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PARTICIPANT PORTAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

1. SUBJECT MATTER AND SCOPE

1.1. The Participant Portal electronic exchange system (EES) is an electronic portal managed by the European Commission and used by itself and several other EU services (together 'EU') for the management of their funding programmes and procurements.

1.2. It is open to:

  • users applying for or managing EU grants, procurement and prizes
  • external experts hired in the context of EU funding programmes

and allows them to:

  • register (in the Participant Register or Expert Data Base) and view and edit their data;
  • create, revise and submit proposals for funding and tenders;
  • prepare and sign grants and contracts;
  • manage their projects and contracts (e;g. submit deliverables, reports and payment requests);
  • for experts: perform their tasks inside the system (evaluation, monitoring, etc).

1.3. These Terms and Conditions govern the relation between:

  • the European Commission (as owner of the Portal)

and

  • users

in relation to access and use of the EES.

For the avoidance of doubt, it doesnot cover the terms and conditions related to the grants, procurements, prizes or expert contracts that are are managed via the Portal.

1.4. Requesting access to the EES, accessing the EES or using the EES signifies unconditional acceptance of these Terms and Conditions (in the then-current version).

Users will be requested to agree explicitly to the Terms and Conditions on their first login to the Portal.

For users acting on behalf of organisations, the legal representatives of the organisations will also be asked to explicitely agree at the moment they appoint their LEAR (through the 'declaration of consent'; see below).

Organisations must provide their LEAR, LSIGNs and FSIGNs with a copy of these Terms and Conditions.

Users are responsible for regularly verifying the entire agreement between the European Commission and users, as regards the conditions for access and use of the EES.

2. ACCESS TO THE ELECTRONIC EXCHANGE SYSTEM

2.1. Users

2.1.1. Access to the EES is open to all persons with an EU Login account.

2.1.2. Access rights to certain information and functions in the EES are restricted to users with specific roles (which are in turn linked to their functions within their organisation or in relation to a particular proposal/project or expert contract).

2.1.3. Organisations can access the EES only via individual users employed by or representing them.

2.2. Means of access - EU Login user account

2.2.1. Users must obtain an EU Login account in accordance with the applicable procedures.

Users who already have an EU Login account must use that account.

2.2.2. Users guarantee that the information provided for registration for the account is accurate and complete.

The European Commission has - at any time - the right to verify the accuracy and validity of the information.

If this reveals any inaccuracy or invalidity, the European Commission has the right to close the EU Login account and suspend or refuse access.

2.2.3. The means of access (i.e. the username and password) are strictly personal and users are responsible for safeguarding their confidentiality and security, and ensuring their appropriate use.

Users undertake to take all steps to prevent any unauthorised third party from gaining knowledge and making use thereof.

Users may not transfer or sell their means of access to third parties.

Users must notify the European Commission immediately (via the IT helpdesk; see Support menu) of the loss, theft, breach of confidentiality or any risk of misuse of the means of access.

If the European Commission has any reason to suspect that the confidentiality or security of the means of access has been breached or that the EES is being misused, it may - without prior notice - suspend or refuse access.

2.3. Access rights and roles

2.3.1. For procurements, prizes and grants: the EES has different roles (both at organisational level and at the level of each grant, procurement or prize).

Organisational roles

Role

Who is this?

Duties and system rights

Comments

Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR)

The person appointed by an organisation to manage its data in the EES.

Must keep organisation data up to date.

Attributes and revokes the following roles:

- LSIGNs for the organisation;

- FSIGNs for the organisation;

- AcAds.

The LEAR does not assign the PLSIGNs to a particular grant/procurement.

(This is done by the Coordinator Contacts (CoCos) or Participant Contact (PaCos) of that grant/procurement.) Not needed for prizes.

Account Administrator (AcAd)

Assists LEAR in their tasks.

Has the same rights as the LEAR, except that they cannot attribute other account administrators.

Not needed for prizes.

