Dear Commissioner Mimica, dear Director General Mr. Manservisi, dear Ms. Bento Pais, dear Mr. Lenormand, We are writing to you regarding the Concept Note rejections in this year‘s DEAR call mentioned above. Mid-August 2016 numerous applications were rejected because of the administrative reason that one of the co-applicants applied for too many applications (only 3 in 3 different Lots were allowed).
While we do understand and respect the limitation of DG EuropeAid for only 3 applications in 3 different Lots for this call, we still feel affected by unfair treatment as we – as lead applicants and coapplicants – did our best to meet all the criteria of the checklist and guidelines including this restriction, but we have no formal procedure to enable us a full control over the co-applicants, therefore we want to voice the following concerns and requests for you to consider for a better and fair implementation of this respective call for proposals:
- The lead applicant and other co-applicants cannot be held responsible for the failure of one coapplicant having no overview over their applications. In most cases it were different departments of cities or universities or big NGOs that lacked overall coordination for the DEAR Call and therefore applied too many times.
- In PROSPECT any lead applicant can select any co-applicant if he knows its EuropeAid ID, without being authorised. This is a lack of procedure from PROSPECT and the call to regulate such kind of abuses.
- Even as some applicants immediately asked for clarifications by respecting the formal complaint procedure stipulated in the rejection letters, in some cases only 1 week or less before the deadline for the full applications DG EuropeAid sent the clarification answers regarding which co-applicants did not comply with the administrative rules of the call; thereby DG EuropeAid did not respect its own official procedure to reply within 15 days upon the receipt of the complaint. Again this led to the unfair treatment that the concerned partnerships were not in the position to clarify the situation and still submit their full application.
Considering the above we ask you for future calls:
- to introduce a mechanism in PROSPECT that automatically checks and puts an alarm to all concerned applications if one organisation reached the limit of submitted applications in accordance with the rules of the respective call;
- to introduce a formal procedure regulating the responsibility of each co-applicant that does not comply with the rules of the call and the consequences of such a non- compliance - to not disqualify the project application and therefore all the rest of complying co-applicants, but the organisation or Local Authority applying for too many applications should be disqualified. We therefore call on the EC for this current DEAR call 2016 to:
- apply a fair treatment to all submitted applications and therefore evaluate the disqualified concept notes and send evaluation scores to the applicants - reopen the full application possibility for the concerned concept notes while disqualifying the concerned co-applicants that applied for too many Concept Notes. According to the EC’s indicative timetable there is still enough time till the planned signature of contracts in May 2017.
We are looking forward to your reply and we are ready to enter into further discussions with you on the matter and hopefully reaching a fair solution for all sides involved
On behalf of 13 CSO platforms/networks, 17 Local Authorities (LA) and LA associations and 71 CSOs and universities totaling 101 CSO/LA.