Start of negotiations for continued EEA cohesion contributions
In 2004, the EEA and Norway Grants were established for a five year period. Today, negotiations started between the European Commission and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway for continued contributions after 30 April 2009.
The three EEA EFTA countries are currently providing €1.3 billion in cohesion support over a five year period until April 2009 to the 12 new EU member states since 2004 and to Greece, Portugal and Spain. Representatives from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway today met with the European Commission to start negotiations for a new period of contributions, after the existing agreement runs out on 30 April 2009.
The EEA and Norway Grants were established in connection with the enlargement of the European Union in 2004. Ten new EU member states, as well as Bulgaria and Romania in 2007, also became members of the European Economic Area which ensure Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway participation in the Internal Market.
In order to reduce social and economic disparities in Europe, funding is made available to organisations, NGOs, municipalities and businesses to support projects within areas such as preservation of cultural heritage, promotion of the environment, strengthening of health and childcare services and support to implement the Schengen agreement.