EEA and Norway Grants, making a greener Europe

Virtual reality demos, Instagram competitions, workshops, face-to-faces and speed-dates with funded projects and experts… The EEA and Norway Grants team hosted an action-packed programme of awareness-raising activities at the recent European Week of Cities and Regions in Brussels.

From 7-10 October, the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC) attracted more than 6 000 delegates from all sections of society who were keen to share ideas and explore alternatives for meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow. It was also a unique platform for the EEA and Norway Grants to show what we do, how we help cities, regions and communities solve problems through our targeted funding for projects all over Europe.

“This event was a brilliant opportunity to showcase how our programmes contribute to a green, competitive and inclusive Europe,” said Raquel Torres Prol, Communication Officer at the EEA and Norway Grants. “It shows how we are making a difference for a better Europe.”

Visitors to the EEA and Norway Grants stand discovered how a Slovakian village’s struggle with water scarcity and depopulation became a catalyst for change, transforming the local school, Maximilián Hell in Štiavnické Bane, into a beacon of sustainability. Students Oliver Supuka (13 years old) and Klaudie Kočí (14 years old) relished the chance to talk about their ‘Blue School’ project, which used EEA Grants funding to build eco-ponds, a rainwater catchment system and other environmentally friendly features.

Like other funded projects, the 'Blue School' showed that each drop counts, and that projects like the 'Blue School' have enormous impact in towns, cities and regions that struggle to cope with a changing climate. To reinforce this important message, the EEA and Norway Grants held a photo competition linked to the hashtag #EEAchdropcounts. Loads of fun photos were shared in support of the EEA and Norway Grants’ greener Europe campaign.

“A greener Europe means that every region, every city, every person plays their part,” noted Juliet Martinez, Senior Reporting, Risk & Evaluation Officer at the EEA and Norway Grants.

Among the more popular features at the stand were the ‘speed-dating’ slots, which paired experts in various fields together with people interested in the EEA and Norway Grants funding opportunities and how the Grants work, including financial and monitoring aspects.

There are currently more than 35 open calls under the EEA and Norway Grants. The EEA and Norway Grants stand at EWRC explored the funding in each country and the programme areas that are going to be supported in the coming years, as well as the total amount allocated per programme.  

The star of the stand was the #EEAchdropcounts virtual reality experience, which caught the attention of hundreds of visitors. The Virtual Reality Tour took visitors deep into the heart of the Malta Water Conservation Awareness Centre project, which has been showing Maltese children why it is so important to save water, what it means to their water-scarce island and, ultimately, to a greener Europe.