment contracts

1.   The contracting authority may award a contract in the form of a conditional stage-payment contract.

2.   A conditional stage-payment contract shall include a fixed stage which shall be accompanied by a budgetary commitment which results in a firm commitment to provide the works, supplies or services contracted for that stage, and one or more stages which are conditional in terms of both budget and execution. The tender documents shall refer to the specific features of conditional stage-payment contracts. In particular, they shall specify the subject-matter of the contract, the price or the arrangements for determining the price and the arrangements for the provision of works, supplies and services at each stage.

3.   The fixed stage obligations shall be part of a consistent whole; the same shall be true for the obligations under each conditional stage, taking into account the obligations under the previous stages.

4.   The performance of each conditional stage shall be subject to a decision by the contracting authority, notified to the contractor in accordance with the contract. When a conditional stage is confirmed late or is not confirmed, the contractor may benefit, if the contract so provides and under the conditions laid down therein, from a tide-over allowance or a non-execution allowance.

5.   Where, with regard to a particular stage, the contracting authority finds that works, supplies, or services agreed for that stage have not been completed, it may claim damages and terminate the contract, if the contract so provides and under the conditions laid down therein.

Article 24

Cost-reimbursement contracts

1.   The contracting authority may opt for a full or partial cost-reimbursement contract up to a ceiling price, under the conditions laid down in paragraph 2.

The price to be paid for such contracts shall consist of reimbursement of all direct costs incurred by the contractor in performing the contract, such as expenditure on labour, materials, consumables, and use of the equipment and infrastructures necessary to perform the contract. These costs shall be increased by a fixed fee covering indirect costs and the profit, or a sum covering indirect costs and incentive fee compensation based on achieving objectives in respect of performance and delivery schedules.

2.   The contracting authority may opt for a full or partial cost-reimbursement contract when it is objectively impossible to specify an accurate fixed price and if it can be reasonably shown that such a fixed price would be abnormally high due to the uncertainties inherent in performance of the contract because:

(a)

the contract has very complex features or features which require the use of a new technology and, therefore, includes a significant number of technical risks; or

(b)

the activities subject to the contract must, for operational reasons, start immediately even though it is not yet possible to determine a firm fixed price in full due to significant risks or because the performance of the contract depends in part on the performance of other contracts.

3.   The ceiling price for a full or partial cost-reimbursement contract shall be the maximum price payable. It may be exceeded only in duly justified exceptional circumstances subject to prior agreement by the contracting authority.

4.   The tender documents of a procurement procedure for a full or partial cost-reimbursement contract shall specify:

(a)

the type of contract, namely whether it is a full or partial cost-reimbursement contract up to a ceiling price;

(b)

for a partial cost-reimbursement contract, the elements of the contract subject to cost-reimbursement;

(c)

the total ceiling price;

(d)

the award criteria, which must enable an evaluation of the plausibility of the estimated overall budget, of the reimbursable costs, of the mechanisms for determining those costs, and the profit referred to in the tender to be evaluated;

(e)

the mechanics of the increase referred to in paragraph 1 to be applied to direct costs;

(f)

the rules and procedures which determine the eligibility of the costs planned by the tenderer for the performance of the contract, in accordance with the principles set out in paragraph 5;

(g)

the accounting rules with which tenderers must comply;

(h)

in the case of a partial cost-reimbursement contract to be converted into a firm fixed-price contract, the parameters for such conversion.

5.   The costs declared by the contractor during the performance of a full or partial cost-reimbursement contract shall only be eligible if they:

(a)

are actually incurred in the course of the contract, with the exception of the costs for the equipment, infrastructures and intangible fixed assets necessary for performance of the contract which may be deemed eligible up to the whole of their purchase value;

(b)

are referred to in the estimated overall budget which may be revised by amendments to the initial contract;

(c)

are necessary for the performance of the contract;

(d)

result from and are attributable to the performance of the contract;

(e)

are identifiable, verifiable, recorded in the contractor's accounting record and determined in accordance with the accounting standards referred to in the specifications and in the contract;

(f)

comply with the requirements of applicable tax and social law;

(g)

do not derogate from the terms of the contract;

(h)

are reasonable, justified, and comply with the requirements of sound financial management, in particular regarding economy and efficiency.

The contractor shall be responsible for its own cost accounting, keeping sound accounting records or any other document required to show that the costs for which reimbursement is requested have been incurred and comply with the principles set out in this Article. Costs which cannot be substantiated by the contractor shall be deemed ineligible and their reimbursement shall be refused.

6.   The contracting authority shall be responsible for the following tasks in order to ensure correct performance of cost-reimbursement contracts:

(a)

determining the most realistic possible ceiling price, while providing the necessary flexibility to account for technical difficulties;

(b)

converting a partial cost-reimbursement contract into a full firm fixed-price contract as soon as it is possible to determine such a firm fixed-price during performance of the contract. For that reason, it shall determine the conversion parameters to convert a contract concluded on a cost-reimbursement basis to a firm fixed-price contract;

(c)

implementing monitoring and control measures which provide, in particular, an estimated cost forecast system;

(d)

determining suitable principles, tools and procedures for the performance of the contract, in particular for identifying and checking the eligibility of the costs declared by the contractor or its subcontractors during the performance of the contract, and for introducing amendments to the contract;

(e)

checking that the contractor and its subcontractors comply with the accounting standards stipulated in the contract and with the obligation to provide their accounting documents which should present a true and fair view of the accounts;

(f)

throughout the performance of the contract, continuously ensuring the effectiveness of the principles, tools and procedures referred to in point (d).

Article 25

Amendments

The contracting authority and the contractors may change the contract by an amendment on condition that the amendment fulfils all of the following conditions:

(a)

it does not alter the subject-matter of the contract,

(b)

it does not disturb the economic balance of the contract,

(c)

it does not introduce conditions which, if they had appeared initially in the contract documents, would have allowed for the admission of tenderers other than those initially admitted or would have allowed for the acceptance of a tender other than the one initially accepted.

Article 26

Subcontracting

1.   The contracting authority shall request the tenderer to subcontract a share of the contract by competitive tendering at the appropriate levels of sub-contracting to companies other than those that belong to the tenderer's group in particular to new entrants and SMEs.

2.   The contracting authority shall express the requisite share of the contract to be subcontracted in the form of a range from a minimum to a maximum percentage. It shall ensure that such percentages are proportionate to the objective and value of the contract, taking into account the nature of the sector of activity concerned, and in particular, the competitive conditions and the industrial potential observed.

3.   If the tenderer indicates in its tender that it intends not to sub-contract any share of the contract or to subcontract a share smaller than the minimum range referred to in paragraph 2, it shall provide the reasons therefore to the contracting authority. The contracting authority shall submit that information to the Commission.

4.   The contracting authority may reject subcontractors selected by the candidate at the stage of the main contract award procedure or by the tenderer selected for the performance of the contract. It shall justify its rejection in writing, which may be based only on the criteria used for selection of tenderers for the main contract.

CHAPTER VI

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Article 27

Programming

The Commission shall adopt an annual work programme in the form of an implementation plan of the actions required to meet the specific objectives of the Galileo programme laid down in Article 2(4) according to the phases set out in Article 3 and the specific objectives of the EGNOS programme laid down in Article 2(5). The annual work programme shall also provide for the funding of those actions.

Those implementing measures shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 36(3).

Article 28

Member States' action

The Member States shall take all necessary measures to ensure the good functioning of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes including measures to ensure the protection of the ground stations established on their territories which shall be at least equivalent to those required for the protection of European critical infrastructures within the meaning of Council Directive 2008/114/EC (18). The Member States shall not take any measures which could be detrimental to the programmes or the services provided through their exploitation, in particular in terms of the continuity of the operation of the infrastructures.

Article 29

International agreements

The Union may enter into agreements with third countries and international organisations in the context of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 218 TFEU.

Article 30

Technical assistance

In order to carry out the technical tasks referred to in Article 12(2), the Commission may have recourse to the necessary technical assistance, in particular to the capacity and expertise of the national agencies competent in the space sector, or the assistance of independent experts and bodies capable of providing impartial analyses and opinions on the progress of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes.

The entities involved in the public governance of the programmes, other than the Commission, in particular, the European GNSS Agency and ESA, may also receive the same technical assistance in performing the tasks entrusted to them under this Regulation.

Article 31

Personal data and privacy protection

1.   The Commission shall ensure that personal data and privacy are protected during the design, implementation and exploitation of the systems and that the appropriate safeguards are included therein.

2.   All personal data handled in the context of the tasks and activities provided for in this Regulation shall be processed in accordance with the applicable law on personal data protection, in particular Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council (19) and Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (20).

Article 32

Protection of the Union's financial interests

1.   The Commission shall take the appropriate measures to ensure that the financial interests of the Union are protected when actions financed under this Regulation are implemented, by the application of preventive measures against fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities, by effective checks and, if irregularities are detected, by the recovery of amounts unduly paid and, if necessary, by effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties.

2.   The Commission or its representatives and the Court of Auditors shall have the power of audit, on the basis of document and on-the-spot checks, over all grant beneficiaries, contractors and subcontractors who have received Union funds under this Regulation.

The European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF) may carry out investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections of economic operators directly or indirectly concerned by such funding in accordance with the provisions and procedures laid down in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (21) and Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 (22) with a view to establishing whether there has been fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the Union in connection with a grant agreement or decision or a contract concerning Union financing.

Without prejudice to the first and second subparagraphs, international agreements with third countries and with international organisations, grant agreements, grant decisions and contracts resulting from the application of this Regulation shall contain provisions expressly empowering the Commission, the Court of Auditors and OLAF to conduct such audits and investigations in accordance with their respective competences.

Article 33

Information to the European Parliament and to the Council

1.   The Commission shall ensure the implementation of this Regulation. Each year, when it presents the preliminary draft budget, it shall present a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the implementation of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes. That report shall contain all information pertaining to the programmes, in particular in terms of risk management, overall cost, annual operating cost, revenues, schedule and performance, as referred to in point (d) of Article 12(2) and as regards the functioning of the delegation agreements concluded pursuant to Articles 14(2) and 15(1). It shall include:

(a)

an overview of the allocation and use of funds allocated to the programmes as referred to in Article 7(4);

(b)

information on the cost management strategy pursued by the Commission as referred to in Article 9(6);

(c)

an assessment of intellectual property rights management;

(d)

an overview of the implementation of the project management systems and techniques, including risk management systems and techniques, as referred to in point (d) of Article 12(2);

(e)

an evaluation of the measures taken to maximise the socio-economic benefits of the programmes.

2.   The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council of the interim and final results of the evaluation of the procurement tenders and of the contracts with private sector entities performed by the European GNSS Agency and ESA pursuant to Article 14(7) and Article 15(3) respectively.

It shall also inform the European Parliament and the Council:

(a)

of any re-allocation of funds between categories of expenditure performed pursuant to Article 9(3);

(b)

of any impact on the Galileo and EGNOS programmes resulting from the application of Article 8(2).

Article 34

Review of the implementation of this Regulation

1.   By 30 June 2017, the Commission shall present an evaluation report on the implementation of this Regulation to the European Parliament and the Council, with a view to a decision being taken on the renewal, modification or suspension of the measures taken pursuant to this Regulation concerning:

(a)

achieving the objectives of those measures, from the point of view of both results and impacts;

(b)

effectiveness of the use of resources;

(c)

European added value.

The evaluation shall also address technological developments relating to the systems, the scope for simplification, its internal and external coherence, the relevance of all objectives, as well as the contribution of the measures to the Union priorities of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It shall take into account the results of the evaluation on the long-term impact of the previous measures.

2.   The evaluation shall take into account progress made with regard to the specific objectives of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes laid down in Article 2(4) and (5), respectively, on the basis of performance indicators such as:

(a)

for Galileo and as regards:

(i)

its infrastructure deployment:

number and availability of operational satellites, and number of available on-ground spare satellites versus number of planned satellites referred to in the delegation agreement;

actual availability of the elements of the ground-based infrastructure (such as ground stations, control centres) versus planned availability;

(ii)

service level:

service availability map per service versus service definition document;

(iii)

cost:

cost performance index per major cost item of the programme based on a ratio comparing actual cost with budgeted cost;

(iv)

schedule:

schedule performance index per major item of the programme based on comparing budgeted cost of work performed with budgeted cost of work scheduled;

(v)

market level:

market trend based on the percentage of Galileo and EGNOS receivers in the total number of receiver models included in the market report provided by the European GNSS Agency referred to in point (c) of Article 14(1).

(b)

for EGNOS and as regards:

(i)

its coverage extension:

progress of the coverage extension versus agreed coverage extension plan;

(ii)

service level:

service availability index based on the number of airports with EGNOS-based approach procedures with an operational status versus the total number of airports with EGNOS-based approach procedures;

(iii)

cost:

cost performance index based on a ratio comparing actual cost with budgeted cost;

(iv)

schedule:

schedule performance index based on comparing budgeted cost of work performed with budgeted cost of work scheduled.

3.   The bodies involved in the implementation of this Regulation shall provide the Commission with the data and information necessary to enable the actions concerned to be monitored and evaluated.

CHAPTER VII

DELEGATION AND IMPLEMENTING MEASURES

Article 35

Exercise of the delegation

1.   The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2.   The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 13(2) shall be conferred on the Commission for an indeterminate period from 1 January 2014.

3.   The delegation of power referred to in Article 13(2) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

4.   As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

5.   A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 13(2) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or the Council.

Article 36

Committee Procedure

1.   The Commission shall be assisted by a Committee. That Committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

3.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

4.   Representatives of the European GNSS Agency and ESA shall be involved as observers in the work of the Committee under the conditions laid down in its rules of procedure.

5.   International agreements concluded by the Union in accordance with Article 29 may provide for the involvement, as appropriate, of representatives of third countries or international organisations in the work of the Committee under the conditions laid down in its rules of procedure.

6.   The Committee shall meet regularly, preferably four times per year, on a quarterly basis. The Commission shall provide a report on programme progress at each meeting. Those reports shall give a general overview of programme status and developments, in particular in terms of risk management, cost, schedule and performance. At least once a year, those reports shall include the performance indicators referred to in Article 34(2).

CHAPTER VIII

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 37

Repeals

1.   Regulations (EC) No 876/2002 and (EC) No 683/2008 shall be repealed with effect from 1 January 2014.

2.   Any measure adopted on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 876/2002 or Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 shall remain in force.

3.   References to the repealed Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 shall be construed as references to this Regulation and shall be read in accordance with the correlation table set out in the Annex hereto.

Article 38

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the third day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from 1 January 2014.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Strasbourg, 11 December 2013.

For the European Parliament

The President

M. SCHULZ

For the Council

The President

V. LEŠKEVIČIUS


(1)  OJ C 181, 21.6.2012, p. 179.

(2)  Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 - The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC (See page 104 Of this Official Journal)

(3)  Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 (See page 884 Of this Official Journal).

(4)  Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 on the further implementation of the European satellite navigation programmes (EGNOS and Galileo) (OJ L 196, 24.7.2008, p. 1).

(5)  Decision No 1104/2011/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of 25 October 2011 on the rules for access to the public regulated service provided by the global navigation satellite system established under the Galileo programme (OJ L 287, 4.11.2011, p. 1).

(6)  Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

(7)  OJ C 420, 20.12.2013, p. 1.

(8)  OJ C 380 E, 11.12.2012, p. 84.

(9)  Regulation (EU) No 912/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 setting up the European GNSS Agency, repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 on the establishment of structures for the management of the European satellite radio navigation programmes and amending Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 276, 20.10.2010, p. 11).

(10)  Council Joint Action 2004/552/CFSP of 12 July 2004 on aspects of the operation of the European satellite radio-navigation system affecting the security of the European Union (OJ L 246, 20.7.2004, p. 30).

(11)  Council Decision 2010/427/EU of 26 July 2010 establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service (OJ L 201, 3.8.2010, p. 30).

(12)  2001/844/EC, ECSC, Euratom: Commission Decision of 29 November 2001 amending its internal Rules of Procedure (OJ L 317, 3.12.2001, p. 1).

(13)  2013/488/EU: Council Decision of 23 September 2013 on the security rules for protecting EU classified information (OJ L 274, 15.10.2013, p. 1).

(14)  OJ C 304, 15.10.2011, p. 7.

(15)  Decision No 243/2012/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 establishing a multiannual radio spectrum policy programme (OJ L 81, 21.3.2012, p. 7).

(16)  Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13).

(17)  Council Regulation (EC) No 876/2002 of 21 May 2002 setting up the Galileo Joint Undertaking (OJ L 138, 28.5.2002, p. 1).

(18)  Council Directive 2008/114/EC of 8 December 2008 on the identification and designation of European critical infrastructures and the assessment of the need to improve their protection (OJ L 345, 23.12.2008, p. 75).

(19)  Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1).

(20)  Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31).

(21)  Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1074/1999 (OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1).

(22)  Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2).


ANNEX

CORRELATION TABLE

Regulation (EC) No 683/2008

This Regulation

Article 1

Article 2

Article 2

Article 1

Article 3

Article 3

Article 4

Article 8

Article 5

Article 4

Article 6

Article 8

Article 7

Article 5

Article 8

Article 6

Article 9

Article 7

Article 10

Article 9

Article 11

Article 10

Article 12(1)

Article 11

Article 12(2) and (3)

Article 12

Article 13(1), (2) and (3)

Article 13

Article 13(4)

Article 16

Article 14

Article 17

Article 15

Article 27

Article 16

Article 14

Article 17

Articles 18 to 26

Article 18

Article 15

Article 19 (1) to (4)

Article 36

Article 19 (5)

Article 35

Article 20

Article 31

Article 21

Article 32

Article 22

Article 33

Article 23

 

Article 24

Article 38

Annex

Article 1


Joint declaration

by the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission on the GALILEO INTERINSTITUTIONAL PANEL (GIP)

1.

In view of the importance, uniqueness and complexity of the European GNSS programmes, the Union ownership of systems resulting from the programmes, the full financing of the Union budget of the programmes for the period 2014-2020, the European Parliament, the Council, and the European Commission recognise the need for close cooperation of the three institutions.

2.

A Galileo Interinstitutional Panel (GIP) will meet with the objective to facilitate each institution exercising its respective responsibility. To this end, the GIP will be set up in order to follow closely:

(a)

the progress on the implementation of the European GNSS programmes, in particular with regard to the implementation of the procurement and the contract agreements, in particular with regard to the ESA;

(b)

the International Agreements with third countries without prejudice to the provisions of Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

(c)

the preparation of satellite navigation markets;

(d)

the effectiveness of the governance arrangements; and

(e)

the annual review of the work programme.

3.

In accordance with existing rules, the GIP will respect the need for discretion in particular in view of the commercial-in-confidence and sensitive nature of certain data.

4.

The Commission will take account of the views expressed by the GIP.

5.

The GIP will be composed of seven representatives, of which:

three from the Council,

three from the EP,

one from the Commission,

and will meet on a regular basis (in principle four times per year).

6.

The GIP does not affect the established responsibilities or interinstitutional relationships.


20.12.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 347/25


REGULATION (EU) No 1286/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

of 11 December 2013

establishing an action programme to improve the operation of taxation systems in the European Union for the period 2014-2020 (Fiscalis 2020) and repealing Decision No 1482/2007/EC

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Articles 114 and 197 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure,

Whereas:

(1)

The multi-annual action programme for taxation which applied before 2014 has significantly contributed to facilitating and enhancing cooperation between tax authorities within the Union. The added value of that programme, including to the protection of the financial interests of Member States of the Union and of taxpayers, has been recognised by the tax administrations of the participating countries. The challenges identified for the next decade cannot be tackled if Member States do not look beyond the borders of their administrative territories or cooperate intensively with their counterparts. The Fiscalis programme, implemented by the Commission in cooperation with the participating countries, offers Member States a Union framework within which to develop those cooperation activities, and which is more cost-effective than if each Member State were to set up individual cooperation frameworks on a bilateral or multilateral basis. It is therefore appropriate to ensure the continuation of that programme by establishing a new programme in the same area.

(2)

The programme established under this Regulation, "Fiscalis 2020", and its success are vital in the present economic situation and should support cooperation in fiscal matters.

(3)

The activities under Fiscalis 2020, namely the European information systems as defined in this Regulation (European Information Systems), the joint actions for officials of tax authorities and the common training initiatives, are expected to contribute to the realisation of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by strengthening the functioning of the internal market, providing a framework within which to support activities enhancing the administrative capacity of tax authorities and advancing technical progress and innovation. In providing a framework for activities which strive for more efficient tax authorities, strengthen the competitiveness of businesses, promote employment and contribute to the protection of the financial and economic interests of the Member States of the Union and of taxpayers, Fiscalis 2020 will actively strengthen the functioning of the taxation systems in the internal market, while contributing to the gradual elimination of existing barriers and distortions within the internal market.

(4)

The scope of Fiscalis 2020 should be brought into line with current needs so as to focus on all taxes harmonised at Union level and other taxes in so far as they are relevant for the internal market and for administrative cooperation between the Member States.

(5)

To support the process of accession and association by third countries, Fiscalis 2020 should be open to the participation of acceding and candidate countries and to potential candidate countries and partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy if certain conditions are fulfilled and their participation supports only activities under Fiscalis 2020 which are aimed at fighting against tax fraud and tax evasion, and addressing aggressive tax planning. Considering the increasing level of interconnection of the world economy, Fiscalis 2020 should continue to provide for the possibility of inviting external experts to contribute to activities under Fiscalis 2020. External experts, such as representatives of governmental authorities, economic operators and their organisations or representatives of international organisations should be invited only where their contribution is considered to be essential for achieving the objectives of Fiscalis 2020.

(6)

The objectives and priorities of Fiscalis 2020 take into account the problems and challenges identified for taxation in the next decade. Fiscalis 2020 should continue to play a role in vital areas such as the coherent implementation of Union law in the field of taxation, securing the exchange of information and supporting administrative cooperation and enhancing the administrative capacity of tax authorities. Given the problem dynamics of new challenges identified, additional emphasis should be put on supporting the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. Emphasis should also be placed on reducing the administrative burden for tax authorities and the compliance costs for tax payers and preventing instances of double taxation.

(7)

At an operational level, Fiscalis 2020 should implement, operate and support the European Information Systems and administrative cooperation activities, reinforce the skills and competences of tax officials, enhance the understanding and implementation of Union law in the field of taxation, and support the improvement of administrative procedures and the sharing and dissemination of good administrative practices. Those objectives should be pursued with an emphasis on supporting the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning.

(8)

The programme tools which applied before Fiscalis 2020 should be supplemented in order to respond adequately to challenges awaiting tax authorities in the next decade and to remain in line with developments in Union law. Fiscalis 2020 should cover bilateral or multilateral controls and other forms of administrative cooperation as established in the relevant Union law on administrative cooperation; expert teams; public administration capacity–building actions providing specific and specialised coaching in the field of taxation to Member States facing particular and exceptional circumstances that justify such targeted actions; and, where necessary, studies and common communication activities in order to support the implementation of Union law in the field of taxation.

(9)

The European Information Systems play a vital role in interconnecting tax authorities and thus in reinforcing the taxation systems within the Union and should therefore continue to be financed and improved under Fiscalis 2020. In addition, it should be made possible to include in Fiscalis 2020 new tax-related information systems established under Union law. The European Information Systems should, where appropriate, be based on shared development models and IT architecture.

(10)

In the context of improving administrative cooperation more widely and supportig the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning, it may be useful for the Union to conclude agreements with third countries in order to allow those countries to use the Union components of the European Information Systems to support a secure exchange of information between them and the Member States in the framework of bilateral tax agreements.

(11)

Common training activities should also be carried out under Fiscalis 2020. Fiscalis 2020 should continue to support participating countries in strengthening professional skills and knowledge relating to taxation through enhanced jointly developed training content that targets tax officials and economic operators. To that end, the current common training approach of the Fiscalis 2020, which was mainly based on central eLearning development, should develop into a multi-facetted training support programme for the Union.

(12)

Fiscalis 2020 should cover a period of seven years to align its duration with that of the multiannual financial framework laid down in Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 (2).

(13)

This Regulation lays down a financial envelope for the entire duration of Fiscalis 2020 which is to constitute the prime reference amount, within the meaning of Point 17 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (3), for the European Parliament and the Council during the annual budgetary procedure.

(14)

In line with the Commission's commitment, set out in its Communication on the Budget Review of 2010, to coherence and simplification of funding programmes, resources should be shared with other Union funding instruments if the envisaged activities under Fiscalis 2020 pursue objectives which are common to various funding instruments, excluding however double financing.

(15)

The measures necessary for the financial implementation of this Regulation should be adopted in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (4), and with Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 (5).

(16)

Participating countries should bear the cost of national elements of Fiscalis 2020 which would include, inter alia, the non-Union components of the European Information Systems, and any training which is not part of the common training initiatives.

(17)

Considering the importance of full participation of participating countries in joint actions, a co-financing rate of 100 % of the eligible costs in respect of travel and accomodation costs, costs linked to organisation of events and daily allowances is possible where it is necessary to achieve fully the objectives of Fiscalis 2020.

(18)

The financial interests of the Union should be protected through appropriate measures throughout the expenditure cycle, including the prevention, detection and investigation of irregularities, the recovery of funds lost, unduly paid or incorrectly used and, where appropriate, penalties.

(19)

In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission in respect of the establishment of annual work programmes. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council (6).

(20)

Since the objective of this Regulation, namely establishing a multi-annual programme to improve the operation of the taxation systems in the internal market, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States as they cannot efficiently perform the cooperation and coordination necessary to achieve that objective, the Union may adopt measures in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective.

(21)

The Commission should be assisted by the Fiscalis 2020 Committee for the implementation of Fiscalis 2020.

(22)

To facilitate the evaluation of Fiscalis 2020, a proper framework for monitoring the results achieved by Fiscalis 2020 should be put in place from the very beginning. The Commission, together with participating countries, should establish adjustable indicators and set pre-defined baselines for monitoring the results of activities under Fiscalis 2020. A mid-term evaluation looking at the achievement of the objectives of Fiscalis 2020, its efficiency and its added value at the European level should be carried out. A final evaluation should, in addition, deal with the long-term impact and the sustainability effects of Fiscalis 2020. Full transparency with regular reporting on monitoring and with the submission of evaluation reports to the European Parliament and to the Council should be ensured.

(23)

Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (7) governs the processing of personal data carried out in the Member States in the context of this Regulation and under the supervision of the Member States competent authorities, in particular the public independent authorities designated by the Member States. Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council (8) governs the processing of personal data carried out by Commission within the framework of this Regulation and under the supervision of the European Data Protection Supervisor. Any exchange or transmission of information by competent authorities should be in accordance with the rules on the transfer of personal data as laid down in Directive 95/46/EC and any exchange or transmission of information by the Commission should be in accordance with the rules on the transfer of personal data as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 45/2001.

(24)

This Regulation replaces Decision No 1482/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (9). That Decision should therefore be repealed,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

CHAPTER I

General provisions

Article 1

Subject matter

1.   A multi-annual action programme "Fiscalis 2020" ("the programme") is hereby established to improve the operation of the taxation systems in the internal market and to support cooperation in relation thereto.

2.   The programme shall cover the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purpose of this Regulation, the following definitions shall apply:

(1)

"tax authorities" means the public authorities and other bodies in the participating countries which are responsible for administering taxation or tax-related activities;

(2)

"external experts" means:

(a)

representatives of governmental authorities, including those from countries not participating in the programme pursuant toArticle 3(2);

(b)

economic operators and organisations representing economic operators;

(c)

representatives of international and other relevant organisations;

(3)

"taxation" means the following:

(a)

value added tax provided for in Council Directive 2006/112/EC (10);

(b)

excise duties on alcohol provided for in Council Directive 92/83/EEC (11);

(c)

excise duties on tobacco products provided for in Council Directive 2011/64/EU (12);

(d)

taxes on energy products and electricity provided for in Council Directive 2003/96/EC (13);

(e)

other taxes falling within the scope of Article 2(1)(a) of Council Directive 2010/24/EU (14) in so far as they are relevant for the internal market and for administrative cooperation between the Member States;

(4)

"bilateral or multilateral controls" means the coordinated checking of the tax liability of one or more related taxable persons organised by two or more participating countries with common or complementary interests, which include at least two Member States.

Article 3

Participation in the programme

1.   Participating countries shall be the Member States and the countries referred to in paragraph 2, provided the conditions set out in that paragraph are met.

2.   The programme shall be open to participation by any of the following countries:

(a)

acceding countries, candidate countries and potential candidate countries benefiting from a pre-accession strategy, in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for the participation of those countries in Union programmes established in the respective framework agreements, Association Council decisions or similar agreements;

(b)

partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy provided that those countries have reached a sufficient level of approximation of the relevant legislation and administrative methods to those of the Union.

The partner countries referred to in point (b) of the first subparagraph shall participate in the programme in accordance with provisions to be determined with those countries following the establishment of framework agreements concerning their participation in Union programmes. Their participation shall support only activities under the programme which are aimed at fighting tax fraud and tax evasion and addressing aggressive tax planning.

Article 4

Participation in activities under the programme

External experts may be invited to contribute to selected activities organised under the programme wherever essential for the achievement of the objectives referred to in Articles 5 and 6. The external experts shall be selected by the Commission together with the participating countries, on the basis of their skills, experience and knowledge relevant to the specific activities, taking into account any potential conflict of interest, and striking a balance between business representatives and other civil society experts. A list of selected external experts shall be made public and shall be regularly updated.

Article 5

Overall objective and specific objective

1.   The overall objective of the programme shall be to improve the proper functioning of the taxation systems in the internal market by enhancing cooperation between participating countries, their tax authorities and their officials.

2.   The specific objective of the programme shall be to support the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning and the implementation of Union law in the field of taxation by ensuring exchange of information, by supporting administrative cooperation and, where necessary and appropriate, by enhancing the administrative capacity of participating countries with a view to assisting in reducing the administrative burden on tax authorities and the compliance costs for taxpayers.

3.   The achievement of the objectives referred to in this Article shall be measured on the basis, in particular, of the following:

(a)

the availability of, and full access to, the common communication network for the European Information Systems;

(b)

the feedback from participating countries on the results of actions under the programme.

Article 6

Operational objectives and priorities of the programme

1.   The operational objectives and priorities of the programme shall be the following:

(a)

to implement, improve, operate and support the European Information Systems for taxation;

(b)

to support administrative cooperation activities;

(c)

to reinforce the skills and competence of tax officials;

(d)

to enhance the understanding and implementation of Union law in the field of taxation;

(e)

to support the improvement of administrative procedures and the sharing of good administrative practices.

