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Frontpage News 2012 1 in 4 programmes are now approved

One in four

1 in 4 programmes are now approved

As the approval process is moving forward, 42 programmes have been approved to date in the current funding period, with many more expected by the end of the year. The 16 programmes which were approved by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in October and November amount to over €166 million.

Under the EEA and Norway Grants 2009-2014, 146 programmes have been agreed with the 15 beneficiary countries. By now, 42 programme applications have been assessed and approved by the donors. Once they are approved, programme operators can launch calls for project proposals.

All open calls for project proposals are published in the calendar.

Projects may be implemented until 2016. Bilateral partnerships between organisations from beneficiary and donor countries, promoted at both programme and project level, are a key feature of the Grants.

Estonia – a leap ahead

In Estonia, six programmes were approved over the last two months. Bilateral research cooperation between Estonia and Norway will be bolstered by a €3 million programme, implemented in partnership with the Research Council of Norway. A further €2 million will be provided to mainstream gender equality and promote work-life balance in partnership with the Norwegian Directorate for Health.

Green industry innovation will be supported through a €6 million programme, based on partnerships between small and medium-sized businesses and researchers in Estonia and Norway. Innovation Norway is the donor programme partner.

Children and youth at risk will be supported by €6.5 million. The programme will be implemented in partnership with the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities. Public health initiatives have been allocated €8.9 million in grants, aiming to improve access to and quality of health services, including reproductive and preventive child healthcare.

Conservation and revitalisation of the Estonian cultural and natural heritage will be supported by €4.5 million in grants. The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage is a partner in the programme.

Poland – culture and justice

Another programme designed to preserve and protect cultural and natural heritage has also been approved for Poland. With €60 million in funding, the programme will result in the development of local communities and revitalisation of their cultural and natural heritage which will be made accessible to the public.

In addition to this, three more programmes have been approved for Poland. Judicial capacity-building and cooperation will be supported by €14 million in funding, while €13 million have been allocated to support the reform of correctional services, including non-custodial sanctions. The Norwegian National Courts Administration and Norwegian Correctional Services are partnering with Polish beneficiaries on the two programmes. A further €3 million will be used to combat domestic and gender-based violence and support victims of trafficking.

Lithuania – justice and health

In Lithuania, judicial capacity-building and cooperation will be supported by a €7.7 million programme implemented in partnership with the Norwegian Court Administration. The approval of a €3.4 million programme will facilitate Schengen cooperation and combating cross-border and organised crime, including trafficking and itinerant criminal groups.

Public health initiatives in Lithuania have been allocated €6 million. The funds will be used to improve public health and reduce health inequalities within the society.

Slovakia – social inclusion, climate change and green innovation

Local and regional initiatives to reduce national inequalities and promote social inclusion will be financed in Slovakia through €1 million in grants. The Council of Europe is the programme’s partner, serving as an important adviser within its area of expertise. The programme will have a specific focus on the needs of the Roma.

Slovakia’s adaptation to climate change will be facilitated by €12.5 million in new funding, implemented in partnership with the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning, and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate.

A green industry innovation programme will support the greening of existing industries and increasing the competitiveness of green businesses, spurring green innovation and entrepreneurship in Slovakia. The €14.6 million programme will be implemented in partnership with Innovation Norway.

Decent work projects

Recently, Innovation Norway approved 48 projects under the Global Fund for Decent Work and Tripartite Dialogue. 28 of the projects have Norwegian partners. The fund focuses on the social dimension of working mobility and to strengthen equality and non-discrimination in the work place. The fund covers the 12 countries that have joined the European Union and European Economic Area since 2004. A second call for projects has been launched for Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Estonia.