🗣 Robert Carroll, EFMC Senior Expert:
The COVID-19 outbreak can definitely be considered a case of “force majeure” in the legal framework of H2020, in the meaning of the Grant Agreement art.51. It is a case of “force majeure” if you are facing “…unforeseeable, exceptional situation and beyond the parties’ control…”.
If the current pandemic is affecting the implementation of the action then the beneficiary MUST:
• Notify the “other party” (i.e. the Granting Authority) for a case-by-case analysis;
• Immediately take all necessary measures to limit any impact and damage due to force majeure.
However, costs incurred for a project activity that cannot take place due to force majeure will be eligible (according to conditions of art. 6 GA).
N.B. Unless different specific provisions will be adopted by the EU, at present “financial difficulties” (even if due to a force majeure situation) cannot be invoked as a justification for not fulfilling the GA obligations.