2.   The objectives and priorities referred to in paragraph 1 shall be pursued with a particular emphasis on supporting the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning.

CHAPTER II

Eligible actions

Article 7

Eligible actions

1.   The programme shall provide, under the conditions set out in the annual work programme referred to in Article 14, financial support for the following:

(a)

joint actions:

(i)

seminars and workshops;

(ii)

project groups, generally composed of a limited number of countries, operational during a limited period of time to pursue a predefined objective with a precisely described outcome;

(iii)

bilateral or multilateral controls and other activities provided for in Union law on administrative cooperation, organised by two or more participating countries, which include at least two Member States;

(iv)

working visits organised by the participating countries or another country to enable officials to acquire or increase their expertise or knowledge in tax matters;

(v)

expert teams, namely structured forms of cooperation, with a non-permanent character, pooling expertise to perform tasks in specific domains, in particular in the European Information Systems, possibly with the support of online collaboration services, administrative assistance and infrastructure and equipment facilities;

(vi)

public administration capacity-building and supporting actions;

(vii)

studies;

(viii)

communication projects;

(ix)

any other activity in support of the overall, specific and operational objectives and priorities set out in Articles 5 and 6, provided that the necessity for such other activity is duly justified;

(b)

European Information Systems building: the development, maintenance, operation and quality control of Union components of the European Information Systems set out in point A of the Annex and new European Information Systems established under Union law, with a view to interconnecting tax authorities efficiently;

(c)

common training activities: jointly developed training actions to support the necessary professional skills and knowledge relating to taxation.

Working visits referred to in point (a)(iv) of the first subparagraph shall not exceed one month. For working visits organised within third countries, only travel and subsistence (accommodation and daily allowance) costs shall be eligible under the programme.

Expert teams referred to in point (a)(v) of the first subparagraph shall be organised by the Commission in cooperation with the participating countries and, unless duly justified, shall not exceed one year.

2.   The resources for the eligible actions referred to in this Article shall be allocated in a balanced manner and in proportion to the real needs of those actions.

3.   When evaluating the programme, the Commission shall assess the need for introducing budgetary ceilings for the various eligible actions.

Article 8

Specific implementation provisions for joint actions

1.   Participation in joint actions referred to in point (a) of the first subparagraph of Article 7(1) shall be on a voluntary basis.

2.   Participating countries shall ensure that officials with an appropriate profile and qualifications, including language skills, are nominated to participate in the joint actions.

3.   Participating countries shall, where appropriate, take the necessary measures to raise awareness of the joint actions and to ensure that use is made of the outputs generated.

Article 9

Specific implementation provisions for the European Information Systems

1.   The Commission and the participating countries shall ensure that the European Information Systems referred to in point A of the Annex are developed, operated and appropriately maintained.

2.   The Commission shall coordinate, in cooperation with the participating countries, those aspects of the establishment and functioning of the Union and non-Union components of the European Information Systems referred to in point A of the Annex which are necessary to ensure their operability, interconnectivity and continuous improvement.

3.   The use of the Union components of the European Information Systems referred to in point A of the Annex by non-participating countries shall be subject to agreements with those countries to be concluded in accordance with Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Article 10

Specific implementation provisions for common training activities

1.   Participation in common training activities referred to in point (c) of the first subparagraph of Article 7(1) shall be on a voluntary basis.

2.   Participating countries shall ensure that officials with an appropriate profile and qualifications, including language skills, are nominated to participate in the common training activities.

3.   Participating countries shall integrate, where appropriate, jointly developed training content, including e-learning modules, training programmes and commonly agreed training standards into their national training programmes.

CHAPTER III

Financial framework

Article 11

Financial framework

1.   The financial envelope for the implementation of the programme shall be EUR 223 366 000 in current prices.

2.   The financial allocation for the programme may also cover expenses pertaining to preparatory, monitoring, checking, audit and evaluation activities which are required on a regular basis for the management of the programme and the achievement of its objectives; in particular, studies, meetings of experts, information and communication activities related to the objectives laid down in this Regulation, expenses linked to IT networks focusing on information processing and exchange, together with all other technical and administrative assistance expenses incurred by the Commission for the management of the programme.

The share of administrative expenditure shall, in general, not exceed 5 % of the overall cost of the programme.

Article 12

Types of intervention

1.   The Commission shall implement the programme in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

2.   Union financial support for activities provided for in Article 7 shall take the form of:

(a)

grants;

(b)

public procurement contracts;

(c)

the reimbursement of costs incurred by external experts referred to in Article 4.

3.   The co-financing rate for grants shall be up to 100 % of the eligible costs in the case of travel and accommodation costs, costs linked to the organisation of events and daily allowances.

That rate shall apply to all eligible actions with the exception of expert teams referred to in point (a)(v) of the first subparagraph of Article 7(1). The applicable co-financing rate for expert teams, where those actions require the awarding of grants, shall be set out in the annual work programmes.

4.   The Union components of the European Information Systems shall be financed by the programme. Participating countries shall, in particular, bear the costs of the acquisition, development, installation, maintenance and day-to-day operation of the non-Union components of the European Information Systems.

Article 13

Protection of the financial interests of the Union

1.   The Commission shall take appropriate measures to ensure that, where actions financed under this Regulation are implemented, the financial interests of the Union are protected by the application of preventive measures against fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities by effective checks and, if irregularities are detected, by the recovery of the amounts unduly paid and, where appropriate, by effective, proportionate and dissuasive administrative and financial penalties.

2.   The Commission or its representatives and the Court of Auditors shall have the power of audit, on the basis of documents and on the spot, over all grant beneficiaries, contractors and subcontractors who have received Union funds under this Regulation.

3.   The European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF) may carry out investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, in accordance with the provisions and procedures laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council (15) and Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 (16) with a view to establishing whether there has been fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the Union in connection with a grant agreement or grant decision or a contract funded under this Regulation.

CHAPTER IV

Implementing powers

Article 14

Work programme

In order to implement the programme, the Commission shall, by means of implementing acts, adopt annual work programmes, which shall set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. They shall also contain a description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action type and an indicative implementation timetable. The annual work programmes shall include for grants the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing. Those implementing acts shall be based on the results of previous years and shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 15(2).

Article 15

Committee procedure

1.   The Commission shall be assisted by a committee. That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

CHAPTER V

Monitoring and evaluation

Article 16

Monitoring of actions under the programme

1.   The Commission shall, in cooperation with the participating countries, monitor the programme and actions under it.

2.   The Commission and participating countries shall establish qualitative and quantitative indicators and, where necessary, add new indicators during the course of the programme. The indicators shall be used to measure the effects of the programme against pre-defined baselines.

3.   The Commission shall make public the outcome of the monitoring referred to in paragraph 1 and the indicators referred to in paragraph 2.

4.   The outcome of the monitoring shall be used for the evaluation of the programme in accordance with Article 17.

Article 17

Evaluation and review

1.   The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council mid-term and final evaluation reports regarding the matters referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3. The results of those evaluations shall be integrated into decisions on possible renewal, modification or suspension of the programme for subsequent periods. Those evaluations shall be carried out by an independent external evaluator.

2.   The Commission shall, by 30 June 2018, draw up a mid-term evaluation report on the achievement of the objectives of the actions under the programme, the efficiency of the use of resources and the added value at the European level of the programme. That report shall, additionally, address the simplification and the continued relevance of the objectives, as well as the contribution of the programme to the Union priorities of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

3.   The Commission shall, by 31 December 2021, draw up a final evaluation report on the matters referred to in paragraph 2, and on the long-term impact and the sustainability of effects of the programme.

4.   Upon request from the Commission, the participating countries shall provide it with all available data and information relevant for the purpose of contributing to its mid-term and final evaluation reports.

CHAPTER VI

Final provisions

Article 18

Repeal

Decision No 1482/2007/EC is repealed with effect from 1 January 2014.

However, financial obligations related to actions pursued under that Decision shall continue to be governed by it until their completion.

Article 19

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the third day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from 1 January 2014.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Strasbourg, 11 December 2013.

For the European Parliament

The President

M. SCHULZ

For the Council

The President

V. LEŠKEVIČIUS


(1)  OJ C 143, 22.5.2012, p. 48 and OJ C 11, 15.1.2013, p. 84.

(2)  Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the year 2014-2020 (see page 884 of this Official Journal).

(3)  OJ C 37, 20.12.2013, p. 1.

(4)  Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

(5)  Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 of 29 October 2012 on the rules of application of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (OJ L 362, 31.12.2012, p. 1).

(6)  Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by the Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13).

(7)  Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31).

(8)  Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1).

(9)  Decision No 1482/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2007 establishing a Community programme to improve the operation of taxation systems in the internal market (Fiscalis 2013) and repealing Decision No 2235/2002/EC (OJ L 330, 15.12.2007, p. 1).

(10)  Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax (OJ L 347, 11.12.2006, p. 1).

(11)  Council Directive 92/83/EEC of 19 October 1992 on the harmonization of the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages (OJ L 316, 31.10.1992, p. 21).

(12)  Council Directive 2011/64/EU of 21 June 2011 on the structure and rates of excise duty applied to manufactured tobacco (OJ L 176, 5.7.2011, p. 24).

(13)  Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity (OJ L 283, 31.10.2003, p. 51).

(14)  Council Directive 2010/24/EU of 16 March 2010 concerning mutual assistance for the recovery of claims relating to taxes, duties and other measures (OJ L 84, 31.3.2010, p. 1).

(15)  Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF) (OJ L 136, 31.5.1999, p. 1).

(16)  Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2).


ANNEX

EUROPEAN INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND THEIR UNION COMPONENTS

A.

The European Information Systems are the following:

(1)

the common communications network / common systems interface (CCN/CSI -CCN2), CCN mail3, the CSI bridge, the http bridge, CCN LDAP and related tools, CCN web portal, CCN monitoring;

(2)

supporting systems, in particular the application configuration tool for CCN, the activity reporting tool (ART2), Taxud electronic management of project online (TEMPO), service management tool (SMT), the user management system (UM), the BPM system, the availability dashboard and AvDB, IT service management portal, directory and user access management;

(3)

Programmes information and communication space (PICS);

(4)

the VAT-related systems, in particular, the VAT information exchange system (VIES) and the VAT refund, including the VIES initial application, the VIES monitoring tool, the Taxation statistical system, VIES-on-the-web, VIES-on-the-web configuration tool, the VIES and VAT refund test tools, the VAT number algorithms, the VAT exchange of e–forms, VAT on e-Services (VoeS); VoeS test tool, VAT e–forms test tool, mini one-stop-shop (MoSS);

(5)

recovery-related systems, in particular eforms for recovery of claims, eforms for uniform instrument permitting enforcement (UIPE) and for uniform notification form (UNF);

(6)

direct taxation-related systems, in particular taxation on savings system, taxation on savings test tool, e–forms for direct taxation, tax identification number TIN-on-the-web, the exchanges related to the Article 8 of Council Directive 2011/16/EU (1) and associated test tools;

(7)

other taxation-related systems, in particular, the Taxes in Europe database (TEDB);

(8)

the excise systems, in particular the system for exchange of excise data (SEED), the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS), MVS eforms, test application (TA);

(9)

other central systems, in particular, the Member States' Taxation Information and Communication system (TIC), the self-service testing system (SSTS), taxation-related statistics system, the central application for web forms, the central services / management information system for Excise (CS/MISE).

B.

The Union components of the European Information Systems are:

(1)

IT assets such as the hardware, the software and the network connections of the systems, including the associated data infrastructure;

(2)

IT services necessary to support the development, the maintenance, the improvement and the operation of the systems; and

(3)

any other elements which, for reasons of efficiency, security and rationalisation, are identified by the Commission as common to participating countries.


(1)  Council Directive 2011/16/EU of 15 February 2011 on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation and repealing Directive 77/799/EEC (OJ L 64, 11.3.2011, p. 1).


20.12.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 347/33


REGULATION (EU) No 1287/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

of 11 December 2013

establishing a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME) (2014 - 2020) and repealing Decision No 1639/2006/EC

(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Articles 173 and 195 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions (2),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure,

Whereas:

(1)

The Commission adopted a Communication entitled "Europe 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth" in March 2010 ("the Europe 2020 Strategy"). The Communication was endorsed by the European Council of June 2010. The Europe 2020 Strategy responds to the economic crisis and is intended to prepare the Union for the next decade. It sets five ambitious objectives on climate and energy, employment, innovation, education and social inclusion to be reached by 2020, and identifies key drivers for growth aimed at making the Union more dynamic and competitive. It also emphasises the importance of reinforcing the growth of the European economy while delivering a high level of employment, a low-carbon, resource- and energy-efficient economy and social cohesion. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should play a crucial role in reaching the Europe 2020 Strategy objectives. Their role is reflected by the fact that SMEs are mentioned in six out of seven of the flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

(2)

In order to ensure that enterprises, particularly SMEs, play a central role in delivering economic growth in the Union, which is a top priority, the Commission adopted a Communication entitled "An Integrated industrial policy for the globalization era, putting competitiveness and sustainability at centre stage" in October 2010, which was endorsed by the Council of December 2010. This is a flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Communication sets out a strategy aiming to boost growth and jobs by maintaining and supporting a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe, in particular by improving framework conditions for enterprises and strengthening several aspects of the internal market, including business-related services.

(3)

In June 2008 the Commission adopted a Communication entitled "Think Small First - A "Small Business Act for Europe", which was welcomed by the Council of December 2008. The Small Business Act (SBA) provides a comprehensive policy framework for SMEs, promotes entrepreneurship and anchors the "Think Small First" principle in law and policy in order to strengthen the competitiveness of SMEs. The SBA establishes ten principles and outlines policy and legislative actions to promote SMEs' potential to grow and create jobs. Implementation of the SBA contributes to achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Several actions for SMEs have already been set out in the flagship initiatives.

(4)

The SBA has since been the subject of a review, published in February 2011, on the basis of which the Council on 30 and 31 May 2011 adopted conclusions. That review takes stock of the implementation of the SBA and assesses the needs of SMEs operating in the present economic environment, in which they find it increasingly difficult to obtain access to finance and to markets. It presents an overview of the progress made in the first two years of the SBA, sets out new actions to respond to challenges resulting from the economic crisis that stakeholders have reported, and proposes ways to improve the uptake and implementation of the SBA with a clear role for stakeholders and business organisations on the front-line. The specific objectives of a programme for the competitiveness of enterprises and SMEs should reflect the priorities set out in that review. It is important to ensure that the implementation of such a programme is coordinated with the implementation of the SBA.

In particular, actions under the specific objectives should contribute to fulfilling the above-mentioned ten principles and the new actions identified in the process of reviewing the SBA.

(5)

Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 (3) lays down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020. That multiannual financial framework describes how the policy goals of increasing growth and creating more jobs in Europe, and establishing a low-carbon and more environment-aware economy and internationally prominent Union will be achieved.

(6)

In order to contribute to the reinforcement of competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, in particular SMEs, to support existing SMEs, to encourage an entrepreneurial culture and to promote the growth of SMEs, the advancement of the knowledge society, and development based on balanced economic growth, a programme for the competitiveness of enterprises and SMEs ("the COSME programme") should be established.

(7)

The COSME programme should give high priority to the simplification agenda, in accordance with the Commission Communication of 8 February 2012 entitled "A Simplification agenda for the MFF 2014-2020". The spending of Union and Member States' funds on the promotion of the competitiveness of enterprises and SMEs should be better coordinated in order to ensure complementarity, better efficiency and visibility, as well as to achieve greater budgetary synergies.

(8)

The Commission has committed itself to mainstreaming climate action into Union spending programmes and to direct at least 20 % of the Union budget to climate-related objectives. It is important to ensure that climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as risk prevention is promoted in the preparation, design and implementation of the COSME programme. Measures covered by this Regulation should contribute to promoting the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy and society.

(9)

It follows from Council Decision 2001/822/EC (4) that entities and bodies of the overseas countries and territories are eligible to participate in the COSME programme.

(10)

The competitiveness policy of the Union is intended to put into place the institutional and policy arrangements that create conditions for the sustainable growth of enterprises, particularly SMEs. Achieving competitiveness and sustainability entails the ability to attain and maintain the economic competitiveness and growth of enterprises in accordance with sustainable development objectives. Improved productivity, including resource and energy productivity, is the primary source of sustainable income growth. Competitiveness also depends on companies' ability to take full advantage of opportunities such as the internal market. This is especially important for SMEs, which account for 99 % of enterprises in the Union, provide two out of three existing jobs in the private sector, and 80 % of newly-created jobs, and contribute more than half of the total added value created by enterprises in the Union. SMEs are a key driver for economic growth, employment and social integration.

(11)

The Commission Communication of 18 April 2012 entitled "Towards a rich job recovery" estimated that policies promoting a transition to a green economy such as resource-efficiency, energy-efficiency, and climate change policies could generate more than five million jobs by 2020, and in particular in the SME sector. Bearing this in mind, specific actions under the COSME programme could include promoting the development of sustainable products, services, technologies and processes, as well as resource- and energy-efficiency and corporate social responsibility.

(12)

Competitiveness has been put under the spotlight of Union policy-making in recent years because of the market, policy and institutional failures that undermine the competitiveness of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs.

(13)

The COSME programme should therefore address market failures which affect the competitiveness of the Union economy on a global scale and which undermine the capacity of enterprises, particularly SMEs, to compete with their counterparts in other parts of the world.

(14)

The COSME programme should particularly address SMEs, as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC (5). In the application of this Regulation, the Commission should consult all relevant stakeholders, including organisations representing SMEs. Particular attention should be paid to micro enterprises, enterprises engaged in craft activities, the self-employed, the liberal professions and social enterprises. Attention should also be paid to potential, new, young and female entrepreneurs, as well as to other specific target groups, such as older people, migrants and entrepreneurs belonging to socially disadvantaged or vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities and to the promotion of business transfers, spin-offs, spin-outs and second chances for entrepreneurs.

(15)

Many of the Union's competitiveness problems involve SMEs' difficulties in obtaining access to finance because they struggle to demonstrate their credit-worthiness and have difficulties in gaining access to risk capital. Those difficulties have a negative effect on the level and quality of the new enterprises created and on the growth and survival rate of enterprises, as well as on the readiness of new entrepreneurs to take over viable companies in the context of a transfer of business/succession. Union financial instruments put in place under Decision No 1639/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (6) have a proven added value and have brought a positive contribution to at least 220 000 SMEs. The enhanced added value for the Union of the proposed financial instruments lies, inter alia, in strengthening the internal market for venture capital and in developing a pan-European SME finance market as well as in addressing market failures that cannot be addressed by Member States. The Union's actions should be coherent, consistent and complementary to the Member States' financial instruments for SMEs, provide a leverage effect and avoid creating market distortion, in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (7). The entities entrusted with the implementation of the actions should ensure additionality and avoid double financing through Union resources.

(16)

The Commission should pay attention to the visibility of financing provided through the financial instruments of this Regulation so as to ensure that the availability of Union support is known and that the support provided is recognised in the market. To that end, there should also be an obligation for financial intermediaries to explicitly highlight to final recipients that financing was made possible through the support of the financial instruments under this Regulation. The Commission and the Member States should take adequate measures, including by means of user-friendly online systems, to disseminate information on the available financial instruments among SMEs and intermediaries. Those systems, which could include a single portal, should not duplicate existing systems.

(17)

The Enterprise Europe Network ("the Network") has proven its added value for European SMEs as a one-stop-shop for business support by helping enterprises to improve their competitiveness and explore business opportunities in the internal market and beyond. The streamlining of methodologies and working methods and provisions of a European dimension to business support services can only be achieved at Union level. In particular, the Network has helped SMEs to find cooperation or technology transfer partners in the internal market and third countries, obtain advice on sources of Union financing, on Union law and intellectual property and on Union programmes to encourage eco-innovation and sustainable production. It has also obtained feedback on Union law and standards. Its unique expertise is particularly important in overcoming information asymmetries and alleviating transaction costs associated with cross-border transactions.

(18)

A continued effort is needed to further optimise the quality of the services and performance of the Network, in particular with regard to SMEs' awareness and subsequent take-up of the services proposed, by further integrating internationalisation and innovation services, enhancing cooperation between the Network and regional and local SME stakeholders, consulting and better involving host organisations, reducing bureaucracy, improving IT support and enhancing the visibility of the Network and its services in the geographical regions covered.

(19)

The limited internationalisation of SMEs both within and outside Europe affects competitiveness. According to some estimates, currently 25 % of Union SMEs export or have exported at some point over the last three years, while only 13 % of Union SMEs export outside the Union on a regular basis and only 2 % have invested outside their home country. In addition, the 2012 Eurobarometer survey shows the untapped potential for SMEs' growth in green markets, within and outside the Union, in terms of internationalisation and access to public procurement. In line with the SBA, which called on the Union and the Member States to support and encourage SMEs to benefit from the growth of markets outside the Union, the Union provides financial assistance to several initiatives such as the EU Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation and the China Intellectual Property Rights SME helpdesk. Union added value is created by promoting cooperation and by offering services at European level which complement but do not duplicate the core trade promotion services of Member States and which strengthen the combined efforts of public and private service providers in this field. Such services should include information on intellectual property rights, standards and public procurement rules and opportunities. Part II of the Council Conclusions of 6 December 2011, entitled "Reinforcing implementation of industrial policy across the EU", on the Commission Communication entitled "An Integrated industrial policy for the globalization era, putting competitiveness and sustainability at centre stage", should be fully taken into account. In that respect, a well-defined European cluster strategy should complement national and regional efforts to encourage clusters towards excellence and international cooperation, taking into account the fact that the clustering of SMEs can be a key means of strengthening their capacity to innovate and to begin operating in overseas markets.

(20)

To improve the competitiveness of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs, the Member States and the Commission need to create a favourable business environment. The interests of SMEs and the sectors in which they are most active need particular attention. Initiatives at Union level are also necessary in order to exchange information and knowledge on a European scale, and digital services can be particularly cost-effective in this area. Such actions can help develop a level playing-field for SMEs.

(21)

The gaps, fragmentation and unnecessary red tape within the internal market prevent citizens, consumers and enterprises, particularly SMEs, from reaping its full benefits. Therefore a concerted effort on the part of Member States, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission to address the implementation, legislative and information shortcomings is acutely necessary. In accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, Member States, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission should also collaborate to reduce and avoid unnecessary administrative and regulatory burdens on SMEs. Actions under the COSME programme - which is the sole Union programme that focuses specifically on SMEs - should contribute to the implementation of those aims, particularly by helping to improve the framework conditions for enterprises. Fitness checks and impact assessments financed under the COSME programme should play a role in this effort.

(22)

Another factor which affects competitiveness is the relatively weak entrepreneurial spirit in the Union. Only 45 % of Union citizens (and fewer than 40 % of women) would like to be self-employed as compared to 55 % of the population in the United States and 71 % in China (according to the 2009 Eurobarometer survey on entrepreneurship). According to the SBA, attention should be paid to all situations that entrepreneurs face, including start-up, growth, transfer and bankruptcy (second chance). Promotion of entrepreneurship education, as well as coherence and consistency enhancing measures such as benchmarking and exchanges of good practices provide a high Union added value.

(23)

The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme was launched with a view to enabling new or aspiring entrepreneurs to gain business experience in a Member State other than their own and thus allow them to strengthen their entrepreneurial talents. In connection with the objective of improving the framework conditions for promoting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture, the Commission should be able to take measures designed to help new entrepreneurs to improve their ability to develop their entrepreneurial know-how, skills and attitudes and to improve their technological capacity and enterprise management.

(24)

Global competition, demographic changes, resource constraints and emerging social trends generate challenges and opportunities for different sectors facing global challenges and characterised by a high proportion of SMEs. For example, design-based sectors need to adapt to benefit from the untapped potential of high demand for personalised, creative, inclusive products. As these challenges apply to all SMEs in the Union in these sectors, a concerted effort at Union level is necessary in order to create additional growth through initiatives accelerating the emergence of new products and services.

(25)

In support of action taken in Member States, the COSME programme may support initiatives in both sectoral and cross-sectoral areas with significant potential for growth and entrepreneurial activity, especially those with a high proportion of SMEs, accelerating the emergence of competitive and sustainable industries, based on the most competitive business models, improved products and processes, organisational structures or modified value chains. As outlined in the Commission Communication of 30 June 2010, entitled "Europe, the world's No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe", which was welcomed by the Council in October 2010, tourism is an important sector of the Union economy. Enterprises in this sector directly contribute 5 % of the Union's gross domestic product (GDP). The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU") acknowledges the importance of tourism and outlines the Union's competences in this field. The European tourism initiatives can complement Member State actions by encouraging the creation of a favourable environment and by promoting cooperation between Member States, particularly by the exchange of good practices. Actions can include improving the tourism knowledge base by providing data and analysis, and developing transnational cooperation projects in close cooperation with the Member States while avoiding mandatory requirements for Union enterprises.

(26)

The COSME programme indicates actions for the objectives, the total financial envelope for pursuing those objectives, a minimum financial envelope for financial instruments, different types of implementing measures, and transparent arrangements for monitoring and evaluation and for protection of the Union's financial interests.

(27)

The COSME programme complements other Union programmes, while acknowledging that each instrument should work according to its own specific procedures. Thus, the same eligible costs should not receive double funding. With the aim of achieving added value and substantial impact of Union funding, close synergies should be developed between the COSME programme, Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (8) ("the Horizon 2020 programme"), Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (9) ("the Structural Funds") and other Union programmes.

(28)

The principles of transparency and equal gender opportunity should be taken into account in all relevant initiatives and actions covered by the COSME programme. Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all citizens should be also considered in those initiatives and actions.

(29)

The provision of grants to SMEs should be preceded by a transparent process. The award of grants and their payment should be transparent, unbureaucratic and in accordance with common rules.

(30)

This Regulation lays down a financial envelope for the entire duration of the COSME programme which is to constitute the prime reference amount, within the meaning of point 17 of the Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (10), for the European Parliament and the Council during the annual budgetary procedure.

(31)

To ensure that financing is limited to tackling market, policy and institutional failures, and with a view to avoiding market distortions, funding from the COSME programme should comply with the State aid rules of the Union.

(32)

The Agreement on the European Economic Area and Protocols to Association Agreements provide for the participation of the countries concerned in Union programmes. Participation by other third countries should be possible when agreements and procedures so indicate.

(33)

It is important to ensure the sound financial management of the COSME programme and its implementation in the most effective and user-friendly manner possible, while also ensuring legal certainty and the accessibility of the COSME programme to all participants.

(34)

The COSME programme should be monitored and evaluated so as to allow for adjustments. A yearly report on its implementation should be made, presenting the progress achieved and the activities planned.

(35)

The implementation of the COSME programme should be monitored annually with the aid of key indicators for assessing results and impacts. These indicators, including relevant baselines, should provide the minimum basis for assessing the extent to which the objectives of the COSME programme have been achieved.

(36)

The interim report on the achievement of the objective of all actions supported under the COSME programme prepared by the Commission should also include an evaluation of low participation rates of SMEs, when this is identified in a significant number of Member States. Where appropriate, Member States could take the results of the interim report into account in their respective policies.

(37)

The financial interests of the Union should be protected through proportionate measures throughout the expenditure cycle, including the prevention, detection and investigation of irregularities, the recovery of funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used and, where appropriate, administrative and financial penalties in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

(38)

In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission, to adopt annual work programmes for the implementation of the COSME programme. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council (11). Some of the actions included in the annual work programme involve the co-ordination of actions at national level. In that connection, Article 5(4) of that Regulation should apply.

(39)

The power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU should be delegated to the Commission in respect of additions to the indicators, changes to certain specific details regarding the financial instruments and modifications to the indicative amounts that would exceed those amounts by more than 5 % of the value of the financial envelope in each case. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing-up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(40)

For reasons of legal certainty and clarity, Decision No 1639/2006/EC should be repealed,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

CHAPTER I

Subject matter

Article 1

Establishment

A programme for Union actions to improve the competitiveness of enterprises, with special emphasis on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) ("the COSME programme"), is hereby established for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020.

Article 2

Definition

For the purposes of this Regulation, "SMEs" shall mean micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as defined in Recommendation 2003/361/EC.

Article 3

General objectives

1.   The COSME programme shall contribute to the following general objectives, paying particular attention to the specific needs of SMEs established in the Union and of SMEs established in third countries participating in the COSME programme pursuant to Article 6:

(a)

strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union's enterprises, particularly SMEs;

(b)

encouraging entrepreneurial culture and promoting the creation and growth of SMEs.

2.   The achievement of the objectives referred to in paragraph 1 shall be measured by the following indicators:

(a)

performance of SMEs as regards sustainability;

(b)

changes in unnecessary administrative and regulatory burdens on both new and existing SMEs;

(c)

changes in the proportion of SMEs exporting within or outside the Union;

(d)

changes in SME growth;

(e)

changes in the proportion of Union citizens who wish to be self-employed.

3.   A detailed list of indicators and targets for the COSME programme is set out in the Annex.

4.   The COSME programme shall support the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy and shall contribute to achieving the objective of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. In particular, the COSME programme shall contribute to the headline target concerning employment.

CHAPTER II

Specific objectives and fields of action

Article 4

Specific objectives

1.   The specific objectives of the COSME programme shall be:

(a)

to improve access to finance for SMEs in the form of equity and debt;

(b)

to improve access to markets, particularly inside the Union but also at global level;

(c)

to improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs, including in the tourism sector;

(d)

to promote entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture.

2.   The need of enterprises to adapt to a low-emission, climate-resilient, resource- and energy-efficient economy shall be promoted in the implementation of the COSME programme.

3.   To measure the impact of the COSME programme in achieving the specific objectives referred to in paragraph 1, the indicators set out in the Annex shall be used.

4.   The annual work programmes referred to in Article 13 shall specify in detail all the actions to be implemented under the COSME programme.

Article 5

Budget

1.   The financial envelope for the implementation of the COSME programme is set at EUR 2 298,243 million in current prices, of which no less than 60 % shall be allocated to financial instruments.

The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the European Parliament and by the Council within the limits of the multiannual financial framework.

2.   The financial envelope established under this Regulation may also cover expenses pertaining to preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities which are required for the management of the COSME programme and the achievement of its objectives. In particular it shall cover, in a cost effective manner, studies, meetings of experts, information and communication actions, including corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union as far as they are related to the general objectives of the COSME programme, expenses linked to IT networks focusing on information processing and exchange, together with all other technical and administrative assistance expenses incurred by the Commission in the management of the COSME programme.

Those expenses shall not exceed 5 % of the value of the financial envelope.

