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Increased grants to stimulate active European policy

The Government is proposing to earmark NOK 1.585 billion for the EEA financial mechanisms its 2008 budget proposal. In addition, it is proposing to allocate NOK 1 million to a new grant scheme for the social partners. Support for information activities on European issues will also be increased.

05/10/2007 :: The EEA grants are used to support projects and other measures in areas such as environmental protection, energy, health and childcare, research and education, and the judiciary in the 15 new EU member states. The new bilateral cooperation programmes with Romania and Bulgaria focus on the environment, climate change and energy.

“I am pleased to see that there is such a great interest in the EEA grants and that Norwegian actors are succeeding in building networks and establishing various forms of project cooperation,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

The Government wants to promote dialogue between the social partners and their sister organisations in the new EU member states. It will therefore set up a new grant scheme for the social partners totalling NOK 1 million. The scheme will be administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the social partners. The purpose is to promote labour rights and strengthen the labour market.

“Developing the social dialogue is particularly important for the new EU member states, which are still in a transitional phase,” the Foreign Minister added.

The Government is proposing to increase the support provided for information activities on European issues by NOK 287 000 to NOK 5.287 million in 2008. It is proposing that the support provided for research on European issues and as travel grants for social partner representatives that participate in broad-based technical cooperation in the EEA should be continued.

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