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European Commission’s FAQs regarding Coronavirus impact on Erasmus+ Activities

The COVID-19 outbreak has and is negatively affecting ongoing or planned activities under the Erasmus+ Programme. The European Commission has prepared a compilation of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help Erasmus+ Programme beneficiaries deal with the consequences for them.

We bring to your attention those questions and answers that were most often raised by and, therefore, relevant to the Armenian  beneficiaries (individual and institutional) of Erasmus+ KA1 (ICM, EMJMDs) and KA2 (CBHE) higher education projects during these few weeks: 

 

Questions raised by Erasmus+ mobility participants

Q 1. I was on Erasmus+ mobility in a Programme Country, but had to return home. Do I get to keep my grant?

A 1. If you are back home but։

  • a) you still have expenses directly and exclusively linked to your stay in the destination country, like rent and electricity and/or
  • b) you are taking part in virtual learning or other virtual activities (if the institution/ organisation in the destination country has made those available, as an alternative to the originally planned activities) then yes, you can keep your grant.

In addition, you may be able to obtain a refund of additional travel costs you may have incurred. You should check with your host European institution (subject to availability of additional EU funds at disposal of the organisation for your activity).

If you do not continue to have expenses in the destination country then you might have to pay back the portion of the grant, covering the period between the date you terminated your mobility experience and its planned end date.

 

Q 2. I was on Erasmus+ in a Programme Country, but my course was cancelled because the institution closed. I decided to stay in my host/destination country. Do I get to keep my grant?

A 2. If you remain in the destination country and

  • a) you still have expenses directly and exclusively linked to your stay in that country, like rent and electricity and/or
  • b) you are taking part in virtual learning activities (if the institution in the destination country has made those available as an alternative to the originally planned activities) then yes, you can keep your grant.

In addition, you may be able to receive an additional grant to cover the extra period of time, beyond what you had initially planned, that you had to stay abroad due to the COVID-19 outbreak. You should check with your home and host institutions (subject to availability of additional EU funds at disposal of the organisation for your activity).

 

Q 3. I was planning to go on Erasmus+  mobility , but had to cancel before the start because of the Covid-19 outbreak. I had already paid for my flight ticket and part of my accommodation. Do I get to keep the pre-financing I received for that?

A 3. If you have paid travel expenses linked to the planned mobility, such as a flight ticket that you never used and that could not be refunded, you can receive the grant for travel costs, whenever the funding rules of the action envisage a financial support for travel. If the action does not envisage this, you are entitled to keep or receive the part of the pre-financing that corresponds to the costs incurred. You may also be able to obtain a refund of costs for the reservation of accommodation. You should check with your host institution (subject to availability of additional EU funds at disposal of the organisation for your activity).

 

Q 4. Can I postpone my planned Erasmus+ mobility to a later date?

A 4. Check this with your home institution, but in principle, the National Agency of your European host country will accept to prolong an Erasmus+ project (which might include periods of mobility abroad for multiple participants). In all cases this information should be first clarified from the International Relations’ Office (IRO) of your Armenian University. 

 


Questions raised by higher education institutions

To the attention of CBHE Action stakeholders

Q 1. If an Armenian University is a CBHE project Grant holder and the project contracts are being impeded by COVID19 pandemic, which steps should be undertaken first?

A 1. As a first step the beneficiaries/contractors/experts must inform the Executive Agency (EACEA) by e-mail to the responsible project officer you are usually in contact with or the functional mailbox of the Action and describe in detail the issue and its impact on the project implementation.

 

Q 2. Are there any flexibility measures that can be applied to eligibility costs of ongoing capacity building projects? 

A 2.  Where individuals who were to take part in mobilities, meetings or events are prevented from doing so, EACEA may consider as eligible* expenses of travel or accommodation that could not be cancelled and which are not reimbursed from other sources provided that the beneficiaries/contractors/experts submit relevant supporting documents in this sense (in particular that they have claimed reimbursement and that it was denied).

* if they fulfill the general eligibility conditions set out in the grant agreement/decision, or contract.

 

Q 3. What replacement activities can be accepted by EACEA if  COVID-19 prevents implementation of action or contract?

A 3. Where the execution of contracts is impeded because of COVID-19 (for example due to unavailability of key staff, the impossibility of carrying on work in a zone affected by the virus or any other case which can be regarded as force majeure), EACEA may accept replacement activities or delayed performance. This could be done following a justified request by the beneficiary/contractor/expert to amend the contract including by extending the period of its implementation/ performance.

 

Q 4. What kind of documentation should CBHE project stakeholders prepare in order to justify subsequent changes to the project work plan? 

A 4. Beneficiaries/contractors/experts must collect and keep the relevant documentation which might be needed at a later stage to prove/justify any decision taken having an impact on the implementation of the project (notably from a financial point of view). Other updates may follow as the situation evolves.

 

To the attention of ICM Action stakеholders

Q 1. What are the implications of delayed or interrupted mobility agreements? Are there any planned extensions?  

A. 1. National Agencies in Programme Countries are authorised to invoke the force majeure clause in all cases where the application of national limitations affects the implementation of Erasmus+  projects. This allows them to assess the possibility of accepting additional costs justified by the COVID-19 containment measures. 
Deadlines for all planned activities may be postponed by up to 12 months per project. The maximum length of the project cannot exceed 36 months.

 

And finally, please mind these initial contact points for further information:  if you are a mobility participant from Armenia, please contact your sending/home  and/or receiving/host institution for further guidance. If you are an Armenian higher education institution, you need to get in touch with  your Programme Country partner institution in case of Erasmus+ ICM or with the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency in case of CBHE or JM projects. 

The original official communiques prepared by the European Commission can be found here:

https://bit.ly/2JyKrg0

https://bit.ly/2V0QMX0

 

NOTE: If you haven’t found an answer to your question, please consider that the Commission will continue to adapt its response to this unprecedented situation as it evolves, clarifying and simplifying the application or rules and procedures where necessary in cooperation with Erasmus+ National Agencies in the Programme Countries and the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).

Posted in: News & Events, News & Events 2020