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Photographer: Christophe Vander Eecken

How are priorities set?

The priorities of the Grants are decided in negotiations between the donor states and the EU as well as between the donor states and the individual beneficiary states. An important objective is matching the needs of the beneficiary countries with the expertise and scope for cooperation with the donor countries.

Since their inception in 1994, the overall goal of the funding schemes of the EEA EFTA States has been to contribute to reducing economic and social disparities within the European Economic Area. For the EEA and Norway Grants 2009-2014, strengthening bilateral relations has been introduced as a second overall objective.

National needs and scope for cooperation

The size of the funding and the sectors eligible for support have been negotiated between the donor countries and the European Commission. The aim have been to target the funding in areas where the EEA and Norway Grants would fill a funding gap, and which are in line with shared European priorities. The overall agreement on the EEA and Norway Grants 2009-2014 was signed in July 2010.

An important aim in the establishment of the EEA and Norway Grants 2009-14 was to better focus efforts and ensure more targeted support. As the sectors set out in the agreement with the EU were broadly defined, the three donor countries defined the priority areas and objectives for each sector more explicitly and on this basis determined appropriate programme areas. The programme areas were then used as the framework for the negotiations with the individual country to agree on an estimated 10 programmes to be set up in each country. Once concluded, these were set out in framework agreements - Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) - which also include details on the administrative set-up and cooperation with the donor states.

EEA and Norway Grants 2009-2014

In the 2009-2014 period, both the EEA Grants and the Norway Grants have six priority sectors each. A total of 32 programme areas have been defined under these.

Information about expected outcomes of the programmes are available on the respective programme area pages