On a regular basis, Europol is requested to be part of projects seeking funding from third parties (for example, under grant calls from the European Commission). Depending on the call, and the funding authority’s intention, Europol may play different roles in a project:
- beneficiary (depending on the rules of the call Europol may or may not be eligible)
- undertaking supporting roles and actions without funding (for example as member of the advisory board)
- involved in design of the call (to varying degrees)
- involved in evaluation of a third party call to help decide which applications obtain funding. Normally a call will be transparent about Europol’s possible involvement at the evaluation stage in particular.
Europol has to assess any request for support, to ascertain that its participation will not create any conflict of interest. It would be inappropriate, for example, for Europol to apply for funding or support/advise a proposal and at the same time be involved in the evaluation to determine the winning proposal. Before accepting any of the roles above, Europol must therefore ascertain that there is no conflict of interest at the level of a particular call. This is in addition to the regular statements on the non-existence of any personal conflict of interest, which individuals in public funded organisations sign when taking part on an evaluation panel.
Further, Europol must ensure that the project fits within its legal remit, and its particular mission. If Europol is proposed to take a significant role in a project and to incur eligible expenses, further thorough assessment of a potential project is needed in order to confirm that the project brings added value to Europol and it is of benefit to the LE community.
If your project has commercial aims, or commercial prospective beneficiaries, please expect to be invited to provide additional information about your proposal, to ensure that Europol’s participation is appropriate and within its legal remit. Please note that Europol may in no event sponsor or endorse a commercial party or product, nor may it support a product’s commercialisation in any way. All communication and visibility actions relevant to Europol must receive prior written consent of Europol. This includes any use of the Europol logo.
Finally, Europol may not commit to actions that would put other commitments at risk, and must ensure that its participation is within its resources (manpower and budgetary). If Europol does not receive any additional funding, Europol does not take a formal role in the prospective grant action, but rather assesses based on the elements below. If the assessment is positive, Europol grants a letter of support stating the type of support that it will provide, within Europol’s legal framework and resources.
To ensure proper consideration of your request and to ensure that Europol can deliver on any commitments, should it decide to support your grant project, please provide us with:
- The name and reference of the call for grant to which you are applying (including a link) and the name of the grant awarding authority;
- A summary of what the project is aiming to achieve and its title;
- What you ask from Europol in terms of expertise/resources. Please be specific about:
- Type of role sought for Europol e.g. formal (beneficiary, affiliated entity) vs non formal (non funded support);1
- Estimated duration and frequency of meetings, level and stage of input requested;
- Perceived Europol added value;
- The duration of the project;
- Your legal name and the name of the other entities participating, in particular any co-applicants;
- After checking the role(s) that Europol may play for a particular call, provide the application that you will submit, including the budget. If necessary, you may share a well-defined draft but before taking its final decision, Europol needs to study the commitment made for the project towards the funding authority. If you are not willing to share the final application with Europol, please do not initiate the request;
- Please be clear about whether the grant applicants are prepared to share the results with Europol (as a minimum) free of charge to be used within Europol’s legal remit of supporting Law Enforcement in Member States and in third countries with which Europol or the Union has entered into operational agreements;
- Confirmation that you have reviewed and agree to the Principles for Europol participation to grant projects, copied below.
Your request, along with all supporting documents, should be sent by email to the Europol Grant Administration Team C2-24 [at] europol.europa.eu. Moreover, if the project for which you are requesting support is innovation-based, or is IT-based, please include Europol’s Innovation Lab GDIL [at] europol.europa.eu in the email communication. Missing elements will delay Europol’s decision taking. Europol requires a complete request (i.e. including all elements listed above) at least 3 weeks before the submission deadline of the call. Europol does not commit to considering requests received after this point in time.
If Europol finds that its participation would lead to a conflict of interest, that it does not fit within its legal remit, that its resources are insufficient to support the project, or that the information provided by the participants are insufficient to ascertain whether that is the case, Europol will be unable to participate or support your project.
1 As an entity already receiving EU budget to deliver the work programme, it is exceptional that Europol receives ad hoc grant funding for additional resources in order to deliver additional actions. In addition to this rule deriving from Europol’s financial regulation, each call stipulates what the eligibility conditions are. In general, Europol is for these purposes not an international organisation but rather an EU body.