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Norway and Lithuania sign agreements on EEA and Norway Grants

Last updated: 06/04/2011 // Yesterday Norway and Lithuania signed agreements concerning the allocation of approximately NOK 660 million under the EEA and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms. “The EEA and Norway Grants help to reduce social and economic disparities in Europe, and this is also to Norway’s benefit,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

In connection with President Dalia Grybauskaitė’s state visit to Norway, Lithuanian Minister of Finance Ingrida Šimonytė and Norwegian Minister of Justice Knut Storberget signed memorandums of understanding today on the allocation of the funds for the EEA and Norway Grants for Lithuania in the period leading up to 2014.

– We can look back on many years of good neighbourly relations with Lithuania. The country has made great economic and political progress since it gained independence. With these agreements, we are stepping up cooperation between our two countries in areas of mutual interest, said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

Environmental protection and efforts to combat climate change have been given top priority in the new agreements on the EEA and Norway Grants. About NOK 154 million has been earmarked for programmes focused on green industry innovation, integrated marine and inland water management, and biological diversity and ecosystem services.

Justice and home affairs is the other main sector that will receive funding in this period. Norway will provide nearly NOK 150 million for work in three key areas: cross-border and organised crime, judicial capacity-building, and correctional services, including non-custodial sanctions.

In addition, there will be new programmes with a focus on NGOs, decent work, public health initiatives, conservation and revitalisation of cultural heritage, scholarships, and children and young people at risk. A number of Norwegian institutions will be involved in the implementation of the programmes in cooperation with their Lithuanian counterparts.

– We are very pleased to have signed the agreements, particularly because this year we are celebrating that it is 20 years since diplomatic relations were re-established between Lithuania and Norway,” said Foreign Minister Støre.

Learn more about the EEA and Norway Grants.

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Did You Know?

  • The EEA Grants and Norway Grants are Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway’s contribution to reducing economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area and to the strengthening of bilateral relations with the 15 beneficiary states in Central and Southern Europe.
  • The grant schemes are related to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, which brings together the EU and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in the Internal Market. The EEA Agreement includes a goal to reduce social and economic disparities in the European Economic Area.
  • In the period 2004-2009, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway made available €1.3 billion in support. Supported projects, programmes and funds will be in implementation until April 2011.
  • In the period 2009-14, financial support is made available for programmes in 15 European countries. Of the total €1.79 billion, €988.5 million is provided through the EEA Grants and €800 million through the Norway Grants. Norway’s share of the total funding is 97 percent.
  • The EEA Grants and Norway Grants 2009-14 are divided along thematic programmes, with programmes linked to environmental and climate change issues absorbing at least a quarter of the funding. Strengthening civil society in Central and Southern Europe is another priority. Support to the fields of research and scholarships, cultural heritage, human and social development, health, and the justice sector will also be covered.