EEA and Norway Grants Reducing disparities Strengthening relations Bjarni Vestmann, Head of Communication February 2015
EEA Agreement Article 115 …With a view to promoting a continuous and balanced strengthening of trade and economic relations between the Contracting Parties agree on the need to reduce the economic and social disparities between their regions…
Why we do it The 3 donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the EEA Agreement • We are partners in the internal market • We share European values, such as democracy and tolerance • We are helping to address the economic, political and social challenges facing Europe • Strengthen relations between donor and beneficiary states Contribution---- Solidarity ---- Engagement
What we do • Through the EEA and Norway Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute to • reducing economic and social disparities • strengthening bilateral relations …..with 16 beneficiary countries in central and southern Europe
€1.8 billion 2009-2014 Target specific needs Support capacity building Exchange skills and knowledge 16 beneficiary countries 150 programmes
Economic disparities GDP per person (PPS) EU-28=100 (2012) Norway 195 Iceland 112 … Latvia 62 Romania 49 Bulgaria 47
Social disparities Human development UNDP Index – world ranking (2014) Norway 1 • Iceland 13 Liechtenstein 18 Slovenia 25 Poland 35 Bulgaria 58
Mutual benefits • Creates stronger bonds which increase opportunities for trade and investment • Cements ties which will ensure beyond the funding at political, institutional, cultural and educational level • Strengthens cooperation to serve in the fight against crime • …..works to the benefit of all
Programmes EEA Norway Grants 2009-14 OVERALL OBJECTIVES finances Reduction of economic and social disparitiesin the European Economic Area Strengthen bilateral relations between the Donor States and the Beneficiary States Programmes composed of Projects
Organisational structure Donor States FMO Embassies National Focal Points Programme Operator Donor Programme Partner Project Promoter Project Partner
Who we are • Financial Mechanism Office • Manages the EEA and Norway Grants on behalf of the donors (the Financial Mechanisms) • Administratively part of EFTA • Reports to the Foreign Ministries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway • Oversees implementation in 16 beneficiary countries
GREEN FOCUS Around 1/3 to environment and climate change • Renewable energy • Energy efficiency • Climate change • Green innovation • Research and innovation • Biodiversity Green industry innovation is a new sector. €120 million to business development in cooperation with Norwegian SMEs. BG, EE, HU, LV, LT, RO, SK, PL.
CIVILSOCIETY NGO funds in all 16 countries - €158 million • Democracy and good governance • Human rights • Anti-discrimination • Social justice • Sustainable development Improving the situation for the Roma population is a focus of NGO funds in a number of countries.
SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE Research cooperation and educational exchange • Research cooperation • Application of research • Educational cooperation • Student mobility • Staff mobility Bilateral cooperation is key to the programmes on research and education.
SOCIALWELFARE Protecting and assisting vulnerable groups • Improve capacity • Improve systems • Equal access to health • Protecting vulnerable groups Improved care for children, youth and various vulnerable groups is important in many programmes and countries.
JUSTICEAND HOME AFFAIRS • Fighting crime and improving the judiciary system • Police cooperation • Access to justice • Efficient judiciary • Better prisons • Fight human trafficking Fighting cross-border and organised crime, and improving correctional services, including non-custodial sanctions
CULTURE AND DIVERSITY • Protecting heritage and • promoting cultural dialogue • Restore cultural heritage • Improve access to culture • Preserve traditional skills • Promote cultural diversity • Cooperation and dialogue Encouraging cooperation and dialogue between cultural institutions is an important aspect of the culture programmes.
Bilateral Cooperation More than half of the 150 programmes have Donor Programme Partners (DPPs) – public bodies – from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway involved as advisers in programme planning and implementation. Funds are set aside at national and programme levels in all beneficiary countries to develop cooperation and activities with the donor countries and facilitate partnerships.
DPPs‘ role DPPs are involved in: • Development of strategy and design of programme • Review progress and needs for amendments • Monitoring and outreach activities • Study tours, technical seminars etc. • Facilitate networking between programme operator and potential project promoters and/or project partners from the donor countries To achieve the overall objective of strengthened bilateral relations, all programmes should encourage establishment of donor partnership projects.
Characteristics • Accessible funding • Complements EU funds • Flexible • Popular • Visible
International cooperation • Council of Europe (CoE): Provides strategic advice • as well as technical input and know-how on • human rights, democracy and rule of law. • EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA): Engage • on issues such as Roma inclousion and hate • crime. • Transparency International (TI): Expertise in • assessing curruption risks. • Open Society Foundation (OSF): Advice on Roma • issues with in NGO programmes. • EU Commission, DG Regional and Urban Policy: • Consultations and exchange of information.