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EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021

The EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 represent funding from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reduce economic and social disparities and strengthen cooperation with 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. For the period 2014-2021, a total contribution of €2.8 billion has been agreed.

The priorities for the 2014-2021 period reflect the priorities of the EU and aim to respond to the shared challenges facing Europe:

#1 Innovation, Research, Education and Competitiveness (for more details, see below)

#2 Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Poverty Reduction (for more details, see below)

#3 Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy (for more details, see below)

#4 Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance and Fundamental Rights (for more details, see below)

#5 Justice and Home Affairs (for more details, see below)

The specific priorities in each beneficiary country will be set in the Memoranda of Understanding. For information on the allocations per beneficiary country, see the respective country pages.

The five priority sectors and related 23 programme areas funded in the period 2014-2021 reflect the priorities set out in the EU ‘Europe 2020’ strategy – the European Union’s ten-year growth strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth – and the EU 11 cohesion policy objectives. They aim at contributing to growth and jobs, tackling climate change and energy dependence, and reducing poverty and social exclusion. They also promote bilateral and international cooperation.

Regional funds

There are a number of challenges in Europe that affect several countries or regions and that can only be tackled through cross-border efforts. A new feature of the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 is the establishment of regional funds to tackle youth unemployment (€65.5 million) and promote regional cooperation (€34.5 million).

Bilateral cooperation

Strengthening relations between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the beneficiary countries is one of the two main objectives of the EEA and Norway Grants.

Bilateral partnerships between public and private institutions, NGOs and research institutions in the donor and beneficiary countries are widely encouraged. Cooperation between people and institutions at administrative and political levels and in the private sector, academia and civil society is a prerequisite for strengthened bilateral relations. Such cooperation is facilitated and supported at all levels.

In programmes: Public institutions and government agencies from the beneficiary states and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway cooperate in the design of the programmes and share knowledge and experience during the implementation stage.

In projects: Private businesses, research groups, municipalities, employee and employer organisations, and NGOs from the donor and the beneficiary countries are encouraged to enter into cooperation to implement joint projects.

Through bilateral funds: Funds are set aside in all beneficiary countries for developing bilateral cooperation and activities of common interest with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

Priority sectors and programme areas 2014-2021

Innovation, Research, Education and Competitiveness

Innovation, Research, Education and Competitiveness

The programme areas contribute to growth by supporting the development of the knowledge economy. Sustainable growth is promoted through funding to strengthen the link between education and training systems and the labour market. The development of a socially inclusive labour market will be supported through combating youth unemployment, facilitating the participation of women and promoting social dialogue. The added value of the funding under this priority sector lies in the opportunities it offers for strategic piloting and testing of innovative approaches and for international cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and experiences.

Programme areas

1. Business Development, Innovation and SMEs

2. Research

3. Education, Scholarships, Apprenticeships and Youth Entrepreneurship

4. Work-life Balance

5. Social Dialogue – Decent Work (Norway Grants only)

Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Poverty Reduction

Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Poverty Reduction

Sustainable inclusive growth and future prosperity rely on finding a balance between economic progress and social advancement. The programme areas promote well-functioning societies by supporting social inclusion and empowerment of vulnerable groups, equal access to education, employment and health care, and capable and responsible institutions. The added value of this priority sector is its contribution to breaking the cycle of disadvantage by supporting early interventions, by investing in prevention and boosting systemic change, and by encouraging pilot projects in the area of social innovation.

Programme areas

6. European Public Health Challenges

7. Roma Inclusion and Empowerment

8. Children and Youth at Risk

9. Youth Participation in the Labour Market

10. Local Development and Poverty Reduction

Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy

Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy

Resource-efficient and sustainable use of our natural capital, reduced vulnerability to climate change and a push towards a less carbon intensive and more energy secure economy are key factors for economic and social cohesion in Europe. The programme areas aim to ensure good environmental status of our ecosystems, timely adaptation and mitigation to climate change and increased use of renewable energy.

Programme areas

11. Environment and Ecosystems

12. Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Security

13. Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance, and Fundamental Rights and Freedoms

Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance and Fundamental Rights and Freedoms

As partners and citizens of Europe we have a common moral obligation to safeguard individual dignity. The programme areas contribute to upholding fundamental rights and democratic freedoms. This is achieved through strengthening active citizenship, empowering vulnerable groups and enhancing the role of civil society. The aim is reinforced by support for activities aimed at cultural dialogue and awareness of diversity.

Programme areas

14. Cultural Entrepreneurship, Cultural Heritage and Cultural Cooperation

15. Civil Society

16. Good Governance, Accountable Institutions, Transparency

17. Human Rights – National Implementation

Justice and Home Affairs

Justice and Home Affairs

The programme areas contribute at strengthening European citizens’ confidence in their governments’ ability to ensure civil rights, equal treatment and protection. Lack of public trust in the judiciary is widespread mainly due to corruption, excessive length of proceedings and chronic non-enforcement of judicial decisions. Furthermore, the influx of irregular migrants remains a challenge for Europe. Domestic and gender-based violence remain endemic throughout Europe to huge economic and social cost. Man-made and natural disasters are increasing both in frequency and intensity, and investments in disaster risk reduction can reduce or prevent loss of life and property, and reap vast economic benefits.

Programme areas

18. Asylum and Migration

19. Correctional Services and Pre-trial Detention

20. International Police Cooperation and Combating Crime

21. Effectiveness and Efficiency of the Judicial System, Strengthening Rule of Law

22. Domestic and Gender-based Violence

23. Disaster Prevention and Preparedness

Public consultation 

The content of the 5 priority sectors and 23 programme areas eligible for funding in this period are finalised following a period of public consultation. These are brought together in the 'Blue Book'. A draft of the 'Blue Book' was subject to public consultation in the period 27 May - 8 July 2016. The consultation received nearly 1,500 responses from across all the donor and beneficiary countries as well as third countries and international organisations. Their feedback has contributed to the approved version of the ‘Blue Book’ 2014-2021 that can be found here.

See for more details and information about the next steps.

More information

For information on country allocations, visit the respective country pages.

Questions and answers EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 – next steps

Factsheet EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021