Taking stock of the EEA and Norway Grants 2004-09
Projects financed under the EEA and Norway Grants are just over five months away from the implementation deadline. 140 projects are completed and more than half of the available funding has been paid out.
So far, 11% of the 1250 individual projects, programmes and funds that were awarded grants in the period 2004-09 are finalised. According to reports from the 15 beneficiary states, 114 further projects will be finalised by year end and the majority of projects will be completed during the first four months of 2011, in time for the 30 April 2011 implementation deadline.
Estonia has the largest proportion of completed projects, followed by Poland and the Czech Republic. In Cyprus, Greece, Portugal and Spain, no projects have been finalised so far.
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are currently reviewing requests from the beneficiary states for 'exceptional cases', which may warrant an extended time period for certain projects.
To date, more than half of the available funding has been paid out to projects, funds and programmes. As a thumb rule, grant reimbursements are made on the basis of incurred costs; as the projects progress, the promoters submit requests for payments.
Well targeted support
Although it is too early to measure the significance of the EEA and Norway Grants 2004-09, reviews and evaluations so far show that the financial support from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway is well targeted and in some cases also fill a funding gap.
To illustrate, a review of the biodiversity projects published this summer stated that the projects are very relevant to the achievement of national and international biodiversity obligations. The recent evaluation of the supported NGO funds stated that the funds have secured vital support to civil society in Central and Southern Europe, particularly in the areas of advocacy and social inclusion.
Reviews and evaluations commissioned by the Financial Mechanism Office or requested by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway:
- Evaluation of support to NGO funds
- Review of support to Greenhouse gases reductions
- Review of the Schengen acquis and strengthening the judiciary priority sector
- Review of biodiversity support
- Review of cultural heritage support in the Czech Republic
- Review of energy saving and renewable energy projects in Poland
- Mid-term evaluation of the EEA and Norway Grants
- Review of Norwegian bilateral partnerships in the implementation of the EEA and Norway Grants.
In addition, a regional and cross-border cooperation review is being finalised at the end of November 2010, and two reviews within the sectors of academic research and health and childcare have been launched for start up early in 2011.