Legal Signatory (LSIGN)

The person authorised to sign (on behalf of the organisation) legal commitments for grants (i.e. sign grant agreements, procurement contracts and amendments).

Not needed for prizes.

Financial Statement Signatory (FSIGN)

The person authorised to sign (on behalf of the organisation) financial statements/invoices for grants/procurements managed through the EES.

Self-registrant

Person who registers a new organisation for the first time in the Participant Register (see section 1.1).

Manages the organisation data up until the organisation has appointed a LEAR, (normally after the organisation has been validated as a legal entity - see section 1.1).

Project roles

Role

Who is this?

Duties and system rights

Comments

Primary Coordinator Contact (PCoCo)

The main person representing the coordinator for a particular grant/procurement/prize ('main contact').

Has full viewing rights/editing/submission rights.

Manages information related to the grant/procurement/prize.

Submits information to the EU.

Can attribute or revoke all other roles for the grant/procurement/prize in his/her organisation.

Can attribute or revoke PaCos of the other participants in the grant/procurement/prize.

For each grant/procurement/prize, a coordinator must have one PCoCo.

Coordinator Contact (CoCo)

Other persons representing the coordinator for a particular grant/procurement/prize.

Has full viewing/editing/submission rights.

Manages information related to the grant/procurement/prize.

Submits information to the EU.

Can attribute or revoke all other roles for the grant/procurement/prize in his/her organisation.

Can attribute or revoke PaCos of the other participants in the grant/procurement/prize.

A coordinator may have one or more other CoCos.

Participant Contact (PaCo)

Person representing a participant organisation (but not the coordinator) for a particular grant/procurement/prize.

Has full viewing rights.

Manages information related to the beneficiary's participation in the grant/procurement/prize.

Submits information to the coordinator.

Submits information directly to the EU (if requested).

Can attribute or revoke all other roles for the grant/procurement/prize, within their organisation.

A beneficiary may have one or more PaCos.

Project Legal Signatory (PLSIGN)

Person authorised to sign legal commitments for a particular grant/procurement (i.e. sign the grant agreement/procurement contract and amendments).

Same rights as for CoCos and PaCos.

PLSIGNs must be nominated by the CoCo or PaCo from the list of LSIGNs for their organisation (see above).

An organisation may have one or more PLSIGNs.

Not needed for prizes.

Project Financial Statement Signatory (PFSIGN)

Person authorised to sign financial statements/invoices for a particular grant/procurement.

Same rights as for CoCos and PaCos.

PFSIGNs must be nominated by the CoCo or PaCo from the list of FSIGNs for their organisation (see above).

An organisation may have one or more PFSIGNs.

Not needed for prizes.

Task Manager (TaMa)

Person who can perform various actions for managing a particular grant/procurement/prize.

Completes and saves web forms.

Uploads documents about their organisation's participation.

Cannot submit information to the coordinator or the EU.

Cannot attribute or revoke any roles.

Team Member (TeMe)

Person who has read-only rights for the management of a particular grant/procurement/prize.

Cannot attribute or revoke any roles.

2.3.1. For experts, there are only two roles, i.e. that of Expert and ExAss

Expert roles

Role

Who is this?

Duties and system rights

Comments

Expert

The expert.

Must keep their expert profile data up to date.

Attributes and revokes the following roles:

  • ExAss.

Signs expert contracts; submits reports and signs and submits cost claims.

Expert Assistant (EA)

Assists expert on administrative tasks.

Encodes certain administrative data on behalf of the expert (cannot submit on behalf). Cannot attribute other assistants.

2.4. LEAR appointment

2.4.1. Organisations are required to appoint a LEAR the first time one of their proposals passes the evaluation stage for a grant or a procurement.

Individuals (i.e. beneficiaries that are natural persons) will automatically have the role of LEAR (no appointment needed); but they will have to provide the supporting documents.

2.4.2. Organisations can appoint only one LEAR (which can be replaced if necessary, following the same appointment process).

