Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19

4th Call, applying and COVID-19

Measures to ease the process regarding applying for funding (e.g signatures for application, annexes etc.) is currently being addressed. Kolarctic CBC will post additional information regarding the 4th Call during week 13 (23.-27 March) on kolarctic.info website and Kolarctic CBC social media accounts.

Delivery of signed documents (Interim report, Addendums, etc)

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the original signed Annexes of the Financial report (Annex 1 and Annex 7) shall be submitted latest with the next Interim report (payment for next Interim report will not be paid before receiving of the originals). Same rule applies for the singed Interim report (print from PROMAS) and Payment request. Although all scan copies of the signed documents have to be submitted to the Managing Authority in order to approve the Interim report.

If you are having difficulties getting signatures to the documents to be provided to the Managing Authority, please be in contact with your project contact person, or the person checking your report in the Managing Authority. Instructions will be given on a case by case basis.

In cases where you need to contact the Managing Authority, the partners first contact the Lead partner, after which the Lead partner contacts the Managing Authority.

Project gatherings/meetings

Regarding meetings/events/gatherings related to project implementation during COVID-19:

          • Please follow the instructions given by your organization/government.
          • Communicate closely with project partners as the instructions and restrictions differ from country to country. 
          • For the time being, the MA asks the project partners to consider using online channels, tools, working methods and ways to carry out project meetings, workshops, studies and other activities.

Eligibilty of costs related to cancelled events/meetings

COVID-19 has had effects on planned project meetings and events. The planned and cancelled events are eligible in a case, when recovery from the event/meeting service provider is not possible. When reporting the costs related the the cancelled events, there should be documentation attached, which specifies that the event/meeting costs could not be reimbursed as a whole/partially by the service provider.

Due to cancellations, we will stay behind with some indicators, how should we handle this?

Please be in touch with your contact person in the Managing Authority/Norwegian branch office.

Project implementation - extending the implementation period?

Implementation

Please check your project plan, implementation schedule, outputs and objectives. When possible, please carry on implementing your project plan, taking into account the restrictions in place.

Difficulties following the set schedule

It is difficult to predict how the situation will unfold, but please make an indicative plan about what can be carried out  according to the project plan, what activities  can be implemented according to the schedule but have to be modified, and what has to be postponed or even cancelled. 

Will you be able to reach the set objectives, and what measures have to be taken? Please be in touch with your project’s contact person in the Managing Authority about your situation.   

Requesting extension for the project implementation

When necessary for successful implementation of the project plan and realization of outputs, the projects can apply for prolonged implementation time. The extension should be applied not earlier than one year and not later than six months before the end of the original implementation time. 

For the time being, the extension can only be applied until 31.12.2022. The extension should be requested only in cases where delays cannot be handled otherwise. Concerning extensions please be in touch with your contact persons in the Managing Authority and Branch office.

 

 

ABOUT KOLARCTIC CBC

What is CBC?

CBC means “Cross-Border Cooperation”. Cross-border cooperation is part of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) supporting progress towards “an area of shared prosperity and good neigbourliness” between EU Member States and their neighbours.

What is Kolarctic CBC Programme?

The Kolarctic CBC Programme continues and strengthens cross-border cooperation between the countries in the North Calotte and Northwest Russia.

Funding will be granted to joint cross-border cooperation projects operating in line with the strategy and priorities jointly agreed by Finnish, Norwegian, Russian and Swedish partners.

Common focus of any action carried out with the support of the Kolarctic CBC Programme is on internationalization and cross-border cooperation.

When is it possible to apply for financing?

The Programme has organised three calls for proposals during 2017-2018. 

The Joint Monitoring Committee of Kolarctic CBC programme has decided to open 4th Call for Proposals for micro-projects. The JMC decided the basics of the Call in its meeting on 26. November in Luleå. Financing will be provided for micro-projects placing under Thematic Objective 1 and Thematic Objective 6 of the programme. Maximum duration of the projects is 12 months, and the total costs is max 50 000 euros per project, or in the case where a Norwegian partner is involved, 100 000 euros. Because the projects will be small, and shorter than the standard projects approved so far, the application process is simplified. The Call for Proposals will launched at the beginning of February 2020, and it will be open for two months. The exact dates will be confirmed in January.

APPLYING FOR FUNDING

What kind of purposes can the Programme funding be used?

The programme can finance projects that contribute to the two Priority Axes of the Programme:

1. Viability of arctic economy, nature and environment;

2. Fluent mobility of people, goods and knowledge.

Under those Priority Axes the Programme is divided in four Thematic Objectives:

  • Business and SME development,
  • Environmental protection, climate change adaptation and mitigation;
  • Improvement of accessibility to the regions, development of sustainable and climate-proof transport and communication networks and systems;
  • Promotion of border management and border security, mobility and migration management

More information about the themes of the Programme is available in the Joint Operational Programme Kolarctic CBC 2014-2020, that we also call, in short, the JOP.

