Photo: FMO/EEA and Norway Grants.Photo: FMO/EEA and Norway Grants

The EEA and Norway Grants

Last updated: 20.12.2012 // Norway contributes to reducing disparities in Central and Southern Europe through the EEA and Norway Grants. Key areas of support include environmental protection and climate change, civil society, children and health, cultural heritage, research and scholarships, decent work, and justice and home affairs.

See also: Annual report 2012

Despite much progress in Europe over recent years, gaps in economic development and living standards persist. Through the EEA and Norway Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute to reducing disparities in Europe and to strengthening bilateral relations with 15 countries in Central and Southern Europe.

€1.79 billion has been set aside under the Grants for the period 2009 to 2014. Norway provides 97 per cent of the funding, while the rest is provided by Iceland and Liechtenstein. Grants are available for non-governmental organisations, research and academic institutions, and the public and private sectors.

The beneficiary states under the two grant mechanisms are the 12 countries that have joined the EU since 2004; the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania – as well as Greece, Spain and Portugal. Whereas the Norway Grants is solely targeted at the new EU member states, the EEA Grants also includes the EU member states Spain, Greece and Portugal.

The three donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA Agreement includes a goal to reduce social and economic disparities in the European Economic Area. Thus, The EEA EFTA States have contributed to European cohesion efforts ever since the EEA Agreement entered into force in 1994. 

After the EU enlargement of 2004 the scheme was divided in two: the Norway Grants, which are entirely funded by Norway, and the EEA Grants, to which Iceland and Liechtenstein also contribute.

Social and economic cohesion
The objective of the EEA and Norway Grants is to reduce social and economic disparities in the EEA, and they are intended to put the beneficiary states in a better position to make use of the internal market. This is in the interests of both Norway and the beneficiary states.

The scheme is also intended to strengthen relations between Norway and the beneficiary states, as explicitly stated in the agreement with the EU on the EEA and Norway Grants 2009–14. In this way the Grants have also become an instrument of Norwegian foreign policy.

More information: – the official website of the EEA and Norway Grants

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