2.4.3. Organisations warrant that the person appointed as LEAR is duly authorised to represent them in relation to all LEAR responsibilities.

Organisations are responsible for verifying regularly the scope of the LEAR responsibilities and to ensure that the LEAR remains at all times duly authorised to represent them in relation to these responsibilities.

2.4.4. Supporting documents must be provided directly in the system

2.4.5. Signed originals must be kept on file for controls (which may take place at any moment and independently of any ongoing grants, procurements, prizes or expert contracts).

2.5. Appointment of signatories - (P)LSIGNs and (P)FSIGNs

2.5.1. The LEAR must appoint one or more LSIGNs and FSIGNs for the organisation.

2.5.2. The LEAR and its organisation warrant that persons appointed as LSIGNs or FSIGNs are duly authorised to represent the organisation in relation to all LSIGN or FSIGN responsibilities.

The LEAR and its organisation are responsible for verifying regularly the scope of the LSIGN and FSIGN responsibilities and to ensure that LSIGNs and FSIGNs remain at all times duly authorised to represent the organisation in relation to these responsibilities.

2.5.3. The CoCo or PaCo must appoint the PLSIGNs and PFSIGNs for individual grants and procurements from the list of LSIGNs and FSIGNs for their organisation.

2.6. Data updates on the roles

2.6.1. The LEAR is responsible for keeping data related to the organisation roles up-to-date.

2.6.2. The CoCo or PaCo is responsible for keeping data related to the project roles up-to-date.

2.7. Declaration of old e-mail addresses/accounts

2.7.1. The LEAR has the ultimate responsibility for overseeing that old e-mail addresses/user accounts are deactivated and removed from the organisation- and project roles.

2.8. General obligation to channel information to the right addressees

2.8.1. If made aware of misled communications, the LEAR has the obligation to re-direct them and ensure proper follow-up and correction for the future.

3. USING THE ELECTRONIC EXCHANGE SYSTEM

3.1. General

3.1.1. Users warrant that the EES is used in accordance with these Terms and Conditions, all applicable national and international legislation and, in general, in a responsible manner, and only for their professional purposes and without breach of the rights of third parties.

3.1.2. Users are not permitted to make modifications to the EES.

3.1.3. Users may not:

(a) download, send or disseminate data containing viruses, worms, spyware, malware or any other similar malicious programs;

(b) carry out any calculations, operations or transactions that may interrupt, destroy or restrict the functionality of the operation of EES or any program, computer or means of telecommunications; or

(c) submit information or materials that infringe third party rights, are libellous, obscene, threatening or otherwise unlawful.

3.1.4. Users are fully and unconditionally responsible for any use of the EES (including misuse of their means of access), and for any detrimental consequences that may arise directly or indirectly therefrom.

3.1.5. Organisations acknowledge and accept that they are responsible for the actions and omissions of persons employed by or representing them, acting as users of the EES.

3.1.6. Users are liable for and their organisations are liable for - and will indemnify and hold harmless the European Commission against - any damage that results from:

-changes made to the EES or

-use of the EES in a manner that does not correspond with these Terms and Conditions.

3.2. Required hardware, software and services

3.2.1. Users acknowledge and agree that they are responsible for the choice, purchase and operation of hardware, software or telecommunication services required to connect with and to use EES.

Such hardware, software or telecommunication services must meet the minimum requirements, as may be specified on the Participant Portal.

Users are responsible for the installation and costs of purchasing and licensing such hardware, software or telecommunication services.

3.2.2. The European Commission is not liable for hardware, software, products and services of third parties (such as telecommunication equipment, internet connections, operating systems and internet browsers).