3.   The financial envelope for the COSME programme shall allocate the indicative amounts of 21,5 % of the value of the financial envelope to the specific objective referred to in Article 4(1)(b), 11 % to the specific objective referred to in Article 4(1)(c) and 2,5 % to the specific objective referred to in Article 4(1)(d). The Commission may depart from these indicative amounts but not by more than 5 % of the value of the financial envelope in each case. Should it prove necessary to exceed that limit, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 23 modifying those indicative amounts.

4.   The financial allocation may also cover the technical and administrative assistance expenses necessary to ensure the transition between the COSME programme and the measures adopted under Decision No 1639/2006/EC. If necessary, appropriations may be entered in the budget beyond 2020 to cover similar expenses, in order to enable the management of actions not yet completed by 31 December 2020.

Article 6

Participation of third countries

1.   The COSME programme shall be open to the participation of:

(a)

European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA), in accordance with the conditions laid down in the EEA Agreement, and other European countries when agreements and procedures so allow;

(b)

acceding countries, candidate countries and potential candidates in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for the participation of those countries in the Union's programmes established in the respective Framework Agreements and Association Council Decisions, or similar arrangements;

(c)

countries falling within the scope of the European neighbourhood policies, when agreements and procedures so allow and in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for the participation of those countries in the Union's programmes established in the respective Framework Agreements, Protocols to Association Agreements and Association Council Decisions.

2.   An entity established in a country referred to in paragraph 1 may participate in parts of the COSME programme where that country participates under the conditions laid out in the respective agreements described in paragraph 1.

Article 7

Participation of entities of non-participating countries

1.   In parts of the COSME programme in which a third country referred to in Article 6 does not participate, entities established in that country may participate. Entities established in other third countries may also participate in actions under the COSME programme.

2.   The entities referred to in paragraph 1 shall not be entitled to receive Union financial contributions, except where it is essential for the COSME programme, in particular in terms of competitiveness and access to markets for Union enterprises. That exception shall not apply to profit-making entities.

Article 8

Actions to improve access to finance for SMEs

1.   The Commission shall support actions which aim to facilitate and improve access to finance for SMEs in their start-up, growth and transfer phases, being complementary to the Member States' use of financial instruments for SMEs at national and regional level. In order to ensure complementarity, such actions shall be closely coordinated with those undertaken in the framework of cohesion policy, the Horizon 2020 programme and at national or regional level. Such actions shall aim to stimulate the take-up and supply of both equity and debt finance, which may include seed funding, angel funding and quasi-equity financing subject to market demand but excluding asset stripping.

2.   In addition to the actions referred to in paragraph 1, Union support may also be given to actions to improve cross-border and multi-country financing, subject to market demand, thereby assisting SMEs to internationalise their activities in compliance with Union law.

The Commission may also examine the possibility of developing innovative financial mechanisms, such as crowdfunding, subject to market demand.

3.   Details of the actions referred to in paragraph 1 are laid down in Article 17.

Article 9

Actions to improve access to markets

1.   To continue improving the competitiveness and access to markets of Union enterprises, the Commission may support actions to improve SME access to the internal market, such as information provision (including through digital services) and awareness-raising in relation to, among others, Union programmes, law and standards.

2.   Specific measures shall aim to facilitate SME access to markets outside the Union. Such measures may include providing information on existing barriers to market entry and business opportunities, public procurement and customs procedures, and improving support services in terms of standards and intellectual property rights in priority third countries. Those measures shall complement but not duplicate the core trade promotion activities of Member States.

3.   Actions under the COSME programme may aim to foster international cooperation, including industrial and regulatory dialogues with third countries. Specific measures may aim to reduce differences between the Union and other countries in terms of regulatory frameworks for products, to contribute to the development of enterprise and industrial policy and to contribute to the improvement of the business environment.

Article 10

Enterprise Europe Network

1.   The Commission shall support the Enterprise Europe Network ("the Network") to provide integrated business support services to Union SMEs that seek to explore opportunities in the internal market and in third countries. Actions undertaken through the Network may include the following:

(a)

provision of information and advisory services on Union initiatives and law; support for the enhancement of management capacities to increase the competitiveness of SMEs; support aimed at improving SMEs' financial knowledge, including information and advisory services on funding opportunities, access to finance and related coaching and mentoring schemes; measures to increase SME access to energy efficiency, climate and environmental expertise; and promotion of Union funding programmes and financial instruments (including the Horizon 2020 programme in cooperation with national contact points and the Structural Funds);

(b)

facilitation of cross-border business cooperation, R&D, technology and knowledge transfer and technology and innovation partnerships;

(c)

provision of a communication channel between SMEs and the Commission.

2.   The Network may also be used to deliver services on behalf of other Union programmes such as the Horizon 2020 programme, including dedicated advisory services encouraging SME participation in other Union programmes. The Commission shall ensure that the various financial resources for the Network are coordinated efficiently and that services delivered by the Network on behalf of other Union programmes are funded by those programmes.

3.   Implementation of the Network shall be closely coordinated with the Member States to avoid duplication of activities in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity.

The Commission shall assess the Network in terms of its effectiveness, governance and provisions of high-quality services across the Union.

Article 11

Actions to improve the framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs

1.   The Commission shall support actions to improve the framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs, so as to enhance the effectiveness, coherence, coordination and consistency of national and regional policies promoting the competitiveness, sustainability and growth of Union enterprises.

2.   The Commission may support specific actions to improve the framework conditions for enterprises, particularly SMEs, through a reduction in and avoidance of unnecessary administrative and regulatory burdens. Such actions may include measuring on a regular basis the impact of relevant Union law on SMEs, where appropriate by means of a scoreboard, support for independent expert groups and the exchange of information and good practices, including on the systematic application of the SME test at Union and Member State level.

3.   The Commission may support actions intended to develop new competitiveness and business development strategies. Such actions may include the following:

(a)

measures to improve the design, implementation and evaluation of policies affecting the competitiveness and sustainability of enterprises, including through the sharing of good practices on framework conditions and on the management of world-class clusters and business networks; and through promoting transnational collaboration among clusters and business networks, the development of sustainable products, services, technologies and processes, as well as resource- and energy-efficiency and corporate social responsibility;

(b)

measures to address international aspects of competitiveness policies, focusing particularly on policy cooperation between Member States, other countries participating in the COSME programme and the Union's global trade partners;

(c)

measures to improve SME policy development, cooperation between policy makers, peer reviews and exchange of good practices among Member States, taking into account, where appropriate, available evidence and the views of stakeholders and particularly with a view to making it easier for SMEs to access Union programmes and measures, in accordance with the SBA Action Plan.

4.   The Commission may, through promoting coordination, support actions taken in the Member States with a view to accelerating the emergence of competitive industries with market potential. Such support may include actions to promote the exchange of good practices and identifying skills and training requirements from industries, especially SMEs, in particular e-skills. It may also include actions to encourage the take-up of new business models and the cooperation of SMEs in new value chains as well as the commercial use of relevant ideas for new products and services.

5.   The Commission may complement the actions of Member States to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of Union SMEs in areas characterised by a significant growth potential, especially those with a high proportion of SMEs, such as the tourism sector. Such activities may include promoting cooperation between Member States, particularly through the exchange of good practices.

Article 12

Actions to promote entrepreneurship

1.   The Commission shall contribute to promoting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture by improving framework conditions affecting the development of entrepreneurship, including by reducing obstacles to the setting-up of enterprises. The Commission shall support a business environment and culture favourable to sustainable enterprises, start-ups, growth, business transfer, second chance (re-start), as well as spin-offs and spin-outs.

2.   Particular attention shall be paid to potential, new, young, and female entrepreneurs, as well as other specific target groups;

3.   The Commission may take actions such as mobility programmes for new entrepreneurs to improve their ability to develop their entrepreneurial know-how, skills and attitudes and to improve their technological capacity and enterprise management.

4.   The Commission may support Member States' measures to build and facilitate entrepreneurial education, training, skills and attitudes, in particular among potential and new entrepreneurs.

CHAPTER III

Implementation of the COSME programme

Article 13

Annual work programmes

1.   In order to implement the COSME programme, the Commission shall adopt annual work programmes in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 21(2). Each annual work programme shall implement the objectives set out in this Regulation and shall set out in detail:

(a)

a description of the actions to be financed, the objectives pursued for each action, which shall be in accordance with the general and specific objectives laid down in Articles 3 and 4, the expected results, the method of implementation, an indication of the amount allocated to each action, a total amount for all actions and an indicative implementation timetable and payment profile;

(b)

appropriate qualitative and quantitative indicators for each action, for the purpose of analysing and monitoring effectiveness in delivering outcomes and achieving the objectives of the action concerned;

(c)

for grants and related measures, the essential evaluation criteria, which shall be set so as best to achieve the objectives pursued by the COSME programme, and the maximum rate of co-financing;

(d)

a separate detailed chapter on the financial instruments which shall, in accordance with Article 17 of this Regulation, reflect the information obligations under Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, including the expected apportionment of the financial envelope between the Equity Facility for Growth and the Loan Guarantee Facility referred to in Articles 18 and 19 of this Regulation respectively, and information such as the level of guarantee and the relationship with the Horizon 2020 programme.

2.   The Commission shall implement the COSME programme in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

3.   The COSME programme shall be implemented so as to ensure that actions supported take account of future developments and needs, particularly after the interim evaluation referred to in Article 15(3), and that they are relevant to evolving markets, the economy and changes in society.

Article 14

Support measures

1.   In addition to the measures covered by the annual work programmes referred to in Article 13, the Commission shall regularly take support measures, including the following:

(a)

improvement of the analysis and monitoring of sectoral and cross-sectoral competitiveness issues;

(b)

the identification and dissemination of good practices and policy approaches, and their further development;

(c)

fitness checks of existing law and impact assessments of new Union measures that are of particular relevance to the competitiveness of enterprises, with a view to identifying areas of existing law that need to be simplified and ensuring that burdens on SMEs are minimised in areas in which new legislative measures are proposed;

(d)

the evaluation of legislation affecting enterprises, particularly SMEs, industrial policy and competitiveness-related measures;

(e)

the promotion of integrated and user-friendly online systems that provide information on programmes relevant for SMEs, whilst ensuring that they do not duplicate existing portals.

2.   The total cost of these support measures shall not exceed 2,5 % of the COSME programme's financial envelope.

Article 15

Monitoring and evaluation

1.   The Commission shall monitor the implementation and management of the COSME programme.

2.   The Commission shall draw up an annual monitoring report examining the efficiency and effectiveness of supported actions in terms of financial implementation, results, costs and, where possible, impact. The report shall include information on beneficiaries, when possible, for each call for proposals, information on the amount of climate-related expenditure and the impact of support to climate-change objectives, relevant data regarding the loans provided by the Loan Guarantee Facility above and below EUR 150 000 to the extent that the collection of such information does not create an unjustified administrative burden for enterprises, especially SMEs. The monitoring report shall include the annual report on each financial instrument as required by Article 140(8) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

3.   By 2018 at the latest, the Commission shall establish an interim evaluation report on the achievement of the objectives of all the actions supported under the COSME programme at the level of results and impacts, the efficiency of the use of resources and its European added value, with a view to a decision on the renewal, modification or suspension of the measures. The interim evaluation report shall also address the scope for simplification, its internal and external coherence, the continued relevance of all objectives, as well as the contribution of the measures to the Union priorities of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It shall take into account evaluation results on the long-term impact of the predecessor measures and shall feed into a decision on a possible renewal, modification or suspension of a subsequent measure.

4.   The Commission shall establish a final evaluation report on the longer-term impact and sustainability of effects of the measures.

5.   All grant beneficiaries and other parties involved who have received Union funds under this Regulation shall provide the Commission with the appropriate data and information necessary to permit the monitoring and evaluation of the measures concerned.

6.   The Commission shall submit the reports referred to in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 to the European Parliament and the Council and make them public.

CHAPTER IV

Financial provisions and forms of financial assistance

Article 16

Forms of financial assistance

The Union's financial assistance under the COSME programme may be implemented indirectly by delegating budget implementation tasks to the entities listed in Article 58(1)(c) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

Article 17

Financial instruments

1.   Financial instruments under the COSME programme set up in accordance with Title VIII of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 shall be operated with the aim of facilitating access to finance for SMEs, in their start-up, growth and transfer phases. The financial instruments shall include an equity facility and a loan guarantee facility. The allocation of funds to those facilities shall take into account the demand from financial intermediaries.

2.   The financial instruments for SMEs may, where appropriate, be combined with and complement:

(a)

other financial instruments established by Member States and their managing authorities funded by national or regional funds or funded in the context of the operations of the Structural Funds, in accordance with Article 38(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013;

(b)

other financial instruments established by Member States and their managing authorities funded by national or regional programmes outside the operations of the Structural Funds;

(c)

grants funded by the Union, including under this Regulation.

3.   The Equity Facility for Growth and the Loan Guarantee Facility referred to in Articles 18 and 19 respectively may be complementary to the Member States' use of financial instruments for SMEs within the framework of Union cohesion policy.

4.   The Equity Facility for Growth and the Loan Guarantee Facility may, where appropriate, allow the pooling of financial resources with Member States and/or regions willing to contribute part of the Structural Funds allocated to them in accordance with Article 38(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013.

5.   The financial instruments may generate acceptable returns to meet the objectives of other partners or investors. The Equity Facility for Growth may operate on a subordinated basis but shall aim to preserve the value of assets provided by the Union budget.

6.   The Equity Facility for Growth and the Loan Guarantee Facility shall be implemented in accordance with Title VIII of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and Commission Delegated Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1268/2012 (12).

7.   The financial instruments under the COSME programme shall be developed and implemented in complementarity and coherence with those established for SMEs under the Horizon 2020 programme.

8.   In accordance with Article 60(1) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, the entities entrusted with the implementation of the financial instruments shall ensure visibility of Union action when they manage Union funds. To this end, the entrusted entity shall ensure that financial intermediaries explicitly inform final recipients that financing was made possible through the support of the financial instruments under the COSME programme. The Commission shall ensure that the ex post publication of information on recipients in accordance with Article 60(2)(e) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 is easily accessible to potential final recipients.

9.   Repayments generated by the second window of the High Growth and Innovative SME Facility established under Decision No 1639/2006/EC and received after 31 December 2013 shall be assigned, in accordance with Article 21(4) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, to the Equity Facility for Growth referred to in Article 18 of this Regulation.

10.   The financial instruments shall be implemented in compliance with the relevant State aid rules of the Union.

Article 18

Equity Facility for Growth

1.   The Equity Facility for Growth (EFG) shall be implemented as a window of a single Union equity financial instrument supporting Union enterprises' growth and research and innovation (R&I) from the early stage, including seed, up to the growth stage. The single Union equity financial instrument shall be financially supported by the Horizon 2020 programme and the COSME programme.

2.   The EFG shall focus on funds that provide: venture capital and mezzanine finance, such as subordinated and participating loans, to expansion and growth-stage enterprises, in particular those operating across borders, while having the possibility of making investments in early-stage funds in conjunction with the Equity Facility for R&I under the Horizon 2020 programme and providing co-investment facilities for business angels. In the case of early stage investments, the investment from EFG shall not exceed 20 % of the total Union investment except in cases of multi-stage funds and funds-of-funds, where funding from the EFG and the Equity Facility for R&I under the Horizon 2020 programme shall be provided on a pro rata basis, on the basis of the funds' investment policy. The Commission may decide to amend the 20 % threshold in the light of changing market conditions. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 21(2).

3.   The EFG and the Equity Facility for R&I under the Horizon 2020 programme shall use the same delivery mechanism.

4.   Support from the EFG shall be in the form of one of the following investments:

(a)

directly by the European Investment Fund or other entities entrusted with the implementation of the EFG on behalf of the Commission; or

(b)

by funds-of-funds or investment vehicles investing across borders established by the European Investment Fund or other entities (including private or public sector managers) entrusted with the implementation of the EFG on behalf of the Commission together with investors from private and/or public financial institutions.

5.   The EFG shall invest in intermediary risk capital funds including in funds-of-funds, providing investments for SMEs typically in their expansion and growth-stage. Investments under the EFG shall be long-term, i.e. usually involving 5 to 15 year positions in risk capital funds. In any event, the lifetime of the investments under the EFG shall not exceed 20 years from the time of signature of the agreement between the Commission and the entity entrusted with its implementation.

Article 19

The Loan Guarantee Facility

1.   The Loan Guarantee Facility (LGF) shall provide:

(a)

counter-guarantees and other risk sharing arrangements for guarantee schemes including, where appropriate, co-guarantees;

(b)

direct guarantees and other risk sharing arrangements for any other financial intermediaries meeting the eligibility criteria referred to in paragraph 5.

2.   The LGF shall be implemented as part of a single Union debt financial instrument for Union enterprises' growth and R&I, using the same delivery mechanism as the SME demand-driven window of the Debt Facility for R&I under the Horizon 2020 programme (RSI II).

3.   The LGF shall consist of:

(a)

guarantees for debt financing (including via subordinated and participating loans, leasing, or bank guarantees), which shall reduce the particular difficulties that viable SMEs face in accessing finance, either due to their perceived high risk or their lack of sufficient available collateral;

(b)

securitisation of SME debt finance portfolios, which shall mobilise additional debt financing for SMEs under appropriate risk-sharing arrangements with the targeted institutions. Support for those securitisation transactions shall be conditional upon an undertaking by the originating institutions to use a significant part of the resulting liquidity or the mobilised capital for new SME lending within a reasonable period of time. The amount of this new debt financing shall be calculated in relation to the amount of the guaranteed portfolio risk. This amount and the period of time shall be negotiated individually with each originating institution.

4.   The LGF shall be operated by the European Investment Fund or other entities entrusted with the implementation of the LGF on behalf of the Commission. Individual guarantees under the LGF may have a maturity of up to 10 years.

5.   Eligibility under the LGF shall be determined for each intermediary on the basis of their activities and how effective they are in helping SME in accessing funding for viable projects. The LGF may be used by intermediaries supporting business in financing, inter alia, acquisition of tangible and intangible assets, working capital and for business transfers. Criteria relating to securitisation of SME debt financing portfolios shall include individual and multi-seller transactions as well as multi-country transactions. Eligibility shall be based on good market practices, in particular regarding the credit quality and risk diversification of the securitised portfolio.

6.   The LGF shall, except for loans in the securitised portfolio, cover loans up to EUR 150 000 and with a minimum maturity of 12 months. The LGF shall also cover loans above EUR 150 000 in cases where SMEs who meet the criteria to be eligible under the COSME programme do not meet the criteria to be eligible under the SME window in the Debt Facility of the Horizon 2020 programme, and with a minimum maturity of 12 months.

Above that threshold, it shall be the responsibility of the financial intermediaries to demonstrate whether the SME is eligible or not under the SME window in the Debt Facility of the Horizon 2020 programme.

7.   The LGF shall be designed in such way as to make it possible to report on SMEs supported, both in terms of number and volume of loans.

Article 20

Protection of the financial interests of the Union

1.   The Commission shall take appropriate measures ensuring that, when actions financed under this Regulation are implemented, the financial interests of the Union are protected by the application of preventive measures against fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities, by effective checks and, if irregularities are detected, by the recovery of the amounts unduly paid and, where appropriate, by effective, proportionate and dissuasive administrative and financial penalties.

2.   The Commission or its representatives and the Court of Auditors shall have the power of audit, on the basis of documents and on the spot checks, over all grant beneficiaries, contractors and subcontractors and other third parties who have received Union funds under this Regulation.

3.   The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) may carry out investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, in accordance with the provisions and procedures laid down in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (13) and Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 (14) with a view to establishing whether there has been fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the Union in connection with a grant agreement or grant decision or a contract funded under this Regulation.

4.   Without prejudice to paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, cooperation agreements with third countries and with international organisations, contracts, grant agreements and grant decisions resulting from the implementation of this Regulation shall contain provisions expressly empowering the Commission, the Court of Auditors and OLAF to conduct such audits and investigations, according to their respective competences.

CHAPTER V

Committee and final provisions

Article 21

Committee procedure

1.   The Commission shall be assisted by a committee. That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply. Where the Committee delivers no opinion, the Commission shall not adopt the draft implementing act and the third subparagraph of Article 5(4) of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

Article 22

Delegated acts

1.   The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 23 concerning additions to the indicators set out in the Annex where those indicators could help measure the progress in achieving the COSME programme's general and specific objectives.

2.   The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 23 concerning changes to some specific details regarding the financial instruments. Those details are the share of investment from the EFG of the total Union investment in early stage venture capital funds and the composition of the securitised loan portfolios.

3.   The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 23 concerning modifications to the indicative amounts specified in Article 5(3) that would exceed those amounts by more than 5 % of the value of the financial envelope in each case, should it prove necessary to exceed that limit.

Article 23

Exercise of the delegation

1.   The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2.   The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 22 shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of seven years from 23 December 2013.

3.   The delegation of power referred to in Article 22 may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated act already in force.

4.   As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

5.   A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 22 shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed by either the European Parliament or the Council within a period of two months following the notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or the Council.

Article 24

Repeal and transitional provisions

1.   Decision No 1639/2006/EC is repealed with effect from 1 January 2014.

2.   However, actions initiated under Decision No 1639/2006/EC and financial obligations related to those actions shall continue to be governed by that Decision until their completion.

3.   The financial allocation referred to in Article 5 may also cover the technical and administrative assistance expenses necessary to ensure the transition between the COSME programme and the measures adopted under Decision No 1639/2006/EC.

Article 25

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the third day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Strasbourg, 11 December 2013.

For the European Parliament

The President

M. SCHULZ

For the Council

The President

V. LEŠKEVIČIUS


(1)  OJ C 181, 21.6.2012, p. 125.

(2)  OJ C 391, 18.12.2012, p. 37.

(3)  Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 (See page 884 of this Official Journal).

(4)  Council Decision 2001/822/EC of 27 November 2001 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Community ('Overseas Association Decision') (OJ L 314, 30.11.2001, p. 1).

(5)  Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (OJ L 124, 20.5.2003, p. 36).

(6)  Decision No 1639/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 establishing a Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007 to 2013) (OJ L 310, 9.11.2006, p. 15).

(7)  Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

(8)  Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 - The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC (See page 104 of this Official Journal).

(9)  Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 (See page 320 of this Official Journal.).

(10)  OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1

(11)  Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by the Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13).

(12)  Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 of 29 October 2012 on the rules of application of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (OJ L 362, 31.12.2012, p. 1).

(13)  Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1074/1999 (OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1).

(14)  Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on–the–spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2).


ANNEX

INDICATORS FOR GENERAL AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES AND TARGETS

General objective:

1.

To strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union's enterprises, particularly SMEs

A.

Impact indicator (1)

Current situation

Long term target and milestone (2020)

A.1.

Performance of SMEs as regards sustainability

Will be measured in on a regular basis, for example by means of a Eurobarometer survey

Increase in the proportion of Union SME producing green, i.e. environmentally friendly, products (2) compared to baseline (initial measurement)

A.2.

Changes in unnecessary administrative and regulatory burden on both new and existing SMEs (3)

Number of days to set up new SME in 2012: 5,4 working days

Marked reduction in number of days to set-up a new SME

Cost of start-up in 2012: EUR 372

Marked reduction in the average start-up costs in the Union compared to baseline

Number of Member States where the time needed to get licences and permits (including environmental permits) to take up and perform the specific activity of an enterprise is one month: 2

Marked increase in the number of Member States where the time needed to get licences and permits (including environmental permits) to take up and perform the specific activity of an enterprise is one month

Number of Member States with a one-stop shop for business start-ups so that entrepreneurs can carry out all the required procedures (e.g. registration, tax, VAT and social security) via a single administrative contact point, whether physical (an office), virtual (web), or both in 2009: 18

Marked increase in the number of Member States with a one-stop shop for business start-ups

A.3.

Changes in the proportion of SMEs exporting within or outside the Union

25 % of SMEs export and 13 % of SMEs export outside the Union (2009) (4)

Increase in the proportion of SMEs exporting and increase in the proportion of SMEs exporting outside the Union compared to baseline


General objective:

2.

To encourage an entrepreneurial culture and promote the creation and growth of SMEs

Impact indicator

Current situation

Long term target and milestone (2020)

B.1.

Changes in SME growth

In 2010 SMEs provided more than 58 % of total Union Gross Value Added

Increase of SME output (value added) and employees compared to baseline

Total number of employees in SMEs in 2010: 87,5 million (67 % of private sector jobs in the Union)

B.2.

Changes in the proportion of Union citizens who wish to be self-employed

This figure is measured every two or three year by a Eurobarometer survey. The latest figure available is 37 % in 2012 (45 % in 2007 and 2009)

Increase in the proportion of Union citizens that would like to be self-employed compared to baseline


Specific objective:

To improve access to finance for SMEs in the form of equity and debt

C.

Financial instruments for growth

Latest known result (baseline)

Long term target (2020)

C.1.

Number of firms benefiting from debt financing

As of 31 December 2012 EUR 13,4 billion in financing mobilised, reaching 219 000 SMEs (SME Guarantee (SMEG) Facility)

Value of financing mobilised ranging from EUR 14,3 billion to EUR 21,5 billion; number of firms receiving financing which benefit from guarantees from the COSME programme ranging from 220 000 to 330 000

C.2.

Number of venture capital investments from the COSME programme and overall volume invested

As of 31 December 2012 EUR 2,3 billion in venture capital funding mobilised to 289 SMEs (High Growth and Innovative SME Facility, GIF)

Overall value of venture capital investments ranging from EUR 2,6 billion to EUR 3,9 billion; number of firms receiving venture capital investments from the COSME programme ranging from 360 to 540

C.3.

Leverage ratio

Leverage ratio for the SMEG Facility 1:32

Leverage ratio for GIF 1:6,7

Debt instrument 1:20 - 1:30

Equity instrument 1:4 - 1:6 (5)

C.4.

Additionality of the EFG and LGF

Additionality of the SMEG Facility: 64 % of final beneficiaries indicated that support was crucial to find the finance they needed

Additionality of the GIF: 62 % of GIF final beneficiaries indicated that support was crucial to find the finance they needed

Increase in the proportion of final beneficiaries that consider the EFG or the LGF to provide funding that could not have been obtained by other means compared to baseline


Specific objective:

To improve access to markets, particularly inside the Union but also at global level

D.

International Industrial Cooperation

Latest known result (baseline)

Long term target (2020)

D.1.

Number of cases of improved alignment between Union and third countries' regulations for industrial products

It is estimated that in regulatory co-operation with main trading partners (US, Japan, China, Brazil, Russia, Canada, India) there is an average of 2 relevant areas of significant alignment of technical regulations

4 relevant areas of significant alignment of technical regulations with main trading partners (US, Japan, China, Brazil, Russia, Canada, India)

E.

Enterprise Europe Network

Latest known result (baseline)

Long term target (2020)

E.1.

Number of partnership agreements signed

Partnership agreements signed: 2 475 (2012)

Partnership agreements signed: 2 500/year

E.2.

Recognition of the Network amongst SME population

Recognition of the Network amongst SME population will be measured in 2015

Increase in the recognition of the Network amongst SME population compared to baseline

E.3.

Client satisfaction rate (% SMEs stating satisfaction, added-value of specific service provided by the Network)

Client satisfaction rate (% SMEs stating satisfaction, added-value of specific service): 78 %

Client satisfaction rate (% SMEs stating satisfaction, added-value of specific service): > 82 %

E.4.

Number of SMEs receiving support services

Number of SMEs receiving support services: 435 000 (2011)

Number of SMEs receiving support services: 500 000/year

E.5.

Number of SMEs using digital services (including electronic information services) provided by the Network

2 million SMEs per year using digital services

2,3 million SMEs per year using digital services


Specific objective:

To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs, including in the tourism sector

F.

Activities to improve competitiveness

Latest known result (baseline)

Long term target (2020)

F.1.

Number of simplification measures adopted

5 simplification measures per year (2010)

At least 7 simplification measures per year

F.2.

Making the regulatory framework fit for purpose

Fitness checks have been launched since 2010. The only relevant fitness check so far is the on-going pilot project regarding "type approval for motor vehicles"

Up to 5 fitness checks to be launched over the course of the COSME programme

F.3.

Number of Member States using the competitiveness proofing test

Number of Member States using the competitiveness proofing test: 0

Marked increase in the number of Member States using the competitiveness proofing test

F.4.

Resource efficiency (which may include energy, materials or water, recycling, etc.) actions taken by SMEs

Will be measured on a regular basis, for example by means of a Eurobarometer survey

Increase in the proportion of Union SMEs that are taking at least one action to be more resource efficient (which may include energy, materials or water, recycling, etc.) compared to baseline (initial measurement)

Increase in the proportion of Union SMEs that are planning to implement additional resource efficiency actions (which may include energy, materials or water, recycling, etc.) every two years compared to baseline (initial measurement)

G.

Developing SME policy

Latest known result (baseline)

Long term target (2020)

G.1.

Number of Member States using SME test

Number of Member States using SME test: 15

Marked increase in the number of Member States using SME test


Specific objective:

To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs, including in the tourism sector

H.

Tourism

Latest known result (baseline)

Long term target (2020)

H.1.

Participation in transnational cooperation projects

Three countries covered per project in 2011

Increase in the number of Member States participating in transnational cooperation projects funded by the COSME Programme compared to baseline

H.2.

Number of destinations adopting the sustainable tourism development models promoted by the European Destinations of Excellence

Number of European Destinations of Excellence awarded in total: 98 (on average 20 per year – in 2007-10, in 2008-20, in 2009-22, in 2010-25, in 2011-21)

More than 200 destinations adopting the sustainable tourism development models promoted by the European Destinations of Excellence (about 20 every year)

I.

New Business Concepts

Latest known result (baseline)

Long term target (2020)

I.1.

Number of new products/services in the market

Will be measured on a regular basis

(So far this activity was restricted to analytical work of limited scale)

Increase in the cumulative number of new products/services compared to baseline (initial measurement)


Specific objective:

To promote entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture

J.

Support for entrepreneurship

Latest known result (baseline)

Long term target (2020)

J.1.

Number of Member States implementing entrepreneurship solutions based on good practice identified through the programme

Number of Member States implementing entrepreneurship solutions: 22 (2010)

Marked increase in the number of Member States implementing entrepreneurship solutions

J.2.

