Finance Questions

Content Questions: Project Ideas

Content Questions: Project Development

Content Questions: Pre-Assessment

Content Questions: Application

Content Questions: Implementation and Reporting

Content Questions: Project Closure

Content Questions: Future Perspectives



Q- How does the North Sea Region Programme link to the European Policy Framework?

Q- What is a transnational cooperation programme?

Q- Who are the responsible Committees of the Programme?

Q- What are the main aims of the North Sea Region Programme?

Q- Which thematic fields does the Programme work with?

Q- Which geographical area does the Programme cover?

Q- How much funding does the Programme have?

Q- Is there an official language for the Programme?

Finance Questions

Q- Where can I get information about funds available for my project idea?

Q- Auto decommitment and spending targets - Is it true that a project risks losing part of the grant if the annual spending targets as set out in table 13.2 of the application and repeated in the contract are not met?

Q- Eligibility period - Within which period of time are costs eligible?

Q- The contract - What is the legal form of relationship between the approved project and the Secretariat?

Q- The contract - What do we do if we have not received the contract shortly after we have been notified that the project was approved?

Q- 1st level control - What is the role of the 1st level controller?

Q- 1st level control - Who can be designated as a 1st level controller?

Q- 1st level control - How can I get my controller designated?

Q- The Lead Beneficiary`s responsibility - What is the role of the Lead Beneficiary within the project?

The Lead Beneficiary is responsible for the overall delivery of the project. In practice, this means that all contact between the project and the project partnership takes place via the Lead Beneficiary. Project beneficiaries that contact the Programme Secretariat directly will be advised to direct their queries to the Lead Beneficiary. This is because the Lead Beneficiary, being the contractual partner representing the partnership, must be fully informed of any issue between the Programme and the partnership. As a consequence of this, it must be stressed that it is the responsibility of the Lead Beneficiary to pass on all information relevant to the project beneficiaries as soon as possible.

The overall financial responsibility also rests with the Lead Beneficiary. It is the Lead Beneficiary, together with the 1st level controller, who must ensure that only activities explicitly described in the application are carried out. The activities must be carried out within the eligible area, although it is possible to make use of the so called 10 and 20 % rules. Also, it is the Lead Beneficiary’s responsibility to ensure that only approved infrastructure investments are made. Activities which have not been approved by the Programme Secretariat cannot be reported as eligible costs. The Lead Beneficiary must make sure that arrangements have been made to ensure protection of the audit trail and that sound financial management is in place. If any of the beneficiaries are subcontracting part of the project activities, the Lead Beneficiary must ensure that all relevant regulations regarding public tendering are complied with when contracts are awarded in the project.

In the case of financial irregularities, it is the Lead Beneficiary’s responsibility to inform the Programme Secretariat immediately. In cases where a project is asked to pay back part or all of the grant, a claim for repayment will in the first instance be directed to the Lead Beneficiary. In both cases, it will be up to the Lead Beneficiary to make the final clearing arrangements with the other beneficiaries.

Please also see Fact Sheet no. 5 on this subject.

Q- Evidence of expenditure - How do I provide evidence of incurred expenditure?

Q- Evidence of expenditure - Do we have to send bills, time sheets and invoices to the Secretariat?

Q- Staff costs and overhead - Are staff costs eligible?

Q- Travel and accommodation - Are study tours eligible?

Q- Travel and accommodation - Are costs for travel by car eligible?

Q- General costs/Overhead costs - How are general costs/overhead costs calculated?

Q- Income - How does income generated in the project affect the ERDF grant?

Q- Irrecoverable VAT - To what extent is irrecoverable VAT eligible?

Q- Ineligible expenditure - Could this expenditure not just be omitted in the reports?

Q- Subcontractors located in- and outside the eligible area - Can project activities be subcontracted to a contractor outside the eligible area?

Q- Currency - What currency is used in financial matters?

Q- Funding and Norwegian money - Are there any special requirements concerning Norwegian project partners?

Q- External experts / consultants working as project manager - Is it possible to appoint an external expert or a consultant as project manager?

Content Questions: Project Ideas

Q- Does my project idea fit the Programme?

Q- How can I get involved in a project as either beneficiary or lead beneficiary?

Q- How can a project idea be published on the Programme website?

Content Questions: Project Development

Q- What is meant by transnational co-operation?

Q- How can an investment be transnational?

Q- What should the outcome of a North Sea Region Programme project be?

Q- Who can participate in a project?

Content Questions: Pre-Assessment

Q- What is pre-assessment and why should a project proposal perform pre-assessment?

Q- Is there a particular format to be used for pre-assessment?

Q- When can I submit my project idea for pre-assessment and when can I expect feedback?

Q- Is it possible to do pre-assessment for the same project proposal several times?

Content Questions: Application

Q- How are projects selected?

Q- Do I need to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for my project?

Q- Which criteria does my project have to meet in order to be approved?

Q- What kinds of attributes is the Programme looking for in projects?

Q- How do I submit a project proposal for funding?

Q- How many partners should my project have?

Q- How can I establish relevant indicators for my project?

Content Questions: Implementation and Reporting

Q- What happens if a partner drops out of an approved project?

Q- When is the deadline for reporting?

Q- What am I expected to report on – content wise?

Q- What is the procedure concerning appendices?

Q- What happens if I as a Lead Beneficiary am not able to submit a report on time?

Q- What happens if an activity needs to be changed in a running project?

Q- Can a project carry out activities outside the eligible area?

Q- How do I register changes to my project using the online changes system?

Q- What happens if I need to extend the project ‘completion’ date?

Content Questions: Project Closure

Q- What happens once my project is finished?

Content Questions: Future Perspectives

Q- What happens to the project after its closure?

Q- How can my project achieve a long term legacy?


Q- What is the role of communications in the overall structure of the project?

Q- Why not wait with communications and publicity until the project is underway?

Q- Why do projects need a Communication Plan?

Q- What are the relevant target groups for the promotion of the project and how can they be addressed?

Q- Why is it necessary to include a budget in the Communication Plan? How much should be spent on communications?

Q- Do projects running under the Programme need to have their own website?

Q- What are the formal requirements of the European Commission and the Programme concerning communications and publicity?

Q- Is there a general Programme tagline, which should be used on the publicity materials?

Q- Where can I find the Programme logo, tagline and ERDF reference? Which versions and formats of the Programme logo are available?

Q- Are there any rules on how to use the Programme logo and the ERDF reference?

Q- What are the benefits of using the project section on the Programme website for the promotion of project activities and results?

Q- How can the editable parts of your project presentation on the Programme website be accessed?

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