Czech Republic to focus on health and research cooperation
The agreements on the distribution of EEA and Norway Grants to the Czech Republic have been finalised. Environment, public health, children and research are among the priorities.
"We want to strengthen cooperation with the Czech Republic through the EEA and Norway Grants. This is an ambition on both sides. Several new Czech-Norwegian partnership programmes are evidence of this," says Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
The agreements, which cover the period running until 2014, were signed today in the Strahov Library in Prague by Czech Deputy Minister of Finance Tomáš Zídek, H.S.H. Ambassador Maria-Pia Kothbauer-Liechtenstein from Liechtenstein and Norwegian Ambassador to the Czech Republic H.E. Jens Eikaas (photo). The total contribution by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway is €131.8 million, of which Norway contributes 97%. Several Czech institutions will cooperate with partners from the donor states, mainly Norwegian.
Research and scolarship
The Norwegian Research Council will act as programme partner for research cooperation between the Czech Republic and Norway (€12.5 million). The Czech Republic is lagging behind the EU goal of 3% spending of GDP on research and development. The Norwegian-Czech cooperation will aim to encourage investment in research.
Scholarship programmes will also be set up to facilitate staff and student exchange between the Czech Republic and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Relevant national agencies from the three donor states will cooperate in the implementation of these schemes.
Focus on environmental issues and health
Environmental protection is another important priority under the grants. The Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management will be involved in helping the Czech Republic to safeguard biodiversity (€18.4 million) in designated protection areas. At the same time, €7 million has been earmarked for pilot studies and surveys on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.
There is also a major focus on health (€19.1 million). Ensuring equal access to health services will be a key area of support. At least 40% of the contribution will be targeted at projects within the mental health sector. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health will act as programme partner.
Children and youth
Children and youth will be targeted within several sectors. A €4.3 million programme will contribute to improving quality of life for children and youth at risk, while a €9.8 million NGO-fund will prioritise projects benefiting children and young people. This is one of the largest NGO-funds financed by the EEA and Norway Grants.
There will be considerable funding to cultural heritage and the contemporary arts (€21.5 million), with the Arts Council Norway involved as programme partner to contribute to promoting cultural diversity.
Raising awareness of multiculturalism and inclusion of Roma is a challenge in the Czech Republic. This will therefore have special priority within several programme areas, such as children and youth, cultural heritage and projects within justice and home affairs.
|Carbon capture and storage (CCS)||7,04 mill euro|
|Biodiversity and environmental monitoring||15,35 mill euro|
|Adaptation to climate change and renewable energy||3,07 mill euro|
|Civil society/NGO-fund||9,81 mill euro|
|Justice and home affairs||11,96 mill euro|
|Public health||19,18 mill euro|
|Preserving cultural heritage||21,49 mill euro|
|Research and scholarship||16,32 mill euro|
|Local and regional capacity-building||3,00 mill euro|
|Mainstreaming gender equality, domestic and gender-based violence||7,04 mill euro|
|Children and youth at risk||4,29 mill euro|
|Decent work and tripartite dialogue||0,70 mill euro|
For more information, visit the country page for the Czech Republic