Number of Member States implementing entrepreneurship solutions targeting potential, young, new and female entrepreneurs, as well as other specific target groups

Currently, 12 Member States participate in the European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs. Currently, 6 Member States and 2 regions have a specific strategy for Entrepreneurship Education, 10 Member States have incorporated national objectives related to entrepreneurship education in broader lifelong learning strategies and in 8 Member States entrepreneurship strategies are currently under discussion

Marked increase in number of Member States implementing entrepreneurship solutions targeting potential, young, new and female entrepreneurs, as well as other specific target groups compared to baseline


(1)  These indicators refer to developments in Enterprise and Industry policy area. The Commission itself is not solely responsible for the achievement of the targets. A range of other factors outside of the control of the Commission also affects outcomes in this area.

(2)  Green products and services are those with a predominant function of reducing environmental risk and minimising pollution and resources. Products with environmental features (eco-designed, eco-labelled, organically produced, and with an important recycled content) are also included. Source: Flash Eurobarometer 342, "SMEs, Resource Efficiency and Green Markets".

(3)  The Council Conclusions of 31 May 2011 included a call encouraging the Member States, where appropriate, to reduce the start-up time for new enterprises to three working days and the cost to EUR 100 by 2012, as well as the time needed to get licences and permits to take up and perform the specific activity of an enterprise to three months by the end of 2013.

(4)  "Internationalisation of European SMEs", EIM, 2010, http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/market-access/files/internationalisation_of_european_smes_final_en.pdf

(5)  EUR 1 from the Union budget will result in EUR 20-30 in financing and EUR 4-6 in equity investments over the lifetime of the COSME programme.


20.12.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 347/50


REGULATION (EU) No 1288/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

of 11 December 2013

establishing 'Erasmus+': the Union programme for education, training, youth and sport and repealing Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC

(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Articles 165(4) and 166(4) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions (2),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (3),

Whereas:

(1)

The Commission's communication of 29 June 2011 entitled 'A Budget for Europe 2020' calls for a single programme in the field of education, training, youth and sport, including the international aspects of higher education, bringing together the action programme in the field of lifelong learning ('Lifelong Learning') established by Decision No 1720/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (4), the Youth in Action programme ('Youth in Action') established by Decision No 1719/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (5), the Erasmus Mundus action programme ('Erasmus Mundus') established by Decision No 1298/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (6), the ALFA III programme established by Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council (7), and the Tempus and Edulink programmes, in order to ensure greater efficiency, a stronger strategic focus and synergies to be exploited between the various aspects of the single programme. In addition, sport is proposed as part of that single programme (the 'Programme').

(2)

The interim evaluation reports of the existing Lifelong Learning, Youth in Action and Erasmus Mundus programmes and the public consultation on the future of Union action in education, training and youth, as well as in higher education, revealed a strong and in some respects growing need for continuing cooperation and mobility in those fields at European level. The evaluation reports emphasised the importance of creating closer links between Union programmes and policy developments in education, training and youth, expressed the wish that Union action should be structured in such a way as to respond better to the lifelong learning paradigm, and pressed for a simpler, more user-friendly and more flexible approach to implementing such action and the end of the fragmentation of international higher education cooperation programmes.

(3)

The Programme should focus on the accessibility of funding and the transparency of administrative and financial procedures, including through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and digitisation. Streamlining and simplifying the organisation and management, and a sustained focus on reducing administrative expenditure, are also vital to the success of the Programme.

(4)

The public consultation on the Union's strategic choices for the implementation of the new Union competence in the field of sport and the Commission's evaluation report on preparatory actions in the field of sport provided useful indications regarding priority areas for Union action, and illustrated the added value that the Union can bring in supporting activities aimed at generating, sharing and spreading experiences and knowledge about different issues affecting sport at the European level, provided that they are focused in particular at grassroots level.

(5)

The Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth defines the Union's growth strategy for the coming decade to support such growth, setting five ambitious objectives to be reached by 2020, particularly in the field of education, where the aim is to reduce early school-leaving rates to a level below 10 % and to enable at least 40 % of 30-34 year-olds to have completed tertiary or equivalent education. This also includes its flagship initiatives, in particular Youth on the Move and the Agenda for New Skills and Jobs.

(6)

In its conclusions of 12 May 2009, the Council called for a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), setting up four strategic objectives with a view to responding to the challenges that remain in creating a knowledge-based Europe and making lifelong learning a reality for all.

(7)

Pursuant to Articles 8 and 10 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), as well as Articles 21 and 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the Programme promotes inter alia equality between men and women and measures to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. There is a need to widen access for members of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and actively to address the special learning needs of people with disabilities in the implementation of the Programme.

(8)

The Programme should include a strong international dimension, particularly as regards higher education, in order not only to enhance the quality of European higher education in pursuit of the broader ET 2020 objectives and the attractiveness of the Union as a study destination, but also to promote understanding between people and to contribute to the sustainable development of higher education in partner countries, as well as their broader socio-economic development, inter alia by stimulating ″brain circulation″ through mobility actions with partner-country nationals. To that end, funding should be made available from the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) and the Partnership Instrument for cooperation with third countries (PI). Funds might also be made available from the European Development Fund (EDF) in accordance with the procedures governing it. The provisions of this Regulation should apply to the use of those funds, while ensuring conformity with the respective Regulations establishing those instruments and that fund.

(9)

In its resolution of 27 November 2009 on a renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018), the Council emphasised the need to consider all young people as a resource in society and sought to facilitate their participation in the development of policies affecting them by means of a continuous structured dialogue between decision-makers and young people and youth organisations at all levels.

(10)

Bringing formal, non-formal and informal learning together in a single programme should create synergies and foster cross-sectoral cooperation across the various education, training and youth sectors. During the implementation of the Programme, the specific needs of the various sectors and, where appropriate, the role of local and regional authorities should be duly taken into account.

(11)

To support mobility, equity and study excellence, the Union should establish, on a pilot basis, a Student Loan Guarantee Facility to enable students, regardless of their social background, to take their Master's degree in another country to which participation in the Programme is open (the 'Programme country'). The Student Loan Guarantee Facility should be available to financial institutions which agree to offer loans for Master's studies in other Programme countries on favourable terms for students. This additional and innovative tool for learning mobility should neither replace any current, nor impede the development of any future, grant or loan system supporting student mobility at local, national or Union level. The Student Loan Guarantee Facility should be subject to close monitoring and evaluation, in particular concerning its market uptake in different countries. In accordance with Article 21(2) and (3), a mid-term evaluation report should be submitted to the European Parliament and to the Council no later than the end of 2017, with a view to obtaining political guidance on the continuation of the Student Loan Guarantee Facility.

(12)

Member States should endeavour to adopt all appropriate measures to remove legal and administrative obstacles to the proper functioning of the Programme. This includes resolving, where possible, administrative issues that create difficulties in obtaining visas and residency permits. In line with Council Directive 2004/114/EC (8), Member States are encouraged to establish fast-track admission procedures.

(13)

The Commission's communication of 20 September 2011 entitled 'Supporting growth and jobs – an agenda for the modernisation of Europe's higher education systems' sets out a framework within which the Union, Member States and higher education institutions can cooperate to boost the number of graduates, to improve the quality of education and to maximise the contribution that higher education and research can make to helping Member States' economies and societies emerge stronger from the global economic crisis.

(14)

In order to better address youth unemployment in the Union, particular attention should be paid to transnational cooperation between higher and vocational education institutions and businesses, with a view to improving students' employability and developing entrepreneurial skills.

(15)

The Bologna Declaration, signed by the Education Ministers of 29 European countries on 19 June 1999, established an intergovernmental process aimed at creating a European area of higher education, which requires continuous support at Union level.

(16)

The crucial role played by vocational education and training (VET) in helping to achieve a number of targets set out in the Europe 2020 strategy is widely acknowledged and defined in the renewed Copenhagen process (2011-2020), taking into account, in particular, its potential in addressing Europe's high level of unemployment, especially youth unemployment and long-term unemployment, promoting a culture of lifelong learning, countering social exclusion and promoting active citizenship. Quality traineeships and apprenticeships, including those in micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises, are needed in order to bridge the gap between the knowledge acquired through education and training and the skills and competences required in the world of work, as well as to enhance the employability of young people.

(17)

It is necessary to strengthen the intensity and extent of European cooperation between schools, and of the mobility of school staff and learners, in order to address the priorities set out in the Agenda for European Cooperation on Schools for the 21st century, namely to improve the quality of school education in the Union in the fields of competence development and in order to improve equity and inclusion within school systems and institutions, as well as to reinforce and provide support for the teaching profession and school leadership. In this context, the strategic targets on reducing early school leaving, improving performance in basic skills, and improving participation and quality in early childhood education and care, should be prioritised along with targets reinforcing the professional competences of school teachers and school leaders, and improving the educational opportunities for children with a migrant background and those at a socio-economic disadvantage.

(18)

The renewed European Agenda for Adult Learning included in the Council's resolution of 28 November 2011 aims at enabling all adults to develop and enhance their skills and competences throughout their lives. Particular attention should be paid to improving learning opportunities for the high number of low-skilled Europeans, in particular by improving literacy and numeracy and by promoting flexible learning pathways and second-chance measures.

(19)

The action of the European Youth Forum, the National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARIC), the Eurydice, Euroguidance and Eurodesk networks, the eTwinning National Support Services, the National Europass Centres, and the National Information Offices in the neighbourhood countries is essential in order to achieve the objectives of the Programme, in particular by providing the Commission with regular, updated information regarding their various fields of activity and through the dissemination of the Programme results in the Union and in the partner countries.

(20)

Cooperation under the Programme with international organisations in the field of education, training, youth and sport, in particular with the Council of Europe, should be strengthened.

(21)

In order to contribute to the development of excellence in European integration studies worldwide, and to respond to the increasing need for knowledge of, and dialogue on, the European integration process and its development, it is important to stimulate excellence in teaching, research and reflection in this area by supporting academic institutions, associations active in the field of European integration and associations pursuing an aim of European interest, through the Jean Monnet Action.

(22)

Cooperation under the Programme with civil society organisations in the fields of education, training, youth and sport, at national and Union level is of great importance in order to create a broad sense of ownership in relation to lifelong learning strategies and policies and to take into consideration stakeholders' ideas and concerns at all levels.

(23)

The Commission's communication of 18 January 2011 entitled 'Developing the European Dimension in Sport' sets out the Commission's ideas for action at Union level in the field of sport following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, and proposes a list of concrete actions to be taken by the Commission and Member States in order to increase sport's European identity in three broad chapters: the societal role of sport, the economic dimension of sport and the organisation of sport. It is also necessary to take into account the added value of sport, including indigenous sport, and its contribution to the Union's cultural and historical heritage.

(24)

There is a need to focus in particular on grassroots sport and volunteering in sport, on account of the important role that they play in promoting social inclusion, equal opportunities and health-enhancing physical activity.

(25)

Improved transparency and recognition of qualifications and competences and extended acceptance of Union transparency and recognition tools should contribute to the development of quality education and training, and facilitate mobility for both lifelong learning and occupational purposes throughout Europe, between countries as well as across sectors. Opening up access to methods, practices and technologies used in other countries will help to improve employability.

(26)

To that end, it is recommended that extended use be made of the single Union framework for the transparency of qualifications and competences (Europass) established by Decision No 2241/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (9), the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) and the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) established pursuant to Recommendation 2006/143/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (10), the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) established pursuant to the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 (11), the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) established pursuant to the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 (12), the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET) established pursuant to the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 (13) and the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).

(27)

In order to ensure greater efficiency in communication to the public at large and stronger synergies between the communication activities undertaken at the initiative of the Commission, the resources allocated to communication under this Regulation should also contribute to covering the corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union, provided that these are related to the general objective of this Regulation.

(28)

It is necessary to ensure the European added value of all actions carried out within the framework of the Programme, and their complementarity with activities undertaken by the Member States in compliance with Article 167(4) of the TFEU and with other activities, in particular those in the fields of culture and the media, employment, research and innovation, industry and enterprise, cohesion and development policy, as well as enlargement policy and initiatives, instruments and strategies in the field of regional policy and external relations.

(29)

The Programme is designed to have a positive and sustainable impact on education, training, youth and sport policies and practices. That systemic impact should be achieved through the various actions and activities envisaged in the Programme, which aim at fostering changes at institutional level and which lead, where appropriate, to innovation at system level. Individual projects for which financial support is sought from the Programme are not required to have any systemic impact as such. It is the cumulative result of those projects that should contribute to the attainment of systemic impact.

(30)

Effective performance management, including evaluation and monitoring, requires the development of specific, measurable and realistic performance indicators which can be measured over time and which reflect the logic of the intervention.

(31)

The Commission and the Member States should optimise the use of ICTs and new technologies in order to facilitate access to actions relating to education, training, youth and sport. This could include virtual mobility, which should complement, but not replace, learning mobility.

(32)

This Regulation lays down a financial envelope for the entire duration of the Programme which is to constitute the prime reference amount, within the meaning of Point 17 of the Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (14), for the European Parliament and the Council during the annual budgetary procedure.

(33)

In order to ensure continuity in the funding support provided under the Programme to the functioning of bodies, the Commission should be able during the initial phase of the Programme to consider the costs directly linked to the implementation of the supported activities as eligible for financing, even if they were incurred by the beneficiary before the grant application was submitted.

(34)

There is a need to establish performance criteria on which the allocation of budget funds between Member States for the actions managed by the national agencies should be based.

(35)

The candidate countries for accession to the Union and those European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries which form part of the European Economic Area (EEA) may participate in Union programmes on the basis of framework agreements, Association Council decisions or similar agreements.

(36)

The Swiss Confederation may participate in the Union programmes in accordance with an agreement to be signed between the Union and that country.

(37)

Individuals from an overseas country or territory (OCT) and competent public and/or private bodies and institutions from an OCT may participate in the programmes in accordance with Council Decision 2001/822/EC (15). The constraints imposed by the remoteness of the outermost regions of the Union and the OCTs should be taken into account when implementing the Programme.

(38)

The Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in their joint communication of 25 May 2011 entitled 'A new response to a changing Neighbourhood', outlined, inter alia, the aim of further facilitating neighbourhood countries' participation in Union mobility and capacity-building actions in higher education and the opening of the future education programme to the neighbourhood countries.

(39)

The financial interests of the Union should be protected through proportionate measures throughout the expenditure cycle, including the prevention, detection and investigation of irregularities, the recovery of funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used and, where appropriate, penalties. While Union external assistance has an increasing need for financing, the economic and budgetary situation of the Union limits the resources available for such assistance. The Commission should, therefore, seek the most efficient and sustainable use of available resources, in particular through the use of financial instruments with leverage effect.

(40)

In order to enhance access to the Programme, the grants to support the mobility of individuals should be adjusted to the living and subsistence costs of the host country. In accordance with national law, Member States should also be encouraged to exempt those grants from any taxes and social levies. The same exemption should apply to public or private bodies awarding such financial support to the individuals concerned.

(41)

In accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (16), volunteer time can be recognised as co-financing in the form of contributions in kind.

(42)

In its communication of 29 June 2011 entitled 'A Budget for Europe 2020', the Commission underlined its commitment to simplifying Union funding. The creation of a single programme on education, training, youth and sport should result in significant simplification, rationalisation and synergies in the management of the Programme. The implementation of the Programme should be further simplified by the use of lump-sum, unit-cost or flat-rate funding, as well as by reducing formal and bureaucratic requirements for beneficiaries and Member States.

(43)

Improving implementation and the quality of spending should constitute guiding principles for achieving the objectives of the Programme, whilst ensuring the optimal use of the financial resources.

(44)

It is important to ensure sound financial management of the Programme and its implementation in the most effective and user-friendly manner possible, whilst also ensuring legal certainty and the accessibility of the Programme to all participants.

(45)

In order to ensure a quick response to changing needs throughout the duration of the Programme, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the TFEU should be delegated to the Commission in respect of provisions relating to additional actions managed by the national agencies. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure the simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(46)

In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council (17).

(47)

The Programme should cover three different fields, and the committee established under this Regulation should deal with both horizontal and sectoral issues. It is for the Member States to ensure that they send the relevant representatives to attend meetings of that committee in accordance with the topics on its agenda, and it is for the committee chair to ensure that meeting agendas clearly indicate the sector or sectors involved and the topics, according to each sector, to be discussed at each meeting. Where appropriate, and in accordance with the committee's rules of procedure and on an ad hoc basis, it should be possible to invite external experts, including representatives of the social partners, to participate in the committee meetings as observers.

(48)

It is appropriate to ensure the correct closure of the Programme, in particular as regards the continuation of multi-annual arrangements for its management, such as the financing of technical and administrative assistance. As from 1 January 2014, the technical and administrative assistance should ensure, if necessary, the management of actions that have not yet been finalised under the predecessor programmes by the end of 2013.

(49)

Since the objective of this Regulation, namely to establish the Programme, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States but can rather, by reason of its scale and effects, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty of the European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective.

(50)

Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC should therefore be repealed.

(51)

In order to ensure continuity in the funding support provided under the Programme, this Regulation should apply from 1 January 2014. For reasons of urgency, this Regulation should enter into force as soon as possible after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

CHAPTER I

General provisions

Article 1

Scope of the Programme

1.   This Regulation establishes a programme for Union action in the field of education, training, youth and sport called 'Erasmus+' (the 'Programme').

2.   The Programme shall be implemented for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020.

3.   The Programme shall cover the following fields, whilst respecting the structures and specific needs of the various sectors in the Member States:

(a)

education and training at all levels, in a lifelong learning perspective, including school education (Comenius), higher education (Erasmus), international higher education (Erasmus Mundus), vocational education and training (Leonardo da Vinci) and adult learning (Grundtvig);

(b)

youth (Youth in Action), particularly in the context of non-formal and informal learning;

(c)

sport, in particular grassroots sport.

4.   The Programme shall include an international dimension aimed at supporting the Union's external action, including its development objectives, through cooperation between the Union and partner countries.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions shall apply:

(1)

'lifelong learning' means all general education, vocational education and training, non-formal learning and informal learning undertaken throughout life, resulting in an improvement in knowledge, skills and competences or participation in society within a personal, civic, cultural, social and/or employment-related perspective, including the provision of counselling and guidance services;

(2)

'non-formal learning' means learning which takes place through planned activities (in terms of learning objectives and learning time) where some form of learning support is present (e.g. a student-teacher relationship), but which is not part of the formal education and training system;

(3)

'informal learning' means learning resulting from daily activities related to work, family or leisure which is not organised or structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support; it may be unintentional from the learner's perspective;

(4)

'structured dialogue' means the dialogue with young people and youth organisations which serves as a forum for continuous joint reflection on the priorities, implementation and follow-up of European cooperation in the youth field;

(5)

'transnational' relates, unless otherwise indicated, to any action involving at least two Programme countries as referred to in Article 24(1);

(6)

'international' relates to any action involving at least one Programme country and at least one third country ('partner country');

(7)

'learning mobility' means moving physically to a country other than the country of residence, in order to undertake study, training or non-formal or informal learning; it may take the form of traineeships, apprenticeships, youth exchanges, volunteering, teaching or participation in a professional development activity, and may include preparatory activities, such as training in the host language, as well as sending, hosting and follow-up activities;

(8)

'cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices' means transnational and international cooperation projects involving organisations active in the fields of education, training and/or youth, and may include other organisations;

(9)

'support for policy reform' means any type of activity aimed at supporting and facilitating the modernisation of education and training systems, as well as support for the development of European youth policy, through the process of policy cooperation between Member States, in particular the Open Method of Coordination and the structured dialogue with young people;

(10)

'virtual mobility' means a set of activities supported by information and communications technology, including e-learning, organised at institutional level, that realise or facilitate transnational and/or international, collaborative experiences in a context of teaching and/or learning;

(11)

'staff' means persons who, on either a professional or a voluntary basis, are involved in education, training or youth non-formal learning, and may include professors, teachers, trainers, school leaders, youth workers and non-educational staff;

(12)

'youth worker' means a professional or a volunteer involved in non-formal learning who supports young people in their personal socio-educational and professional development;

(13)

'young people' means individuals aged between 13 and 30;

(14)

'higher education institution' means:

(a)

any type of higher education institution which, in accordance with national law or practice, offers recognised degrees or other recognised tertiary level qualifications, whatever such establishment may be called;

(b)

any institution which, in accordance with national law or practice, offers vocational education or training at tertiary level;

(15)

'joint degrees' means an integrated study programme offered by at least two higher education institutions resulting in a single degree certificate issued and signed by all the participating institutions jointly and recognised officially in the countries where the participating institutions are located;

(16)

'double degree/multiple degree' means a study programme offered by at least two (double) or more (multiple) higher education institutions whereby the student receives, upon completion of the study programme, a separate degree certificate from each of the participating institutions;

(17)

'youth activity' means an out-of-school activity (such as youth exchange, volunteering or youth training) carried out by a young person, either individually or in a group, in particular through youth organisations, and characterised by a non-formal learning approach;

(18)

'partnership' means an agreement between a group of institutions and/or organisations in different Programme countries to carry out joint European activities in the fields of education, training, youth and sport or establishing a formal or informal network in a relevant field such as joint learning projects for pupils and their teachers in the form of class exchanges and individual long-term mobility, intensive programmes in higher education and cooperation between regional and local authorities to foster inter-regional, including cross-border, cooperation; it may be extended to institutions and/or organisations from partner countries with a view to strengthening the quality of the partnership;

(19)

'key competences' means the basic set of knowledge, skills and attitudes which all individuals need for personal fulfilment and development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employment, as described in Recommendation 2006/962/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (18);

(20)

'Open Method of Coordination' (OMC) means an intergovernmental method providing a framework for cooperation between the Member States, whose national policies can thus be directed towards certain common objectives; within the scope of the Programme, the OMC applies to education, training and youth;

(21)

'Union transparency and recognition tools' means instruments that help stakeholders to understand, appreciate and, as appropriate, recognise learning outcomes and qualifications throughout the Union;

(22)

'neighbourhood countries' means the countries and territories covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy;

(23)

'dual career' means the combination of high-level sports training with general education or work;

(24)

'grassroots sport' means organised sport practised at local level by amateur sportspeople, and sport for all.

Article 3

European added value

1.   The Programme shall support only those actions and activities which present a potential European added value and which contribute to the achievement of the general objective as referred to in Article 4.

2.   The European added value of the actions and activities of the Programme shall be ensured in particular through their:

(a)

transnational character, particularly with regard to mobility and cooperation aimed at achieving a sustainable systemic impact;

(b)

complementarity and synergy with other programmes and policies at national, Union and international level;

(c)

contribution to the effective use of Union transparency and recognition tools.

Article 4

General objective of the Programme

The Programme shall contribute to the achievement of:

(a)

the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, including the headline education target;

(b)

the objectives of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training ('ET 2020'), including the corresponding benchmarks;

(c)

the sustainable development of partner countries in the field of higher education;

(d)

the overall objectives of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018);

(e)

the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the Union work plan for sport; and

(f)

the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union.

CHAPTER II

Education and training

Article 5

Specific objectives

1.   In line with the general objective of the Programme as specified in Article 4, in particular the objectives of ET 2020, as well as in support of the sustainable development of partner countries in the field of higher education, the Programme shall pursue the following specific objectives:

(a)

to improve the level of key competences and skills, with particular regard to their relevance for the labour market and their contribution to a cohesive society, in particular through increased opportunities for learning mobility and through strengthened cooperation between the world of education and training and the world of work;

(b)

to foster quality improvements, innovation excellence and internationalisation at the level of education and training institutions, in particular through enhanced transnational cooperation between education and training providers and other stakeholders;

(c)

to promote the emergence and raise awareness of a European lifelong learning area designed to complement policy reforms at national level and to support the modernisation of education and training systems, in particular through enhanced policy cooperation, better use of Union transparency and recognition tools and the dissemination of good practices;

(d)

to enhance the international dimension of education and training, in particular through cooperation between Union and partner-country institutions in the field of VET and in higher education, by increasing the attractiveness of European higher education institutions and supporting the Union's external action, including its development objectives, through the promotion of mobility and cooperation between the Union and partner-country higher education institutions and targeted capacity-building in partner countries;

(e)

to improve the teaching and learning of languages and to promote the Union's broad linguistic diversity and intercultural awareness;

(f)

to promote excellence in teaching and research activities in European integration through the Jean Monnet activities worldwide, as referred to in Article 10.

2.   For the purposes of evaluating the Programme, measurable and relevant indicators in relation to the specific objectives referred to in paragraph 1 are set out in Annex I.

Article 6

Actions of the Programme

1.   In the field of education and training, the Programme shall pursue its objectives through the following types of actions:

(a)

learning mobility of individuals;

(b)

cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices; and

(c)

support for policy reform.

2.   The specific Jean Monnet activities are described in Article 10.

Article 7

Learning mobility of individuals

1.   Learning mobility of individuals shall support the following activities within the Programme countries referred to in Article 24(1):

(a)

the mobility of students in all cycles of higher education and of students, apprentices and pupils in vocational education and training. This mobility may take the form of studying at a partner institution or traineeships or gaining experience as an apprentice, assistant or trainee abroad. Degree mobility at Master's level may be supported through the Student Loan Guarantee Facility referred to in Article 20;

(b)

the mobility of staff, within the Programme countries referred to in Article 24(1). This mobility may take the form of teaching or assistantships or participation in professional development activities abroad.

2.   This action shall also support the international mobility of students and staff to and from partner countries as regards higher education, including mobility organised on the basis of joint, double or multiple degrees of high quality or joint calls.

Article 8

Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

1.   Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices shall support:

(a)

strategic partnerships between organisations and/or institutions involved in education and training or other relevant sectors aimed at developing and implementing joint initiatives and promoting peer learning and exchanges of experience;

(b)

partnerships between the world of work and education and training institutions in the form of:

knowledge alliances between, in particular, higher education institutions and the world of work aimed at promoting creativity, innovation, work-based learning and entrepreneurship by offering relevant learning opportunities, including developing new curricula and pedagogical approaches;

sector skills alliances between education and training providers and the world of work aimed at promoting employability, contributing to the creation of new sector-specific or cross-sectoral curricula, developing innovative methods of vocational teaching and training and putting the Union transparency and recognition tools into practice;

(c)

IT support platforms, covering all education and training sectors, including in particular eTwinning, allowing peer learning, virtual mobility and exchanges of good practices and opening access for participants from neighbourhood countries.

2.   This action shall also support development, capacity-building, regional integration, knowledge exchanges and modernisation processes through international partnerships between higher education institutions in the Union and in partner countries, in particular for peer learning and joint education projects, as well as through the promotion of regional cooperation and National Information Offices, in particular with neighbourhood countries.

Article 9

Support for policy reform

1.   Support for policy reform shall include the activities initiated at Union level relating to:

(a)

the implementation of the Union policy agenda on education and training in the context of the OMC, as well as to the Bologna and Copenhagen processes;

(b)

the implementation in Programme countries of Union transparency and recognition tools, in particular the single Union framework for the transparency of qualifications and competences (Europass), the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET), the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET), the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) and the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), and the provision of support to Union-wide networks and European non-governmental organisations (NGOs) active in the field of education and training;

(c)

the policy dialogue with relevant European stakeholders in the field of education and training;

(d)

NARIC, the Eurydice and Euroguidance networks, and the National Europass Centres.

2.   This action shall also support policy dialogue with partner countries and international organisations.

Article 10

Jean Monnet activities

The Jean Monnet activities shall aim to:

(a)

promote teaching and research on European integration worldwide among specialist academics, learners and citizens, in particular through the creation of Jean Monnet Chairs and other academic activities, as well as by providing aid for other knowledge-building activities at higher education institutions;

(b)

support the activities of academic institutions or associations active in the field of European integration studies and support a Jean Monnet label for excellence;

(c)

support the following institutions pursuing an aim of European interest:

(i)

the European University Institute of Florence;

(ii)

the College of Europe (Bruges and Natolin campuses);

(iii)

the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Maastricht;

(iv)

the Academy of European Law, Trier;

(v)

the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education, Odense;

(vi)

the International Centre for European Training (CIFE), Nice;

(d)

promote policy debate and exchanges between the academic world and policy-makers on Union policy priorities.

CHAPTER III

Youth

Article 11

Specific objectives

1.   In line with the general objective of the Programme as specified in Article 4, in particular the objectives of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010–2018), the Programme shall pursue the following specific objectives:

(a)

to improve the level of key competences and skills of young people, including those with fewer opportunities, as well as to promote participation in democratic life in Europe and the labour market, active citizenship, intercultural dialogue, social inclusion and solidarity, in particular through increased learning mobility opportunities for young people, those active in youth work or youth organisations and youth leaders, and through strengthened links between the youth field and the labour market;

(b)

to foster quality improvements in youth work, in particular through enhanced cooperation between organisations in the youth field and/or other stakeholders;

(c)

to complement policy reforms at local, regional and national level and to support the development of knowledge and evidence-based youth policy as well as the recognition of non-formal and informal learning, in particular through enhanced policy cooperation, better use of Union transparency and recognition tools and the dissemination of good practices;

(d)

to enhance the international dimension of youth activities and the role of youth workers and organisations as support structures for young people in complementarity with the Union's external action, in particular through the promotion of mobility and cooperation between the Union and partner-country stakeholders and international organisations and through targeted capacity-building in partner countries.

2.   For the purposes of evaluating the Programme, measurable and relevant indicators in relation to the specific objectives referred to in paragraph 1 are set out in Annex I.

Article 12

Actions of the Programme

The Programme shall pursue its objectives through the following types of actions:

(a)

learning mobility of individuals;

(b)

cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices;

(c)

support for policy reform.

Article 13

Learning mobility of individuals

1.   Learning mobility of individuals shall support:

(a)

the mobility of young people in non-formal and informal learning activities between the Programme countries; such mobility may take the form of youth exchanges and volunteering through the European Voluntary Service, as well as innovative activities building on existing provisions for mobility;

(b)

the mobility of persons active in youth work or youth organisations and youth leaders; such mobility may take the form of training and networking activities.

2.   This action shall also support the mobility of young people, persons active in youth work or youth organisations and youth leaders, to and from partner countries, in particular neighbourhood countries.

Article 14

Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

1.   Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices shall support:

(a)

strategic partnerships aimed at developing and implementing joint initiatives, including youth initiatives and citizenship projects that promote active citizenship, social innovation, participation in democratic life and entrepreneurship, through peer learning and exchanges of experience;

(b)

IT support platforms allowing peer learning, knowledge-based youth work, virtual mobility and exchanges of good practice.

2.   This action shall also support development, capacity-building and knowledge exchanges through partnerships between organisations in Programme countries and partner countries, in particular through peer learning.