3.3. Electronic notifications and signatures

3.3.1. Users acknowledge and accept that pursuant to the EU Financial RegulationRules of application of the Financial Regulation*:

(a) data sent or received through the EES enjoys legal presumption of the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the date and time of sending or receiving (as indicated by the EES);

(b) a document sent or notified through the EES is considered as equivalent to a paper document, is admissible as evidence in legal proceedings, is deemed original and enjoys legal presumption of its authenticity and integrity, provided it does not contain any dynamic features capable of automatically changing it;

(c) electronic signatures made by users through the EES have the equivalent legal effect of handwritten signatures.

* Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) of 29 October 2012 on the rules of application of Regulation (EU) 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).

3.3.2. Users acknowledge and accept that:

(a) any communication or document sent or notified using any type of electronic signature through the EES shall be considered as equivalent to a paper document with a handwritten signature and shall be admissible as evidence in legal proceedings and constitute sufficient evidence in legal proceedings;

(b) any contract (or amendment) signed using any type of electronic signature through the EES shall be considered as equivalent to a paper contract with a handwritten signature and shall be admissible as evidence in legal proceedings and constitute sufficient evidence in legal proceedings;

(c) they cannot dispute:

(i) the existence or validity of any communication, document or contract signed using any type of electronic signature through the EES; or

(ii) the admissibility of any communication, document or contract submitted or signed through the EES as evidence in legal proceedings, solely on the basis that such communication, document or contract was submitted electronically through the EES or signed with an electronic signature.

3.3.3. Users acknowledge and accept that:

(a) communications in the EES are generally considered to have been made when they are sent by the sending party (i.e. on the date and time they are sent through the EES)

(b) where contracts require formal notifications, these are considered to have been made when they are received by the receiving party (i.e. on the date and time of acceptance by the receiving party, as indicated by the time stamp); formal notifications that have not been accepted within 10 days after sending are considered to have been accepted.

3.3.4. The European Commission registers access to and use of the EES.

This access and use log provides evidence that access has been made of EES, unless users can prove the contrary.

3.3.5. Electronic messages, connections, operations on the network and transactions between the EU and the users shall be proven using the logs and transaction files kept electronically by the European Commission.

Users and their organisations accept the evidential value of this data.

This does not prevent the parties from providing other proof, using permitted legal methods (such as proof on paper).

3.4. Intellectual property rights

3.4.1. The intellectual and industrial property rights and know-how associated with the EES belong exclusively to the European Commission and its licensors.

Only the European Commission has the right to correct errors.

3.4.2. The European Commission grants users a non-transferable, limited, non-exclusive licence to use the EES for their own professional purposes (unless access is suspended or refused).

Without prejudice to the rights of users under the legislation relating to the protection of computer programs (which cannot be contractually denied), users may not in any way:

(a) modify, translate or adapt the EES;

(b) decompile or disassemble the EES;

(c) copy the EES (or parts of it);

(d) pass on, dispose of, grant as a sub-licence, lease, lend or distribute EES or EES documentation to third parties;

(e) create any product or service substantially similar to EES; or

(f) copy any ideas, characteristics or functions of EES.

3.5. EES availability

3.5.1. The European Commission will to the best of its abilities take reasonable care to ensure the availability of the EES.

The European Commission does not guarantee that the EES will be available without interruption or degradation of service.

3.6. Suspension and refusal of access

3.6.1. Users acknowledge that the European Commission may refuse access to a user logging in, if a session is already open on another computer where another user is using the same means of access (i.e. the same EU Login account name and password).

3.6.2. Users and their organisations acknowledge and accept that the European Commission may suspend or refuse access to the EES:

(a) in case of suspected or actual breach of these Terms and Conditions;

(b) if the information provided for the registration for an EU Login account is inaccurate or invalid (clause 2.2.2);

(c) if the European Commission has any reason to suspect that the confidentiality or security of the means of access (i.e. EU Login account name and password) have been breached or that the EES is being misused (clause 2.2.3);

(d) fraudulent practices of users or their organisations;

(e) if the IT systems of the European Commission are being attacked;

(f) if required under applicable laws or regulations;

(g) to avoid any detrimental impact for the European Commission or a user;

(h) for preventive, corrective or routine maintenance; and

(i) in any other situation where the European Commission considers that suspension or refusal of access is reasonably required or desirable.

