The evaluation of proposals will be based on the fundamental principles of transparency and equality of treatment. The entire selection process and the description of the criteria by which the proposal will be evaluated are presented in the Evaluation Manual .
In general, and in order to help the Commission, panels of independent, external experts (17) will be constituted covering a wide range of relevant expertise, without linguistic or geographic bias. Proposers’ confidentiality will be fully respected, both to avoid conflicts of interest and to maintain the impartiality of the independent experts.
Conformity check and eligibility
On receipt, all proposals will be subject to a validation process, to ensure they conform to the requirements of the Call, of the submission procedure and of the rules for participation.
Only proposals that conform to these requirements will be subject to evaluation.
Proposals will be evaluated according to criteria grouped into five categories, as laid down in the Work Programme applicable to the relevant Call. The content and the respective weighting of the criteria are described in the Evaluation Manual. Programme specific information on evaluation may also be explained if appropriate in Part 2 of this Guide. Ethical aspects have to be taken into account in the process.
The experts examine proposals individually, then meet as a panel to agree a ranking. At this stage, they may recommend, that certain proposals should be combined into larger projects or linked together such as clusters .
Following the evaluation, and in accordance with the interests of the Community, the Commission will establish a list of proposals in order of priority. This list will take into account the budget available (which has been set out in the call for proposals) plus, if necessary, a percentage of the call budget to allow for withdrawal of proposals and/or savings to be made during contract finalisation. Late or ineligible proposals, those of inadequate quality or for which there is not adequate budget will be subject to a "non-retained" decision by the Commission. This information, with the main reason for non-retention, will be communicated to the proposers concerned.
The co-ordinators of proposals, which have been retained, will be notified in writing. This notification however does not ultimately commit the Commission to fund the project concerned.
A brief report on the evaluation prepared by the Commission will be sent to the proposers via the proposal co-ordinator. Further administrative and financial information will be required to assess the viability of the proposed project.
Hence, participants will have to demonstrate that they have all the necessary resources (18) needed for carrying out the project. The Commission will check these, and may seek to safeguard its interest by asking a bank guarantee or by other measures.
The Commission may also propose modifications to the original proposal based on the result of the evaluation, or in terms of grouping or combination with others.
On successful conclusion of these negotiations, the Commission will then offer contracts for the commencement of work, based on a timetable determined by the needs of the Specific Programme concerned.
Any proposal, which is finally not taken up, due to a lack of available funding for example, will be subject to a "non-retained" decision by the Commission. This information, with the main reason for non-retention, will be communicated to the proposers concerned.