Partnership projects strengthen cooperation
Through the EEA and Norway Grants new ties are knit between actors in the donor and beneficiary states. A total 119 approved projects have partners in the donor states. In addition, different funds lead to soaring exchanges within the fields of culture, education and research.
Cooperation is one of the key values of the EEA and Norway Grants, as the grant schemes aim to strengthen political and economic ties between the donor and beneficiary states. Even though partnership is not an obligation, hooking up with a partner in a donor state is a trump card in any application for funding.
By mid-September 2008, 670 projects have been approved through the EEA and Norway Grants. This means that close to 20% have established partnerships in the donor states. Countries such as Portugal, Poland and Latvia have a particularly high level of approved projects with partners.
Most of the partnerships are with actors in Norway, the largest donor state. A report developed by Scanteam on request from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the beginning of 2008, showed that 98 different Norwegian institutions participated in projects approved by the EEA and Norway Grants. The partners were found within public authorities (29), business (21), research (18), education (16), museums (9) and NGOs (5).
In addition to project partnerships, exchange funds are established in the cultural, educational and research field. Scholarship funds are established in six and under planning in another five beneficiary states, and student exchanges between Norway and Hungary and the Czech Republic have doubled due to these grants. The first nine partner projects under the Polish Cultural Exchange Fund were granted funding in August 2008. The €15.3 million Polish-Norwegian research fund has an ongoing call for funding for joint workshops between researchers from Norway and Poland.
The EEA and Norway Grants establish new meeting points and platforms for partnerships and exchange, which will lead to a stronger dialogue, cooperation and understanding between countries in Europe.