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Frontpage News 2009 Agreement reached on EEA and Norway Grants 2009-14

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Agreement reached on EEA and Norway Grants 2009-14

On 18 December 2009, the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway signed what are known as agreed minutes containing the outcome of the negotiations on new EEA and Norway Grants.

On 18 December 2009, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway agreed with the European Union on new financial contributions for the 2009-14 period. According to the Agreed Minutes, the three donor states will make available €1.79 billion to the beneficiary states to reduce social and economic disparities in the European Economic Area and to the strengthening of their relations with the beneficiary states in the five-year period. Of this amount, 97% will be provided by Norway.

The EEA Grants will be available to the 12 most recent EU members plus Portugal, Greece and Spain, while the Norway Grants will be earmarked for the 12 newest members. The priority sectors will be environment and climate, health, research, education and culture, decent work and civil society, the judiciary and human resources.

€297 million is to be used for renewed efforts to address environmental issues and climate change over the five-year period. In addition around €160 million is to be used for various efforts to develop and promote carbon capture and storage.

An important new element in the agreement is the focus on decent work. €8 million is to be transferred to a fund to promote decent work and tripartite dialogue, in line with the social partners’ wishes. A substantial sum will be allocated for further efforts to strengthen civil society and for the health and research sectors.

The agreement on the new EEA and Norway Grants follows on from the previous agreement, which ran from 2004 to 2009.