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Health and Consumer Protection

Library - Call for tenders

Call for projects to promote and protect consumer interests in 1999

This is a call for the submission of projects capable of enhancing the level of consumer protection. The submission, examination and selection of these projects will be governed by the conditions set out below.

Nearly 400 projects were sent to the Commission under previous calls on the same subject. The number of projects selected for 1998 fell from 100 to 60 whilst the overall budget involved was markedly down and stood at just over ECU 7 million. This trend reflects both the overall context of budgetary restraint, but also substantial differences observed in the quality of projects and interest in the themes handled. The Commission is hoping that the new call will open up more incisive and more effective action.

This call falls within the general framework of Community activities in favour of consumers (COM (97) 684 final). The funding for the activities envisaged by this call for projects will depend on the approval of this overall framework.

1. Themes addressed

For the purposes of the policy on the protection of consumers and their health, the projects submitted will be eligible only if they address the following theme:

Training

The aim is to disseminate to specialised trainers (e.g. consumer organisations) the expertise built up on consumer protection. The subjects to be proposed must obviously have a bearing on the priority areas of Community policy on consumers as described in document COM (97) 684.

Top priority will go to the following subjects:

- Food safety

- Product safety (non-food)

- Financial services

- Implementation of (Community) rights for consumers

- New marketing techniques (electronic trading)

- Comparative tests

- Standardisation of products and services

- Information society.

2. Relevance for the Community

The main objective pursued by the Community is to group together initiatives taken for consumers, particularly by representative consumer organisations. Ideally, people and organisations working on behalf of consumers should be able to work jointly on projects designed to bring advantages to consumers as a whole.

Priority will be given to projects submitted by groups of consumer organisations established in several Member States having a common interest.

3. Role of European consumer organisations

European organisations have an essential role to play in protecting consumer interests at the Community level as they are the Community's principal talking partners for the purposes of assessing and implementing consumer policy.

Financial support may thus be granted to European consumer organisations which:

- are non-governmental, non profit-making organisations whose main objectives are to promote and protect the interests and health of consumers and

- have been mandated to represent the interests of consumers at European level by organisations that are representative of the consumers of at least half the Member States of the Community and are active at national or regional level.

Such organisations can thus submit annual action programmes which are eligible for specific funding covering administrative expenditure set out within the strict framework of all or part of the action programmes submitted, provided this action relates exclusively to Community consumer policy.

4. Project selection criteria

Eligible proposals will be assessed on the basis of the following selection criteria:

- a satisfactory level of cost-effectiveness;

- an added value ensuring a high and uniform level of representation of consumers' interests;

- a lasting multiplier effect at European level;

- effective and balanced cooperation between the different parties for planning and carrying out activities and for financial participation;

- the development of lasting transnational cooperation, especially by the exchange of experience to raise the awareness of consumers and economic players and by joint utilisation of their results;

- the widest possible dissemination of the results of the activities and projects supported;

- the ability to analyse the situations to be covered, the means earmarked for evaluating the activities and projects and their suitability for best practice.

5. Conditions for the granting of funding

- Any natural or legal person or association of natural persons who/which is actually responsible for project implementation is eligible for Community funding.

- Actions in progress or completed, projects for research or studies, are not eligible.

- Community funding will be exclusively in the form of a financial contribution, the amount of which will be determined as a percentage of the estimated expenditure which the beneficiary intends to actually use for the implementation of the project; this amount may not exceed 50%.

- The beneficiary will give a commitment to ensure cofunding of the project selected and will keep specific detailed accounts for the project in question.

- Upon completion of the project, the beneficiary must submit a statement of expenditure and revenue arising from the project and the final amount of the Community contribution will be calculated applying the percentage established, bearing in mind actual expenditure and any other revenue used directly for project implementation.

- The implementation of the project must commence in 1999 and be completed by 1 November 2000. The detailed timetable of work must be attached to the application.

6. Submission and preparation of applications

- The application must be submitted in one of the official languages of the European Union.

- Tenderers intending to submit several projects must complete a separate application for each.

- The application must be accompanied by a sheet setting out the administrative, technical and budgetary details needed to assess the project.

- The standard application form is attached to this notice

- Failure to include the requisite information may lead to the application being rejected.

- Applications must be submitted by 30 November 1998 to the following address:

European Commission
Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General
B 232
rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 200
B - 1049 Bruxelles / Brussel

- All the documents needed for each application must be sent in triplicate to the above address.

- Each proposal must be sent by post, the date considered to be the date of submission being that postmarked.

7. Subsequent phases

The granting of funding is subordinated to the budgetary authority's decision to earmark appropriations for this purpose.

After examination and selection and applications, tenderers will be individually informed of the outcome of their application.

The Commission will publish the list of beneficiaries and the projects funded under this call, indicating the amount of financial support provided by the Community.

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