Frontpage News 2010 1.79 billion to reduce economic and social disparities in Europe

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1.79 billion to reduce economic and social disparities in Europe

On 18 December 2009, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway agreed with the European Union on new financial contributions for the period 2009-14. This article presents a brief overview of beneficiary states, priority sectors and financial contributions.

According to the Agreed Minutes, the three donor states will provide €357.7 million per year, or a total sum of almost €1.79 billion, to reduce social and economic disparities in the European Economic Area and to the strengthening of their relations with the beneficiary states in the five-year period 2009-14. € 197.7 million will be made available per year through the EEA Financial Mechanism (the EEA Grants) and € 160 million through the Norwegian Financial Mechanism (the Norway Grants). Norway provides 97% of the total amount.

The beneficiary states of the EEA Grants will be the 12 most recent EU members plus Greece, Portugal and Spain, with Spain receiving transitional support in the period 1 May 2009 – 31 December 2013. The Norway Grants are earmarked for the 12 newest members.

The EEA and Norway Grants 2009-14 will be administered according to a programming framework model in which funds will be channelled through programmes established under various priority sectors in the beneficiary states.

The priority sectors will be:

-u0009Environmental protection and management
-u0009Climate change and renewable energy
-u0009Carbon capture and storage (CCS)
-u0009Green industry innovation
-u0009Research and scholarship
-u0009Protecting cultural heritage
-u0009Civil society
-u0009Promotion of decent work and tripartite dialogue
-u0009Justice and home affairs
-u0009Human and social development

The annual contributions for the EEA and Norway Grants 2009-14 combined, listed by beneficiary state and in descending order, will be:

Poland €115.62 million
Romania €61.19 million
Hungary €30.66 million
Czech Republic €26.36 million
Bulgaria €25.32 million
Lithuania €16.80 million
Slovakia €16.15 million
Latvia €14.59 million
Greece €12.68 million
Portugal €11.59 million
Estonia €9.72 million
Spain* €9.17 million
Slovenia €5.38 million
Cyprus €1.57 million
Malta €0.90 million
Total sum €357.70 million

*) Spain will receive transitional support in the period 1 May 2009 – 31 December 2013.