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Frontpage News 2011 Answers to frequently asked questions

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Answers to frequently asked questions

Who can apply for grant support? What will be supported in my country? When are the next open calls for projects? Find out answers to the most frequently asked questions about the EEA and Norway Grants 2009-14.

1. What are the EEA Grants and Norway Grants?

The EEA Grants and Norway Grants provide social and economic development funding from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. In the period 2009-14, €1.8 billion is being made available to programmes and projects in 15 beneficiary states in Central and Southern Europe.

This financial support aims at reducing economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the strengthening of bilateral relations with the beneficiary states.

2. Why do Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute to European cohesion efforts?

The grant schemes are related to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, which ties Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to the EU, allowing these countries to participate in the EU’s internal market. The EEA Agreement has the twin goal of combining sustainable economic growth with social cohesion. Read more

3. Who are the 15 beneficiary states?

15 European countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

The 12 newest EU member states, as well as Spain, Portugal and Greece, are eligible for support under the EEA Grants. The Norway Grants are only open to the 12 newest EU member states.

4. What is the status of the 2009-14 funding period?

Negotiations are currently ongoing between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and beneficiary states on how the funding should be implemented. These discussions will culminate in framework agreements – so-called Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) – with each individual beneficiary state detailing the relevant programmes to be set up in the country, the fund management at country level and the amount of funding that will be used to support the different programmes.

Negotiations are well advanced with several countries and the ambition is to conclude all the agreements by the end of 2011. Concluded agreements can be found here. Read more

5. What can be funded through the EEA Grants and Norway Grants?

Financial support is available in the following priority sectors:

EEA Grants Norway Grants
Environmental protection and management Carbon capture and storage
Climate change and renewable energy Green industry innovation
Civil society Decent work and tripartite dialgoue
Human and social development Human and social development
Protecting cultural heritage Justice and home affairs
Research and scholarship Research and scholarship

32 different programme areas within these priority sectors are eligible for funding – 19 under the EEA Grants and 13 under the Norway Grants. The donor states and the beneficiary states are now in the process of deciding which of the 32 programme areas are to be implemented in each country.

6. Why do you support some sectors in some countries, but not in others?

The involvement of all stakeholders and beneficiaries has been important in the planning process of the new round of the EEA Grants and Norway Grants. Consultations on the proposed programme areas have been held with all the beneficiary states, and the purpose of the ongoing talks is to focus support to the most relevant areas for each country.

7. How will the funding be made available?

Funding will be made available to applicants through multiannual programmes implemented by programme operators in the beneficiary states. Once the framework agreements are signed (see Q4), the beneficiary states will start developing the programmes.

The designated programme operators will be tasked with making the funding available to applicants through calls for proposals, appraising applications, selecting and monitoring projects. All calls for proposals will be published at www.eeagrants.org. Read more

8. When will the funding be made available?

A few programmes are expected to be established in late 2011. the majority though will begin operations in 2012. Grants will be awarded to projects following calls for proposals that will be organised by the respective programme operators, most likely starting in 2012.

9. Who can apply for funding?

Organisations eligible for project support include public and private bodies (both commercial and non-commercial) and non-governmental organisations, established as a legal entity in the respective beneficiary state. Intergovernmental organisations operating in the beneficiary state can also apply.

To ensure targeted implementation, a programme operator may be granted the right to limit the pool of eligible applicants. Scholarships and grants for cultural exchanges will be open for individuals from both the beneficiary state in question and the donor states.

10. How will bilateral cooperation be facilitated?

Strengthening bilateral relations between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the 15 beneficiary states is an overarching objective of the EEA and Norway Grants. To encourage strategic and long-term cooperation, partnerships at the programme level are introduced alongside continued possibilities for project cooperation.

Within all beneficiary states, bilateral funds will be set aside both at the national level and within all programmes for networking and exchange and/or for the establishment and development of partnerships and the preparation of applications for donor partnership projects. Read more

11. Who is involved in the management of the EEA Grants and Norway Grants?

The Financial Mechanism Office administers the EEA and Norway Grants on behalf of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, in close cooperation with the national Focal Points in the beneficiary states. Designated programme operators in the countries will be responsible for the implementation of programmes. Entities from the donor states will be involved as partners. Read more

12. How can I keep myself informed?

Information will be regularly updated at www.eeagrants.org, the official web site of the EEA Grants and Norway Grants, where you can also subscribe to a monthly newsletter. We are also on Facebook.

Information in national languages is available at the web sites of the national Focal Points, the coordinating authorities in each beneficiary state.