Last year continued to present challenges, successes, and struggles. Many of them were of an overwhelming magnitude. While the global Covid pandemic hung on, the war in Ukraine began. Starting in February 2022, the threats became a reality as Russia invaded Ukraine, shaking the sense of security to its core for millions of people forced to seek refuge. Still, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, and all the people behind the projects supported by the EEA and Norway Grants, continued their work towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe. This Status Report celebrates partnerships and accomplishments, and the over 4 000 projects funded under the EEA and Norway Grants – from 2014 until the end of 2021.
Building a green, competitive and inclusive Europe
The EEA and Norway Grants’ goals - making Europe greener, more competitive and inclusive - are a propeller for thousands of projects run by more than 2 800 researchers, 550 companies and numerous civil society organisations, together with partners from the Donor States.
By reducing litter one bottle at a time, a Bulgarian project is helping increase public awareness, self-awareness and civic responsibility and keep the iconic Burgas Bay clean. Maya Ruseva, Project Manager for the Implementation of Marine Waste Reduction Measures in the Bay of Burgas, emphasises that reducing waste needs education. Breaking the cycle starts with learning.
The massive impact of cybercrime on the global economy, and a raging online battle in the wake of the war in Ukraine make clear the need for keeping up with increasing cyber threats. A team of researchers is tracking human behaviour in cybersecurity and formulating methodologies to fight back. With support from the EEA and Norway Grants, scientists from universities in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and their partners from Norway and Liechtenstein are combining computer science, psychology, and human genomics research to change how cybercrime is battled.
In Greece, the RePower project helps integrate refugees with disabilities living in Greece through life-improving tools. One of them, Alia Issa, a 20-year-old athlete, became the first-ever female competitor to be part of the Refugee Paralympic Team at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
And these are just a few examples from over 4 000 projects funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. By 2024, they will invest a total of €2.8 billion to reduce social and economic disparities and strengthen bilateral relations between the Donor and Beneficiary States.
So far, the EEA and Norway Grants have supported:
- 9.5 m+ people taking part in activities organised by civil society organisations;
- 133 000 vulnerable people (including Roma) reached by empowerment measures;
- 1 700 jobs created;
- 2 800 researchers supported;
- … and much more.
“With many projects just starting, and implementation running until 2024, we are looking forward to seeing many more results in coming years,” say the Donors.
The EEA and Norway Grants are funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The Grants have two goals – to contribute to a more equal Europe, both socially and economically – and strengthen the relations between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the 15 Beneficiary States in Europe.