How to apply?
1. How do I apply for funding?
EEA and Norway Grants are based on programmes. Every country includes several programmes, each funding a certain topic. Whenever funding in the programmes becomes available, official calls are published on www.eeagrants.org and on the websites of the relevant programme. The calls are generally open for two months and have a strict application deadline. It’s important to remember that all project applications need to be submitted through these calls –spontaneous applications submitted via email, social media or phone are not accepted.
2. Can I apply for funding at any time?
No, the EEA and Norway Grants do not accept spontaneous applications submitted via email, phone or social media. All project applications can only be submitted through official calls for proposals. Each call clearly lists the application requirements, including all application forms, the deadline and how to submit the application.
3. How can I find out whether I’m eligible for funding?
As the EEA and Norway Grants fund a wide range of topics, the eligibility criteria can vary between programmes. Each call for proposal includes detailed information on what kind of activities are funded, who can apply, the application deadline and all application instructions.
4. I wanted to apply for funding under a specific call but I missed the deadline for application. Can I still submit my project proposal?
No, following the principles of fairness and transparency, all deadlines for funding are final. Applications can therefore not be submitted after the deadline has passed. However, it might be that more calls are planned under the programme. Please consult the websites of each programme for more information on future calls.
5. What happens after I’ve submitted the application?
Once your application has been submitted, the application will be assessed in line with the selection process described in the call for proposals. These processes will vary between the programmes/funds. A typical assessment will start by checking the formal requirements (compliance with eligibility criteria) first. The contents of the project proposals are then assessed by external experts. Based on these assessments, a selection committee will put together a ranking of projects that they recommend for selection. Donor programme partners often participate in selection committees as observers or voting members. The final decision will be made by the programme or fund operator, and the applicants will be informed of the outcome of the application process.
6. Can I receive a notification or an alert if new funding opportunities are available?
Yes, you can sign up to receive a weekly alert from the EEA and Norway Grants about new funding opportunities.
7. I am a student and I have been accepted for studies in Iceland/Liechtenstein/Norway. Can I apply for a scholarship?
The education programmes fund the exchange of students and staff through mobility projects managed by educational institutions in the beneficiary countries, and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. This means that the initial applications for funding must come from the institutions – individual students cannot apply directly to the EEA and Norway Grants for funding. As a student, we advise you to check with the international office of your institution to see whether your institution participates in the programmes.
Please note that the scholarships provided under the education programmes only finance exchanges between institutions. Students who are independently pursuing full degrees in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not eligible for support.
About the EEA and Norway Grants
1. What are the EEA and Norway Grants?
The EEA and Norway Grants are financial mechanisms financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The aim of the Grants is twofold – to reduce social and economic disparities in Europe and to strengthen the bilateral relations between the three donor countries and the 15 European countries which receive the funding.
The EEA and Norway Grants operate in funding periods. The current 2014-2021 period, the funding amounts to €2.8 billion and covers areas ranging from climate change and energy to cultural cooperation and the promotion of human rights. See the topics overview for more information on what can be funded.
2. Why do the EEA and Norway Grants exist?
The foundation of the EEA and Norway Grants lies in the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement. The EEA Agreement brings Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and the EU together in a single market – often referred to as the Internal market.
There is a need to reduce economic and social disparities between the regions in the EEA in order to strengthen the internal market. This is reflected in Article 115 of the EEA Agreement. Article 116 and 117 furthermore state that Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway should establish a financial mechanism to contribute to the efforts made by the EU in that matter – this forms the basis for the EEA and Norway Grants.
3. What is the difference between the EEA Grants and the Norway Grants?
The difference between the EEA Grants and the Norway Grants is the funding source. The EEA Grants are financed jointly by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The contribution of each country is based on their economic size. This means that Norway funds approximately 96% of the EEA Grants, Iceland 3% and Liechtenstein 1%. The Norway Grants on the other hand are financed by Norway alone.
All 15 beneficiary countries receive support from the EEA Grants. The Norway Grants are limited to the 13 countries which joined the EU after 2004.
4. Are the EEA and Norway Grants funded by the EU?
No, the EEA and Norway Grants are not an EU funding scheme. The Grants are financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway which are not member states of the European Union. See the question “Why do the EEA and Norway Grants exist?” for more information on the background of the EEA and Norway Grants.