During 4th Call for Micro Proposals Thematic objective 1 (Business and SME development) and Thematic Objective  6 (Environmental protection, climate change adaptation and mitigation) are open for proposals.

What is the maximum duration of a Kolarctic CBC project?

The maximum duration of Kolarctic CBC project under the 4th Call for Proposals is 12 months. 

When can a project begin implementing its activities?

The projects can start when the Grant Contract between the Managing Authority and the Lead Partner has been signed. 

Can we have a partner from outside of the Programme area?

Partners from outside of the defined Programme area can participate in projects as equal partners in such cases, when the project activities implemented by the partner in question support Barents cooperation or Euro-Arctic development.

(See Joint Operational Programme, chapter 2.5. Geographical eligibility requirements.)

Is it beneficial for the project to have partners from all 4 participating countries?

Yes, but remember also that the number of participating countries is only one of the selection criteria: the project’s other qualities, as well as relevance, and capacity of the partners, are equally important.

Can a private company be a Lead partner?

Yes. NOTE, that to a Russian private organization, the pre-payments from the Kolarctic CBC Programme may be very limited.

In the 2014-2020 Programme, do you only accept as partners those with own budget- or is it also possible to add associate partners without own budget?

Formally yes, we DO accept partners with no own budget. If the partner does not have a permission to receive funding outside its budget (mainly Russian state/regional/municipal organizations), it can be approved. Other reason might be, that there is one actor in the project with only a small role with low costs, a reasonable solution could be that this actors / partners costs are included in the budget of some other partner from the same country; who then pays the costs incurred by the project to this “smaller partner”.

Remember that partnership is no justification for avoiding a tendering procedure, when the project is purchasing some services.

How detailed should be the made the Annex A: Budget specification? Can we add more cost lines to the template?

In the template is listed only main lines which usually should be budgeted by the projects. You can add more costs lines depending on the activities of your project. Don’t divide the activities too detailed. Make sure that budget is not too long. You will report the costs of the project using the budget you made.

What is own contribution in the project? If it is the salaries of the personnel in the organization, does it matter from what sources it comes?

Own contributions

Own contribution is a co-financing from the Lead partner and Partners of the project. It can be any eligible cost of the project.

Own contribution has to be at least 10% of the total Net eligible costs on the project level. It does not matter from what source the Partners receive the money. Usually, this financing provided by the Lead partners’ and Partners’ host organization. But it can also come from other public or private sources. In practice each partner of the project covers 10% of own costs.

The amount and share of the own contribution per each partner is stated in the Annex E: Partnership Statement. Final amount of the own contribution is calculated from the total approved costs of the project using the mentioned in the statement percentage.

Reporting own contributions

You don’t need to specify what particular costs in the Project budget will be covered by own contribution. The own contribution should be specified only in the Financing plan and Annex E: Partnership Statement.

The project costs financed from Own contribution will be reported together with other project costs. They will not be separated from other costs in the reports. Auditor verifies the costs paid from Own contribution together with other project costs.

In practice, Managing Authority will calculate the share of own contribution from total approved eligible costs of the project. And this amount will be deducted from the payments.

There is no formula in the excel document for calculating the total salary. Could you clarify how to calculate it?

In the Template:

Monthly salary – is the total monthly salary in the host organization
Project work % – is the % of working hours which will be spend for the project.
Months –  is the amount of the actual months during which the employee will work under the project.

Example:

Employee’s monthly salary in organization is 2 000€. The employee will be involved with the project 50% (so monthly salary in the  project 2 000€ X 50% = 1 000€). The employee will be working during 12 months.

Calculation:
Monthly salary: 2 000€
Project work %: 50%
Months: 12
Total cost: 2 000 € X 50% X 12 = 12 000 €

Are the annual holiday payments, holiday bonus, holiday compensation and sick/parental leave eligible costs? How to indicate it in the budget?

Yes, they are eligible when they based on the national legislation. Other compensations like holiday bonuses may be considered as eligible only if they are based on the national legislation and they are provided with equal conditions to all employees.

salary costs during sick leave, maternity and paternity leave are eligible if paid according to the national legislation. Eligible cost is the part which is not covered with the reimbursement or any compensation from other sources like national social security system, taxation system or obligatory/voluntary insurance. For the part-time employees, the share which can be allocated to the project is the average of the working hours calculated from the previous six (6) months.

Occupational health care services can be considered eligible when based on the national legislation. For part-time employees these are allocated with same principles as sick leave. Budget line is external services (sub-budget line: other).

In the Annex A. “Budget specification” in the subheading 1. Personnel, you can add extra line “Annual holiday payments” and indicate total sum of the holiday compensations for all employees. Or it can be added straight to the monthly salary.

