Cooperation across Europe
5 years into the implementation of the EEA and Norway Grants 2004-09, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have taken stock of achieved results and efforts of the 1250 project portfolio. The 2010 Status Report highlights the cooperation taking place at project level between entities in the donor states and the 15 beneficiary states.
"Given the importance of pooling ideas and resources at local, national or international level, this years Status Report focuses on cooperation", say the foreign ministers of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in the report's editorial.
A major aim of the EEA and Norway Grants is to strengthen ties between the donor states and the beneficiary states. Cooperation between entities in the beneficiary states and the donor states is encouraged at the project level in areas where partnerships may be of mutual benefit. More than 1 in 5 projects are carried out in partnership with entities in one of the donor states.
In the 2010 Status Report, you can read about projects where cooperation plays a prominent role; within the fields of human resource development, conservation of European cultural heritage, health and childcare, civil society and environmental protection.
A large share of the partnership projects are within the fields of academic research, environmental protection and sustainable development. Among the projects featured in the report is a Polish-Norwegian effort to strengthen the Polish Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection's capacity to identify and contain industrial emissions. In Poland, 1500 local government employees also participate in a nationwide effort to increase the efficiency and transparency of public services.
In addition to nearly 320 partnership projects among the individual projects, hundreds of partnership projects are supported under the many funds and programmes managed at national level. One example is the Polish-Norwegian Research Fund, which is set up to establish and strengthen the cooperation between Polish and Norwegian researchers. Another example, also highlighted in the report, is the scholarships funds that provide scholarships to more than 2000 students and staff and financial support to over 400 cooperation projects between educational institutions in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the beneficiary states.
The countries with the largest numbers of partnership projects are Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal, Latvia and Hungary. In Romania and Bulgaria more than half of all EEA and Norway Grants projects are partnership projects. In Romania, Save the Children Norway and Save the Children Romania work together to establish a unique centre for childrens mental health care.
Photo credit: Střední kola hotelnictví a gastronomie SČMSD Praha, s.r.o.