5. Which countries receive funding from the EEA and Norway Grants?
The EEA and Norway Grants are allocated to the countries with the weakest economic performance in the EU. This is defined as the countries whose Gross National Income (GNI) per capita is less than 90% of the EU average. According to this criteria, fifteen European countries receive funding from the EEA and Norway Grants. These are:
6. Do you fund projects in Africa, Asia or anywhere else outside of Europe?
No, the funding is limited to 15 countries in Europe: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.
The only exception of this is the Fund for Youth Employment which allows participation from Ireland, Italy and Spain, and the Fund for Regional Cooperation which allows participation from the following countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. Both the Fund for Youth Employment and the Fund for Regional Cooperation issued calls for project proposals in 2017/2018 and have now been closed for applications. No decision has been made on more calls in the future in these two funds.
7. Why does Spain no longer receive funding through the EEA Grants?
Spain has received funding through the EEA Grants since the Grants were established in 1994. With stronger economic performance in the recent years, Spain has surpassed the criteria for funding. 2009-2014 was therefore the last funding period involving Spain as a beneficiary country.
8. How long have the EEA and Norway Grants been running?
The EEA Grants have been running since 1994 when the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement entered into force. The Norway Grants were established as an additional funding mechanism in 2004 in connection with the enlargement of the European Union. Visit the page on the History of the EEA and Norway Grants to learn more about the Grants’ past funding periods.
What is funded?
1. What topics do the EEA and Norway Grants fund?
The EEA and Norway Grants fund a wide variety of topics, ranging from business development and innovation to human rights and culture. You can find the full overview of the supported topics on our website as well as in the EEA and Norway Grants blue book.
2. How were the topics which the EEA and Norway Grants support defined?
The five priority sectors and twenty-three programme areas were agreed between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the European Union for the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021. The funding priorities reflect the Europe 2020 strategy, EU cohesion policy, and the results of reviews and evaluations of previous funding periods.
The priority sectors and programme areas are described in the EEA and Norway Grants blue book. The three donor countries launched a broad public consultation on the draft blue book in May 2016. The consultation consisted of a web-based public consultation open to all potential partners, stakeholders and beneficiaries of the Grants, and a consultation directly with the main partners of the Grants in each of the beneficiary countries – the National Focal Points, the public entities with overall responsibility for reaching the objectives of the Grants. Over 700 respondents completed the consultation. The results of the consultation process are outlined in the summary of the blue book consultation.
3. Are the funded topics the same in all the countries?
No, the 15 beneficiary countries have different needs and priorities. The EEA and Norway Grants support is therefore decided through negotiations between each beneficiary state and the three donor states. Visit the country section on the EEA and Norway Grants website to learn more about the support to each country.
4. How can I see what is funded in my country?
Please visit the country section on the EEA and Norway Grants website in order to see what areas are funded in your country. There you can likewise see an overview of the currently open calls for project proposals in your country, as well as upcoming events.
Additionally, each country manages a national website for the EEA and Norway Grants. On these websites you can find more detailed information about the EEA and Norway Grants, both in English and in the native language:
- The EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria
- The EEA and Norway Grants in Croatia
- The EEA and Norway Grants in Cyprus
- The EEA and Norway Grants in the Czech Republic
- The EEA and Norway Grants in Estonia
- The EEA Grants in Greece
- The EEA and Norway Grants in Hungary
- The EEA and Norway Grants in Latvia
- The EEA and Norway Grants in Lithuania
- The EEA and Norway Grants in Malta
- The EEA and Norway Grants in Poland
- The EEA Grants in Portugal
- The EEA and Norway Grants in Romania
- The EEA and Norway Grants in Slovakia
- The EEA and Norway Grants in Slovenia
Requirements for funding recipients
How are the Grants managed?
1. Who is responsible for managing the EEA and Norway Grants?
Although the EEA and Norway Grants are funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, the responsibility of managing the Grants is shared with the beneficiary countries. Visit the organisational overview of the EEA and Norway Grants to find out more.
2. The EEA and Norway Grants are based on a programme module. What does that mean?
The EEA and Norway Grants are channelled through programmes. This is done to maximise the impact of the funding. Each beneficiary country has several programmes which address issues in different areas. Every programme has a clear objective – this means that all projects funded through a specific programme need to contribute to reaching the programme’s objective.
This makes the funding more strategic and focused. It also makes it easier to establish more strategic partnerships between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, and the 15 beneficiary states.