Do we need to send the original documents of the Annexes for Application to Managing Authority or are the scanned versions uploaded in PROMAS enough?

The application form that you have filled in and submitted in PROMAS, you must then print out, sign and send to the Managing Authority by the closing of the Call for proposals.  Do not attach any annexes in the envelope, except the original signed annexes D and E, if they are available to you on the date of the deadline. The original signed annexes D and E must though be sent to the Managing Authority as soon as they are available.

Does the Lead Partner have to collect originals of Annex E Partnership Statement from all Partners and send all Partnership Statements and Co-Financing Forms in one envelope to Managing Authority?

YES. But it often happens that the letter from the Partner to the Lead Partner with the Partnership statement does not arrive by the closing of the Call for proposals. This is why the Managing Authority recommends that the Partners fill in the Partnership statement, then scans it, and sends the file with the scanned Partnership statement to the Lead Partner. Then the Lead Partner attaches this file with the scanned Partnership statement to the application in PROMAS, before submitting. The originals must nevertheless be sent to the Managing Authority when possible.

Do we need to attach Certificate of registration for all partners in the application? Do they need to be translated to English?

Yes, you must attach a certificate of registration of all partners in the application.

They don’t need to be translated to English.

PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION AND REPORTING

How often do we have to report?

Project partners are requested to send the Interim report (narrative and financial report) to the Managing Authority (MA) at least once a year. All project partners should contribute to the common report, but it is responsibility of the Lead Partner to compile the reports and submit them to the MA.

We would like to make budget modification, how shall we proceed with it?

The budget of the project can be changed, if the changes are necessary for project implementation, reasonable, and justified.

The maximum grant referred to in the Grant Contract may not be increased in any case. The Lead Partner shall get in touch with the Contact person of the project in the Managing Authority about possible budget modifications.

The budget modification can be a question of either:

1) changes within the same budget line;

2) changes between the budget lines max 15%; or

3)  changes between the budget lines exceeding 15%.

 

To understand what is the right option for you, check the Project Implementation Manual for Kolarctic ongoing projects, chapter 11.2. Modification of the budget.

Project Implementation Manual is available at: https://kolarctic.info/materials-info/ under Material for projects.

Can the Managing Authority provide prior approval if the chosen procurement method fulfills the national rules and programme´s requirements and the purchase is eligible?

Partners´auditor will check the tendering documents when they verify the expenditure and give the opinion of eligibility. MA will not provide prior approval of the chosen method or expenditure. MA has adviced partners to contact their auditor. 

When is the deadline for Lead Partner to submit Interim report/ Final report?

Lead Partner must submit Interim Reports to the Managing Authority no later than 3 months after the end of the reporting period.

Interim Report for the last reporting period must be submitted together with the Final Report no later than 4 months after the end of the project implementation.

Can reporting period be different for partners?

No, reporting period of the Interim Report has to be the same for every partner.

Where can we download templates for financial part of Interim report?

Templates for financial part of Interim report is available here https://kolarctic.info/materials-info/ under Material for projects.

The Managing Authority updates templates from time to time. Make sure that you downloaded the latest version, marked with the latest date.

During current reporting period, costs of our partners are too small. Can we include costs of those partners in the next Interim report?

Reporting the costs of partners in a different reporting period is decided by the Managing Authority on a case by case basis.

Lead Partner shall always ask for permission to merge reporting periods from the project’s Contact Person in the Managing Authority. Lead Partner shall provide the Contact person with name of Partner(s) who wants to merge reports, amounts of realised expenditure and activities. The costs of Partner shall be small and activities are not significant.

How much % of the total expenditure shall auditor verify?

The auditor verifies at least 65% of the total reported costs and at least 10% of each direct budget line.

Indirect costs are verified only against the % approved in the budget, recorded cost items (incurred costs) are not checked separately.

Lead Partner submitted Interim report in PROMAS. When and how shall we submit Payment request? What amount shall we indicate in Payment request?

Lead Partner shall submit Payment request in PROMAS, print, sign and send the original signed Payment request to the Managing Authority.

– Lead Partner can calculate amount by himself and send the Payment request together with the Interim report to the Managing Authority. In the Payment request, the Lead Partner can request max 90% of Swedish+Russian+Finnish reported costs of the Interim report in question, while 10% of the costs stays as own contribution to the project. The MA will make the recalculation and pay against the approved costs of the Interim report. So the paid amount can be a bit smaller to the  amount requested. The MA cannot pay more than amount requested in the Payment request, in this case the MA will ask the Lead Partner to submit new Payment request.

– Also, the Lead Partner can ask the Managing Authority for the exact amount of payment after the Interim report has been approved, and send the Payment request then.

 

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