One third of Latvian applications bilateral
As the EEA Grants seek to increase cooperation between beneficiary states and donor states, the recent call results from Latvia hold promising prospects. Among 218 submitted individual project proposals, 71 involve a project partner from one of the donor states. The figures are especially encouraging for Norway, as in all cases but one the partners are from the main donor state.
The EEA Grants are implemented in a collaborative effort between the donor states and beneficiary states, and the translation of this cooperation into bilateral partnership projects is greatly welcome. Applicants in the beneficiary states have the possibility to go bilateral with their project ideas, and exchange knowledge with a counterpart in Liechtenstein, Iceland or Norway for mutual benefit and strengthening the project's quality.
In Latvia bilateral cooperation hit its peak with projects concerning children with special needs, where 40 per cent of the submitted applications involved Norwegian partners. Human resources development and education attracted the highest number of partnership applications in absolute terms, with 20 out of 56 applications involving partnerships with Norway. The batch of partnership applications from Latvia spans the entire spectrum of partnership models, from project proposals founded on either long-term cooperation or recently established collaboration, to substantive cooperation throughout the course of the project or simply hosting a study visit in the partner country. Both informal bilateral networks and official cooperation are assets in the European integration efforts, and the EEA Grants seek to facilitate such ties within the EEA.
Bilateral flare also in Estonia
Estonia has selected the individual projects to be forwarded for donor decision, and the outcome is promising for fostering bilateral ties. Six of the 27 projects nominated for financing by the Focal Point involve a Norwegian partner. The bilateral share among these prioritised projects is thus more than double the share of such projects among the total number of applications received in the Estonian call.