Article 15

Support for policy reform

1.   Support for policy reform shall include activities relating to:

(a)

the implementation of the Union policy agenda on youth through the OMC;

(b)

implementation in the Programme countries of Union transparency and recognition tools, in particular the Youthpass, and support for Union-wide networks and European youth NGOs;

(c)

policy dialogue with relevant European stakeholders and structured dialogue with young people;

(d)

the European Youth Forum, resource centres for the development of youth work and the Eurodesk network.

2.   This action shall also support policy dialogue with partner countries and international organisations.

CHAPTER IV

Sport

Article 16

Specific objectives

1.   In line with the general objective of the Programme, as specified in Article 4, and with the Union work plan for sport, the Programme shall focus in particular on grassroots sport and shall pursue the following specific objectives:

(a)

to tackle cross-border threats to the integrity of sport, such as doping, match-fixing and violence, as well as all kinds of intolerance and discrimination;

(b)

to promote and support good governance in sport and dual careers of athletes;

(c)

to promote voluntary activities in sport, together with social inclusion, equal opportunities and awareness of the importance of health-enhancing physical activity through increased participation in, and equal access to, sport for all.

2.   For the purposes of evaluating the Programme, measurable and relevant indicators in relation to the specific objectives referred to in paragraph 1 are set out in Annex I.

Article 17

Activities

1.   The objectives of cooperation shall be pursued through the following transnational activities, which shall focus in particular on grassroots sport:

(a)

support for collaborative partnerships;

(b)

support for not-for-profit European sport events involving several Programme countries and contributing to the objectives set out in point (c) of Article 16(1);

(c)

support for strengthening the evidence base for policy-making;

(d)

dialogue with relevant European stakeholders.

2.   The activities referred to in paragraph 1 may leverage supplementary funding from third parties such as private undertakings.

CHAPTER V

Financial provisions

Article 18

Budget

1.   The financial envelope for the implementation of the Programme as from 1 January 2014 is set at EUR 14 774 524 000 in current prices.

The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the European Parliament and the Council within the limits of the multiannual financial framework.

2.   The amount referred to in paragraph 1 shall be allocated to the actions of the Programme as follows, with a margin of flexibility not exceeding 5 % of each of the allocated amounts:

(a)

77,5 % to education and training, from which the following minimum allocations shall be assigned:

(i)

43 % to higher education, representing 33,3 % of the total budget;

(ii)

22 % to vocational education and training, representing 17 % of the total budget;

(iii)

15 % to school education, representing 11,6 % of the total budget;

(iv)

5 % to adult learning, representing 3,9 % of the total budget;

(b)

10 % to youth;

(c)

3,5 % to the Student Loan Guarantee Facility;

(d)

1,9 % to Jean Monnet;

(e)

1,8 % to sport, of which no more than 10 % to the activity mentioned under point (b) of Article 17(1);

(f)

3,4 % as operating grants to national agencies; and

(g)

1,9 % to cover administrative expenditure.

3.   Of the allocations referred to in points (a) and (b) of paragraph 2, at least 63 % shall be allocated to learning mobility of individuals, at least 28 % to cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices and 4,2 % to support for policy reform.

4.   In addition to the financial envelope as indicated in paragraph 1, and in order to promote the international dimension of higher education, additional funding, as provided for in the different external instruments (Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), the Partnership Instrument for cooperation with third countries (PI) and the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA)), shall be allocated to actions in respect of learning mobility to or from partner countries, and to cooperation and policy dialogue with authorities, institutions and organisations from those countries. This Regulation shall apply to the use of those funds, while ensuring conformity with the Regulations respectively governing those external instruments, and, in the case of the DCI, fulfilling also the criteria for Official Development Assistance as established by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The funding shall be made available through two multiannual allocations covering the first four years and the remaining three years respectively. The allocation of that funding shall be determined in the multiannual indicative programming of the external instruments referred to in the first subparagraph, in line with the identified needs and priorities of the countries concerned. Cooperation with partner countries may be based, where relevant, on additional appropriations from those countries to be made available in accordance with procedures to be agreed with them.

The student and staff mobility action between Programme countries and partner countries funded through the allocation from the DCI shall focus on areas that are relevant to the inclusive and sustainable development of developing countries.

5.   The financial allocation for the Programme may also cover expenses pertaining to preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities which are required for the management of the Programme and the achievement of its objectives, in particular, studies, meetings of experts and information and communication actions, including corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union as far as they are related to the general objective of this Regulation, expenses linked to IT focusing on information processing and exchange, and all other technical and administrative assistance expenses incurred by the Commission for the management of the Programme.

6.   The financial allocation may also cover the technical and administrative assistance expenses necessary to ensure the transition between the Programme and the measures adopted under Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC. If necessary, appropriations could be entered in the budget beyond 2020 to cover similar expenses, in order to allow the management of actions and activities not yet completed by 31 December 2020.

7.   The funds for the learning mobility of individuals referred to in point (a) of Article 6(1) and point (a) of Article 12 that are to be managed by a national agency or agencies (the 'national agency') shall be allocated on the basis of population and cost of living in the Member State, distance between capitals of Member States and performance. The performance parameter shall account for 25 % of the total funds according to the criteria referred to in paragraphs 8 and 9. As regards strategic partnerships referred to in point (a) of Article 8(1) and point (a) of Article 14(1) that are to be selected and managed by a national agency, the funds shall be allocated on the basis of criteria to be defined by the Commission in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 36(3). Those formulae shall, as far as possible, be neutral with respect to the different education and training systems of the Member States, shall avoid substantial reductions in the annual budget allocated to Member States from one year to the next and shall minimise excessive imbalances in the level of grants allocated.

8.   Allocation of funds based on performance shall apply in order to promote an efficient and effective use of resources. The criteria used to measure performance shall be based on the most recent data available and shall focus in particular on:

(a)

the level of annual realised outputs; and

(b)

the level of annual payments realised.

9.   The allocation of funds for the year 2014 shall be based on the latest available data on actions carried out and the budget take-up under the Lifelong Learning, Youth in Action and Erasmus Mundus programmes up to and including 31 December 2013.

10.   The Programme may provide support through specific innovative funding modalities, in particular those set out in Article 20.

Article 19

Specific funding modalities

1.   The Commission shall implement the Union financial support in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

2.   The Commission may launch joint calls with partner countries or their organisations and agencies to finance projects on the basis of matching funds. Projects may be evaluated and selected through joint evaluation and selection procedures to be agreed upon by the funding agencies involved, in compliance with the principles set out in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

3.   Public bodies, as well as schools, higher education institutions and organisations in the fields of education, training, youth and sport that have received over 50 % of their annual revenue from public sources over the last two years shall be considered as having the necessary financial, professional and administrative capacity to carry out activities under the Programme. They shall not be required to present further documentation to demonstrate that capacity.

4.   By way of derogation from Article 130(2) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, and in duly justified cases, the Commission may consider the costs directly linked to the implementation of the supported activities and incurred during the first six months of 2014 as eligible for financing from 1 January 2014, even if they were incurred by the beneficiary before the grant application was submitted.

5.   The amount referred to in point (c) of Article 137(1) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 shall not apply to financial support for learning mobility granted to individuals.

Article 20

Student Loan Guarantee Facility

1.   The Student Loan Guarantee Facility shall provide partial guarantees to financial intermediaries in respect of loans granted on the most favourable terms possible to students undertaking a second-cycle degree, such as a Master's degree, at a recognised higher education institution in a Programme country, as referred to in Article 24(1), which is neither their country of residence nor the country in which they obtained their qualification granting access to the Master's programme.

2.   Guarantees issued through the Student Loan Guarantee Facility shall cover new eligible student loans up to a maximum of EUR 12 000 for a one-year programme and up to EUR 18 000 for a programme lasting up to two years, or their equivalent in local currency.

3.   The management of the Student Loan Guarantee Facility at Union level shall be entrusted to the European Investment Fund (EIF) in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 on the basis of a delegation agreement with the Commission, setting out the detailed rules and requirements governing the implementation of the Student Loan Guarantee Facility and the respective obligations of the parties. On this basis, the EIF shall conclude agreements with financial intermediaries, such as banks, national and/or regional student lending institutions or other recognised financial institutions, and shall endeavour to select a financial intermediary from each Programme country, in order to ensure that students from all Programme countries have access to the Student Loan Guarantee Facility in a consistent and non-discriminatory manner.

4.   Technical information on the functioning of the Student Loan Guarantee Facility is provided in Annex II.

CHAPTER VI

Performance, results and dissemination

Article 21

Monitoring and evaluation of performance and results

1.   The Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, shall regularly monitor and report on the performance and results of the Programme as measured against its objectives, with particular regard to:

(a)

the European added value referred to in Article 3;

(b)

the distribution of funds associated with the education, training and youth sectors, with a view to ensuring, by the end of the Programme, an allocation of funding which guarantees a sustainable systemic impact;

(c)

the use of the funds derived from the external instruments as referred to in Article 18(4) and their contribution to the respective objectives and principles of those instruments.

2.   In addition to carrying out its ongoing monitoring activities, the Commission shall submit a mid-term evaluation report by 31 December 2017 in order to assess the effectiveness of the measures taken to achieve the Programme's objectives and to evaluate the efficiency of the Programme and its European added value, accompanied, if appropriate, by a legislative proposal to amend this Regulation. The mid-term evaluation report shall address the scope for simplification of the Programme, its internal and external coherence, the continued relevance of all of its objectives, and the contribution made by the measures taken to the realisation of the Europe 2020 strategy. It shall also take into account the results of an evaluation of the long-term impact of the predecessor programmes (Lifelong Learning, Youth in Action, Erasmus Mundus and other international higher education programmes).

3.   The Commission shall submit the mid-term evaluation report referred to in paragraph 2 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

4.   Without prejudice to the requirements set out in Chapter VIII and the obligations of national agencies as referred to in Article 28, Member States shall submit to the Commission, by 30 June 2017, a report on the implementation and the impact of the Programme in their respective territories.

5.   The Commission shall submit a final evaluation of the Programme to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions by 30 June 2022.

Article 22

Communication and dissemination

1.   The Commission, in cooperation with Member States, shall ensure the dissemination of information, publicity and follow-up with regard to all actions and activities supported under the Programme, as well as the dissemination of the results of the previous Lifelong Learning, Youth in Action and Erasmus Mundus programmes.

2.   Beneficiaries of the projects supported through actions and activities as referred to in Articles 6, 10, 12, 17 and 20 should ensure that the results and impacts obtained are properly communicated and disseminated. This may include the provision of peer-to-peer information in relation to mobility opportunities.

3.   The national agencies referred to in Article 28 shall develop a consistent policy with regard to the effective dissemination and exploitation of results of activities supported under the actions they manage within the Programme, shall assist the Commission in the general task of disseminating information concerning the Programme, including information in respect of actions and activities managed at national and Union level, and its results, and shall inform relevant target groups about the actions undertaken in their country.

4.   The public and private bodies within the sectors covered by the Programme shall use the brand name 'Erasmus+' for the purpose of communication and dissemination of information relating to the Programme. For the different sectors of the Programme, the following brand names shall be used:

'Comenius', associated with school education;

'Erasmus', associated with all types of higher education within the Programme countries;

'Erasmus Mundus', associated with all types of higher education activities between the Programme countries and partner countries;

'Leonardo da Vinci', associated with vocational education and training;

'Grundtvig', associated with adult learning;

'Youth in Action', associated with non-formal and informal learning in the field of youth;

'Sports', associated with activities in the field of sport.

5.   Communication activities shall also contribute to the corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union, provided that they are related to the general objective of this Regulation.

CHAPTER VII

Access to the Programme

Article 23

Access

1.   Any public or private body active in the fields of education, training, youth and grassroots sport may apply for funding within the Programme. In the case of the activities referred to in point (a) of Article 13(1) and point (a) of Article 14(1), the Programme shall support the participation of groups of young people who are active in youth work, but not necessarily in the context of a youth organisation.

2.   When implementing the Programme, inter alia as regards the selection of participants and the award of scholarships, the Commission and the Member States shall ensure that particular efforts are made to promote social inclusion and the participation of people with special needs or with fewer opportunities.

Article 24

Country participation

1.   The Programme shall be open to the participation of the following countries (the 'Programme countries'):

(a)

the Member States;

(b)

the acceding countries, candidate countries and potential candidates benefiting from a pre-accession strategy, in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for the participation of those countries in Union programmes established in the respective framework agreements, Association Council decisions or similar agreements;

(c)

those EFTA countries that are party to the EEA Agreement, in accordance with the provisions of that agreement;

(d)

the Swiss Confederation, on the basis of a bilateral agreement to be concluded with that country;

(e)

those countries covered by the European neighbourhood policy which have concluded agreements with the Union providing for the possibility of their participation in the Union's programmes, subject to the conclusion of a bilateral agreement with the Union on the conditions of their participation in the Programme.

2.   The Programme countries shall be subject to all the obligations, and shall fulfil all the tasks set out in this Regulation in relation to Member States.

3.   The Programme shall support cooperation with partner countries, in particular neighbourhood countries, in actions and activities as referred to in Articles 6, 10 and 12.

CHAPTER VIII

Management and audit system

Article 25

Complementarity

The Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, shall ensure the overall consistency and complementarity of the Programme with:

(a)

the relevant policies and programmes, in particular those relating to culture and the media, employment, research and innovation, industry and enterprise, cohesion and development policy, as well as enlargement policy and initiatives, instruments and strategies in the field of regional policy and external relations;

(b)

the other Union relevant sources of funding for education, training, youth and sport, in particular the European Social Fund and the other financial instruments relating to employment and social inclusion, the European Regional Development Fund and 'Horizon 2020' - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, as well as the financial instruments relating to justice and citizenship, health, external cooperation programmes and pre-accession assistance.

Article 26

Implementing bodies

The Programme shall be implemented in a consistent manner by the following bodies:

(a)

the Commission at Union level;

(b)

the national agencies at national level in the Programme countries.

Article 27

National authority

1.   The term 'national authority' refers to one or more national authorities in accordance with national law and practice.

2.   By 22 January 2014, the Member States shall notify the Commission, by way of a formal notification transmitted by their Permanent Representation, of the person(s) legally authorised to act on their behalf as the national authority for the purposes of this Regulation. In the event of replacement of the national authority during the course of the Programme's lifetime, the relevant Member State shall notify the Commission thereof immediately, in accordance with the same procedure.

3.   The Member States shall take all appropriate measures to remove legal and administrative obstacles to the proper functioning of the Programme, including, where possible, measures aimed at resolving issues that give rise to difficulties in obtaining visas.

4.   By 22 March 2014, the national authority shall designate a national agency or national agencies. In cases where there is more than one national agency, Member States shall establish an appropriate mechanism for the coordinated management of the implementation of the Programme at national level, particularly with a view to ensuring coherent and cost-efficient implementation of the Programme and effective contact with the Commission in this respect, and to facilitating the possible transfer of funds between agencies, thereby allowing for flexibility and better use of funds allocated to Member States. Without prejudice to Article 29(3), each Member State shall determine how it organises the relationship between its national authority and the national agency, including tasks such as the establishment of the national agency's annual work programme.

The national authority shall provide the Commission with an appropriate ex-ante compliance assessment that the national agency complies with points (c)(v) and (vi) of Article 58(1) and Article 60(1), (2) and (3) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, and Article 38 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 (19), as well as with the Union requirements for internal control standards for national agencies and rules for the management of Programme funds for grant support.

5.   The national authority shall designate an independent audit body as referred to in Article 30.

6.   The national authority shall base its ex-ante compliance assessment on its own controls and audits, and/or on controls and audits undertaken by the independent audit body referred to in Article 30.

7.   Where the national agency designated for the Programme is the same as the national agency designated for the predecessor Lifelong Learning or Youth in Action programmes, the scope of the controls and audits for the ex-ante compliance assessment may be limited to the requirements that are new and specific to the Programme.

8.   The national authority shall monitor and supervise the management of the Programme at national level. It shall inform and consult the Commission in due time prior to taking any decision that may have a significant impact on the management of the Programme, in particular regarding its national agency.

9.   The national authority shall provide adequate co-financing for the operations of its national agency to ensure that the Programme is managed in compliance with the applicable Union rules.

10.   In the event that the Commission rejects the designation of the national agency based on its evaluation of the ex-ante compliance assessment, the national authority shall ensure that the necessary remedial steps are taken to enable the national agency to comply with the minimum requirements set by the Commission, or shall designate another body as national agency.

11.   Based on the national agency's yearly management declaration, the independent audit opinion thereon and the Commission's analysis of the national agency's compliance and performance, the national authority shall provide the Commission, by 31 October of each year, with information concerning its monitoring and supervision activities in relation to the Programme.

12.   The national authority shall take responsibility for the proper management of the Union funds transferred by the Commission to the national agency by way of grant support to be awarded under the Programme.

13.   In the event of any irregularity, negligence or fraud attributable to the national agency, or any serious shortcomings or underperformance on the part of the national agency, where this gives rise to claims by the Commission against the national agency, the national authority shall be liable to reimburse to the Commission the funds not recovered.

14.   In the circumstances described in paragraph 13, the national authority may, on its own initiative or upon request from the Commission, revoke the mandate of the national agency. Should the national authority wish to revoke that mandate for any other justified reason, it shall notify the Commission of the revocation at least six months before the envisaged date of termination of the mandate of the national agency. In such cases, the national authority and the Commission shall formally agree on specific and timed transition measures.

15.   In the event of revocation, the national authority shall carry out the necessary controls regarding the Union funds entrusted to the national agency whose mandate has been revoked, and shall ensure an unimpeded transfer to the new national agency of those funds and of all documents and management tools required for the management of the Programme. The national authority shall provide the national agency whose mandate has been revoked with the necessary financial support to continue to meet its contractual obligations vis-à-vis the beneficiaries of the Programme and the Commission pending the transfer of those obligations to a new national agency.

16.   If so requested by the Commission, the national authority shall designate the institutions or organisations, or the types of such institutions and organisations, to be considered eligible to participate in specific Programme actions in their respective territories.

Article 28

National agency

1.   The term 'national agency' refers to one or more national agencies in accordance with national law and practice.

2.   The national agency shall:

(a)

have legal personality or be part of an entity having legal personality, and be governed by the law of the Member State concerned; a ministry may not be designated as a national agency;

(b)

have the adequate management capacity, staff and infrastructure to fulfil its tasks satisfactorily, ensuring efficient and effective management of the Programme and sound financial management of Union funds;

(c)

have the operational and legal means to apply the administrative, contractual and financial management rules laid down at Union level;

(d)

offer adequate financial guarantees, issued preferably by a public authority, corresponding to the level of Union funds it will be called upon to manage;

(e)

be designated for the duration of the Programme.

3.   The national agency shall be responsible for managing all stages of the project lifecycle of the following Programme actions, in conformity with points (c)(v) and (vi) of Article 58(1) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and with Article 44 of Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012:

(a)

learning mobility of individuals, with the exception of mobility organised on the basis of joint or double/multiple degrees, large-scale volunteering projects and the Student Loan Guarantee Facility;

(b)

strategic partnerships within the action 'cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices';

(c)

the management of small-scale activities supporting the structured dialogue in the youth field within the action 'support for policy reform'.

4.   By way of derogation from paragraph 3, the selection and award decisions for the strategic partnerships referred to in point (b) of paragraph 3 may be managed at Union level, if a decision to that effect is taken in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 36(3) and only in specific cases where there are clear grounds for such centralisation.

5.   The national agency shall issue grant support to beneficiaries either by way of a grant agreement or a grant decision, as specified by the Commission for the Programme action concerned.

6.   The national agency shall report each year to the Commission and to its national authority in accordance with Article 60(5) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. The national agency shall be in charge of implementing the observations issued by the Commission following its analysis of the yearly management declaration and of the independent audit opinion thereon.

7.   The national agency may not without prior written authorisation from the national authority and the Commission delegate to a third party any task of Programme or budget implementation conferred on it. The national agency shall retain sole responsibility for any tasks delegated to a third party.

8.   Where the mandate of a national agency is revoked, that national agency shall remain legally responsible for meeting its contractual obligations vis-à-vis the beneficiaries of the Programme and the Commission pending the transfer of those obligations to a new national agency.

9.   The national agency shall be in charge of managing and winding up the financial agreements relating to the predecessor Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes that are still open at the beginning of the Programme.

Article 29

European Commission

1.   Within two months of receipt from the national authority of the ex-ante compliance assessment referred to in Article 27(4), the Commission shall accept, conditionally accept or reject the designation of the national agency. The Commission shall not enter into a contractual relationship with the national agency until it has accepted the ex-ante compliance assessment. In the event of conditional acceptance, the Commission may apply proportionate precautionary measures to its contractual relationship with the national agency.

2.   Upon accepting the ex-ante compliance assessment by the national agency designated for the Programme, the Commission shall formalise the legal responsibilities with regard to the financial agreements relating to the predecessor Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes which are still open at the start of the Programme.

3.   In accordance with Article 27(4), the document governing the contractual relationship between the Commission and the national agency shall:

(a)

stipulate the internal control standards for national agencies and the rules for the management of the Union funds for grant support by the national agencies;

(b)

include the national agency work programme comprising the management tasks of the national agency to which Union support is provided;

(c)

specify the reporting requirements for the national agency.

4.   The Commission shall each year make the following Programme funds available to the national agency:

(a)

funds for grant support in the Member State concerned for the actions of the Programme the management of which is entrusted to the national agency;

(b)

a financial contribution in support of the Programme management tasks of the national agency. This shall be provided in the form of a flat-rate contribution to the operational costs of the national agency and shall be established on the basis of the amount of Union funds for grant support entrusted to the national agency.

5.   The Commission shall set the requirements for the national agency work programme. The Commission shall not make Programme funds available to the national agency until the Commission has formally approved the national agency's work programme.

6.   On the basis of the compliance requirements for national agencies referred to in Article 27(4), the Commission shall review the national management and control systems, in particular on the basis of the ex-ante compliance assessment provided to it by the national authority, the national agency's yearly management declaration and the opinion of the independent audit body thereon, taking due account of the yearly information provided by the national authority on its monitoring and supervision activities with regard to the Programme.

7.   After assessing the yearly management declaration and the opinion of the independent audit body thereon, the Commission shall address its opinion and observations thereon to the national agency and the national authority.

8.   In the event that the Commission cannot accept the yearly management declaration or the independent audit opinion thereon, or in the event of unsatisfactory implementation by the national agency of the Commission's observations, the Commission may implement any precautionary and corrective measures necessary to safeguard the Union's financial interests in accordance with Article 60(4) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

9.   The Commission shall organise regular meetings with the network of national agencies in order to ensure coherent implementation of the Programme across all Programme countries.

Article 30

Independent audit body

1.   The independent audit body shall issue an audit opinion on the yearly management declaration referred to in Article 60(5) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

2.   The independent audit body shall:

(a)

have the necessary professional competence to carry out public sector audits;

(b)

ensure that its audits take account of internationally accepted audit standards;

(c)

not be in a position of conflict of interest with regard to the legal entity of which the national agency forms part. In particular, it shall be independent, in terms of its functions, of the legal entity of which the national agency forms part.

3.   The independent audit body shall give the Commission and its representatives, as well as the Court of Auditors, full access to all documents and reports in support of the audit opinion that it issues on the national agency's yearly management declaration.

CHAPTER IX

Control system

Article 31

Principles of the control system

1.   The Commission shall take appropriate measures ensuring that, when actions financed under this Regulation are implemented, the financial interests of the Union are protected by the application of measures to prevent fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities, by effective controls and, if irregularities are detected, by the recovery of the amounts wrongly paid and, where appropriate, by effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties.

2.   The Commission shall be responsible for the supervisory controls with regard to the Programme actions and activities managed by the national agencies. It shall set the minimum requirements for the controls by the national agency and the independent audit body.

3.   The national agency shall be responsible for the primary controls of grant beneficiaries for the Programme actions and activities referred to in Article 28(3). Those controls shall give reasonable assurance that the grants awarded are used as intended and in compliance with the applicable Union rules.

4.   With regard to the Programme funds transferred to the national agencies, the Commission shall ensure proper coordination of its controls with the national authorities and the national agencies, on the basis of the single audit principle and following a risk-based analysis. This provision shall not apply to investigations carried out by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

Article 32

Protection of the financial interests of the Union

1.   The Commission or its representatives and the Court of Auditors shall have the power to conduct audits, on the basis of documents and on the spot, in relation to all grant beneficiaries, contractors, subcontractors and other third parties who have received Union funds. They may also conduct audits and carry out controls in relation to the national agencies.

2.   OLAF may carry out on-the-spot controls and inspections of economic operators concerned directly or indirectly by such funding in accordance with the procedure laid down in Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 (20), with a view to establishing whether there has been fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the Union in connection with a grant agreement or grant decision or a contract concerning Union funding.

3.   Without prejudice to paragraphs 1 and 2, cooperation agreements with third countries and international organisations, and grant agreements, grant decisions and contracts resulting from the implementation of this Regulation, shall expressly empower the Commission, the Court of Auditors and OLAF to conduct such audits and carry out on-the-spot controls and inspections.

CHAPTER X

Delegation of powers and implementing provisions

Article 33

Delegation of powers to the Commission

In order to place the management of tasks at the most appropriate level, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 34 concerning the amendment of Article 28(3), but only in respect of providing for additional actions to be managed by the national agencies.

Article 34

Exercise of the delegation

1.   The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2.   The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 33 shall be conferred on the Commission for the duration of the Programme.

3.   The delegation of power referred to in Article 33 may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

4.   As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

5.   A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 33 shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

Article 35

Implementation of the Programme

In order to implement the Programme, the Commission shall adopt annual work programmes by way of implementing acts in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 36(3). Each annual work programme shall ensure that the general and specific objectives set out in Articles 4, 5, 11 and 16 are implemented annually in a consistent manner and shall outline the expected results, the method of implementation and its total amount. The annual work programmes shall also contain a description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and of the distribution of funds between the Member States for the actions to be managed through the national agencies, and an indicative implementation timetable. They shall include, in the case of grants, the maximum rate of co-financing, which shall take into account the specificities of the target groups, in particular their co-financing capacity and the possibilities of attracting funding from third parties. In particular, for actions targeting organisations with limited financial capacities, the rate of co-financing shall be set at least at 50 %.

Article 36

Committee procedure

1.   The Commission shall be assisted by a committee. That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

2.   The committee may meet in specific configurations to deal with sectoral issues. Where appropriate, in accordance with its rules of procedure and on an ad hoc basis, external experts, including representatives of the social partners, may be invited to participate in its meetings as observers.

3.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

CHAPTER XI

Final provisions

Article 37

Repeal and transitional provisions

1.   Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC shall be repealed with effect from 1 January 2014.

2.   Actions initiated on or before 31 December 2013 on the basis of Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC shall be administered, where relevant, in conformity with the provisions of this Regulation.

3.   Member States shall ensure at national level the unimpeded transition between the actions carried out in the context of the previous programmes in the fields of lifelong learning, youth and international cooperation in higher education and those to be implemented under the Programme.

Article 38

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from 1 January 2014.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Strasbourg, 11 December 2013.

For the European Parliament

The President

M. SCHULZ

For the Council

The President

V. LEŠKEVIČIUS


(1)  OJ C 181, 21.6.2012, p. 154.

(2)  OJ C 225, 27.7.2012, p. 200.

(3)  Position of the European Parliament of 19 November 2013 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and decision of the Council of 3 December 2013.

(4)  Decision No 1720/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing an action programme in the field of lifelong learning (OJ L 327, 24.11.2006, p. 45).

(5)  Decision No 1719/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing the Youth in Action programme for the period 2007 to 2013 (OJ L 327, 24.11.2006, p. 30).

(6)  Decision No 1298/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 establishing the Erasmus Mundus 2009-2013 action programme for the enhancement of quality in higher education and the promotion of intercultural understanding through cooperation with third countries (OJ L 340, 19.12.2008, p. 83).

(7)  Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation (OJ L 378, 27.12.2006, p. 41).

(8)  Council Directive 2004/114/EC of 13 December 2004 on the conditions of admission of third-country nationals for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service (OJ L 375, 23.12.2004, p. 12).

(9)  Decision No 2241/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2004 on a single Community framework for the transparency of qualifications and competences (Europass) (OJ L 390, 31.12.2004, p. 6).

(10)  Recommendation 2006/143/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 February 2006 on further European cooperation in quality assurance in higher education (OJ L 64, 4.3.2006, p. 60).

(11)  Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (OJ C 111, 6.5.2008, p. 1).

(12)  Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 on the establishment of a European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) (OJ C 155, 8.7.2009, p. 11).

(13)  Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 on the establishment of a European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training (OJ C 155, 8.7.2009, p. 1).

(14)  OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1

(15)  Council Decision 2001/822/EC of 27 November 2001 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Community ('Overseas Association Decision') (OJ L 314, 30.11.2001, p. 1).

(16)  Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

(17)  Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13).

(18)  Recommendation 2006/962/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning (OJ L 394, 30.12.2006, p. 10).

(19)  Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 of 29 October 2012 on the rules of application of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (OJ L 362, 31.12.2012, p. 1).

(20)  Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on–the–spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2).


ANNEX I

INDICATORS FOR THE EVALUATION OF THE PROGRAMME

The Programme will be monitored closely on the basis of a set of indicators intended to measure the extent to which the general and specific objectives of the Programme have been achieved and with a view to minimising administrative burdens and costs. To that end, data will be collected as regards the following set of key indicators:

Europe 2020 headline education target

The percentage of 18-24 year-olds with only lower-secondary education who are not enrolled in education or training

The percentage of 30-34 year-olds with completed tertiary or equivalent education

Mobility benchmark, in line with the Council conclusions on a benchmark for learning mobility

The percentage of higher education graduates who have had a period of higher education-related study or training (including work placements) abroad

The percentage of 18-34 year-olds with an initial vocational education and training qualification who have had an initial vocational education and training-related study or training period (including work placements) abroad

Quantitative (general)

The number of staff supported by the Programme, by country and by sector

The number of participants with special needs or fewer opportunities

The number and type of organisations and projects, by country and by action

Education and training

The number of pupils, students and trainees participating in the Programme, by country, sector, action and gender

The number of higher education students receiving support to study in a partner country, as well as the number of students from a partner country coming to study in a Programme country

The number of partner country higher education institutions involved in mobility and cooperation actions

The number of users of Euroguidance

The percentage of participants who have received a certificate, diploma or other kind of formal recognition of their participation in the Programme

The percentage of participants declaring that they have increased their key competences

The percentage of participants in long-term mobility declaring that they have increased their language skills

Jean Monnet

The number of students receiving training through Jean Monnet activities

Youth

The number of young people engaged in mobility actions supported by the Programme, by country, action and gender

The number of youth organisations from both Programme countries and partner countries involved in international mobility and cooperation actions

The number of users of the Eurodesk network

The percentage of participants who have received a certificate – for example a Youthpass –, diploma or other kind of formal recognition of their participation in the Programme

The percentage of participants declaring that they have increased their key competences

The percentage of participants in voluntary activities declaring that they have increased their language skills

Sport

Size of membership of sport organisations applying for, and taking part in, the Programme, by country

The percentage of participants who have used the results of cross-border projects to:

(a)

combat threats to sport;

(b)

improve good governance and dual careers;

(c)

enhance social inclusion, equal opportunities and participation rates


ANNEX II

TECHNICAL INFORMATION CONCERNING THE STUDENT LOAN GUARANTEE FACILITY

1.   Selection of financial intermediaries

Following a call for expressions of interest, financial intermediaries shall be selected in conformity with best market practice, having regard to, inter alia:

(a)

the volume of financing to be made available to students;

(b)

the most favourable possible terms offered to students, subject to compliance with the minimum standards of lending as set out in paragraph 2;

(c)

access to finance by all residents of Programme countries as referred to in Article 24(1);

(d)

fraud prevention measures; and

(e)

adherence to Directive 2008/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (1).

