Consortium and Consortium Agreements
Together the partners form the project consortium, which, by signing the Grant Agreement, commits itself to accomplish the project according to the conditions agreed upon. The relation between the Consortium and the European Commission is governed by the provisions of the Grant Agreement.
The Coordinator holds a special role within the consortium being the interface between the partners and the European Commission. All communication with the Project Officer is made via the Coordinator. Furthermore, the Coordinator is responsible for monitoring the project as well as for the administration of the budget. The Consortium takes all measures to ensure an efficient project implementation. To this end a Consortium Agreement has to be signed among the project partners. This agreement manages the internal relations of the Consortium. The conclusion of a Consortium Agreement is, if not explicitly stated otherwise in the Work Programme, compulsory for all Horizon 2020 projects.
With regard to project management the European Commission provides quite large flexibility to the Consortium. At the same time this means a lot of responsibility for the Consortium and especially for the Coordinator and its project management. A particular challenge is the balancing of interests and objectives of the involved persons and institutions.
The Consortium Agreement being the legal agreement between the project partners helps to reduce or avoid potential conflicts. It exclusively governs the relation between the partners, the European Commission is not part of the agreement. Hierarchically, the Grant Agreement stands above the Consortium Agreement. Therefore its provisions prevail over those of the Consortium Agreement while the latter is covering more detailed aspects.