The current situation in which we are experiencing the spread of the COVID-19 virus requires a quick and, above all, flexible adaptation to the circumstances. For this reason, we have also adapted the work processes within the Managing Authority and the Joint Secretariat and adopted certain measures necessary for the successful continuation of the implementation of the programme and projects. For this reason, we have prepared the following guidelines for the implementation of project activities.
In line with the Implementation manual for beneficiaries – part 4: Eligibility of expenditure, costs related to travel and accommodation (unused tickets) or event organisation (catering, etc.) that have not taken place are not eligible.
In this special circumstances the projects might be forced to cancel the project related travels and events due to the COVID-19 situation. The related costs (e.g. travel tickets, pre-paid accommodation, event services) could be accepted as eligible if the activity (travel or event) has not taken place:
- due to travel restrictions established by WHO, regional/national authorities or at the level of the partner organisation,
- due to a cancellation from the hosting/organising structure,
- due to justified medical conditions regarding the COVID-19 virus (symptoms or confirmation of the illness) of the person who was to travel.
The above mentioned costs can be accepted as eligible only if they can not be recovered by any other means. In case costs were already reimbursed by other means (assurances, air companies, etc) they cannot be claimed in the framework of the programme.
The presented provisions concern all types of projects and will be applied for all cases, in line with the above stated provisions, that have already occurred due to the COVID-19 situation and will be valid until the revocation by the Managing Authority which will take place when the COVID-19 situation improves and allows unrestricted implementation of the above stated activities.
It is important to reduce to a minimum any delay in project implementation. Activities that need physical attendance will have to be adapted to current situation or cancelled in the forthcoming months. As the situation is constantly changing, the Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat recommends that for future travel and events are in general postponed or organised on-line. MA/JS will prepare guidance for implementation of projects under COVID-19 circumstances.
In order to avoid negative impact to the project implementation it is recommended to organize meetings as on-line meetings/video-conferences where it is possible. For events, think of any other form of implementing the project activities/promoting the project results (e.g. targeted online promotional campaigns, videos, online presentation of results, use of social media and website…).
The possible adaptation of the project activities (e.g. postponing in non-changed format or slight modifications in the method of the implementation) shall be communicated to the respective JS contract manager via e-mail as soon as possible or as soon as it turns out that one or more project activity/ies may not be launched and implemented as described in the original project application form. In case it turns out that the activity is not possible to be implemented, the JS contract manager shall be contacted as soon as possible together with the proposed solution elaborated by the partnership. The Lead Partner informs the JS contract manager via email and they agree on any further steps to be taken, if any.
We recommend that events that have to be made in person and expect large number of participants shall be postponed for at least 3 months or in accordance with the national measures effective at the time.
Eventual extension of projects due to the external circumstances could be dealt with on a case by case basis.
As it is impossible to cover all the cases in such directions, we again invite you to contact your ERDF Subsidy contract manager via dashboard message in the eMS or call us between 9am and 3pm in case of questions related to the implementation of project activities.
All further information and any guidance will be posted on the programme website.
Lead partners are kindly requested to forward this communication to all project partners. In addition, this communication shall also be provided to the First level controls.
The Managing Authority and Joint Secretariat Interreg V-A Slovenia-Hungary