Building cross-border solutions
Through regional and cross-border cooperation projects under the EEA and Norway Grants, actors from 15 European countries are brought together, realising mutual benefits by transferring resources, knowledge and experience between regions.
Increased cooperation across borders and regions is a powerful force for social and economic development, and 54 such projects, programmes and funds are supported by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Creating and strengthening ties between the member states of the European Economic Area is a central aim of the EEA and Norway Grants, and more than €40 million has been awarded to regional and cross-border initiatives in 10 beneficiary states. The supported regional and cross-border projects contribute significantly towards the regional and Europe-wide integration of beneficiary state regions with the donor states and third countries.
Projects and funds in the regional policy and cross-border activities sector thrive on the active involvement of local stakeholders. Projects often have an interregional and transnational outreach, bringing together organisations and institutions from neighbouring regions and countries. The combination of these factors realises benefits far beyond the specific output of individual activities. Networking and communication in this way lays a fertile ground for further future cooperation, which typically entails capacity building and transfer of knowledge between actors.
High levels of support in Poland and Latvia
Poland is the largest beneficiary of the EEA and Norway Grants, and also comprises the largest share of the regional and cross-border portfolio. 24 projects and programmes of a total value of more than €12 million are in place in the country. Among these is a project bringing together the various regions of the Carpathian region, spanning five Central European countries. Included in the project is the renovation of a building to host the Carpathian Foundation, an NGO acting as the hub for civil society organisations in the region. You can read more about this project here.
The country in which regional and cross-border activities perhaps play the most important role is however Latvia. Close to one fifth of funds allocated to Latvia are directed into this sector. One of the supported programmes aims to improve access, quality and efficiency of public services regionally and nationally in Latvia through the establishment of partnerships between public and private entities, while another programme is established to foster sustainable development and social cohesion in Latvia's border regions.