The Donor States of Norway Grants (Norwegian Financial Mechanism) and European Economic Area (EEA) Grants are Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
With the EEA Grants and Norway Grants, the Donor States contribute to the reduction of economic and social disparities and to strengthening of bilateral relations with the Beneficiary States in Europe. The three above-mentioned countries cooperate closely with the European Union on the basis of the Agreement on the European Economic Area.
The Grants are available to non-governmental organisations, research institutions and universities, public sector and private sector in the 12 newly acceded EU Member States, Greece, Portugal, and Spain. In the 2009-2014 programming period, the value of EEA Grants and Norway Grants is equivalent to EUR 1.79 billion, 97% of which is provided by Norway, and projects can be implemented until 2016. The most important support areas comprise environmental protection and climate change, research and scholarships, civic society, health care and support for children, gender equality, equity and cultural heritage.
Norway Grants and EEA Grants are a form of non-repayable foreign aid. They are related to Poland’s accession to EU and, in the meanwhile, to EEA (EU + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway). In return for their financial aid, the Donor States can benefit from the access to EU internal market (even though they are not Member States). Today, the second wave of Norwegian Funds and EEA Funds is being carried out (2009-2014). The precedent wave covered the 2004-2009 period.
In each of Beneficiary States, National Contact Points have been established. They are responsible for the implementation of grants on the national level. Their task is to coordinate and supervise the implementation of the programmes.
The so-called Operators, i.e. institutions specializing in a particular field, are responsible for the implementation of given programmes (thematic areas).
As for the Donors, the grants are supervised by Financial Mechanism Committee (as regards the EEA Financial Mechanism) and Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs (as regards Norwegian Financial Mechanism). These institutions are supported by the Financial Mechanism Office in Brussels, which is responsible for the grants management on the operational level.
The selection of projects for co-financing is done largely on the basis of contests announced by the Operators, within particular programmes. In addition, the so-called predefined projects (projects designated for implementation in advance) are carried out.
(find out more at www.eog.gov.pl)