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Our legal framework

In June 2010, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway reached an agreement with the EU on financial contributions in the period 2009-2014. Priorities and involved entities in the implementation are detailed in country-specific agreements. The rules and procedures for implementing programmes and projects are found in regulations for each respective grant scheme.

 See our public access policy for information about documents that may be available upon request.

Legal documents

Agreement on the European Economic Area
The EEA and Norway Grants came about as a result of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway's participation in the internal market in the areas covered by the EEA Agreement. The EEA Agreement provides for the inclusion of EU legislation covering the four freedoms — the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital — throughout the 30 EEA States (27 EU member states and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The objective of the EEA and Norway Grants is to reduce social and economic disparities in the EEA, and they are intended to put the beneficiary countries in a better position to make use of the internal market.
Agreement on the European Economic Area

EEA and Norway Grants - overall agreements
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have entered into five-year agreements with the European Commission on the EEA and Norway Grants. These agreements, dating back to 1994, include the total allocation for each of the grant schemes and eligible sectors.
Agreements on the EEA and Norway Grants

Memoranda of Understanding with beneficiary countries
The MoUs are framework agreements with each beneficiary country on how the funding will be implemented in the given grant period. The agreement includes details on the country allocation, the programmes to be set up, and the management set-up including information on cooperation with the donor countries. A separate MoU is signed for each grant scheme.
Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs)

Cooperation Agreements with international organisations
The EEA and Norway Grants have entered into a strategic partnership with Transparency International - a global civil society organisation that promotes transparency and fights corruption. Council of Europe participates in programmes related to human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Agreements with Council of Europe and Transparency International

Regulations with annexes
The regulations for the EEA and Norway Grant contain the rules and procedures for the respective grant schemes. For most practical purposes the regulations for the two grant schemes are in line, but given the different sets of donor countries the references to the donor side management are different.

Views and positions of the beneficiary countries on the regulations and a pan-European NGO consultation were important for shaping the regulations in a manner that makes for efficient implementation of programmes and projects. The programme approach and bilateral cooperation are fundamental elements of the regulations.
Regulations, including annexes

Guidelines, mandates and strategy
Funding to support non-governmental organisations, scholarship and research programmes is subject to additional or specific rules. Specific guidelines and mandates have also been developed for strengthening bilateral relations, evaluations, and for risk management.
Guidelines, mandates and strategy

Programme agreements
For each approved EEA Grants programme, a programme agreement is concluded between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the national Focal Point. Norway concludes agreements with the national Focal Points on the Norway Grants programmes. The programme agreement sets out the terms and conditions of the operation of the programme as well as the roles and responsibilities of the parties.

For each approved programme, a programme implementation agreement is concluded between the national Focal Point and the programme operator. The agreements for each programme can be found on the individual programme pages. Search for programmes here.

Meeting agendas and conclusions
The meeting agendas and conclusions of the donor countries' meetings on the EEA Grants and the Norway Grants are made public.
Donor meetings ('board meetings')