2.   Protection for borrowers

The following safeguards are the minimum terms which must be provided by financial intermediaries wishing to provide student loans guaranteed by the Student Loan Guarantee Facility:

(a)

no collateral or parental guarantee shall be requested;

(b)

loans shall be granted on a non-discriminatory basis;

(c)

as part of the assessment process, the financial intermediary shall consider the student's risk of over-indebtedness, taking into account levels of accrued debt and any judicial decision relating to an unpaid debt; and

(d)

repayment shall be based upon a hybrid model combining 'mortgage-based' standardised payments with social safeguards, in particular:

(i)

an interest rate that is significantly lower than the market rate;

(ii)

an initial grace period before the commencement of repayments, lasting a minimum of 12 months after the end of the study programme or, where national law does not provide for such delays, a provision whereby nominal repayments are to be made during that 12-month period;

(iii)

a provision for a 'repayment holiday' of a minimum duration of 12 months over the lifetime of the loan, which can be invoked at the graduate's request, or, where national law does not provide for such delays, a provision whereby nominal repayments are to be made during that 12-month period;

(iv)

an option to defer the payment of interest during the study period;

(v)

insurance against death or disability; and

(vi)

no penalties for early total or partial repayment.

Financial intermediaries may offer income-contingent repayments, as well as improved terms such as longer grace periods, longer 'repayment holidays' or later maturity, to take into account specific needs of graduates, such as those who subsequently pursue doctoral studies, or to allow graduates more time in which to find employment. The provision of such improved terms shall be taken into consideration in the procedure for the selection of financial intermediaries.

3.   Monitoring and evaluation

The Student Loan Guarantee Facility shall be subject to monitoring and evaluation, as referred to in Article 21 of this Regulation, and on the basis of Article 140(8) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

As part of this process, the Commission shall report on the effects of the Student Loan Guarantee Facility on beneficiaries and on higher education systems. The Commission's report shall include, inter alia, data on, as well as proposed measures to deal with any areas of concern with regard to:

(a)

the number of students in receipt of loans backed by the Student Loan Guarantee Facility, including data on their completion rates;

(b)

the volume of lending contracted by financial intermediaries;

(c)

the level of interest rates;

(d)

outstanding debt and default levels, including any measures taken by financial intermediaries against those who default on their loans;

(e)

fraud prevention measures taken by financial intermediaries;

(f)

the profile of students supported, including their socio-economic background, subject of study, country of origin and country of destination, in accordance with national data protection legislation;

(g)

geographical balance of uptake; and

(h)

geographical coverage of financial intermediaries.

Notwithstanding the powers conferred on the European Parliament and the Council by Article 140(9) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, the Commission shall consider proposing appropriate regulatory changes, including legislative changes, if the predicted market uptake or the participation of financial intermediaries is not satisfactory.

4.   Budget

The budgetary allocation shall cover the full cost of the Student Loan Guarantee Facility, including payment obligations towards participating financial intermediaries calling upon the partial guarantees and management fees for the EIF.

The budget assigned to the Student Loan Guarantee Facility, as referred to in point (c) of Article 18(2), shall be no more than 3,5 % of the total budget for the Programme.

5.   Visibility and awareness-raising

Each participating financial intermediary shall contribute to the promotion of the Student Loan Guarantee Facility by providing information to prospective students. To that end, the Commission shall, inter alia, provide national agencies in Programme countries with the necessary information to enable them to act as conduits for information concerning the Student Loan Guarantee Facility.


(1)  Directive 2008/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 on credit agreements for consumers and repealing Council Directive 87/102/EEC (OJ L 133, 22.5.2008, p. 66).


20.12.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 347/74


REGULATION (EU) No 1289/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

of 11 December 2013

amending Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular point (a) of Article 77(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (1),

Whereas:

(1)

The reciprocity mechanism to be implemented if a third country listed in Annex II to Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 (2) applies a visa requirement for nationals of at least one Member State needs to be adapted in the light of the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon and of the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union on secondary legal bases. In addition, that mechanism needs to be adapted to provide for a Union response as an act of solidarity, if a third country listed in Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 applies a visa requirement for nationals of at least one Member State.

(2)

Upon receipt of a notification from a Member State that a third country listed in Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 applies a visa requirement for nationals of that Member State, all Member States should react in common, thus providing a Union response to a situation which affects the Union as a whole and subjects its citizens to differing treatment.

(3)

Full visa reciprocity is an objective which the Union should pursue in a proactive manner in its relations with third countries, thus contributing to improving the credibility and consistency of the Union's external policy.

(4)

This Regulation should establish a mechanism for the temporary suspension of the exemption from the visa requirement for a third country listed in Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 ("the suspension mechanism") in an emergency situation, where an urgent response is needed in order to resolve the difficulties faced by at least one Member State, and taking account of the overall impact of the emergency situation on the Union as a whole.

(5)

For the purposes of the suspension mechanism, a substantial and sudden increase indicates an increase exceeding a threshold of 50 %. It may also indicate a lower increase if the Commission deems it applicable in the particular case notified by the Member State concerned.

(6)

For the purposes of the suspension mechanism, a low recognition rate indicates a recognition rate of asylum applications of around 3 or 4 %. It may also indicate a higher recognition rate if the Commission deems it applicable in the particular case notified by the Member State concerned.

(7)

It is necessary to avoid and counter any abuse resulting from exemption from the visa requirement for short-stay visits for nationals of a third country where they pose a threat to the public policy (ordre public) and internal security of the Member State concerned.

(8)

This Regulation should provide a legal basis for the visa requirement or for the exemption from that requirement for holders of travel documents issued by certain entities recognised by the Member State concerned as subjects of international law which are not intergovernmental international organisations.

(9)

As the rules applicable for refugees and stateless persons introduced by Council Regulation (EC) No 1932/2006 (3), do not apply to such persons when they are residing in the United Kingdom or Ireland, it is necessary to clarify the situation concerning the visa requirement for certain refugees and stateless persons who reside in the United Kingdom or in Ireland. This Regulation should leave Member States free to decide on the exemption from the visa requirement for that category of persons in compliance with their international obligations. The Member States should notify such decisions to the Commission.

(10)

Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 should be without prejudice to application of international agreements concluded by the European Community before the entry into force of that Regulation which imply the need to derogate from the common visa rules, while taking into account the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

(11)

In order to ensure the adequate involvement of the European Parliament and of the Council in the second phase of application of the reciprocity mechanism, given the particularly sensitive political nature of the suspension of the exemption from the visa requirement for all the nationals of a third country listed in Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 and its horizontal implications for the Member States, the Schengen associated countries and the Union itself, in particular for their external relations and for the overall functioning of the Schengen area, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of certain elements of the reciprocity mechanism. Conferring such power on the Commission takes into account the need for political discussion on the Union policy on visas in the Schengen area. It reflects also the need to ensure adequate transparency and legal certainty in the application of the reciprocity mechanism to all the nationals of the third country concerned, in particular through the corresponding temporary amendment of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 539/2001. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of the relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(12)

In order to ensure the efficient application of the suspension mechanism and of certain provisions of the reciprocity mechanism and in particular in order to allow for all relevant factors and the possible implications of the application of those mechanisms to be adequately taken into account, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission with regard to the determination of the categories of nationals of the third country concerned who should be subject to a temporary suspension of the exemption from the visa requirement within the framework of the reciprocity mechanism, and of the corresponding duration of that suspension, as well as the powers to implement the suspension mechanism. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council (4). The examination procedure should be used for the adoption of such implementing acts.

(13)

As regards Iceland and Norway, this Regulation constitutes a development of the provisions of the Schengen acquis within the meaning of the Agreement concluded by the Council of the European Union and the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway concerning the latters' association with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis  (5) which fall within the area referred to in Article 1, point (B), of Council Decision 1999/437/EC (6).

(14)

As regards Switzerland, this Regulation constitutes a development of the provisions of the Schengen acquis within the meaning of the Agreement between the European Union, the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on the Swiss Confederation's association with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis  (7) which fall within the area referred to in Article 1, point (B), of Decision 1999/437/EC read in conjunction with Article 3 of Council Decision 2008/146/EC (8).

(15)

As regards Liechtenstein, this Regulation constitutes a development of the provisions of the Schengen acquis within the meaning of the Protocol between the European Union, the European Community, the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein on the accession of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the Agreement between the European Union, the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on the Swiss Confederation's association with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis  (9) which fall within the area referred to in Article 1, point (B), of Decision 1999/437/EC read in conjunction with Article 3 of Council Decision 2011/350/EU (10).

(16)

This Regulation constitutes a development of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in which the United Kingdom does not take part, in accordance with Council Decision 2000/365/EC (11); the United Kingdom is therefore not taking part in its adoption and is not bound by it or subject to its application.

(17)

This Regulation constitutes a development of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in which Ireland does not take part, in accordance with Council Decision 2002/192/EC (12); Ireland is therefore not taking part in its adoption and is not bound by it or subject to its application.

(18)

Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 should therefore be amended accordingly,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 is hereby amended as follows:

(1)

Article 1 is amended as follows:

(a)

paragraph 4 is replaced by the following:

"4.   Where a third country listed in Annex II applies a visa requirement for nationals of at least one Member State, the following provisions shall apply:

(a)

within 30 days of the implementation by the third country of the visa requirement or, in cases where the visa requirement existing on 9 January 2014 is maintained, within 30 days of that date, the Member State concerned shall notify the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission thereof in writing.

That notification:

(i)

shall specify the date of implementation of the visa requirement and the types of travel documents and visas concerned;

(ii)

shall include a detailed explanation of the preliminary measures that the Member State concerned has taken with a view to ensuring visa-free travel with the third country in question and all relevant information.

Information about that notification shall be published without delay by the Commission in the Official Journal of the European Union, including information on the date of implementation of the visa requirement and the types of travel documents and visas concerned.

If the third country decides to lift the visa requirement before the expiry of the deadline referred to in the first subparagraph of this point, the notification shall not be made or shall be withdrawn and the information shall not be published;

(b)

the Commission shall, immediately following the date of the publication referred to in the third subparagraph of point (a) and in consultation with the Member State concerned, take steps with the authorities of the third country in question, in particular in the political, economic and commercial fields, in order to restore or introduce visa-free travel and shall inform the European Parliament and the Council of those steps without delay;

(c)

if within 90 days of the date of the publication referred to in the third subparagraph of point (a) and despite all the steps taken in accordance with point (b), the third country has not lifted the visa requirement, the Member State concerned may request the Commission to suspend the exemption from the visa requirement for certain categories of nationals of that third country. Where a Member State makes such a request, it shall inform the European Parliament and the Council thereof;

(d)

the Commission shall, when considering further steps in accordance with point (e), (f) or (h), take into account the outcome of the measures taken by the Member State concerned with a view to ensuring visa-free travel with the third country in question, the steps taken in accordance with point (b), and the consequences of the suspension of the exemption from the visa requirement for the external relations of the Union and its Member States with the third country in question;

(e)

if the third country concerned has not lifted the visa requirement, the Commission shall, at the latest six months of the date of the publication referred to in the third subparagraph of point (a) and subsequently at intervals not exceeding six months within a total period which may not extend beyond the date on which the delegated act referred to in point (f) takes effect or is objected to:

(i)

adopt, at the request of the Member State concerned or on its own initiative, an implementing act temporarily suspending the exemption from the visa requirement for certain categories of nationals of the third country concerned for a period of up to six months. That implementing act shall determine a date, within 90 days of its entry into force, on which the suspension of the exemption from the visa requirement is to take effect, taking into account the available resources in the consulates of the Member States. When adopting subsequent implementing acts, the Commission may extend the period of that suspension by further periods of up to six months and may modify the categories of nationals of the third country in question for which the exemption from the visa requirement is suspended.

Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 4a(2). Without prejudice to the application of Article 4, during the periods of suspension all the categories of nationals of the third country referred to in the implementing act shall be required to be in possession of a visa when crossing the external borders of the Member States; or

(ii)

submit to the committee referred to in Article 4a(1) a report assessing the situation and stating the reasons why it decided not to suspend the exemption from the visa requirement and inform the European Parliament and the Council thereof.

All relevant factors, such as those referred to in point (d), shall be taken into account in that report. The European Parliament and the Council may have a political discussion on the basis of that report;

(f)

if within 24 months of the date of the publication referred to in the third subparagraph of point (a), the third country concerned has not lifted the visa requirement, the Commission shall adopt a delegated act in accordance with Article 4b temporarily suspending the application of Annex II for a period of 12 months for the nationals of that third country. The delegated act shall determine a date, within 90 days of its entry into force, on which the suspension of the application of Annex II is to take effect, taking into account the available resources in the consulates of the Member States and shall amend Annex II accordingly. That amendment shall be made through inserting next to the name of the third country in question a footnote indicating that the exemption from the visa requirement is suspended with regard to that third country and specifying the period of that suspension.

As of the date when the suspension of the application of Annex II for the nationals of the third country concerned takes effect or when an objection to the delegated act is expressed pursuant to Article 4b(5), any implementing act adopted pursuant to point (e) concerning that third country shall expire.

Where the Commission submits a legislative proposal as referred to in point (h), the period of suspension referred to in the first subparagraph of this point shall be extended by six months. The footnote referred to in that subparagraph shall be amended accordingly.

Without prejudice to the application of Article 4, during the periods of that suspension the nationals of the third country concerned by the delegated act shall be required to be in possession of a visa when crossing the external borders of the Member States;

(g)

any subsequent notification made by another Member State pursuant to point (a) concerning the same third country during the period of application of measures adopted pursuant to point (e) or (f) with regard to that third country shall be merged into the ongoing procedures without the deadlines or periods set out in those points being extended;

(h)

if within six months of the entry into force of the delegated act referred to in point (f) the third country in question has not lifted the visa requirement, the Commission may submit a legislative proposal for amending this Regulation in order to transfer the reference to the third country from Annex II to Annex I;

(i)

the procedures referred to in points (e), (f) and (h) shall not affect the right of the Commission to submit at any time a legislative proposal for amending this Regulation in order to transfer the reference to the third country concerned from Annex II to Annex I;

(j)

where the third country in question lifts the visa requirement, the Member State concerned shall immediately notify the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission thereof. The notification shall be published without delay by the Commission in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Any implementing or delegated act adopted pursuant to point (e) or (f) concerning the third country in question shall expire seven days after the publication referred to in the first subparagraph of this point. Where the third country in question has introduced a visa requirement for nationals of two or more Member States, the implementing or delegated act concerning that third country shall expire seven days after the publication of the notification concerning the last Member State whose nationals were subject to visa requirement by that third country. The footnote referred to in the first subparagraph of point (f) shall be deleted upon expiry of the delegated act concerned. The information on that expiry shall be published without delay by the Commission in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Where the third country in question lifts the visa requirement without the Member State concerned notifying it in accordance with the first subparagraph of this point, the Commission shall on its own initiative proceed without delay with the publication referred to in that subparagraph, and the second subparagraph of this point shall apply.";

(b)

paragraph 5 is deleted;

(2)

the following Articles are inserted:

"Article 1a

1.   By way of derogation from Article 1(2), the exemption from the visa requirement for nationals of a third country listed in Annex II shall be temporarily suspended in emergency situations, as a last resort, in accordance with this Article.

2.   A Member State may notify the Commission if it is confronted, over a six-month period, in comparison with the same period in the previous year or with the last six months prior to the implementation of the exemption from the visa requirement for nationals of a third country listed in Annex II, with one or more of the following circumstances leading to an emergency situation which it is unable to remedy on its own, namely a substantial and sudden increase in the number of:

(a)

nationals of that third country found to be staying in the Member State's territory without a right thereto;

(b)

asylum applications from the nationals of that third country for which the recognition rate is low, where such an increase is leading to specific pressures on the Member State's asylum system;

(c)

rejected readmission applications submitted by the Member State to that third country for its own nationals.

The comparison with the six-month period prior to the implementation of the exemption from the visa requirement as referred to in the first subparagraph shall only be applicable during a period of seven years from the date of implementation of the exemption from the visa requirement for nationals of that third country.

The notification referred to in the first subparagraph shall state the reasons on which it is based and shall include relevant data and statistics as well as a detailed explanation of the preliminary measures that the Member State concerned has taken with a view to remedying the situation. The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council immediately of such notification.

3.   The Commission shall examine any notification made pursuant to paragraph 2, taking into account:

(a)

whether any of the situations described in paragraph 2 are present;

(b)

the number of Member States affected by any of the situations described in paragraph 2;

(c)

the overall impact of the increases referred to in paragraph 2 on the migratory situation in the Union as it appears from the data provided by the Member States;

(d)

the reports prepared by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union, the European Asylum Support Office or the European Police Office (Europol) if circumstances so require in the specific case notified;

(e)

the overall question of public policy and internal security, in consultations with the Member State concerned.

The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council of the results of its examination.

4.   Where the Commission, on the basis of the examination referred to in paragraph 3, and taking into account the consequences of a suspension of the exemption from the visa requirement for the external relations of the Union and its Member States with the third country concerned, while working in close cooperation with that third country to find alternative long-term solutions, decides that action is needed, it shall, within three months of receipt of the notification referred to in paragraph 2, adopt an implementing act temporarily suspending the exemption from the visa requirement for the nationals of the third country concerned for a period of six months. That implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 4a(2). The implementing act shall determine the date on which the suspension of the exemption from the visa requirement is to take effect.

Without prejudice to the application of Article 4, during the periods of that suspension the nationals of the third country concerned by the implementing act shall be required to be in possession of a visa when crossing the external borders of the Member States.

5.   Before the end of the period of validity of the implementing act adopted pursuant to paragraph 4, the Commission, in cooperation with the Member State concerned, shall submit a report to the European Parliament and to the Council. The report may be accompanied by a legislative proposal for amending this Regulation in order to transfer the reference to the third country concerned from Annex II to Annex I.

6.   Where the Commission has submitted a legislative proposal pursuant to paragraph 5, it may extend the validity of the implementing act adopted pursuant to paragraph 4 by a period not exceeding 12 months. The decision to extend the validity of the implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 4a(2).

Article 1b

By 10 January 2018, the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and to the Council assessing the effectiveness of the reciprocity mechanism provided for in Article 1(4) and the suspension mechanism provided for in Article 1a and shall, if necessary, submit a legislative proposal for amending this Regulation. The European Parliament and the Council shall act on such a proposal by the ordinary legislative procedure.";

(3)

Article 4 is amended as follows:

(a)

paragraph 1 is replaced by the following:

"1.   A Member State may provide for exceptions from the visa requirement provided for by Article 1(1) or from the exemption from the visa requirement provided for by Article 1(2) as regards:

(a)

holders of diplomatic passports, service/official passports or special passports;

(b)

civilian air and sea crew members in the performance of their duties;

(c)

civilian sea crew members, when they go ashore, who hold a seafarer's identity document issued in accordance with the International Labour Organisation Conventions No 108 of 13 May 1958 or No 185 of 16 June 2003 or the International Maritime Organisation Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic of 9 April 1965;

(d)

crew and members of emergency or rescue missions in the event of disaster or accident;

(e)

civilian crew of ships navigating in international inland waters;

(f)

holders of travel documents issued by intergovernmental international organisations of which at least one Member State is member, or by other entities recognised by the Member State concerned as subjects of international law, to officials of those organisations or entities.";

(b)

in paragraph 2 the following point is added:

"(d)

without prejudice to the requirements stemming from the European Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees signed at Strasbourg on 20 April 1959, recognised refugees and stateless persons and other persons who do not hold the nationality of any country who reside in the United Kingdom or in Ireland and are holders of a travel document issued by the United Kingdom or Ireland, which is recognised by the Member State concerned.";

(4)

the following Articles are inserted:

"Article 4a

1.   The Commission shall be assisted by a committee. That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council (13).

2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

3.   Where the committee delivers no opinion, the Commission shall not adopt the draft implementing act and the third subparagraph of Article 5(4) of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

Article 4b

1.   The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2.   The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in point (f) of Article 1(4) shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of five years from 9 January 2014. The Commission shall draw up a report in respect of the delegation of power not later than nine months before the end of the five-year period. The delegation of power shall be tacitly extended for periods of an identical duration, unless the European Parliament or the Council opposes such extension not later than three months before the end of each period.

3.   The delegation of power referred to in point (f) of Article 1(4) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

4.   As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

5.   A delegated act adopted pursuant to point (f) of Article 1(4) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of four months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

(13)  Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13)."."

Article 2

Article 1a of Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 as amended by this Regulation, and in particular the provisions of the second subparagraph of paragraph 2 thereof, shall apply also to third countries with regard to whose nationals the exemption from the visa requirement was introduced before 9 January 2014.

Article 3

This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in the Member States in accordance with the Treaties.

Done at Strasbourg, 11 December 2013.

For the European Parliament

The President

M. SCHULZ

For the Council

The President

V. LEŠKEVIČIUS


(1)  Position of the European Parliament of 12 September 2013 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and decision of the Council of 5 December 2013.

(2)  Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 of 15 March 2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (OJ L 81, 21.3.2001, p. 1).

(3)  Council Regulation (EC) No 1932/2006 of 21 December 2006 amending Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (OJ L 405, 30.12.2006, p. 23).

(4)  Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13).

(5)  OJ L 176, 10.7.1999, p. 36.

(6)  Council Decision 1999/437/EC of 17 May 1999 on certain arrangements for the application of the Agreement concluded by the Council of the European Union and the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway concerning the association of those two States with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis (OJ L 176, 10.7.1999, p. 31).

(7)  OJ L 53, 27.2.2008, p. 52.

(8)  Council Decision 2008/146/EC of 28 January 2008 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community, of the Agreement between the European Union, the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on the Swiss Confederation's association with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis (OJ L 53, 27.2.2008, p. 1).

(9)  OJ L 160, 18.6.2011, p. 21.

(10)  Council Decision 2011/350/EU of 7 March 2011 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Protocol between the European Union, the European Community, the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein on the accession of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the Agreement between the European Union, the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on the Swiss Confederation’s association with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis, relating to the abolition of checks at internal borders and movement of persons (OJ L 160, 18.6.2011, p. 19).

(11)  Council Decision 2000/365/EC of 29 May 2000 concerning the request of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to take part in some of the provisions of the Schengen acquis (OJ L 131, 1.6.2000, p. 43).

(12)  Council Decision 2002/192/EC of 28 February 2002 concerning Ireland's request to take part in some of the provisions of the Schengen acquis (OJ L 64, 7.3.2002, p. 20).


20.12.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 347/81


REGULATION (EU) No 1290/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

of 11 December 2013

laying down the rules for participation and dissemination in "Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)" and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1906/2006

(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Articles 173, 183, and the second paragraph of Article 188 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the Court of Auditors (1),

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (2),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (3),

Whereas:

(1)

"Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)" ("Horizon 2020") is established by Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (4). That Regulation needs to be complemented by rules for participation in indirect actions undertaken under Horizon 2020, and for exploitation and dissemination of the results of those actions.

(2)

Horizon 2020 should be implemented with a view to contributing directly to creating industrial leadership, growth and employment as well as citizens' welfare in Europe, and should reflect the strategic vision of the Commission Communication of 6 October 2010 entitled "Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative Innovation", in which the Commission commits itself to radically simplify access for participants.

(3)

Horizon 2020 should support the achievement and functioning of the European Research Area in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely, by strengthening cooperation both between the Union and the Member States, and among the Member States, in particular through the application of a coherent set of rules.

(4)

The rules for participation, exploitation and dissemination in Horizon 2020 laid down in this Regulation ("the Rules") should adequately reflect the recommendations of the European Parliament in its resolution of 11 November 2010 on simplifying the implementation of the Research Framework Programmes (5), and of the Council with regard to the simplification of the administrative and financial requirements of the research framework programmes. The Rules should provide continuity to the simplification measures already implemented under Decision No 1982/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (6). They should take up the recommendations made in the final report of the Expert Group entitled 'Interim Evaluation of the 7th Framework Programme' of 12 November 2010 and they should enable further progress in reducing the administrative burden for participants and the complexity of the financial provisions in order to facilitate participation and reduce the number of financial errors. The Rules should also duly reflect the concerns raised and recommendations made by the research community resulting from the debate initiated by the Commission Communication of 29 April 2010 entitled "Simplifying the implementation of the research framework programmes", and the subsequent Green Paper of 9 February 2011 entitled "From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation funding".

(5)

The interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 should include an evaluation of the new funding model, including its impact on funding levels, on participation in Horizon 2020 and on the attractiveness of Horizon 2020.

(6)

The Commission or the relevant funding body should ensure that guidance and information is made available to all potential participants at the time of publication of the call for proposals.

(7)

In order to ensure coherence with other Union funding programmes, Horizon 2020 should be implemented in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (7), and Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 1268/2012 (8), taking due account of the specific nature of research and innovation activities.

(8)

An integrated approach should be ensured by bringing together activities covered by the Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013) adopted by Decision No 1982/2006/EC, the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme established by Decision No 1639/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (9) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (the EIT) established by Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council (10) to make participation easier, create a more coherent set of instruments and increase the scientific and economic impact, while avoiding duplication and fragmentation. Common rules should apply in order to ensure a coherent framework which should facilitate participation in programmes receiving Union financial contributions from the budget of Horizon 2020, including participation in programmes managed by the EIT, joint undertakings or any other structures under Article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and participation in programmes undertaken by Member States pursuant to Article 185 TFEU.

However, flexibility to adopt specific rules should be ensured when justified by the specific needs of the respective actions. In order to take into account the specific operating needs as identified in the framework of the relevant basic act of the bodies set up under Article 187 TFEU, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU should be delegated to the Commission. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure the simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(9)

Actions which fall within the scope of this Regulation should respect fundamental rights and observe the principles acknowledged in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Such actions should be in conformity with any legal obligation including international law and with any relevant Commission decisions such as the Commission notice of 28 June 2013 (11), as well as with ethical principles, which include avoiding any breach of research integrity.

(10)

In line with the objectives of international cooperation as set out in Articles 180 and 186 TFEU, the participation of legal entities established in third countries and of international organisations should be promoted. The implementation of the Rules should be in conformity with the measures adopted in accordance with Articles 75 and 215 TFEU and should be in compliance with international law. Moreover, the implementation of the Rules should duly take into account the conditions for the participation of Union entities in third countries' corresponding programmes.

(11)

The Rules should provide a coherent, comprehensive and transparent framework to ensure the most efficient implementation possible, taking into account the need for easy access by all participants through simplified procedures, in particular with regard to micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The financial assistance from the Union could be provided in various forms.

(12)

In line with the principle of transparency and in addition to the publicity requirement set out in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and in Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012, the Commission should publish open calls for proposals on the internet pages of Horizon 2020, through specific information channels, and should ensure their wide dissemination, including via national contact points and upon request in accessible formats, where practicable.

(13)

The selection and award criteria laid down in this Regulation should be applied in a transparent way and based on objective and measurable parameters, taking into account the overall aim of Horizon 2020 to achieve a well-functioning European Research Area.

(14)

In general, the period between the final date for the submission of complete proposals and the signing of grant agreements with applicants or notifying grant decisions to them should be shorter than the period provided for in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. In duly justified cases and for actions of the European Research Council a longer period should be allowed.

(15)

The Commission should continue its efforts to simplify the procedures in ways made possible by the improvement of IT systems, such as the further expansion of the portal for participants which should function as the single entry point from the moment of publication of the calls for proposals, through submission of proposals, until implementation of the action, with the aim of establishing a one-stop shop. The system may also provide feedback to applicants on the progress and the timeline of their applications.

(16)

The handling of confidential data and classified information should be governed by all relevant Union law, including the Institutions' internal rules, such as Commission Decision 2001/844/EC, ECSC, Euratom (12) which lays down the provisions on security of European Union classified information.

(17)

It is necessary to establish the minimum conditions for participation, both as a general rule and with regard to the specificities of the actions under Horizon 2020. In particular, rules should be laid down regarding the number of participants and their places of establishment. In the case of an action without the participation of an entity established in a Member State, the attainment of the objectives laid down in Articles 173 and 179 TFEU should be pursued.

(18)

Pursuant to Council Decision 2001/822/EC (13), legal entities of overseas countries and territories are eligible to participate in Horizon 2020 subject to the specific conditions laid down in the latter.

(19)

The Commission should consider the timings of calls for proposals and requests for information taking into account, where possible, standard holiday periods.

(20)

In the case of unsuccessful proposals, the Commission should give feedback to the applicants concerned.

(21)

Clear and transparent mechanisms to develop calls for proposals on specific topics should enable a level playing field, increase the attractiveness of Horizon 2020 and increase participation.

(22)

The Commission should in all aspects of Horizon 2020 act in accordance with the principles of the European Code of Good Administrative Behaviour as set out in the annex to Commission Decision 2000/633/EC, ECSC, Euratom (14).

(23)

It is appropriate to establish the terms and conditions for providing Union funding to participants in actions under Horizon 2020. In order to reduce the complexity of the existing funding rules, a simplified cost reimbursement system should be adopted with enhanced use of lump sums, flat rates and unit costs.

(24)

The reimbursement rates in this Regulation are referred to as maximums in order to comply with the non-profit requirement and the co-financing principle, and to allow participants to request a lower rate. In principle, the reimbursement rates should however be 100 % or 70 %.

(25)

The OECD definitions regarding Technological Readiness Level (TRL) should be taken into account in the classification of technological research, product development and demonstration activities.

(26)

Specific challenges in the area of research and innovation should be addressed through new forms of funding such as prizes, pre-commercial procurement, public procurement of innovative solutions, the SME Instrument and the Fast Track to Innovation actions, which require specific rules.