3.6.3. The European Commission is not liable for any damage suffered in connection with the suspension or refusal of access.

4. MISCELLANEOUS

4.1. Personal data

4.1.1. Personal data submitted or otherwise collected through the EES is subject to the Europa website privacy statement and the Participant Portal privacy statement.

4.2. Waiving of rights

4.2.1. The rights and remedies of a party under these Terms and Conditions may be waived only by express written notice to the other party.

4.2.2. Any waiver shall apply only in the specific instance, and for the purpose for which it is given.

4.3. Liability of the EU

4.3.1. In addition to clauses 3.2.2 and 3.6.3 and to the maximum extent permitted by the applicable law (see clause 4.7.1), neither the European Commission nor any of the EU services using the Portal shall be liable for any direct or indirect damage of any kind (including disruption of business, third party claims and loss of profits, anticipated savings, or goodwill), except in the event of wilful misconduct.

To the maximum extent permitted by the applicable law, neither the European Commission nor any of the EU services using the Portal can be held liable for gross negligence.

Neither the European Commission nor any of the EU services using the Portal are responsible or liable for any damage in case of force majeure, external cause or any other events which are not under their reasonable control.

4.4. Interpretation of the Terms and Conditions

4.4.1. These Terms and Conditions have been drawn up in English and its provisions will be interpreted and construed in accordance with applicable law (see clause 4.7) and their generally accepted meanings in the English language.

Any translation of these Terms and Conditions is for the convenience of the parties only, and shall not be binding towards any party.

In the event of any inconsistency between the English original and its translation, the provisions of the English version shall prevail.

4.4.2. If a provision of these Terms and Conditions is or becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable, it shall (if possible and insofar as it is invalid, illegal or unenforceable) be replaced by a valid, legal and enforceable clause that reflects the initial intentions as closely as possible.

If the invalid, illegal or unenforceable provision cannot be validly replaced, no effect is to be given to the clause and it shall be deemed not to be included in these Terms and Conditions, without affecting or invalidating the remaining provisions of these Terms and Conditions.

4.5. Changes to the Terms and Conditions

4.5.1. The European Commission may, at any time, vary, add to or delete any provision of these Terms and Conditions.

4.5.2. Users expressly expressly acknowledge and agree that such new terms and conditions enter into force with their publication on the Portal.

4.5.3. In accordance with clause 1.3, any access to or use of the EES shall constitute unconditional acceptance of these Terms and Conditions (in the then-current version).

4.5.3. Accordingly, users and their organisations expressly acknowledge and agree that any modification to the Terms and Conditions shall be deemed accepted by them as from the first time they access or use the EES after the date of entry into force of the new Terms and Conditions.

4.6. Termination of the Terms and Conditions

4.6.1. These Terms and Conditions shall be deemed terminated vis-à-vis a user or organisation in case:

- the European Commission no longer makes available the EES or

- of refusal of access pursuant to clause 3.6.

4.6.2. Those clauses that by their nature are expressly or implicitly intended to survive the termination or expiry of these Terms and Conditions shall so survive, including but not limited to clauses 2.4.3, 3.3, 3.5, 4.3, 4.4 and 4.7.

4.7. Applicable law and dispute settlement

4.7.1. For issues closely linked to a contract signed through the EES, the Terms and Conditions shall be governed by the applicable law of the contract.

For all other issues, the Terms and Conditions shall be governed by the applicable EU law, supplemented if necessary by the law of Belgium.

4.7.2. For issues closely linked to a contract signed through the EES, disputes shall be settled in accordance with the dispute settlement clause of the contract.

For all other issues, the General Court - or on appeal the Court of Justice of the European Union - shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any disputes which arise in connection with the Terms and Conditions and the access or use of the EES, if they cannot be settled amicably.