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Call for Expression of Interest with a view to selecting EU-Rail associated members

On 21 June 2024, the Governing Board of Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (EU-Rail) adopted a Call for Expression of Interest (CEI) with a view to selecting associated members with the potential to contribute to the achievement of its objectives. The Governing Board decision can be accessed here

About the Call for Expression of Interest

The CEI is based on Article 7 of the Single Basic Act (SBA) “Selection of associated members”, which sets out the main principles and rules governing the selection process. Based on the existing EU-Rail’s governance framework, EU-Rail is now seeking for a limited number of “associated members” to complement the existing membership with additional key capabilities/capacities and competences able to implement the Multi-Annual Work Programme (MAWP) and achieve impact. Associated members will join efforts with the European Union and the other private members of EU-Rail to contribute to the achievement of its objectives.

EU-Rail is looking for stakeholders having key capabilities/capacities and competencies in the field of the new/enlarged R&I areas described in the update of the MAWP to be implemented in view of the second and third wave of Flagship Projects. Please specifically refer to the table titled “MAWP v3.0 updates, main additional elements” that can be found in the published MAWP update.

This CEI is not a Call for proposals in the meaning of Horizon Europe Regulation and will not lead to any pre-allocation of Union funding to the organisations that will be selected as associated members. In line with Article 5.2 of the SBA, EU-Rail provides funding mainly in the form of grants to indirect actions which are selected following open, transparent and competitive Calls for proposals, except for duly justified deviations set in the Work Programme.

In addition, applying to this CEI and becoming an EU-Rail associated member is not a prerequisite for applying to EU-Rail’s Calls for proposals and participating to any EU-Rail’s projects.

  1. EU-Rail private members are represented in the Governing Board, who are appointed according to the mechanism established by the Governing Board Rules of Procedure, together with two representatives of the European Commission on behalf of the European Union. The Governing Board is the decision-making body of EU-Rail.

  2. EU-Rail private members contribute to the work of the Governing Board on the definition of the priorities of the programme, the technical roadmap and strategy as well as providing technical inputs to the EU-Rail programme office on the technical priorities for the Calls for proposals to be launched by EU-Rail, and on other important issues.

  3. EU-Rail private members are also actively engaged in and contribute to the dissemination of results and exploitation strategy of the programme and contribute to several programmes and corporate communication initiatives launched by the EU-Rail.

  4. EU-Rail private members commit to contribute to the execution of the MAWP in line with the applicable EU-Rail’s and Horizon Europe rules and to comply with their obligations as set in the SBA.

  5. EU-Rail private members are bound by a collective commitment to provide an in-kind and financial contribution to EU-Rail of at least EUR 600.000.000 over the lifetime of the EU-Rail until 2031.

Eligibility and process for application

Any legal entity established in an EU Member State, international organisation or legal entity established in a country associated to Horizon Europe, with the necessary operational and financial capacity to be able to engage on a long-term commitment to EU-Rail may be selected as EU-Rail’s associated member.

Entities established in countries that are in the process or association to Horizon Europe are covered, mutatis mutandis, under the transnational arrangements (i.e., they can apply but their final approval as associated members will be conditioned to the association of the countries in which they are established to Horizon Europe).

Applications shall be addressed to the functional email box: by 4 November 2024, at 12.00 CET/Brussels time.

The documents that applicants will need to submit are:

  • An Application Form template duly filled in and signed, providing legal information, key competences and capabilities and financial soundness (applicant’s operational capacity).
  • A Letter of Commitment duly filled in, in which applicants provide a preliminary estimation of the level of “in-kind contributions” that may be committed to EU-Rail subject to the negotiation stage, together with additional commitments, with the Executive Director of EU-Rail that will take place with the selected candidates. The estimate should be global plus an estimated breakdown of the in-kind contributions to operational activities (IKOP) and in-kind contributions to additional activities (IKAA).

Admissibility, eligibility and selection criteria are set in the CEI.

The assessment of the applications is planned to start as from November 2024 with the assistance by independent experts. Based on this assessment, the EU-Rail’s Executive Director will submit a list of proposed associated members to EU-Rail’s Governing Board for decision, indicatively before the end of the first quarter of 2025. The adhesion of the selected associated members will be formalised by the signature of the Letter of Commitment with each associated member.

Questions and Answers

All questions concerning this CEI should be sent to the same functional email box above indicated, up to 18 October 2024, 17.00 CET/Brussels time. They will be answered and published anonymised on this webpage for the benefit of all potential applicants.