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Photographer: Christophe Vander Eecken

How we work

Measures have been established in close cooperation between the donor states and the 16 beneficiary states to administer and manage the Grants

Setting priorities for the funding

The size and distribution of the EEA Grants and the Norway Grants to the 16 beneficiary states is agreed between the three EEA EFTA States and the EU through five-year agreements. The current agreement was signed in 2010.

The funding target areas where there are specific needs in the beneficiary countries and that are in line with wider European policy goals. In addition, the funding is targeted at areas that have scope for bilateral cooperation between the beneficiary countries and the donor countries. 

The priority sectors of the Grants are agreed between the donor countries and the European Commission. The allocation of funds to programmes in each country is negotiated between the donor states and the respective beneficiary countries and is reflected in Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). An overview of programmes in each country is available via the individual country pages

Read more about how the priorities for the funding are set

Developing programmes

A national programme operator develops and manages each programme, often in cooperation with a donor programme partner. The donor programme partners are public bodies in the donor countries with national mandates within their respective fields. Likewise, the programme operator is normally a public body in the beneficiary countries.

Each programme is approved by the donor countries after appraisal of the programme proposal. The programmes are also subject to screening by the European Commission.

Following calls for project proposals, each programme fund a portfolio of projects that contribute to defined objectives. Approved programmes have until 2016/2017 to finalise implementation.

Managing for results and programme approach

Making sure that the Grants and achieve real results and achieve their goals are key aspects of managing the Grants. Therefore, a comprehensive results framework has been put in place. This includes going from project-based funding in the previous period to program-based funding for the current one, implementing results-based management on all levels of the Grants and having mechanisms in place for monitoring and control.

Read more about how we manage for results
Read more about the programme model

Risk management

Achieving results through financial assistance requires an effective approach to risk management. In line with the principles of good governance and accountability, we have to safeguard the use of public resources. To meet the strategic objectives of reducing disparities and strengthening bilateral relations, all actors involved in the EEA and Norway Grants need to actively identify, mitigate and communicate a broad range of risks.

The EEA and Norway Grants address:

  • Risks that threaten the achievements of the objectives
  • Risks that may undermine sound financial management
  • Risks to legal compliance

Read more about how we manage risks

Administrative budget

Upper limits for donor management costs vary from 4% to 7.5%. In the funding period 2004-2009, these were 4% for the EEA Grants and 5% for the Norway Grants.

In the funding period 2009-2014, the upper limit has increased to 7.5%, given the inclusion of expenses to donor programme partners, as well as appraisal and monitoring costs previously taken from the net allocations to the beneficiary countries.

Read more about the management budget