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Frontpage News 2013 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 and Norway Grants?

The EEA and Norway Grants are contributions from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reducing economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area. The grants also aim to contribute to strengthening bilateral relations between the three donor countries and the 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe which benefit from the funding.

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 provides access to the EU’s internal market for Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The EEA Agreement has the twin goal of combining sustainable economic growth with social cohesion. Recognising the persisting need to alleviate social and economic disparities, the EEA EFTA States (being Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway since 1995) and the European Union have agreed every five years to set up new grants schemes for this purpose.

Read more.

3. Which countries benefit from the Grants?

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

These are the 12 countries that have joined the European Union and the European Economic Area since 2004, plus Greece, Portugal and Spain. All 15 countries benefit from the EEA Grants. Only the  12 newest members benefit from the Norway Grants.

4. How large are the EEA and Norway Grants?

The EEA and Norway Grants combined amount to €1 788.5 million in the period 2009-14 (programmes will run until 2016). The European Economic Area (EEA) Grants amount to €988.5. The donor states contribute according to their size and economic wealth, with Norway representing around 94%, Iceland close to 5% and Liechtenstein just above 1%. The Norway Grants, is an additional contribution from Norway, which amounts to €800 million.

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 countries and the beneficiary countries agree on which programme areas are to be implemented in each country, based on the relevance, the need and the potential for bilateral cooperation.  

Concluded agreements can be found here.

7. How is the funding made available?

Funding is made available to applicants through multiannual programmes implemented by programme operators, most often being public institutions from the beneficiary countries.

The designated programme operators are tasked with making the funding available to applicants through calls for proposals, appraising applications, selecting and monitoring projects. All calls for proposals are published in our open calls calendar [http://eeagrants.org/opencalls/search]

8. 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 legal entities in the respective beneficiary country. Intergovernmental organisations operating in the beneficiary country 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 are open for individuals from both the beneficiary country in question and the donor countries.

9. How will bilateral cooperation be facilitated?

Strengthening bilateral relations between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the 15 beneficiary countries is an overarching objective of the EEA and Norway Grants. To encourage strategic and long-term cooperation, partnerships at programme level are established in more than half of the programmes. Alongside this, bilateral cooperation and exchange in projects is facilitated and encouraged.

 Photo credit: Kalan