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Governance in Horizon Europe projects: Boards and Assemblies explained

August 11 2020

Are you setting up a scientific Horizon Europe project, and want some more information about how to set up the project management structure? In this article we provide an extensive explanation of decision bodies in your project. 

General Assembly

In a Horizon Europe project, and really any other collaborative project, the main decision mechanism is democratic. As the name states, 'the General Assembly' is the assembly of all the partners; It includes one representative of each partner and is chaired by the coordinator. The General Assembly (GA) meets once every year. By default, any decision can be taken by a majority of 2/3 of the voters, and to vote there should be at least 2/3 of the members present or represented. The decisions made by the GA are mainly on proposal by the Executive Board.

Executive Board

The Executive Board is the board for directing and monitoring the Horizon Europe project. It includes the coordinator and the sub-project leaders. By default, they will meet at least quarterly. It is recommended to keep this board small (not more than 8 individuals) to make it as efficient as possible.

Supervisory Board

In large projects, you may opt for having a Supervisory Board that reviews the work done within the work packages. They will deliver the reports and results to the Executive Board. In smaller Horizon Europe (HEU) projects, such a board is unnecessary.

Management Team

The Management Team supports the Executive Board and the coordinator. They are responsible for the day-to-day management of the HEU project. They are responsible for the organisation of meetings, coordination of the reporting, serving as helpdesk for queries by the consortium and any other task defined in the project. Make sure that this team will not take over the tasks for the coordinator.

The coordinator

The coordinator has specific tasks in a Horizon Europe project, that cannot be done by another participant. The main tasks of the HEU project coordinator are:

  • Monitor that the action is implemented properly;
  • Act as the intermediary for all communications — unless the Agreement specifies otherwise;
  • Request and review any documents or information required and verify their completeness and correctness;
  • Submit the deliverables and reports;
  • Distribute payments to the other beneficiaries, without unjustified delay;
  • Inform the Commission/Agency of the amounts paid to each beneficiary, if requested to do so.

External Advisory Board

An External Advisory Board is recommended in every project and to provide their view and opinion on the project or specific expertise. They are appointed and steered by the Executive Board. In a large project, or project with a specific topic, you can think of a more extensive Advisory Board, such as a Clinical Advisory Board in projects including clinical trials, an Ethics Advisory Board (in some projects obligated by the European Commission), or Industrial Advisory Board.

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