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Frontpage News 2009 EEA Grants workshop and seminar held in Athens


EEA Grants workshop and seminar held in Athens

Two events to assist Greek project promoters and Norwegian partners in the implementation process were held in Athens from 24-25 September.

Greece receives €32,9 million in support from the EEA Grants, with protection of the environment and promoting sustainable development being the largest priority sectors. Greece is also the beneficiary of a €991,527 scholarship fund designed to promote student and researcher mobility between Greece and the EEA Grants donor states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

On 24 September, an informational workshop on the implementation of projects supported by the EEA Grants was organized by the Greek Ministry of Economy and Finance, the national Focal Point. Representatives from the Focal Point, from the Financial Mechanism Office in Brussels as well as from the Norwegian embassy in Athens attended.

- No time to lose
The workshop's target group were project promoters implementing individual projects supported by the EEA Grants, and their Norwegian partners. The Focal Point and the FMO presented the major requirements project promoters must adhere to in the implementation process. Mr. Sverre Stub, Norway's ambassador to Greece, underlined that there is no time to lose if the current projects are to be fully implemented and financed by 30 April 2011, the end of the current EEA Grants scheme's commitment period.

On the following day, a seminar for Norwegian project partners organised by the Norwegian embassy was held. The seminar focused on providing project partners with background information about the political and financial situation in Greece, as well as Greek legal and fiscal requirements. Mr. Svein Hansen from Fugro OCEANOR, a business providing integrated environmental monitoring systems, has extensive experience from participating as a partner in Greek projects supported by the previous EEA financial mechanisms, and shared some of the lessons he had learned.

The seminar provided a valuable opportunity for project partners to meet and to share experiences and best practices. "All in all, two important days spent working towards successful implementation", ambassador Stub concluded.

Picture credit: Royal Norwegian Embassy, Athens.