Call for Proposals - EU Institute in Japan - Terms of Reference

June 19, 2003

Tokyo, 18 Jun 2003

1. Background

Following the EU-Japan joint declaration of 1991, relations between the EU and Japan have been developed on the basis of reinforcing links across the whole spectrum of bilateral relations. The EU-Japan Summit in Tokyo in July 2000 decided to launch a new decade of Japan / Europe co-operation, based on a joint Action Plan ("Shaping our common future", EU-Japan Agenda for co-operation) which was adopted at the EU-Japan summit in December 2001 in Brussels.

Some of the most important initiatives foreseen in the Action Plan focus on enhancing people-to-people contacts. For the vast majority of Japanese citizens, awareness of the European Union as a political and economic entity remains low, despite the fact that the EU and Japan together, represent nearly over 40 % of world GDP and some 28% of world trade. The recognition of the European Union, its policies and what it stands for must therefore be greatly enhanced in Japan if stronger bilateral links are to be forged in the coming years.

In order to increase knowledge about the European Union among the people of Japan, the European Commission intends to establish - for a three-year pilot phase[1]- an EU Institute in Japan, along the lines of the EU Centres already developed in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The aim of this EU Institute would be to serve as a vehicle in Japan for:

  • developing EU-focused university curriculum-related activities (i.e. specialised degrees and courses) at various levels of education (under-graduate, post-graduate, Ph.D.);
  • providing accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive information about the EU, its policies and institutions;
  • enhancing general awareness of the EU and its policies;
  • facilitating and developing research work and studies on EU-related topics;
  • promoting outreach activities of various kinds including contributing to the organisation of cultural events, publications, conferences, lectures etc., related to the EU and EU policies and aiming at a wide public, political and media audience.
The existing Centres in the USA (15), Canada (5), Australia (1) and New-Zealand, (1) are all hosted by major universities in order to maximise the academic dimension of the project and facilitate access to local elites, opinion leaders, decision makers and the student/academic/research community. This also reflects the fact that a strong academic / research base in Europe-related matters is necessary in order to have the credibility for carrying out the educational and information dissemination role the project should play. Thus, the Commission seeks to work with partners which have maximum outreach capability and the capacity to contribute some of their own resources to or attract external resources towards the project.

In Japan today, European Studies may not be sufficiently developed where contemporary issues and challenges are concerned. They may tend to over-privilege the linguistic or literary dimensions of European studies. Courses and degrees tend to be centred on individual Member States rather than focusing on the EU as an overall economic and political entity and actor. Shifting the focus of European studies towards a more comprehensive range of EU-related issues such as its political and economic role on the world stage, the history and objectives of the European integration, European law (in particular administrative, competition and labour law), the economic dimension of the European integration, the history and outlook of the EU-Japan relations… would therefore represent a major objective for the project. It would ensure long-lasting effects on the approach to European studies in Japan, in particular by contributing to have European studies being better integrated in the regular curricula and more easily available for students wishing to specialise in them. This would, in turn, make a key contribution to the exposure of future decision-makers and opinion-leaders in Japan to European integration related topics.

Setting-up an EU Institute in Japan cannot be done simply by duplicating what has been done so far with the EU Centres established with the support of the European Commission in English speaking countries. The lessons learnt[2] from existing Centres must be used, but, specific aspects of the Japanese context must be taken into account, in particular the language and the organisation of the educational sector in Japan. Two approaches have been tested so far – a range of independent Centres each of which has a limited number of activities as in the USA or one National Centre with more comprehensive tasks and objectives as in Australia and New-Zealand.

It seems more appropriate in the case of Japan, to opt for a mixed approach by establishing this new project on the basis of a partnership developed by a consortium of Japanese universities with strong mutual links and a good capacity to work jointly.

As this is the first Community project of this kind in Japan, the Commission intends to appoint, in 2003, a single consortium of universities in view of carrying out a pilot project. As there is undoubtedly potential in Japan for several such consortia to be constituted, the Commission may further expand this type of project in the coming years on the basis of the lessons learned from this initial pilot project.

The detailed description of the objectives and expected deliverables of the planned project is set out below. This must be given utmost attention by interested applicants when drafting their proposal. Technical requirements as well as practical information on the procedure to follow in order to apply for Community funding under this call for proposals are to be found in the attached guidelines for the applicants. Applicants are requested to respect carefully the instructions included in these documents. Failure to do so may lead to the immediate rejection of the proposal.

The European Commission will contribute funds for the development of the activities of the EU Institute on a co-financing basis. The grant from the Commission will have to be supplemented by the own resources pooled by the network members or by resources contributed by other private or public donors.

