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Frontpage News 2005 Slovenia signs 6.1 mln EEA funds deal with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

Slovenia signs 6.1 mln EEA funds deal with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

Slovenia signed on 12 May 2005 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the three EEA EFTA states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway on the use of funds available through the European Economic Area Agreement (EEA).

The MoU for the EEA Financial Mechanism, established under the EEA Enlargement Agreement, will make 6.1 million euros available for projects in sectors such as environment, sustainable development, conservation of the European cultural heritage, human resources development and health and childcare.

Mr. Marcel Koprol, Secretary of State for European Affairs,signed the MoU on behalf of Slovenia, while the Ambassador of Iceland, Mr. Kjartan Jóhannsson, the Ambassador of Liechtenstein, H.S.H. Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein, and the Ambassador of Norway, Mr. Bjørn T. Grydeland, signed on behalf of the EEA EFTA countries.

The EEA Financial Mechanism aims to reduce social and economic disparities within the EEA, and to enable all EEA countries to participate fully in the Internal Market.

The EEA Agreement makes the EEA EFTA states Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein part of the Internal Market, which was expanded from 18 to 28 member states at the same time as the EU enlargement in May 2004. The EEA Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism established under the EEA Enlargement Agreement aim to reduce social and economic disparities in the EEA area. The EEA Financial Mechanism makes funds available to the ten countries which joined the EU in May 2004, and to Spain, Portugal and Greece. The Norwegian Financial Mechanism makes funds available to the ten new EU member states. In total, the two mechanisms make available approximately 1.17 billion euros over a five-year period to the 13 countries eligible for funding. Both mechanisms are administered by the Financial Mechanism Office in Brussels, which is affiliated to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Secretariat.