Working Together for a Green, Competitive and Inclusive Europe
The EEA and Norway Grants represent Norway’s contribution to reducing social and economic disparities in the European Economic Area (EEA). The Grants scheme also strengthens ties and cooperation between Norway and the beneficiary countries.
The basis for the Grants scheme is the EEA Agreement, which forms the foundation of Norway’s cooperation with the EU. The Agreement provides for the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital, and access for Norwegian companies to a market with more than 500 million people. The EEA Agreement includes a common goal to work together to reduce social and economic disparities in Europe. Norway contributes towards this goal through the Grants scheme.
The EEA and Norway Grants are allocated to sectors that are crucial for development in the beneficiary country, and where there is potential for, and interest in, cooperation with Norway. Five key sectors have been identified:
- Innovation, research, education and competitiveness
- Social inclusion, poverty reduction and youth employment
- Environment, energy, climate change and the low-carbon economy
- Culture, civil society, good governance and fundamental rights
- Justice and home affairs
The EEA and Norway Grants are distributed between various programmes in each of these sectors following negotiations between Norway and the beneficiary country in question. Each programme then awards grants for projects on the basis of open calls for proposals.
There are a number of challenges in Europe that affect several countries or regions and that can only be tackled through cross-border efforts. Three special funds have been established with this in view.
Fund for Youth Employment
EUR 65.5 million
Fund for Regional Cooperation
EUR 34.5 million
Decent Work and Tripartite Dialogue Fund
EUR 12.5 million
The EEA and Norway Grants are intended to strengthen political, economic and cultural ties between Norway and the beneficiary countries. Efforts under the scheme are therefore implemented in close cooperation with Norwegian partners. This gives actors from both the beneficiary countries and Norway international experience and access to useful networks in Europe. Such cooperation is facilitated on different levels.
Public institutions and government agencies from the beneficiary states and Norway cooperate in the design of the programmes and share knowledge and experience during the implementation stage. Relevant government agencies from Norway include: the Norwegian Environment Agency, the Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway, and the Norwegian Directorate of Health.
Private businesses, research groups, municipalities, employee and employer organisations, and NGOs from Norway and the beneficiary countries are encouraged to enter into cooperation to implement joint projects. Projects are awarded funding on the basis of open calls for proposals under the various programmes.
The bilateral funds are used to finance initiatives that facilitate cross-border cooperation, such as initiatives to find partners and promote network-building, or efforts relating to conferences, study trips, exchanges, etc.
EU member states that receive support from the EU Cohesion Fund may receive funding under the EEA and Norway Grants. To be eligible, the country must have a gross national income (GNI) that is 90 % of the EU average or lower. For the current funding period (2014–2021), this applies to 15 countries. The Norway Grants is reserved for countries that joined the EU after 2003.
Poland€809.3m EEA Grants: €397.8m Norway Grants: €411.5m
Romania€502.5m EEA Grants: €275.2m Norway Grants: €227.3m
Hungary€214.6m EEA Grants: €108.9m Norway Grants: €105.7m
Bulgaria€210.1m EEA Grants: €115m Norway Grants: €95.1m
Czech Republic€184.5m EEA Grants: €95.5m Norway Grants: €89m
Lithuania€117.6m EEA Grants: €56.2m Norway Grants: €61.4m
Greece€116.7m EEA Grants: €116.7m Norway Grants: €0m
Slovakia€113.1m EEA Grants: €54.9m Norway Grants: €58.2m
Croatia€103.4m EEA Grants: €56.8m Norway Grants: €46.6m
Portugal€102.7m EEA Grants: €102.7m Norway Grants: €0m
Latvia€102.1m EEA Grants: €50.2m Norway Grants: €51.9m
Estonia€68m EEA Grants: €32.3m Norway Grants: €35.7m
Slovenia€37.7m EEA Grants: €19.9m Norway Grants: €17.8m
Cyprus€11.5m EEA Grants: €6.4m Norway Grants: €5.1m
Malta€8m EEA Grants: €4.4m Norway Grants: €3.6m
The EEA and Norway Grants scheme consists of two financial mechanisms. One is funded solely by Norway (the Norway Grants), and amounts to EUR 1.25 billion for the period 2014–2021. The other (the EEA Grants) is funded by Norway (96%) together with Iceland (3%) and Liechtenstein (1%). The two mechanisms are generally referred to as the EEA and Norway Grants.
* Contribution based on the Donors’ gross domestic products