1st Project Board Meeting 10 July 2013

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On 10 July 2013, the AnNa Project Board met for the first time.

On the agenda were State-of-play AnNa project proposal evaluation, Actions to be undertaken before a TEN-T contract can be signed and Review of ongoing work. Representatives of Bulgaria, France, The Netherlands and Sweden participated.

A presentation was prepared to assist the Project Board in its discussions. The presentation is adjusted based on the outcome of the discussions and can be accessed  here  

The major issues being discussed were:

On the procedure for a TEN-T-AnNa Commission Decision (not a contract):

  1. The EC evaluation is positive - On 11 July 2013 the Financial Committee will most likely decide YES on the AnNa project proposal (they did). The contract negotiations with the TEN-T Agency will start soon. Sofia Papantoniadou is the TEN-T representative for the AnNa project. She will present the draft Commission Decision and various features relating the TEN-T - AnNa contract. So far, it appears the EC has approved the budget (at 50% co-financing). 
  2. The EU Member States that shall participate in the AnNa project will sign a consortium agreement. This consortium agreement can be:
    1. a one or two pages document containing the signatures of the various countries in order to confirm the commitments undertaken when signing the proposal, e.g. the implementing bodies already identified in the project proposal (in this sense the proposal has a legally binding status) (Ready September/October).
    2. a longer document containing not only the signatures of all EU Member States but also a text on the actions to be undertaken (Ready September)
  3. A Project Management Plan shall be written as an Annex to the Consortium Agreement containing the work procedures within the AnNa consortium - Tasks, Bodies, Division of work, Workflow management. (Ready October)
  4. The AnNa Commission Decision negotiation team consists of Roeland van Bockel, Dominic Jarvis and Zdravko Alaber (all project coordination team). Close contact shall be established with the EU Member States for their input and to provide feedback. The Project Board will function as direct support structure.
  5. Six weeks (45 days) after the TEN-T/AnNa Commission Decision has been signed the TEN-T Agency will do a down payment of 50%. This down payment might be done in possibly three ways (to be decided and discussed with TEN-T Agency):
    1. Every participating country receives 50% of its total budget. The NL will send an invoice to the various participating countries to claim its cost for the contract coordination. (This is not a preferred way).
    2. The TEN-T Agency sends all the money to the Netherlands and the NL divides this to all participating countries, subtracting an amount for coordination costs. To be informed and agreed by all countries beforehand.
    3. The TEN-T Agency sends the money to the various countries for the 50% but takes from this amount the costs for coordination and this is paid to the NL. 
  6. 90 calendar days after the TEN-T/AnNa contract has been signed the AnNa consortium has to submit a Strategic Action Plan (SAP), containing a detailed project plan, e.g. more elaborated B2 document
    1. clearly identify for the overall Project who is the responsible person (one) of the country to be addressed
    2. clearly identify per Activity who the representative person (one) of the country to be addressed 
    3. clearly identify all the bodies per MS to be mentioned in the Commission Decision (i.e. Beneficiary, Implementing Body(ies) and Action Promoters)
    4. validate the financial data being put into the project proposal
    5. identify the content related contributions they want to bring for the various Activities and Sub-Activities
    6. identify all the eligible costs being spent (and to be claimed) for 2012. 
  1. A specific planning for the period until December 2015 will be made.

On the AnNa organisation:

  1. The leading body is the Consortium meeting (Partner's General assembly).
  2. The project coordinator serves as workflow manager to the various bodies and countries. The project coordinator is assisted by a project coordination team that shall also closely assist the Activity leaders in order to prevent the activity leader to be burdened by red tape. The Project Board is the first body to advise and guide the project coordinator. 
  3. Members of the Project Board are Bulgaria, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden and the project coordinator (also organiser of the meeting). The Project Board meets 3 times a year. In March of every year a meeting will be organised to discuss the yearly action status report (ASR) and financial report (needs to be sent to the TEN-T Agency).
  4. In principle, the members of the Peer Review Group can be the same as the members of the Project Board. However, these are two independent bodies. The peer review committee functions as a quality board. The Peer Review shall meet twice a year. 
  5. In principle the Consortium meets once a year. So as to inform all partners directly, a meeting in September 2013 in Brussels to talk about all things to be done is preferred (invitation ready July 2013).

On the Activities:

  1. The Project Board approves on the ideas of the Master Plan 2015 presented (presentation). A first draft will be ready September. The data elements should be discussed with the various AnNa partners and it should be prevented to have open discussions with all stakeholders before some agreements have been reached internally. The Activity 1.2 Group has to decide on this (meeting 11 and 12 July).
  2. The second pilot meetings will be held in Sweden on 26 and 27 September, arriving 25 September., This meeting is very important also to serve as an input for the contract (ready End September).
  3. France wants to start the activities on the Master Plan Extended Collaboration in September 2013 already (and not September 2014 as originally planned). A short description of the work to be executed will be written and proposed by France (Ready September 2013).
  4. Consultation costs in the different countries are reimbursable (eligible). The project coordinator can assist the countries in their work. Observers have a standing invitation for all meetings except the internal AnNa meetings. In particular, close attention should be given on how to develop contacts with the EC and EMSA. AnNa has no position in the eMS meetings; this is for the EU Member States themselves.
  5. On the Dissemination Plan, the Project Board approves the general lines of the Deliverable M4 (Dissemination Plan - 30 July 2013 deadline). Title of the plan: Interaction and commitment - bridging the gap between policy and its execution. End July, a draft document will be sent to the consortium. Bottom line of the dissemination plan is that AnNa acts to support the EU Member States and not to develop an independent trade. Furthermore the basic question in the AnNa communication is: “What is a Maritime Single Window?”.
  6. An EU Maritime Single Window day, including all AnNa bodies and other relevant TEN-T MoS projects (MIELE, B2MoS) will be organised on 20 or 22 November 2013 in Lisbon.  
  7. A specific planning will be made.

A possible answer to the question on what is a Maritime Single Window is:
A method to enable an EU Member State to electronically receive the legally required information once on ships arriving and departing in their national seaports and exchange this to the various national competent authorities and other EU Member States.