(27)

In order to maintain a level playing field for all undertakings active in the internal market, funding provided by Horizon 2020 should be designed in accordance with State aid rules so as to ensure the effectiveness of public spending and prevent market distortions such as crowding-out of private funding, the creation of ineffective market structures or the preservation of inefficient firms. Care should be taken to ensure that funding of innovation actions neither distorts competition nor leads to market interference without sufficient cause.

(28)

The financial interests of the Union should be protected through proportionate measures throughout the expenditure cycle, ensuring an appropriate balance between trust and control.

(29)

In accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, the Rules should provide the basis for a wider acceptance of the usual cost accounting practices of the beneficiaries.

(30)

The participant Guarantee Fund set up under Regulation (EC) No 1906/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council (15) and managed by the Commission has proved to be an important safeguard mechanism which mitigates the risks associated with the amounts due and not reimbursed by defaulting participants. Therefore, a new participant Guarantee Fund ("the Fund") should be established. In order to ensure more efficient management and better coverage of participants' risk, the Fund should cover actions under the programme set up under Decision No 1982/2006/EC, under the programme set up by Council Decision 2006/970/Euratom (16), under the programme set up by Council Decision 2012/93/Euratom (17) as well as actions under Horizon 2020 and Regulation (Euratom) No 1314/2013 of the Council (18). Programmes managed by entities other than Union funding bodies should not be covered by the Fund.

(31)

In order to enhance transparency, the names of experts that have assisted the Commission or relevant funding bodies in the application of this Regulation should be published. Where the publication of the name would endanger the security or integrity of the expert or would unduly prejudice his or her privacy, the Commission or funding bodies should be able to refrain from the publication of such names.

(32)

Personal data relating to the experts should be processed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council (19).

(33)

Rules governing the exploitation and dissemination of results should be laid down to ensure that participants protect, exploit and disseminate those results as appropriate, and to provide for the possibility of additional exploitation conditions in the European strategic interest. Participants that have received Union funding, and that plan to exploit the results generated with such funding primarily in third countries not associated with Horizon 2020, should indicate how the Union funding will benefit Europe's overall competitiveness (reciprocity principle), as set out in the grant agreement.

(34)

In the case of research with the potential for further development into a novel medical technology (such as drugs, vaccines and medical diagnostics), measures should be taken to ensure the immediate exploitation and dissemination of the results, where appropriate.

(35)

Despite the success of existing Union debt and equity financial instruments for research, development, innovation and growth, access to risk finance remains a key issue, in particular for innovative SMEs. In order to allow their most effective use, debt and equity financial instruments should be allowed to be combined with each other and with grants funded under the Union budget, including under Horizon 2020. Moreover, the Commission should, in particular, ensure continuity of the Risk-Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF) set up under Decision No 1982/2006/EC and the early stage part of the High-Growth and Innovative SME Facility (GIF1) set up under Decision No 1639/2006/EC within their succeeding debt and equity financial instruments under Horizon 2020, respectively the 'Union loan & guarantee service for Research and innovation' and the 'Union Equity Instruments for research and innovation'. In this context, revenues and repayments generated by any of those financial instruments should directly benefit the financial instruments set up under Horizon 2020.

(36)

The Commission should ensure sufficient complementarities between the SME instrument under Horizon 2020 and the financial instruments under Horizon 2020 and the COSME programme established under Regulation (EU) No 1287/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (20), as well as with schemes and instruments set up jointly with Member States, such as the Eurostars Joint Programme (21).

(37)

For reasons of legal certainty and clarity, Regulation (EC) No 1906/2006 should be repealed,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

TITLE I

INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

Article 1

Subject matter and scope

1.   This Regulation lays down specific rules for participation in indirect actions undertaken under Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013, including participation in indirect actions funded by funding bodies in accordance with Article 9(2) of that Regulation.

This Regulation also lays down the rules governing the exploitation and dissemination of results.

2.   Subject to the specific rules laid down in this Regulation, the relevant rules of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 shall apply.

3.   Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 or any basic act which entrusts budget implementation tasks to a funding body under Article 185 TFEU may establish rules which depart from those laid down in this Regulation. In order to take into account their specific operating needs and subject to the rules established in the relevant basic act, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 56, with regard to funding bodies set up under Article 187 TFEU concerning:

(a)

the conditions for participation in calls for proposals issued by funding bodies established in the area of aeronautics with a view to reducing the minimum number of participants set out in Article 9(1);

(b)

the eligibility for funding as set out in Article 10, allowing funding bodies established in the area of bio-based industries and of innovative medicines to limit the eligibility for funding to specific types of participants;

(c)

the rules governing exploitation and dissemination of results, allowing funding bodies established in the area of innovative medicines to:

(i)

extend the possibilities of transfer and licensing of results and background for affiliated entities, purchasers and any successor entity, in accordance with the grant agreement and without the consent of other participants referred to in Article 44(1) and (2);

(ii)

allow for specific agreements for access rights to background for developing results for commercialisation or commercialising results themselves (direct exploitation) referred to in Article 48(2) to (4);

(iii)

complement the rules by introducing provisions on ownership and access to data, knowledge and information which are outside of the objectives of an action and which are not needed for implementing and exploiting the action (sideground) referred to in Article 41(2) and Articles 45 to 48;

(iv)

extend rules on exploitation to other purposes than implementing the action (research use) or developing results for commercialisation or commercialising results themselves (direct exploitation) referred to in Article 48;

(v)

set out specific criteria for allowing sub-licensing from one participant to another participant in the same action referred to in Article 46(2);

(vi)

extend, under the conditions defined in the consortium agreement referred to in Article 24(2), the access rights of participants, their affiliated entities and third parties as licensees to results or background for purposes other than implementing the action (research use) under appropriate conditions including financial terms, or developing results for commercialisation or commercialising results themselves (direct exploitation), as referred to in Articles 46 to 48;

(vii)

make access rights for direct exploitation conditional upon the agreement of the participants concerned, as referred to in Article 48;

(viii)

render optional the dissemination through scientific publication in the form of open access, as referred to in Article 43(2);

(d)

the funding of the actions, allowing funding bodies in the area of electronic components and systems to apply reimbursement rates different to those set out in Article 28(3) in cases where one or more Member States co-fund a participant or an action.

A funding body entrusted with budget implementation tasks under points (i) or (ii) of point (c) of Article 58(1) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, may apply rules which depart from those laid down in this Regulation, subject to the consent of the Commission, if its specific operating needs so require. The Commission shall give its consent in such cases only if those rules are in compliance with the general principles established in this Regulation.

4.   This Regulation shall not apply to direct actions carried out by the Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Article 2

Definitions

1.   For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions apply:

(1)

'access rights' means rights to use results or background under the terms and conditions laid down in accordance with this Regulation;

(2)

'affiliated entity' means any legal entity that is under the direct or indirect control of a participant, or under the same direct or indirect control as the participant, or that is directly or indirectly controlling a participant. Control may take any of the forms set out in Article 8(2);

(3)

'associated country' means a third country which is party to an international agreement with the Union, as identified in Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013;

(4)

'background' means any data, know-how or information whatever its form or nature, tangible or intangible, including any rights such as intellectual property rights, which is: (i) held by participants prior to their accession to the action; (ii) needed for carrying out the action or for exploiting the results of the action; and (iii) identified by the participants in accordance with Article 45;

(5)

'basic act' means a legal act adopted by the Union institutions in the form of a regulation, a directive or a decision within the meaning of Article 288 TFEU which provides a legal basis for the action;

(6)

'innovation action' means an action primarily consisting of activities directly aimed at producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services. For this purpose they may include prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, large-scale product validation and market replication;

(7)

'coordination and support action' means an action consisting primarily of accompanying measures such as standardisation, dissemination, awareness-raising and communication, networking, coordination or support services, policy dialogues and mutual learning exercises and studies, including design studies for new infrastructure, and may also include complementary activities of networking and coordination between programmes in different countries;

(8)

'dissemination' means the public disclosure of the results by any appropriate means (other than resulting from protecting or exploiting the results), including by scientific publications in any medium;

(9)

'exploitation' means the use of results in further research activities other than those covered by the action concerned, or in developing, creating and marketing a product or process, or in creating and providing a service, or in standardisation activities;

(10)

'fair and reasonable conditions' means appropriate conditions, including possible financial terms or royalty-free conditions, taking into account the specific circumstances of the request for access, for example the actual or potential value of the results or background to which access is requested and/or the scope, duration or other characteristics of the exploitation envisaged;

(11)

'funding body' means a body or authority, other than the Commission, as referred to in point (c) of Article 58(1) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, to which the Commission has entrusted budget implementation tasks in accordance with Article 9(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013;

(12)

'international European interest organisation' means an international organisation, the majority of whose members are Member States or associated countries, and whose principal objective is to promote scientific and technological cooperation in Europe;

(13)

'legal entity' means any natural person, or any legal person created and recognised as such under national law, Union law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations;

(14)

'non-profit legal entity' means a legal entity which by its legal form is non-profit-making or which has a legal or statutory obligation not to distribute profits to its shareholders or individual members;

(15)

'participant' means any legal entity carrying out an action or part of an action under Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 having rights and obligations with regard to the Union or another funding body under this Regulation;

(16)

'programme co-fund action' means an action funded through a grant the main purpose of which is supplementing individual calls or programmes funded by entities, other than Union funding bodies, managing research and innovation programmes. A programme co-fund action may also include complementary activities of networking and coordination between programmes in different countries;

(17)

'pre-commercial procurement' means the procurement of research and development services involving risk-benefit sharing under market conditions, and competitive development in phases, where there is a clear separation of the research and development services procured from the deployment of commercial volumes of end-products;

(18)

'public procurement of innovative solutions' means procurement where contracting authorities act as a launch customer for innovative goods or services which are not yet available on a large-scale commercial basis, and may include conformity testing;

(19)

'results' means any tangible or intangible output of the action, such as data, knowledge or information, that is generated in the action, whatever its form or nature, whether or not it can be protected, as well as any rights attached to it, including intellectual property rights;

(20)

'SME' means micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC (22);

(21)

'work programme' means the document adopted by the Commission for the implementation of the specific programme in accordance with Article 5 of Council Decision 2013/743/EU of 3 December 2013 (23);

(22)

'work plan' means the document similar to the Commission work programme adopted by funding bodies entrusted with part of the implementation of Horizon 2020 in accordance with Article 9(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013.

2.   For the purposes of this Regulation, an entity which does not have legal personality under the applicable national law shall be considered as being assimilated to a legal entity provided that the conditions set out in Article 131(2) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and Article 198 of Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 are complied with.

3.   For the purposes of this Regulation, grant recipients shall not be considered to be funding bodies.

Article 3

Confidentiality

Subject to the conditions established in the implementing agreements, decisions or contracts, any data, knowledge and information communicated as confidential in the framework of an action shall be kept confidential, taking due account of Union law regarding the protection of and access to classified information.

Article 4

Information to be made available

1.   Without prejudice to Article 3, the Commission shall, upon request, make available to the Union institutions, bodies, offices or agencies, any Member State or associated country, any useful information in its possession concerning results generated by a participant in an action that has received Union funding, provided that both the following conditions are met:

(a)

the information concerned is relevant to public policy;

(b)

the participants have not provided sound and sufficient reasons for withholding the information concerned.

In actions under the specific objective 'Secure societies - Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens', the Commission shall upon request make available to Union institutions, bodies, offices or agencies or to Member States' national authorities any useful information in its possession concerning results generated by a participant in an action that has received Union funding. The Commission shall notify the participant of such communication. Where a Member State or Union institution, body, office or agency requests the communication of information, the Commission shall also notify such communication to all Member States.

2.   The provision of information pursuant to paragraph 1 shall not be deemed to transfer to the recipient any rights or obligations of the Commission or of the participants. However, the recipient shall treat any such information as confidential unless it becomes public or is made available publicly by the participants, or unless it was communicated to the Commission without restrictions concerning confidentiality. The Commission rules on security shall apply regarding classified information.

Article 5

Guidance and information for potential participants

In accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012, the Commission or the relevant funding body shall ensure that sufficient guidance and information is made available to all potential participants at the time of publication of the call for proposals, in particular the applicable model grant agreement.

TITLE II

RULES FOR PARTICIPATION

CHAPTER I

General provisions

Article 6

Forms of funding

In accordance with Article 10 of Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013, funding may take one or several of the forms provided for by Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, in particular grants, prizes, procurement or financial instruments.

Article 7

Legal entities that may participate in actions

1.   Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, or international organisation may participate in an action provided that the conditions laid down in this Regulation have been met, together with any conditions laid down in the relevant work programme or work plan.

2.   The relevant work programme may restrict the participation in Horizon 2020 or parts thereof of legal entities established in third countries where conditions for the participation of legal entities from Member States, or of their affiliated entities established in a third country, in the third country's research and innovation programmes are considered to be prejudicial to the Union's interests.

3.   The relevant work programme or work plan may exclude entities unable to provide satisfactory security guarantees, including as regards personnel security clearance if justified by security reasons.

4.   The JRC may participate in actions with the same rights and obligations as a legal entity established in a Member State.

Article 8

Independence

1.   Two legal entities shall be regarded as independent of each other where neither is under the direct or indirect control of the other or under the same direct or indirect control as the other.

2.   For the purposes of paragraph 1, control may, in particular, take either of the following forms:

(a)

the direct or indirect holding of more than 50 % of the nominal value of the issued share capital in the legal entity concerned, or of a majority of the voting rights of the shareholders or associates of that entity;

(b)

the direct or indirect holding, in fact or in law, of decision-making powers in the legal entity concerned.

3.   For the purposes of paragraph 1, the following relationships between legal entities shall not in themselves be deemed to constitute controlling relationships:

(a)

the same public investment corporation, institutional investor or venture-capital company has a direct or indirect holding of more than 50 % of the nominal value of the issued share capital or a majority of voting rights of the shareholders or associates;

(b)

the legal entities concerned are owned or supervised by the same public body.

CHAPTER II

Grants

Section I

Award procedure

Article 9

Conditions for participation

1.   The following minimum conditions shall apply:

(a)

at least three legal entities shall participate in an action;

(b)

three legal entities shall each be established in a different Member State or associated country; and

(c)

the three legal entities referred to in point (b) shall be independent of each other within the meaning of Article 8.

2.   For the purposes of paragraph 1, where one of the participants is the JRC, or an international European interest organisation or an entity created under Union law, it shall be deemed to be established in a Member State or associated country other than any Member State or associated country in which another participant in the same action is established.

3.   By way of derogation from paragraph 1, the minimum condition shall be the participation of one legal entity established in a Member State or associated country, in the case of:

(a)

European Research Council (ERC) frontier research actions;

(b)

the SME instrument, where the action has a clear European added value;

(c)

programme co-fund actions; and

(d)

justified cases provided for in the work programme or work plan.

4.   By way of derogation from paragraph 1, in the case of coordination and support actions and training and mobility actions, the minimum condition shall be the participation of one legal entity.

5.   Where appropriate and duly justified, work programmes or work plans may provide for additional conditions according to specific policy requirements or to the nature and objectives of the action, including inter alia conditions regarding the number of participants, the type of participant and the place of establishment.

Article 10

Eligibility for funding

1.   The following participants are eligible for funding from the Union:

(a)

any legal entity established in a Member State or associated country, or created under Union law;

(b)

any international European interest organisation;

(c)

any legal entity established in a third country identified in the work programme.

2.   In the case of a participating international organisation or in the case of a participating legal entity established in a third country, neither of which are eligible for funding according to paragraph 1, funding from the Union may be granted provided that at least one of the following conditions is fulfilled:

(a)

the participation is deemed essential for carrying out the action by the Commission or the relevant funding body;

(b)

such funding is provided for under a bilateral scientific and technological agreement or any other arrangement between the Union and the international organisation or, for entities established in third countries, the country in which the legal entity is established.

Article 11

Calls for proposals

1.   Calls for proposals shall be issued in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 1268/12, taking account in particular of the need for transparency and non-discrimination, and for flexibility appropriate to the diverse nature of the research and innovation sectors.

2.   As an exception and without prejudice to the other cases provided for in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012, calls for proposals shall not be issued for coordination and support actions and programme co-fund actions to be carried out by legal entities identified in the work programmes or work plans provided that the action does not fall within the scope of a call for proposals.

3.   In accordance with the relevant rules of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012, sufficient time periods for preparing proposals shall be provided, with reasonable notice of upcoming calls for proposals through the publication of a work programme and a reasonable time period between the publication of a call for proposals and the deadline for submitting a proposal.

Article 12

Joint calls with third countries or with international organisations

1.   Joint calls for proposals with third countries or their scientific and technological organisations and agencies or with international organisations may be issued to jointly fund actions in priority areas of common interest and expected mutual benefit where there is a clear added value for the Union. Proposals shall be evaluated and selected through joint evaluation and selection procedures to be agreed upon. Such evaluation and selection procedures shall ensure compliance with the principles set out in Title VI of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and involve a balanced group of independent experts appointed by each party.

2.   Legal entities receiving funding from the Union shall conclude a grant agreement with the Union or the relevant funding body. That grant agreement shall include a description of the work to be done by those participants and by the participating legal entities from the third countries involved.

3.   Legal entities receiving funding from the Union shall conclude a coordination agreement with the participating legal entities receiving funding from the relevant third countries or international organisations.

Article 13

Proposals

1.   Proposals shall include a draft plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results, where provided for in the work programme or work plan.

2.   Any proposal for research on human embryonic stem cells shall include, as appropriate, details of licensing and control measures that will be taken by the competent authorities of the Member States concerned as well as details of the ethical approvals that will be provided. As regards the derivation of human embryonic stem cells, institutions, organisations and researchers shall be subject to strict licensing and control in accordance with the legal framework of the Member States concerned.

3.   A proposal which contravenes ethical principles or any applicable legislation, or which does not fulfil the conditions set out in Decision No 2013/743/EU, in the work programme, in the work plan or in the call for proposals may be excluded from the evaluation, selection and award procedures at any time.

4.   Where relevant and specified in the work programme or the work plan, proposals shall explain how and to what extent gender analysis is relevant to the content of the intended project.

Article 14

Ethics review

1.   The Commission shall systematically carry out ethics reviews for proposals raising ethical issues. That review shall verify the respect of ethical principles and legislation and, in the case of research carried out outside the Union, that the same research would have been allowed in a Member State.

2.   The Commission shall make the process of the ethics review as transparent as possible and ensure that it is carried out in a timely manner avoiding, where possible, the resubmission of documents.

Article 15

Selection and award criteria

1.   The proposals submitted shall be evaluated on the basis of the following award criteria:

(a)

excellence;

(b)

impact;

(c)

quality and efficiency of the implementation.

2.   Only the criterion referred to in point (a) of paragraph 1 shall apply to proposals for ERC frontier research actions.

3.   The criterion referred to in point (b) of paragraph 1 may be given a higher weighting for proposals for innovation actions.

4.   The work programme or work plan shall lay down further details of the application of the award criteria laid down in paragraph 1, and specify weightings and thresholds.

5.   The Commission shall take into account the possibility of a two-stage submission procedure provided for in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012, where appropriate and consistent with the objectives of the call for proposals.

6.   Proposals shall be ranked according to the evaluation results. The selection shall be made on the basis of that ranking.

7.   The evaluation shall be carried out by independent experts.

8.   In the case of a legal entity referred to in Article 11(2) or in other duly justified exceptional circumstances, the evaluation may be carried out in a manner derogating from paragraph 7. In each case of such evaluation the Commission shall provide the Member States with detailed information on the evaluation procedure used and its outcome.

9.   In cases where the requested funding from the Union for the action is equal or superior to EUR 500 000, the Commission or the relevant funding body shall, by means compatible with national law, verify in advance the financial capacity of only the coordinators. Furthermore, whenever there are grounds to doubt the financial capacity of the coordinator or other participants on the basis of available information, the Commission or the relevant funding body shall verify their financial capacity.

10.   The financial capacity shall not be verified either in respect of legal entities whose viability is guaranteed by a Member State or an associated country or in respect of higher and secondary education establishments.

11.   Financial capacity may be guaranteed by any other legal entity, whose financial capacity shall in turn be verified in accordance with paragraph 9.

Article 16

Evaluation review procedure

1.   The Commission or the relevant funding body shall provide a transparent evaluation review procedure for applicants which consider that the evaluation of their proposal has not been carried out in accordance with the procedures set out in this Regulation, the relevant work programme, work plan or the call for proposals.

2.   A request for review shall relate to a specific proposal, and shall be submitted by the coordinator of the proposal within 30 days of the date on which the Commission or the relevant funding body informs the coordinator of the evaluation results.

3.   The Commission or the relevant funding body shall be responsible for the examination of the request referred to in paragraph 2. The examination shall cover only the procedural aspects of the evaluation, and not the merits of the proposal.

4.   An evaluation review committee composed of Commission staff or of staff of the relevant funding body shall provide an opinion on the procedural aspects of the evaluation process. It shall be chaired by an official of the Commission or of the relevant funding body, from a department other than that responsible for the call for proposals. The committee may recommend one of the following:

(a)

re-evaluation of the proposal primarily by evaluators not involved in the previous evaluation;

(b)

confirmation of the initial evaluation.

5.   On the basis of the recommendation referred to in paragraph 4, a decision shall be taken by the Commission or the relevant funding body and notified to the coordinator of the proposal. The Commission or the relevant funding body shall take such decision without undue delay.

6.   The review procedure shall not delay the selection process of proposals which are not the subject of requests for review.

7.   The review procedure shall not preclude any other actions the participant may take in accordance with Union law.

Article 17

Enquiries and complaints

1.   The Commission shall ensure the existence of a procedure for participants to make enquiries or complaints about their involvement in Horizon 2020.

2.   The Commission shall ensure that information on how to register concerns, enquiries or complaints is made available to all participants and is published on-line.

Article 18

Grant agreement

1.   The Commission shall, in close cooperation with the Member States, draw up model grant agreements between the Commission or the relevant funding body and the participants in accordance with this Regulation. If a significant modification of a model grant agreement is required, the Commission shall, in close cooperation with the Member States, revise it as appropriate.

2.   The Commission or the relevant funding body shall enter into a grant agreement with the participants. The removal or substitution of an entity before signature of the grant agreement shall be duly justified.

3.   The grant agreement shall establish the rights and obligations of the participants and of either the Commission or the relevant funding body in compliance with this Regulation. It shall also establish the rights and obligations of legal entities which become participants during the implementation of the action, as well as the role and tasks of a consortium coordinator.

4.   On the basis of a requirement in a work programme or work plan, the grant agreement may establish rights and obligations of the participants with regard to access rights, exploitation and dissemination, in addition to those laid down in this Regulation.

5.   The grant agreement shall, where appropriate and to the extent possible, reflect the general principles laid down in the Commission Recommendation on the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, principles of research integrity, the Commission Recommendation on the management of intellectual property in knowledge transfer activities, the Code of Practice for universities and other public research institutions as well as the gender equality principle laid down in Article 16 of Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013.

6.   The grant agreement shall, where appropriate, contain provisions ensuring the respect of ethical principles, including the establishment of an independent ethics board and the right of the Commission to carry out an ethics audit by independent experts.

7.   In duly justified cases, specific grants for actions may form part of a framework partnership in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012.

Article 19

Grant decisions

Where appropriate, and in duly justified cases, the Commission, in accordance with Article 121(1) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, or the relevant funding body, may notify grant decisions instead of entering into grant agreements. The provisions of this Regulation referring to grant agreements shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Article 20

Time to grant

1.   In accordance with Article 128(2) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, calls for proposals shall specify the planned date by which all applicants shall be informed of the outcome of the evaluation of their application and the indicative date for the signature of grant agreements or the notification of grant decisions.

2.   The dates referred to in paragraph 1 shall be based on the following periods:

(a)

for informing all applicants of the outcome of the scientific evaluation of their application, a maximum period of five months from the final date for submission of complete proposals;

(b)

for signing grant agreements with applicants or notifying grant decisions to them, a maximum period of three months from the date of informing applicants they have been successful.

3.   The periods referred to in paragraph 2 may be exceeded for actions of the ERC and in exceptional, duly justified cases, in particular where actions are complex, where there is a large number of proposals or where requested by the applicants.

4.   Participants shall be given reasonable time to submit the information and documentation required for the signature of the grant agreement. The Commission shall make decisions and requests for information as promptly as possible. Where possible, resubmission of documents shall be avoided.

Article 21

Time to Pay

Participants shall be paid in a timely manner in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. When a payment has been made to the coordinator, the Commission or the relevant funding body shall notify the participants thereof.

Article 22

Secure electronic system

All exchanges with participants, including the conclusion of grant agreements, the notification of grant decisions and any amendments thereto, may be made through an electronic exchange system set up by the Commission or by the relevant funding body, as stipulated in Article 179 of Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012.

Section II

Implementation

Article 23

Implementation of actions

1.   Participants shall implement actions in compliance with all the conditions and obligations set out in this Regulation, Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012, Decision 2013/743/EU, the work programme or work plan, the call for proposals and the grant agreement.

2.   Participants shall make no commitments which are incompatible with this Regulation or the grant agreement. Where a participant fails to comply with its obligations regarding the technical implementation of the action, the other participants shall comply with the obligations without any additional Union funding unless the Commission or the relevant funding body expressly relieves them of that obligation. In the event of a participant defaulting, the Commission may, in accordance with point (a) of Article 39(3) transfer the amount due from the Participant Guarantee Fund referred to in Article 38 to the coordinator of the action. The financial responsibility of each participant shall be limited to its own debt subject to the provisions relating to the Participant Guarantee Fund. Participants shall ensure that the Commission or the relevant funding body is informed in due time of any event which might significantly affect the implementation of the action or the interests of the Union.

3.   Participants shall implement the action and shall take all necessary and reasonable measures to that end. They shall have the appropriate resources as and when needed for carrying out the action. Where it is necessary for the implementation of the action, they may call upon third parties, including subcontractors, to carry out work under the action or may use resources made available by third parties by means of contributions in kind, according to the conditions set out in the grant agreement. Participants shall retain responsibility towards the Commission or the relevant funding body and towards the other participants for the work carried out.

4.   The award of subcontracts for carrying out certain elements of the action shall be limited to the cases provided for in the grant agreement and to duly justified cases that could not be clearly foreseen at the time of entry into force of the grant agreement.

5.   Third parties other than subcontractors may carry out work under the action under the conditions laid down in the grant agreement. The third party and the work to be carried out by it shall be identified in the grant agreement.

Costs incurred by those third parties may be deemed eligible if the third party meets all the following conditions:

(a)

it would be eligible for funding if it were a participant;

(b)

it is an affiliated entity or has a legal link to a participant implying a collaboration not limited to the action;

(c)

it is identified in the grant agreement;

(d)

it abides by the rules applicable to the participant under the grant agreement with regard to eligibility of costs and control of expenditure;

(e)

it accepts joint and several liability with the participant for the Union contribution corresponding to the amount declared by the third party, if required by the Commission or the relevant funding body.

6.   Third parties may also make available resources to a participant by means of contributions in kind to the action. Costs incurred by third parties in relation to such contributions which are made free of charge are eligible for funding provided they meet the conditions established in the grant agreement.

7.   The action may involve financial support to third parties under the conditions established in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012. The amounts referred to in point (c) of Article 137(1) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 may be exceeded where it is necessary to achieve the objectives of an action.

8.   The action carried out by participants which are contracting authorities within the meaning of Directive 2004/17/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (24), Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (25) and Directive 2009/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (26) may involve or have as their primary aim the pre-commercial procurement and procurement of innovative solutions, where provided for in a work programme or a work plan and required for its implementation. In such cases, the rules set out in Article 51(2), (4) and (5) of this Regulation shall apply to the procurement procedures carried out by the participants.

9.   Participants shall comply with national legislation, regulations and ethical rules in the countries where the action will be carried out. Where appropriate, participants shall seek the approval of the relevant national or local ethics committees prior to the start of the action.

10.   Work using animals shall be carried out in accordance with Article 13 TFEU and shall comply with the requirement to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals for scientific purposes in accordance with Union law and in particular with Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (27).

Article 24

Consortium

1.   The members of any consortium wishing to participate in an action shall appoint one of them to act as coordinator, which shall be identified in the grant agreement. The coordinator shall be the principal point of contact between the members of the consortium in relations with the Commission or the relevant funding body, unless specified otherwise in the grant agreement, or in the event of non-compliance with its obligations under the grant agreement.

2.   The members of a consortium participating in an action shall conclude an internal agreement ("the consortium agreement") establishing their rights and obligations with respect to the implementation of the action in compliance with the grant agreement, except in duly justified cases provided for in the work programme or work plan or call for proposals. The Commission shall publish guidelines on the main issues that may be addressed by participants in the consortium agreement.

3.   The consortium agreement may stipulate inter alia the following:

(a)

the internal organisation of the consortium;

(b)

the distribution of the Union funding;

(c)

rules on dissemination, use and access rights, additional to those in Title III, Chapter I of this Regulation, and to the provisions in the grant agreement;

(d)

arrangements for settling internal disputes;

(e)

liability, indemnification and confidentiality arrangements between the participants.

The members of the consortium may make any arrangements in the consortium they deem fit to the extent that those arrangements are not in conflict with the grant agreement or this Regulation.

4.   The consortium may propose to add or remove a participant or change the coordinator in accordance with the relevant provisions of the grant agreement, provided that the change is in conformity with the conditions for participation, does not adversely affect the implementation of the action and is not contrary to the principle of equal treatment.

Section III

Forms of grants and funding rules

Article 25

Forms of grants

Grants may take any of the forms provided for in Article 123 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, taking into account the objectives of the action.

Article 26

Eligibility of costs

1.   Conditions for eligibility of costs are defined in Article 126 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. Costs incurred by third parties under the action may be eligible according to the provisions of this Regulation and of the grant agreement.

2.   Ineligible costs are those not complying with the conditions of paragraph 1, including, in particular, provisions for possible future losses or charges, exchange losses, costs related to return on capital, costs reimbursed in respect of another Union action or programme, debt and debt service charges and excessive or reckless expenditure.

Article 27

Direct eligible personnel costs

1.   Without prejudice to the conditions laid down in Article 26, direct eligible personnel costs shall be limited to salaries plus social security charges and other costs included in the remuneration of personnel assigned to the action, arising from national law or from the employment contract.

