Poland and Czech Republic sign MoUs for EEA grants

Poland and theCzech Republic became the first new EEA countries to sign Memorandumsof Understanding (MoUs) for grants made available by the EEA EFTAcountries as part of the EEA enlargement on 1 May 2004.

An MoU o­n the use of funds under the Norwegian Financial Mechanism inPoland was signed at a Norwegian-Polish conference in Warsaw o­nOctober 14, attended by over 350 representatives of the businesssector, the public sector and NGOs from the two countries. Under theMoU, about 278 million euros will be made available for projects inPoland, for example in the health and environmental sectors, over afive-year period.

TheNorwegian Financial Mechanism was established as a result of theexpansion of the EEA Agreement in May this year to include the 10 newmembers of the EU. A similar EEA Financial Mechanism backed by thethree EEA EFTA countries Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway was alsoestablished, and an MoU o­n the use of funds under the EEA FinancialMechanism is expected to be signed with Poland o­n October 28.

Norway’sForeign Minister Jan Petersen and Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svobodasigned a Memorandum of Understanding o­n 19 October o­n the use offunds under the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. The Czech Republic willreceive approximately 62 million euros over five years. In addition tothe Norwegian Financial Mechanism, a Memorandum of Understanding o­nthe use of funds under the EEA Financial Mechanism will be signed inthe near future.