The project will be evaluated and selected against criteria which are specified in point 4 below. The applicant should make sure that its proposal includes all the information needed for the Commission to form a sound judgement.

2. Description of the planned project

2.1.

Objectives and expected deliverables

2.1.1. General objectives

The main objectives of the EU Institute in Japan will be as follows:

– Build a centre of academic excellence with a view to broadening and deepening the base of European Union studies in Japan and increasing awareness of the Union's policies, thereby supporting the political determination of both Europe and Japan to widen and strengthen their political and economic relationship.

– Develop EU related outreach activities aimed at the broad public in Japan in order to enhance the visibility of the EU, its policies and development.

– Serve as a vehicle to promote a better understanding and knowledge of the EU as a major player in the global political and economic system and in particular as a major partner in Japan's external relations; and having the potential to develop a wide range of bilateral co-operation activities.

– Contribute to the expansion and strengthening of people-to-people links and exchanges between the European Union and Japan.

2.1.2. Specific objectives and deliverables

In order to achieve the above mentioned general objectives, the EU Institute in Japan will be expected more specifically to:

(1) Develop curriculum related activities,

Possible deliverables:

– Inventory and organise existing courses with EU-related content as a starting point in view of providing students at all levels with a coherent and comprehensive teaching offering in EU-related topics. This inventory should also enable consortium members to agree on shared curricula based on credit transfer mechanisms and result in enhanced exchanges of students and scholars between them.

– Develop new courses, EU modules, lectures series, certificates etc… in EU studies. These could focus on European integration, economy, history and prospects as well as the position and role of the EU on the international stage in particular as regard issues relevant to Japan. In the medium term, these efforts should result in the creation of a Master's course in EU affairs.

– Elaborate textbooks in Japanese on EU related topics and develop distance-learning and Web-based teaching and materials.

– Develop a capacity to supervise post-graduate research including possible allocation of scholarships to Japanese Ph.D. students at dissertation stage for work on the European Union or EU-Japan related topics.

– Establish an agenda of key EU issues to serve as a basis for inviting academics or specialised speakers/teachers and developing seminars / workshops / conferences.

(2) Organise or support a wide range of outreach activities beyond the academic circles, notably in direction of business, media, (local) government and authorities, chambers of commerce, trade unions…

Possible deliverables:

– Be a vehicle capable of hosting meetings between high-level representatives of the EU and Japan.

– Publish: newsletter, information kits, CD-ROM, conference proceedings, surveys, studies, results of research on EU-related subjects;

– Organise or support conferences, workshops, festivals, seminars and any other cultural and information activities designed as to attract media, officials, decision-makers and opinion leaders.

– Organise information workshops and training modules for journalists from local and national media;

– Develop a regional dimension for EU activities.

These activities will have the common objectives of promoting the image and knowledge of the EU; raising awareness about the EU; ensuring widespread dissemination of accurate, updated and balanced information on EU policies and social values.

(3) Increase academic contacts and exchanges and facilitate research work on EU related topics across a wide range of disciplines

Possible deliverables

– Creation of a visitor's programme. While academic exchanges would not form, per se, a core priority for the project, the EU Institute could develop a visitor's programme as a means to better achieve its main objectives (curriculum development and outreach). In this perspective, the EU Institute could host, in different settings and for different periods:

Scholars with a view to tutoring Japanese academics and students in EU related disciplines, helping to provide contact points for research and exchanges, delivering advanced courses on specific EU related or EU-Japan related subjects, giving presentations in academic institutions and public forums throughout Japan.

MPs, businessmen, trade union leaders, journalists, persons involved in NGO's and other professionals who could participate in the research, teaching and outreach activities of the EU Institute.

– Sponsor faculty development through scholarships on EU subjects for Japanese professors, researchers post-graduate students or post-doctoral fellows;

– Establish or deepen contacts and co-operation activities with other Centres/Institutions in Europe, in particular the European University Institute in Florence and with EU Centres established in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

– Establish an information network linking the EU Institute to other domestic and foreign institutions (universities, research centres and agencies, EU Centres in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Co-operation in Tokyo, Chambers of Commerce, European Business Community in Japan) in order to ensure multiplier effects for the EU Institute's activities and to develop collaborative research projects.

(4) Develop as a major information source on EU related issues

Possible deliverables:

– Reinforce library collections on EU related topics;

– Improve information and documentation facilities in order to broaden access to researchers, students, officials, and the wider public;

– Develop a dedicated Web Site and on-line information tools and use the Internet and other electronic communication technologies for widespread information dissemination (information hub, Internet portal).