2.   Without prejudice to the conditions laid down in Article 26, additional remuneration to personnel of participants that are non-profit legal entities assigned to the action, including payments on the basis of supplementary contracts regardless of their nature, may also be considered as direct eligible personnel costs, up to the amount set out in paragraph 3, if they fulfil the following additional conditions:

(a)

it is part of the usual remuneration practices of the participant and is paid in a consistent manner whenever the same kind of work or expertise is required;

(b)

the criteria used to calculate the supplementary payments are objective and of general application by the participant, independent of the source of funding used.

3.   Additional remuneration may be eligible up to EUR 8 000 per year and per person. In relation to a person not working exclusively for the action, a limit per hour shall apply. The limit per hour shall be calculated by dividing EUR 8 000 by the number of annual productive hours calculated in accordance with Article 31.

Article 28

Funding of the action

1.   The funding of an action shall not exceed the total eligible costs minus the receipts of the action.

2.   The following shall be considered as receipts of the action:

(a)

resources made available by third parties to the participants by means of financial transfers or contributions in kind free of charge, the value of which has been declared as eligible costs by the participant, provided that they have been contributed by the third party specifically to be used in the action;

(b)

income generated by the action, except income generated by the exploitation of the results of the action;

(c)

income generated from the sale of assets purchased under the grant agreement up to the value of the cost initially charged to the action by the participant.

3.   A single reimbursement rate of the eligible costs shall be applied per action for all activities funded therein. The maximum rate shall be fixed in the work programme or work plan.

4.   The Horizon 2020 grant may reach a maximum of 100 % of the total eligible costs, without prejudice to the co-financing principle.

5.   The Horizon 2020 grant shall be limited to a maximum of 70 % of the total eligible costs for innovation actions and programme co-fund actions.

By way of derogation from paragraph 3, the Horizon 2020 grant may, for innovation actions, reach a maximum of 100 % of the total eligible costs for non-profit legal entities, without prejudice to the co-financing principle.

6.   The reimbursement rates determined in this Article shall also apply in the case of actions where flat rate, unit or lump-sum financing is fixed for the whole or part of the action.

Article 29

Indirect costs

1.   Indirect eligible costs shall be determined by applying a flat rate of 25 % of the total direct eligible costs, excluding direct eligible costs for subcontracting and the costs of resources made available by third parties which are not used on the premises of the beneficiary, as well as financial support to third parties.

2.   By way of derogation from paragraph 1, indirect costs may be declared in the form of a lump sum or unit costs when provided for in the work programme or work plan.

Article 30

Evaluation of the funding levels

The interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 shall include an evaluation of the impact of the various features introduced by the new funding levels laid down in Articles 27, 28 and 29 of this Regulation, with the aim of evaluating whether the new approach has led to undesired situations adversely affecting the attractiveness of Horizon 2020.

Article 31

Annual productive hours

1.   Eligible personnel costs shall cover only the actual hours worked by the persons directly carrying out work under the action. Evidence regarding the actual hours worked shall be provided by the participant, usually through a time recording system.

2.   For persons working exclusively for the action, no time recording is required. In such cases, the participant shall sign a declaration confirming that the person concerned has worked exclusively for the action.

3.   The grant agreement shall contain:

(a)

the minimum requirements for the time recording system;

(b)

the option to choose between a fixed number of annual productive hours and the method for establishing the number of annual productive hours to be used for the calculation of the hourly personnel rates, taking account of the participant's usual accounting practices.

Article 32

Owners of SMEs and natural persons without a salary

The owners of SMEs who do not receive a salary, and other natural persons who do not receive a salary, may charge personnel costs on the basis of a unit cost.

Article 33

Unit costs

1.   In accordance with Article 124 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, the Commission may establish methods to determine unit costs based on:

(a)

statistical data or similar objective means;

(b)

auditable historical data of the participant.

2.   Direct eligible personnel costs may be financed on the basis of unit costs determined according to the participant's usual cost accounting practices, provided that they comply with the following cumulative criteria:

(a)

they are calculated on the basis of the total actual personnel costs recorded in the participant's general accounts which may be adjusted by the participant on the basis of budgeted or estimated elements according to the conditions defined by the Commission;

(b)

they comply with Articles 26 and 27;

(c)

they ensure compliance with the non-profit requirement and the avoidance of double funding of costs;

(d)

they are calculated with due regard to Article 31.

Article 34

Certificate on the financial statements

The certificate on the financial statements shall cover the total amount of the grant claimed by a participant under the form of reimbursement of actual costs and under the form of unit costs referred to in Article 33(2), excluding the amounts declared on the basis of lump sums, flat rates and unit costs other than those determined according to the participant's usual cost accounting practices. The certificate shall be submitted only when that amount is equal to or greater than EUR 325 000 at the time of claiming the payment of the balance of the grant.

Article 35

Certificate on the methodology

1.   Participants that calculate and claim direct personnel costs on the basis of unit costs in accordance with Article 33(2) may submit to the Commission a certificate on the methodology. That methodology shall comply with the conditions set out in Article 33(2) and meet the requirements of the grant agreement.

2.   Where the Commission accepts a certificate on the methodology, it shall be valid for all actions financed under Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 and the participant shall calculate and claim costs on the basis of it. Once the Commission has accepted a certificate on the methodology, it shall not attribute any systemic or recurrent error to the accepted methodology.

Article 36

Certifying auditors

1.   The certificates on the financial statements and on the methodology referred to in Articles 34 and 35 shall be established by an independent auditor qualified to carry out statutory audits of accounting documents in accordance with Directive 2006/43/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (28) or similar national regulations, or by a competent and independent public officer in whom the relevant national authorities have vested the legal capacity to audit the participant and who has not been involved in the preparation of the financial statements.

2.   Upon request by the Commission, the Court of Auditors or the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF), the auditor who delivers the certificate on the financial statements and on the methodology shall grant access to the supporting documents and audit working papers on the basis of which a certificate on the financial statements or on the methodology was issued.

Article 37

Cumulative funding

An action for which a grant from the Union budget has been awarded may also give rise to the award of a grant on the basis of Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013, provided that the grants do not cover the same cost items.

Section IV

Guarantees

Article 38

Participant Guarantee Fund

1.   A participant guarantee fund (the "Fund") is hereby established and shall cover the risk associated with non-recovery of sums due to the Union under actions financed through grants by the Commission under Decision No 1982/2006/EC and by the Commission or Union funding bodies under "Horizon 2020" according to the rules set out in this Regulation. The Fund shall replace and succeed the Participant Guarantee Fund set up under Regulation (EC) No 1906/2006.

2.   The Fund shall be operated in accordance with Article 39. Any financial interest generated by the Fund shall be added to the Fund and shall serve exclusively for the purposes set out in Article 39(3).

3.   Where interest is insufficient to cover the operations described in Article 39(3), the Fund shall not intervene and the Commission or the relevant Union funding body shall recover directly from participants or third parties any amount owed.

4.   The Fund shall be considered a sufficient guarantee under Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. No additional guarantee or security may be accepted from participants or imposed upon them except in the case described in paragraph 3 of this Article.

5.   Participants in actions under Horizon 2020 whose risk is covered by the Fund shall make a contribution of 5 % of the Union funding for the action. At the end of the action the amount contributed to the Fund shall be returned to the participants, via the coordinator.

6.   The rate of the participants' contribution to the Fund set out in paragraph 5 may be reduced on the basis of the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020.

Article 39

Operation of the Fund

1.   The Fund shall be managed by the Union, represented by the Commission acting as executive agent on behalf of the participants, in accordance with the conditions established by the grant agreement.

The Commission may manage the Fund directly or entrust the financial management of the Fund either to the European Investment Bank or to an appropriate financial institution ("the depository bank"). The depository bank shall manage the Fund pursuant to the instructions of the Commission.

2.   The participants' contribution to the Fund may be offset from the initial pre-financing and be paid to the Fund on behalf of the participants.

3.   Where amounts are due to the Union by a participant, the Commission may, without prejudice to penalties which may be imposed on the defaulting participant, take either of the following actions:

(a)

transfer, or order the depository bank to transfer, directly the amount due from the Fund to the coordinator of the action. That transfer shall be made after the termination or withdrawal of the participation of the defaulting participant if the action is still ongoing and if the remaining participants agree to implement it according to the same objectives. Amounts transferred from the Fund shall be regarded as Union funding;

(b)

recover effectively that amount from the Fund.

The Commission shall issue a recovery order against that participant or third party to the benefit of the Fund. The Commission may adopt to that end a recovery decision in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

4.   The amounts recovered shall constitute revenue assigned to the Fund within the meaning of Article 21(4) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. Once the implementation of all grants whose risk is covered by the Fund is complete, any sums outstanding shall be recovered by the Commission and entered into the budget of the Union, subject to decisions of the legislative authority.

CHAPTER III

Experts

Article 40

Appointment of independent experts

1.   The Commission and, where appropriate, funding bodies may appoint independent experts to evaluate proposals in accordance with Article 15 or to advise on or assist with:

(a)

the evaluation of proposals;

(b)

the monitoring of the implementation of actions carried out under Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 as well as of previous Research and/or Innovation Programmes;

(c)

the implementation of Union research and innovation policy or programmes including Horizon 2020, as well as the achievement and functioning of the European Research Area;

(d)

the evaluation of Research and Innovation Programmes;

(e)

the design of the Union research and innovation policy, including the preparation of future programmes.

2.   Independent experts shall be chosen on the basis of their skills, experience and knowledge appropriate to carry out the tasks assigned to them. In cases where independent experts have to deal with classified information, the appropriate security clearance shall be required before appointment.

Independent experts shall be identified and selected on the basis of calls for applications from individuals and calls addressed to relevant organisations such as research agencies, research institutions, universities, standardisation organisations, civil society organisations or enterprises with a view to establishing a database of candidates.

The Commission or the relevant funding body may, if deemed appropriate and in duly justified cases, select in a transparent manner any individual expert with the appropriate skills not included in the database.

When appointing independent experts, the Commission or the relevant funding body shall take appropriate measures to seek a balanced composition within the expert groups and evaluation panels in terms of various skills, experience, knowledge, geographical diversity and gender, and taking into account the situation in the field of the action. Where appropriate, private-public sector balance shall also be sought.

The Commission or the relevant funding body may call upon the advice of advisory bodies for the appointment of independent experts. In the case of ERC frontier research actions, the Commission shall appoint experts on the basis of a proposal from the Scientific Council of the ERC.

3.   The Commission or the relevant funding body shall ensure that an expert faced with a conflict of interest in relation to a matter on which the expert is required to provide an opinion does not evaluate, advise or assist on the specific matter in question.

4.   All exchanges with independent experts, including the conclusion of contracts for their appointment and any amendment thereto, may be done through electronic exchange systems set up by the Commission or by the relevant funding body as stipulated in Article 287(4) of Regulation (EU) No. 1268/2012.

5.   The names of experts appointed in a personal capacity, who have assisted the Commission or the funding bodies in implementation of Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 and Decision 2013/743/EU shall be published, together with their area of expertise, at least once a year on the internet site of the Commission or the relevant funding body. Such information shall be collected, processed and published in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001.

TITLE III

RULES GOVERNING THE EXPLOITATION AND DISSEMINATION OF RESULTS

CHAPTER I

Grants

Section I

Results

Article 41

Ownership of results

1.   Results shall be owned by the participant generating them.

2.   Where participants in an action have jointly generated results, and where their respective contribution to the joint results cannot be ascertained, or where it is not possible to separate such joint results for the purpose of applying for, obtaining or maintaining the relevant intellectual property rights protection, they shall have joint ownership of those results. The joint owners shall establish an agreement regarding the allocation and terms of exercise of that joint ownership in accordance with their obligations under the grant agreement. The joint owners may agree not to continue with joint ownership but decide on an alternative regime, inter alia by transferring their ownership shares to a single owner with access rights for the other participants, once the results have been generated.

Unless otherwise agreed in the joint ownership agreement, each joint owner shall be entitled to grant non-exclusive licences to third parties to exploit the jointly owned results, without any right to sub-license, subject to the following conditions:

(a)

prior notice shall be given to the other joint owners;

(b)

fair and reasonable compensation shall be provided to the other joint owners.

3.   If employees or any party working for a participant are entitled to claim rights to the results generated, the participant concerned shall ensure that it is possible for those rights to be exercised in a manner compatible with its obligations under the grant agreement.

Article 42

Protection of results

1.   Where results are capable of or may reasonably be expected to be capable of commercial or industrial exploitation, the participant owning those results shall examine the possibility of protecting them. The participant shall, if possible, reasonable and justified given the circumstances, adequately protect them for an appropriate period of time and with an appropriate territorial coverage, having due regard to its legitimate interests, and the legitimate interests, particularly the commercial interests, of the other participants in the action.

2.   Where a participant that has received Union funding intends not to protect results generated by it for reasons other than impossibility under Union or national law or the lack of potential for commercial or industrial exploitation, and unless the participant intends to transfer them to another legal entity established in a Member State or associated country in view of their protection, it shall inform the Commission or the relevant funding body before any dissemination relating to those results takes place. The Commission, on behalf of the Union, or the relevant funding body may, with the consent of the participant concerned, assume ownership of those results and take the necessary steps for their adequate protection.

The participant may refuse consent only if it demonstrates that its legitimate interests would suffer significant harm. No dissemination relating to those results may take place until the Commission or the relevant funding body has taken a decision not to assume ownership of the results or has decided that it will assume ownership and has taken the necessary steps to ensure their protection. The Commission or the relevant funding body shall make such decision without undue delay. The grant agreement shall lay down time-limits in this respect.

3.   Where a participant that has received Union funding intends to abandon the protection of results or intends not to seek the extension of such protection for reasons other than the lack of potential for commercial or industrial exploitation within a period that shall not exceed five years following the payment of the balance, it shall inform the Commission or the relevant funding body, which may continue or extend protection by assuming ownership thereof. The participant may refuse consent only if it demonstrates that its legitimate interests would suffer significant harm. The grant agreement shall lay down time-limits in this respect.

Article 43

Exploitation and dissemination of results

1.   Each participant that has received Union funding shall use its best efforts to exploit the results it owns, or to have them exploited by another legal entity, in particular through the transfer and licensing of results in accordance with Article 44.

Any additional exploitation obligations shall be laid down in the grant agreement. In the case of research with the potential to address major societal challenges, additional exploitation obligations may include licensing on non-exclusive terms. Any such additional obligations shall be indicated in the work programme or work plan.

2.   Subject to any restrictions due to the protection of intellectual property, security rules or legitimate interests, each participant shall through appropriate means disseminate the results it owns as soon as possible. The grant agreement may lay down time-limits in this respect.

Any additional dissemination obligations shall be laid down in the grant agreement and indicated in the work programme or work plan.

With regard to the dissemination of results through scientific publications, open access shall apply under the terms and conditions laid down in the grant agreement. Costs relating to open access to scientific publications that result from research funded under Horizon 2020, incurred within the duration of an action, shall be eligible for reimbursement under the conditions of the grant agreement. With due regard to Article 18 of Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013, the grant agreement shall not stipulate conditions regarding open access to publications which would result in additional publishing costs after the completion of an action.

With regard to the dissemination of research data, the grant agreement may, in the context of the open access to and the preservation of research data, lay down terms and conditions under which open access to such results shall be provided, in particular in ERC frontier research and FET (Future and Emerging Technologies) research or in other appropriate areas, and taking into consideration the legitimate interests of the participants and any constraints pertaining to data protection rules, security rules or intellectual property rights. In such cases, the work programme or work plan shall indicate if the dissemination of research data through open access is required.

Prior notice of any dissemination activity shall be given to the other participants. Following notification, a participant may object if it demonstrates that its legitimate interests in relation to its results or background would suffer significant harm by the intended dissemination. In such cases, the dissemination may not take place unless appropriate steps are taken to safeguard those legitimate interests. The grant agreement shall lay down time-limits in this respect.

3.   For the purposes of monitoring and dissemination by the Commission or the relevant funding body, participants shall provide any information on their exploitation and dissemination related activities, and provide any documents necessary in accordance with the conditions laid down in the grant agreement. Subject to the legitimate interests of the participants which have provided the information, such information shall be made publicly available. The grant agreement shall, inter alia, lay down time-limits with respect to such reporting obligations.

4.   All patent applications, standards, publications or any other dissemination, including those in electronic form, relating to results shall, if possible, include a statement, which may include visual means, that the action received financial support from the Union. The terms of that statement shall be established in the grant agreement.

Article 44

Transfer and licensing of results

1.   Where a participant transfers ownership of results, it shall pass on its obligations under the grant agreement regarding those results to the transferee, including the obligation to pass them on in any subsequent transfer.

Without prejudice to confidentiality obligations arising from laws or regulations in the case of mergers and acquisitions, where other participants still enjoy access rights or may still request the granting of access rights to the results to be transferred, a participant which intends to transfer the results shall give prior notice to the other participants, together with sufficient information concerning the intended new owner of the results, to permit the other participants to analyse the effect of the intended transfer on the possible exercise of their access rights.

Following notification, a participant may object to the transfer of ownership if it demonstrates that the intended transfer would adversely affect the exercise of its access rights. In such a case, the transfer may not take place until agreement has been reached between the participants concerned. The grant agreement shall lay down time-limits in this respect.

The other participants may by prior written agreement waive their right to prior notice and to object to transfers of ownership from one participant to a specifically identified third party.

2.   Provided that access rights to the results can be exercised, and that any additional exploitation obligations are complied with by the participant which owns the results, the latter may grant licences or otherwise grant the right to exploit them to any legal entity, including on an exclusive basis. Exclusive licences for results may be granted subject to consent by all the other participants concerned that they will waive their access rights thereto.

3.   With regard to results which are generated by participants that have received Union funding, the grant agreement may provide that the Commission or the relevant funding body may object to transfers of ownership or to grants of an exclusive licence to third parties established in a third country not associated with Horizon 2020, if it considers that the grant or transfer is not in accordance with the interests of developing the competitiveness of the Union economy, or is inconsistent with ethical principles or security considerations.

In such cases, the transfer of ownership or grant of exclusive licence shall not take place unless the Commission or the relevant funding body is satisfied that appropriate safeguards will be put in place.

Where appropriate, the grant agreement shall provide that the Commission or the relevant funding body is to be notified in advance of any such transfer of ownership or grant of an exclusive licence. The grant agreement shall lay down time-limits in this respect.

Section II

Access rights to background and results

Article 45

Background

Participants shall identify the background for their action in any manner in a written agreement.

Article 46

Access rights principles

1.   Any request to exercise access rights or any waiving of access rights shall be made in writing.

2.   Unless otherwise agreed by the owner of the results or background to which access is requested, access rights shall not include the right to sub-license.

3.   Participants in the same action shall inform each other before their accession to the grant agreement of any legal restriction or limit to granting access to their background. Any agreement concluded thereafter by a participant regarding background shall ensure that any access rights may be exercised.

4.   The termination of the participation in an action shall not affect the obligation of such a participant to grant access under the terms and conditions established in the grant agreement.

5.   The consortium agreement may stipulate that where a participant defaults on its obligations and such default is not remedied, such a defaulting participant shall no longer enjoy access rights.

Article 47

Access rights for implementation

1.   A participant shall enjoy access rights to the results of another participant in the same action if those results are needed by the former to carry out its work under the action.

Such access shall be granted on a royalty-free basis.

2.   A participant shall enjoy access rights to background of another participant in the same action if this background is needed by the former to carry out its work under the action, and subject to any restrictions or limits pursuant to Article 46(3).

Such access shall be granted on a royalty-free basis, unless otherwise agreed by the participants before their accession to the grant agreement.

Article 48

Access rights for exploitation

1.   A participant shall enjoy access rights to the results of another participant in the same action if those results are needed by the former to exploit its own results.

Subject to agreement, such access shall be granted under fair and reasonable conditions.

2.   A participant shall enjoy access rights to background of another participant in the same action if this background is needed by the former to exploit its own results, and subject to any restrictions or limits pursuant to Article 46(3).

Subject to agreement, such access shall be granted under fair and reasonable conditions.

3.   An affiliated entity established in a Member State or associated country shall, unless otherwise provided for in the consortium agreement, also have access rights to results and, subject to any restrictions or limits pursuant to Article 46(3), to background under fair and reasonable conditions if those results and background are needed to exploit the results generated by the participant to which it is affiliated. Such access rights shall be requested and obtained directly from the participant owning the results or background unless otherwise agreed in accordance with Article 46(2).

4.   A request for access under paragraphs 1, 2 or 3 may be made up to one year after the end of the action, unless the participants agree on a different time-limit.

Article 49

Access rights for the Union and the Member States

1.   The Union institutions, bodies, offices or agencies shall, for the duly justified purpose of developing, implementing and monitoring Union policies or programmes, enjoy access rights solely to the results of a participant that has received Union funding. Such access rights are limited to non-commercial and non-competitive use.

Such access shall be granted on a royalty-free basis.

2.   Regarding actions under the specific objective 'Secure societies - Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens' set out in Part III of Annex I to Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013, Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, as well as Member States' national authorities, shall, for the purpose of developing, implementing and monitoring their policies or programmes in this area, enjoy the necessary access rights to the results of a participant that has received Union funding. Such access rights shall be limited to non-commercial and non-competitive use. Such access rights shall be granted on a royalty-free basis and upon bilateral agreement defining specific conditions aimed at ensuring that those rights will be used only for the intended purpose and that appropriate confidentiality obligations will be in place. Such access rights shall not extend to the participant's background. The requesting Member State, Union institution, body, office or agency shall notify all Member States of such requests. The Commission rules on security shall apply regarding classified information.

TITLE IV

SPECIFIC PROVISIONS

Article 50

Prizes

1.   Union funding may take the form of prizes as defined in Title VII of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012.

2.   Any prize awarded shall be conditional upon the acceptance of the appropriate publicity obligations. Regarding the dissemination of results, Title III of this Regulation shall apply. The work programme or work plan may contain specific obligations regarding exploitation and dissemination.

Article 51

Procurement, pre-commercial procurement and public procurement of innovative solutions

1.   Any procurement carried out by the Commission on its own behalf or jointly with Member States shall be subject to the rules on public procurement set out in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012.

2.   Union funding may take the form of pre-commercial procurement or the procurement of innovative solutions carried out by the Commission or the relevant funding body on its own behalf or jointly with contracting authorities from Member States and associated countries.

The procurement procedures:

(a)

shall comply with the principles of transparency, non-discrimination, equal treatment, sound financial management, proportionality, with competition rules and, where applicable, with Directives 2004/17/EC, 2004/18/EC and 2009/81/EC, or, where the Commission acts on its own behalf, with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012;

(b)

may provide for specific conditions such as the place of performance of the procured activities being limited for pre-commercial procurement, to the territory of the Member States and of countries associated to Horizon 2020 where duly justified by the objectives of the actions;

(c)

may authorise the award of multiple contracts within the same procedure (multiple sourcing);

(d)

shall provide for the award of the contracts to the tender(s) offering best value for money.

3.   Unless otherwise stipulated in the call for tenders, results generated by procurement carried out by the Commission shall be owned by the Union.

4.   Specific provisions regarding ownership, access rights and licensing shall be laid down in the contracts regarding pre-commercial procurement to ensure maximum uptake of the results and to avoid any unfair advantage. The contractor generating results in pre-commercial procurement shall own at least the attached intellectual property rights. The contracting authorities shall enjoy at least royalty-free access rights to the results for their own use and the right to grant, or require the participating contractors to grant, non-exclusive licences to third parties to exploit the results under fair and reasonable conditions without any right to sub-license. If a contractor fails to commercially exploit the results within a given period after the pre-commercial procurement as identified in the contract, it shall transfer any ownership of the results to the contracting authorities.

5.   Specific provisions regarding ownership, access rights and licensing may be laid down in the contracts regarding public procurement of innovative solutions to ensure maximum uptake of the results and to avoid any unfair advantage.

Article 52

Financial Instruments

1.   Financial instruments may take any of the forms referred to in, and shall be implemented in accordance with, Title VIII of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and may be combined with each other and with grants funded under the Union budget, including under Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013.

2.   By way of derogation from the second subparagraph of Article 140(6) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, both revenues and annual repayments generated by a financial instrument established under Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 shall be assigned, in accordance with Article 21(4) of Regulation No 966/2012, to that financial instrument.

3.   By way of derogation from the second subparagraph of Article 140(6) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, both revenues and annual repayments generated by the Risk Sharing Finance facility set up under Decision No 1982/2006/EC and the early stage part of the High-Growth and Innovative SME Facility (GIF1) set up under Decision No 1639/2006/EC, shall be assigned, in accordance with Article 21(4) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, to the succeeding financial instruments under Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013.

Article 53

SME Instrument

1.   Only SMEs may apply for calls for proposals issued under the dedicated SME instrument referred to in Article 22 of Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013. They may cooperate with other companies, and with research organisations or universities.

2.   Once a company has been validated as an SME, that legal status shall be assumed to prevail for the entire duration of the project, even in cases where the company, due to its growth, later exceeds the ceilings of the SME definition.

3.   In the case of the SME instrument or grants by funding bodies or by the Commission targeting SMEs, the grant agreement may lay down specific provisions, in particular on ownership, access rights, exploitation and dissemination.

Article 54

Fast Track to Innovation

1.   In accordance with Article 7, any legal entity may participate in a Fast Track to Innovation ("FTI") action. Actions funded under FTI shall be innovation actions. The FTI call shall be open to proposals relating to any technology field under the specific objective "Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies" set out in point 1 of Part II of Annex I to Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 or to any of the specific objectives under the priority "Societal challenges" set out in points 1 to 7 of Part III of Annex I to that Regulation.

2.   Proposals may be submitted at any time. The Commission shall set three cut-off dates per year to evaluate proposals. The period between a cut-off date and signature of the grant agreement or notification of the grant decision shall not exceed six months. Proposals shall be ranked according to the impact, quality and efficiency of implementation and excellence, with the criterion of impact given a higher weighting. No more than five legal entities shall participate in any one action. The amount of the grant shall not exceed EUR 3 million.

Article 55

Other specific provisions

1.   In the case of actions involving security-related activities, the grant agreement may lay down specific provisions, in particular on pre-commercial public procurement, procurement of innovative solutions, changes to the consortium's composition, classified information, exploitation, dissemination, open access to research publications, transfers and licences of results.

2.   In the case of actions to support existing or new research infrastructures, the grant agreement may lay down specific provisions relating to users of the infrastructure and to the users' access to them.

3.   In the case of ERC frontier research actions, the grant agreement may lay down specific provisions, in particular on access rights, portability and dissemination, or relating to participants, researchers and any party concerned by the action.

4.   In the case of training and mobility actions, the grant agreement may lay down specific provisions on commitments relating to the researchers benefiting from the action, ownership, access rights and portability.

5.   In the case of coordination and support actions, the grant agreement may lay down specific provisions, in particular on ownership, access rights, exploitation and dissemination of results.

6.   In the case of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities of the EIT, the grant agreement may lay down specific provisions, in particular on ownership, access rights, exploitation and dissemination.

TITLE V

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 56

Exercise of the delegation

1.   The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2.   The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 1(3) shall be conferred on the Commission for the duration of Horizon 2020.

3.   The delegation of power referred to in Article 1(3) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

4.   As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

5.   A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 1(3) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or by the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

Article 57

Repeal and transitional provisions

1.   Regulation (EC) No 1906/2006 is repealed with effect from 1 January 2014.

2.   Without prejudice to paragraph 1, this Regulation shall not affect the continuation or modification, including the total or partial termination, of the actions concerned, until their closure, or until the award of financial assistance by the Commission or funding bodies under Decision No 1982/2006/EC or any other legislation applying to that assistance on 31 December 2013, which shall continue to apply to the actions concerned until their closure.

3.   Any sums from the participant Guarantee Fund set up by Regulation (EC) No 1906/2006 as well as all its rights and obligations shall be transferred to the Fund as of 31 December 2013. The participants in actions under Decision No 1982/2006/EC signing grant agreements after 31 December 2013 shall make their contribution to the Fund.

Article 58

This Regulation shall enter into force on the third day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Strasbourg, 11 December 2013.

For the European Parliament

The President

M. SCHULZ

For the Council

The President

V. LEŠKEVIČIUS


(1)  OJ C 318, 20.10.2012, p. 1.

(2)  OJ C 181, 21.6.2012, p. 111.

(3)  Position of the European Parliament of 21 November 2013 (not yet published in the Official Journal)

(4)  Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 – The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014 to 2020) and repealing Decision 1982/2006/EC (See page 104 of this Official Journal).

(5)  OJ C 74E, 13.3.2012, p. 34.

(6)  Decision No 1982/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013) (OJ L 412, 30.12.2006, p. 1).

(7)  Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

(8)  Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 of 29.10.2012 on the rules of application of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (OJ L 362, 31.12.2012, p. 1).

(9)  Decision No 1639/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 establishing a Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007 to 2013) (OJ L 310, 9.11.2006, p. 15).

(10)  Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2008 establishing the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (OJ L 97, 9.4.2008, p. 1).

(11)  OJ C 205, 19.7.2013, p. 9.

(12)  2001/844/EC,ECSC,Euratom: Commission Decision of 29 November 2001 amending its internal Rules of Procedure (OJ L 317, 3.12.2001).

(13)  Council Decision 2001/822/EC of 27 November 2001 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Community ('Overseas Association Decision') (OJ L 314, 30.11.2001, p. 1).

(14)  2000/633/EC, ECSC, Euratom: Commission Decision of 17 October 2000 amending its Rules of Procedure (OJ L 267, 20.10.2000, p. 63).

(15)  Regulation No 1906/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 laying down the rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities in actions under the Seventh Framework Programme and for the dissemination of research results (2007-2013) (OJ L 391, 30.12.2006, p. 1).

(16)  Council Decision 2006/970/Euratom of 18 December 2006 concerning the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research and training activities (2007 to 2011) (OJ L 400, 30.12.2006, p. 60).

(17)  2012/93/Euratom: Council Decision of 19 December 2011 concerning the Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community for nuclear research and training activities (2012 to 2013) (OJ L 47, 18.2.2012, p. 25).

(18)  Regulation (Euratom) No 1314/2013 of the Council on the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (2014-2018) complementing Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (See page 948 of this Official Journal).

(19)  Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1).

(20)  Regulation (EU) No 1287/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME) (2014 - 2020) and repealing Decision No 1639/2006/EC (See page 33 of this Official Journal).

(21)  Decision No 743/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 on the Community's participation in a research and development programme undertaken by several Member States aimed at supporting research and development performing small and medium-sized enterprises (OJ L 201, 30.7.2008, p. 58).

(22)  Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (OJ L 124, 20.5.2003, p. 36).

(23)  Council Decision 2013/743/EU of 11 December 2013 establishing the Specific Programme Implementing Horizon 2020 - The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014 - 2020) (See page 965 of this Official Journal).