G.5.1 General principles of eligibility
Regardless of the cost category, each project partner must understand and observe the following preconditions:
all expenditure is essential for the project’s implementation and would not have been incurred if the project had not been carried out (value added);
all expenditure must comply with the principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness (sound financial management)
REGULATION (EU, Euratom) 2021/1046, Article 33
the principle of economy requires that the resources used in the pursuit of a project partner’s activities will be made available in due time, in appropriate quantity and quality, and at the best price;
the principle of efficiency means project partners have to ensure the best relationship between the resources employed, the activities undertaken and the achievement of objectives;
the principle of effectiveness means how the objectives that the project partners pursued are achieved through the activities undertaken.
all expenditure is generated and paid by the respective project partner during the eligible project phase, i.e. preparation, contracting, implementing and closure phase. Project phases are set in BAMOS+ and are based on a MC decision e.g. in a call announcement;
no other EU funds have contributed towards financing of the same expenditure (prohibition of double funding)
REGULATION (EU, Euratom) 2021/1046, Article 191(3)
relevant public procurement rules are observed.
G.5.2 Forms of reimbursement
Simplified cost options
Pre-defined unit costs, lump sums or flat rates provide the basis for calculation of a partner’s expenditure.
G.5.3 Use of euro and exchange rate
All expenditure reported in the progress report must be denominated in euros.
Expenditure paid in another currency must be converted into euros using the monthly accounting exchange rate of the Commission in the month during which that expenditure was submitted for verification.
G.5.4 Specific eligibility rules for assistance to the policy area coordinators of the EUSBSR and a Strategy point
G.5.4.1 Cost category 1 – Staff costs
Project partners declare personnel costs on the basis of a simplified cost option method (standard scale of unit cost). For each country the Programme defined a single hourly rate in national currency/EUR. The hourly rate is standard for each employee regardless of the position. You can find hourly rate per country in chapter D.3.6, table 8.
Conditions for reimbursement of the staff cost:
Project partners have to report the staff cost based on the number of working hours that their employees need for project implementation. The following conditions apply:
A project partner can report the hours of an employee working under an employment contract or equivalent.
A project partner cannot declare more than 1,720 hours per full time employee per calendar year. This maximum number of hours is reduced to a pro- rata of 1,720 hours for employees working part-time. This maximum number of hours is also reduced to a pro-rata of 1,720 hours for reporting periods shorter than 12 months. The maximum number of hours applies to all projects co-financed by Interreg Baltic Sea Region. If the same employee works on several projects, the sum of productive hours declared for the employee in these projects cannot exceed 1,720 hours or the applicable pro-rata per calendar year.
A project partner can report only actual (productive) hours that were worked and dedicated to project related tasks. Non-productive hours relating to holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, etc. are not eligible.
Project partners have to complete and deliver the following documents to the MA/JS for each person for whom they report staff costs.
a document from the project partner (in the English language). This document confirms that the person is working for the project, in line with conditions of reimbursement of the staff costs described above.
Report of hours
a document that confirms the number of hours worked for the project.
For both points above project partners are obliged to use templates prepared by the MA/JS and which are published on the Programme portal. The MA/JS will only accept staff costs which are documented through these Programme templates. Project partners have to complete and sign these documents. They have to deliver the signed versions as attachments to the partner report.
In addition, project partners have to keep on their premises original employment contracts or equivalent employment documents, of the persons whose working hours are the subject of the programme co-financing. Project partners do not have to attach those documents to the partner report but they have to keep it available and deliver it upon request of the MA/JS or any other authorised body (Audit Authority, European Commission, etc.).
Project partners have to insert the number of hours for each project staff member in the partner report in BAMOS+. The number of hours has to be in line with the report of hours. The partner report automatically calculates the staff cost.
G.5.4.2 Cost category 7 – any other costs
For the remaining cost of the project implementation, project partners will receive a flat rate – 40% of the eligible staff cost.¹
¹REGULATION (EU) 2021/1060, Article 56(1)
Calculation and documentation
The progress report will automatically calculate the flat rate based on the approved staff costs. For this cost category, project partners do not have to provide any supporting documentation (i.e. no invoices, payment proof, etc.).
The MA/JS does not check or monitor any differences compared to the real costs. Any over or under-compensation of project partners expenditure is a natural consequence of the calculation.
G.5.5 Specific eligibility rules for the Strategy Forum
Organisers of the Strategy Forum declare their entire expenditure on the basis of a simplified cost option method (lump sum). The Programme can offer a lump sum of up to EUR 200,000 total budget (which corresponds to up to EUR 160,000 of Programme co-financing) to organisers of the Strategy Forum. The Programme will specify the exact maximum lump sum amount in the announcement note.
Granting a lump sum
The project has to plan the draft budget for the implementation of the Strategy Forum based on the estimated expenditure. The project has to prepare the detailed draft budget using a template prepared by the MA/JS and available on the Programme portal.
In the application, the lead applicant has to only indicate the total cost of the planned draft budget, the Programme co-financing and relevant shares per partner. In addition, the lead applicant has to submit the detailed draft budget mentioned above.
The MA/JS evaluates the draft budget and propose the final lump sum based on the outcome of the assessment to the Monitoring Committee. ¹
¹REGULATION (EU) 2021/1059, Article 53(3)(b)
Reimbursement of the lump sum
Reimbursement of the granted lump sum is linked to the delivery of one pre-defined output with pre-defined requirements. The pre-defined output for this lump sum is the Strategy Forum of the EUSBSR. It must fulfil the following minimum requirements:
an event (live hybrid or online)
for organisations implementing the EUSBSR (national coordinators, policy area coordinators) and other stakeholders
with an agenda reflecting the EUSBSR and its Action Plan
with the aim of communicating the work of the EUSBSR
with opportunities for networking and exchange among participants.
The MA/JS will confirm the delivery and the quality of the output based on the above-mentioned requirements during on-the-spot checks as well as verification of the progress report. Based on the successful outcome of the verification the MA/JS will then pay the lump sum to the project.