(5) Link with existing institutions and programmes established by the European Commission and EU Member States as regards EU-Japan relations.

Possible deliverables

– Act as a resource centre in terms of expertise, infrastructure support, information and learning facilities for these institutions and programmes.

– Encourage contacts between EU programme participants (in particular ETP) and alumni on the one hand and local students, researchers, officials and business community members on the other.

– Make use of (ex)participants in the EU programmes as a resource for the activities of the EU Institute;

– Foster activities and conferences organised by EU institutions including the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Co-operation, the European Business Council, EU Member States national cultural institutions and chambers of commerce;

3. Practical Information and main requirements

3.1. Procedure

The Community financial support to the project will be awarded as a result of a "call for proposals" procedure. This is a procedure of a competitive nature by which interested universities are asked to submit a work programme and a budget for the duration of the project on the basis of the instructions set out in this document and in the attached application form.

Only proposals emanating from already constituted consortia will be considered.

It is the role of a "co-ordinating university" appointed by the partners in the consortium to introduce the joint proposal on behalf of the members of each consortium.

3.2. Time frame

The deadline for application is 31 October 2003. The evaluation and selection of the beneficiary will take place during the month of November 2003. The results of the call for proposal will be disclosed in December 2003. At the same time, a grant agreement will be signed with the university representing the selected consortium.

As mentioned below, the establishment of an EU Institute in Japan is intended as a pilot project covering an initial three-year period of activity of the project. Considering the pilot nature of the project, some flexibility in the duration may be required, in particular to allow the EU Institute to set-up its infrastructure, staff and working arrangements. The proposed contract will therefore last 3.5 years in order to encompass 6 months of preparation and 3 years of full speed activity.

3.3. Funding

Community grants are an incentive to carry out an action which could not otherwise be carried out without the financial support of the Commission. They are based on the principle of co-financing. They complement the applicant's own financial contribution and / or any other contribution from the public or private sector also obtained.

Part of the applicant's own contribution can be met by providing logistic support, assigning administrative and academic staff or allocating equipment and services. Overhead costs (phone/fax, mail, consumables...etc) will be eligible on a flat rate basis equal to a maximum 7% of the total budget of the operations.

Making available of building and land cannot be accounted for in the budget of the operation, but, will be taken into account when selecting the project and determining the overall level of the grant.

The European Commission will contribute to the funding of the operations of the EU Institute up to a maximum 75% of their real and direct costs. The maximum Community contribution envisaged is 1,000,000 euro for a three-and-a-half year period (3 academic years + 6 months for preparation / setting-up).

The proposal should also address the question of how activities generated through the pilot phase may be sustained beyond the pilot phase.

3.4. Narrative content of the application

The proposal narrative should include elements of information on the following items:

– The co-ordinating university's role, status and suitability for steering the project. Provide a statement describing the institution's experience and capacity to organised the required activities and indicate how these relate to the broader mission of the institution.

– Elements establishing the partnership's regional coherence and potential for co-operative interaction as well as information on each university's role, experience and suitability for participating in the project.

– Infrastructure, resources and institutional support: indicate the extent of resources (office space, equipment, support staff…) that will made available and facilitate the rapid creation of the network. If possible, indicate how the participating institutions would plan to attract support, including from the private sector, in order to ensure long-term sustainability of the EU Institute after the pilot phase.

– Description of existing research and course offerings, academic expertise in the field of European studies and international studies and established links with foreign institutions. Indicate what relevant research projects (including workshops, seminars and conferences) have been completed in the past 3 years at undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate level.

– Annual work programme providing detailed programme and calendar of activities for year one of the project including setting-up phase. Provide a list of planned activities specifying for each: the type of activity, subject / theme , how it relates to the objectives assigned to the project, target public, planned date and duration, expected results and anticipated cost.

– Programme outline and rationale for year 2-3 explaining how these activities will build upon and/or expand the impact of the activities undertaken during year 1.

This work programme and programme outline must be elaborated along the lines given in Heading 2 of this document. They do not necessarily have to exhaustively include all (or only) the activity types suggested in Heading 2.1.2 but must form a coherent set of initiatives capable of significantly contributing to the general objectives defined in 2.1.1.

– Programme impact: Explain how the planned activities will effectively enhance better knowledge and understanding of the EU and EU related issues, in particular, explain how proposed outreach activities will impact at national, regional or local level.

– Prospects for sustainability: Assuming completion of a three-year funding cycle, explain how the EU Institute's activities can be continued following the termination of European Commission support.

