Innovation, research, climate and environment highlighted in Latvia

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have signed new cooperation agreements with Latvia under the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021. 

LV MoU signing

The three donor countries have allocated €102.1 million to 8 programmes and funds in Latvia for the coming years.

"I warmly welcome this opportunity to reinforce the close friendship and political relations between Iceland and Latvia. Cooperation on child friendly justice is one example of important activities ahead," said Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson, on the occasion. 

Ambassador Bergdis Ellertsdottir, Head of the Icelandic Mission to the EU, signed the agreements on behalf of Iceland. Here she is pictured with Anna Pala Sverrisdottir, First Secretary at the Mission. Photo: FMO

Business development and innovation, research, climate change adaptation and environment, and justice and police cooperation are the programmes receiving the most funding. Other areas include local development, poverty reduction and cultural cooperation, civil society, and social dialogue – decent work.

Download the cooperation agreements here.

“Europe is still facing major social challenges. Jobs need to be created, social inequality needs to be reduced, and democracy and institutions still need to be strengthened. Through the EEA and Norway Grants, Norway is providing targeted support to parts of Europe where the needs are greatest,” said Minister of EEA and EU Affairs Marit Berger Røsland. 

Driving innovation and research

The new agreements place a particular emphasis on strengthening innovation and research cooperation. Innovation Norway, which was the operator of the green industry innovation programme in the previous funding period, will remain involved as the donor programme partner of the business development and innovation programme.

The Research Council of Norway (RCN) and the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU) are involved as partners in the research and education programme in a cross – Baltic programme where the Liechtenstein National Agency for International Education Affairs (AIBA) will likewise be a partner.

Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the EU, Sabine Monauni, signed the agreements on behalf of Liechtenstein. Photo: FMO

„The EEA Grants are a demonstration of our commitment towards social and economic cohesion within the EU. As close partners of the EU it is also in our interest to show solidarity. I am particularly glad that we included an education programme, which is one of Liechtenstein’s priorities,” underlined the Foreign Minister of Liechtenstein, Ms. Aurelia Frick.

Continuing good cooperation

The new agreements include extensive cooperation between Latvia and the donor countries. Out of the eight programmes, seven will involve donor programme partners or an international partner organisation.

The Directorate of Norwegian Correctional Services will continue its work as a donor programme partner in the correctional services programme and the Council of Europe will provide expertise as an international partner organisation in the police cooperation programme.

The Norwegian Environment Agency (NEA) will continue as a donor programme partner in the climate change and environment programme where special attention will be placed on measures remedying polluted sites.

The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) will contribute to the Local development, poverty reduction and cultural cooperation programme. The cultural component of the programme will also involve the Norwegian Art Council which was a partner in the previous cultural programme.

Next steps
In the coming months work will continue to set up the programmes. Open calls for proposals will be announced at a later stage. Follow updates on the country page for Latvia.

Overview of programmes

  • Business Development, Innovation and SMEs €12.5 million
    • Donor programme partner: Innovation Norway
  • Research and Education €14.5 million
    • Donor programme partners: Research Council of Norway,DIKU – Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education, the Liechtenstein National Agency for International Education Affairs
  • Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation and Environment €14.0 million
    • Donor programme partner: Norwegian Environment Agency
  • Local Development, Poverty Reduction and Cultural Cooperation €10.0 million
    • Donor programme partners: Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities, Arts Council Norway
  • Correctional Services €13.0 million
    • Donor programme partner: Norwegian Correctional Services
  • International Police Cooperation and Combating Crime €15.0 million
    • International partner organisation: Council of Europe
  • Civil Society €8.5 million
  • Social Dialogue  – Decent Work €0.52 million
  • Bilateral Fund €2.4 million

About the EEA and Norway Grants

Under the EEA Agreement, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are part of the European internal market. The EEA Agreement sets out the common goal of working together to reduce social and economic disparities in Europe and strengthen cooperation between European countries. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute to this through the EEA and Norway Grants. For the period 2014-2021, a total contribution of €2.8 billion has been agreed.