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European Commission announces CFPs on Common Operational Partnerships to Prevent & Fight against Migrant Smuggling

European Commission announces CFPs on Common Operational Partnerships to Prevent & Fight against Migrant Smuggling

Deadline: 27 August 2020

The European Commission has announced a Call for proposals on Common Operational Partnerships to prevent and fight against migrant smuggling with competent authorities of third countries.

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The present call for proposals aims to support projects that enhance the prevention and fight against the smuggling of migrants by establishing Common Operational Partnerships (COPs) that would support structured cooperation between competent law enforcement authorities, judicial authorities and other relevant services of the participating EU Member States and third countries.


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Reinforced operational cooperation through the exchange of liaison officers in EU Member States and/or third country, including through the setting up or strengthening of specialised teams of investigators and magistrates, and mutual support for ongoing investigations if relevant. This may include the support for liaison magistrate posts.
Provision of targeted capacity building and on-the-job mentoring/twinning opportunities for the enlisted competent authorities in third countries on detection, investigation techniques and collecting evidence for judicial proceedings in the area of migrant smuggling. When relevant, this should include a focus on document fraud and illicit financial flows linked to migrant smuggling.
Support, guidance and sharing of best practice for establishing more effective interagency / inter-ministerial cooperation as well as improved procedures and organisational structures to encourage optimal allocation of resources, both at national and regional levels.
Coordination and complementarity with on-going COPs and assimilated projects throughout their implementation, including those that are funded through the external financing instruments of the European Union
Cooperation and exchange of information between the COP participants and the Member States’ liaison officers and the European Migration Liaison Officers (EMLOs) or other EU Agency liaison officers part of the European Network of Immigration Liaison Officers set up by the Regulation EU 2019/1240, in the country or region, while ensuring that Europol, Frontex and Eurojust are fully involved in the exchange and analysis of information, whenever relevant and within the respect of the applicable legal framework, including concerning the exchange of personal data. Cooperation, complementarity and consistency between COP and actions implemented in the same country or region, funded under the biennial work programme of the European Network of Immigration liaison officers should also be considered.

Projects must be aiming to achieve one or more of the following outcomes related to the prevention and fight against organised crime groups engaged in migrant smuggling, without duplicating existing projects or structures:

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Enhanced mutual trust and cooperation internationally, regionally and nationally between different agencies, through assistance in developing and enhancing procedures as well as legal, administrative and statistical tools necessary to support the exchange of information between competent law enforcement and judicial authorities in tackling migrant smuggling;
Improved institutional and operational setting, including through capacity building and better equipment, as a basis for cross-border cooperation between relevant third countries and EU Member States as well as EU agencies, such as Europol, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency or Eurojust and international organisations such as Interpol and UNODC where relevant;
Improved information exchange between partner law enforcement agencies nationally, regionally and internationally.

The development of the project proposal should include the following preparatory steps:

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Carry out a technical and political risk analysis of the chosen third country(ies) and its role in terms of irregular migration flows towards the EU, including its capacity to set up a COP with EU Member States, e. g. through existing adequate anti-smuggling legislation and procedures, relevant services and agencies, and possibly specialised teams of investigators and magistrates;
Assess the capacity building and operational needs of law enforcement and judicial authorities in the third country;
Ensure technical and political ownership and commitment from the third country(ies) through a thorough dialogue, possibly leading to a commitment in writing;
Define and agree with the relevant third country partners the scope of the mandate and the prerogative of a COP;
Assess the optimal partnership approach in terms of whether / which joint activities take place in the EU Member State(s), in the third country itself or a mixture of the two.
Funding Information

The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects under this call for proposals is estimated at EUR 3.000.000 (three million euro).

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Eligibility Criteria

The following entities can apply as lead applicants and co-applicants:

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Public bodies, or by the competent authority’s mandate, a public or non-public implementing agency or body of a Member State of the European Union participating in the ISF Police instrument.
The following entities can only apply as co-applicants:
Public bodies established in a third country.
The following are not eligible, neither as applicants nor as co-applicants:
Union Agencies;
Natural persons;
International organisations
Union Agencies can neither be Applicants nor Co-applicants. However, the invitation of relevant EU agencies such as Europol, Frontex and Eurojust in the implementation of the action (on a no-cost basis) is encouraged. Affiliated entities, i.e. legal entities having a legal or capital link with applicants, shall take part in the action as individual co-applicants in order to declare eligible costs unless they are affiliated to a public body.
Eligibility of Applications

In order to be eligible, applications:

Must be transnational, i.e. involve at least two eligible entities established in two different EU Member States participating in the ISF Police instrument, or at least one EU Member State participating in the ISF Police instrument and one third country as a co-applicant.
Must request an EU contribution equal to or higher than EUR 500.000. Applications seeking a lower EU contribution will be rejected.
Must have an implementation period of maximum 36 months. Applications for projects scheduled to run for a longer period will be rejected. Activities must not have started prior to the date of submission of the grant application.
Eligible Countries

Lead applicants and co-applicants must be established in the following countries to be eligible:

The Member States of the European Union with the exception of Denmark (“Member States Participating in the ISF Police instrument”);
Any other source or transit third country/ies.
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2WlsUxC

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