3.5. Consortium requirements

As explained above, the Commission intends to develop the EU Institute as a project based upon a "consortium" of universities, that is to say an informally organised and co-ordinated network of partner universities. This does not mean that a specific overarching legal entity has to be created to carry out the project. More simply, the expectations of the European Commission are that a comprehensive set of activities will be jointly elaborated and jointly implemented by an organised group of Universities committed to work in a co-operative mode.

This consortium will have to bring together at least 3 different universities. For ease of implementation and co-ordination and in order to enable the consortium members to develop joint activities and build up their links, it is required that they all originate from the same region. By "same region" it is meant that commuting times and costs between the partner universities will be limited enough to allow the development of joint curricula based on courses, modules, seminars, workshops organised by individual members of the consortiums but accessible to students and scholars from all of them.

The network can involve other organisations (Foundations, Research Institutes, Business organisations) with a view to improving the visibility and the quality of its activities or widening its sources of income.

Any candidate consortium will have to be represented by one of its members who will be responsible for co-ordinating the project, managing the contract and the corresponding funding from and reporting to the Commission. An endorsement letter (that is to say a declaration that each member approves the proposal and is committed to its implementation) will nevertheless be required from each consortium member.

For the purpose of this call for proposals, the consortium should then be represented by one of its member who will introduce the joint proposal and apply for Community funding on behalf of all the partners. However, the implementation of activities and the benefits of the Community funding are expected to be distributed in fairness between the consortium members.

3.6. Budget proposal

The proposal will include an itemised budget for the EU Institute's activities in accordance with the template provided in the attached guidelines.

Envisaged sources of income (including the grant requested from the European Commission) must also be specified and match the foreseen expenditure.

3.7. Deadline for submission of proposals

Proposal must be sent at the latest on 31/10/2003 (date of post).

3.8. Management of the EU Institute

In consultation with the members of the consortium, the co-ordinating university will nominate a person responsible for the overall management and co-ordination of the EU Institute as well as the timely delivery of the activities outlined in its work programme. The operations of the EU Institute will be supervised by a management board including two members designated by the Head of the Tokyo EU Delegation as well as representatives from all the universities involved in the consortium.

The role of the management board will be to examine and endorse the proposals to be submitted on behalf of the consortium by the co-ordinating university for approval by the Commission (work programme, budget forecasts, interim and final reports). The management board will also advise on the policy for developing the Institute's activities, on solutions to broaden the funding base of the EU Institute in order to ensure its self-sustainability, and on means to strengthen links with the business and research communities.

The EU Institute will operate under Japanese law on a non-profit basis. It must not be regarded as a new legal body or structure to be created but as an additional and well identified function to be performed by the partner universities. It will be established on a co-operative project basis and therefore does not require the creation of a specific legal entity.

3.9. Language

The proposal must be submitted in four copies in English.

3.10. Additional information

An information meeting will be organised by the Delegation of the European Commission in Japan. This meeting will take place at the end of June / beginning of July 2003. The exact date, time, and place will be posted on this website.

4. Evaluation of the proposals

The European Commission will determine the eligibility of proposals submitted prior to funding consideration.

A proposal submitted will be considered ineligible if:

- it is submitted after the closing date of the call for proposals, i.e. 31 October 2003;

- the application form does not have the signature of the applicant;

- The applicant fails to demonstrate technical and financial capacity to carry out the proposed project

- the applicant or one or more partners are ineligible;

- the consortium does not meet the minimum partnership requirements;

- the proposal does not contain the documents required;

- The application does not meet the requirements concerning maximum subsidy both in absolute terms and as percentage of the total project costs.

Ineligible proposals cannot be selected.

Proposals will then be evaluated against the following criteria:

– Quality of the work programme and relevance of the proposed activities and demonstration of their capacity to achieve significant and far-reaching impact;

– Cost effectiveness in the implementation of activities proposed and capacity to mobilise resources complementary to the Commission funding;

– Demonstrated capacity to add value to the existing activities of the applicant institutions (either through the deepening of existing EU studies or through the establishment of entirely new activities).

– The capacity to act as a network with domestic and international links with other academic and research institutions and the quality of the organisational and administrative structure envisaged for the delivery and monitoring of and reporting on activities foreseen.

application form

[1] The project is expected to run 3 annual programme of activities. A six-month preparation period is foreseen prior the launch of the first annual programme.

[2] For an assessment of the impact of the Europe Centres in USA, please refer to annex 1.

© 2001 Delegation of the European Commission in Japan
http://jpn.cec.eu.int/frame.asp?frame=en glish/about/2-5-07.htm

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