3. What approach do the EEA and Norway Grants follow for achieving results?
It is essential that the EEA and Norway Grants deliver results. This is why results-based management is applied in every stage of the Grants. Read more about how we achieve results.
4. How can I see the impact of the EEA and Norway Grants?
You can visit the data and results portal for an interactive presentation of the past funding period. This including result indicators, geographical spread of projects and partnerships across regions, as well as interesting project stories. In addition, evaluations and reviews can give a good picture of the impact of the EEA and Norway Grants in specific fields.
5. How do the EEA and Norway Grants manage risks?
Risk management is an integral part of all stages of the Grants. The EEA and Norway Grants follow a risk management strategy which establishes the ownership of risk management by level and area of responsibility.
6. I want to report fraud or misuse of funds. How do I report it?
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption under the EEA and Norway Grants and strongly encourage all suspected mismanagement of the funding to be reported. Complains and suspected irregularities can be submitted directly to any of the agencies responsible for he management of the Grants. See the section on how to report irregularities for more details.
1. Why do the EEA and Norway Grants include project partnerships?
The EEA and Norway Grants have two overarching goals, one of them is to strengthen bilateral relations between the three donor states – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – and the 15 beneficiary states in Europe. Project partnerships are a concrete method to reach that goal. Partnerships bring several benefits, including the sharing of knowledge and experience, access to innovative solutions, new networks and even new business opportunities. Visit our partnership opportunities page to find out more.
2. What are donor programme partners?
Donor programme partners are public institutions in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway that play a formal role in the EEA and Norway Grants programmes. They work with their counterparts in beneficiary countries to provide expertise and strategic advice on programme planning and implementation and facilitate networking and help project promoters find project partners in donor countries. Visit the donor programme partners overview to see which institutions are involved and in which programmes they work.
3. What is expected of partners?
Project partnerships come in many forms and will differ depending on a range of factors, from the size of the project to the sector you are cooperating in, whether you are building on existing cooperation with the project promoter or whether you have just met. In general, however, a project partnership entails active cooperation between you and the project promoter in the planning and implementation of your project.
You will work together with the project promoter in developing a project idea, applying for project support, and if your project is selected, you will implement the project together. Visit the partnerships guide for more detailed information.
4. How do I find a partner in Iceland/Liechtenstein/Norway?
Once you’ve identified a programme that could fit your project, have a look to see whether it includes a donor programme partner. The donor programme partners or in the case of the Active Citizens Funds, the relevant donor contact points, may be able to advise you in your search for a project partner. They will often have an overview of upcoming information meetings, partnership events, seed or travel funds and calls for proposals coming up in their field. In cooperation with the programme or fund operators, the donor programme partners and the donor contact points sometimes arrange matchmaking events which may be of interest to your entity.
Some of the donor programme partners and the donor contact point have established databases in which entities can enter their information and express interest in cooperation:
5. I’m from Iceland/Liechtenstein/Norway. How do I join a project in one of the beneficiary countries as a partner?
If you want to become a project partner, it may be useful to consider the following:
- Do any of the EEA and Norway Grants programme areas match with your interests and expertise?
- Is there a particular country you would like to engage in cooperation with?
As a project partner, you will enter into a partnership with a project promoter in one of the beneficiary countries. Together with the project promoter you will develop a joint project application that the project promoter will submit under a specific call for proposals.
If you want to know more about becoming a project partner, it is recommended that you contact one of the donor programme partners from your country operating in your field of interest. Norwegian and Icelandic entities interested in working in the field of civil society, could get in touch with the donor contact points for the Active Citizens Funds. They will be able to provide more detailed guidance and let you know whether there is an information event coming up that might be relevant for you.
The online partnership guide contains an overview of the practical steps of participating in an EEA and Norway Grants project.
6. Can I become a partner in a project if I’m not from one of the donor or beneficiary countries?
The eligibility criteria vary by programmes, but in some of them projects can include partners from other countries. However, their participation cannot be financed through the EEA and Norway Grants. They therefore must find an alternative source of funding. You will find more information on eligible partners in each call for proposals.
The only exception of this is the Fund for Youth Employment which allows participation from Ireland, Italy and Spain, and the Fund for Regional Cooperation which allows participation from the following countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, The former North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. Both the Fund for Youth Employment and the Fund for Regional Cooperation issued calls for project proposals in 2017/2018 and have now been closed for applications. No decision has been made on more calls in the future in these two funds.