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Frontpage News 2011 Updated agreements for Slovakia

Updated agreements for Slovakia

The agreements on the EEA and Norway Grants for Slovakia in the period 2009-14 have been amended. Green entrepreneurship, cross-border cooperation and civil society are among the priorities.

Slovakia receives €80.75 million in total funding through the EEA and Norway Grants in this five year period. The Memoranda of Understanding were initially signed in October 2010. However, following discussions between the donor states and Slovakia, certain amendments to priorities have now been made and more details on the implementation set-up have been agreed.

According to the updated agreements, investments to protect the environment and tackle climate change will receive the largest investments. There will be a programme to spur ‘green’ jobs and entrepreneurship (€14.6 million), in which Innovation Norway will contribute with its experience and know-how. A second programme will deal with flooding due to climate change (€12.5 million), and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) and the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB) will be involved.

Slovak civil society organisations will welcome the decision to strengthen support to non-governmental organisations (€6.9 million), which will also address the specific needs of minority groups, including Roma. Students and educators will benefit from a scholarship fund (€1.9 million), and a new feature is a programme for the promotion of decent work and tripartite dialogue between employers’ organisations, trade unions and public authorities (€424,000).

The agreements also include substantial support to cross-border cooperation (€12.7 million), with a view to strengthen contact and cooperation with Ukraine. The programme will be supported by the Barents Secretariat and it will foster exchange on lessons learned and best practice of cross-border projects between Norway and Slovakia, as well as networking in Europe.

A programme on investments in domestic violence prevention and impact mitigation (€7 million) will be implemented in cooperation with the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Council of Europe, the latter which will also be involved in a programme to promote social inclusion, including the Roma population (€1 million).

Support continues in the field of conservation and revitalisation of cultural and natural heritage (€10.5 million), including a small grant scheme for promotion of diversity in culture and arts.

Donor programme partners 2009-14: Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE, Norway), Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB, Norway), Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU, Norway), Norwegian Directorate for Health (HDIR, Norway), Barents Secretariat (Norway), Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB, Norway), Council of Europe.