EEA and Norway Grants are common names of two programs: the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. EEA and Norway Grants are a form of foreign aid granted by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to Poland and other Member States of the European Union.
The recipients of Norway and EEA Grants are total of 15 EU countries: the new Member States as well as Spain, Portugal and Greece.
In general, the allocation for Poland is EUR 578.1 million. This amount includes the management costs of the Donor States and the Polish side as well as the Fund for bilateral relations at the national level.Management costs of the Donor States amount to around EUR 43.4 million. This will be disbursed for maintaining of the Financial Mechanism Office in Brussels, assessment, monitoring, evaluation, reporting and audits conducted by the donors. For the tasks performed by the Polish side i.e. management, implementation, monitoring, controlling and information about the funds there are reserved means of so-called Technical Assistance. Technical Assistance budget is nearly EUR 8.4 million. Fund for bilateral relations at the national level, which is a source of financing initiatives to strengthen cooperation between the donor and the beneficiary country is about EUR 2.9 million. The Fund will be able to finance initiatives facilitating establishing cooperation and networking at the national level.
This term refers to three countries - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway so countries which granted Poland Norway and EEA Grants.
Norway Grants come only from Norway, while the EEA Grants come from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway.
European Economic Area (EEA) is a free trade zone covering the Common Market of the European Union countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. EEA is based on four fundamental freedoms: free movement of people, capital, goods and services.
EEA and Norway Grants are earmarked for the period 2009-2014, but the beneficiaries will have two years to implement the projects. This is the second edition of the EEA and Norway Grants. The previous edition covered the period 2004-2009.
FMO is responsible for the ongoing implementation of the EEA and Norway Grants on behalf of the Donors. The FMO is based in Brussels.
In each of the beneficiary countries there were established National Focal Points responsible for implementing the funds in the country. Their task is to coordinate and supervise the implementation of the programmes. In Poland, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development performs duties of the National Focal Point.
Basically, programs are thematic areas. Within a programme it is possible to receive funding for thematically similar projects. For example, research may be funded under the programme "Polish-Norwegian Research Cooperation." In Poland a dozen of programs were established. The responsibility for implementation of a programme is carried out by institutions/organizations specialized in a particular field. For example, the Ministry of Health is responsible for implementation of health programmes. These institutions act as so-called program’s Operators. In some cases, operators cooperate with companies/institutions from Donor countries.
A dozen of programs/themes have been set in Poland. Projects (from particular programs) will be selected through calls for proposals or as a pre-defined projects. Some programs are exclusively dedicated to pre-defined projects.
Below is a list of programs in which projects to be selected by means of of calls for proposals:
- Protection of the biological diversity and ecosystems,
- Strengthening of environmental monitoring and control activities,
- Saving energy and promoting renewable energy sources,
- Fund for Non-governmental Organizations,
- Urban development by strengthening the competence of self-government units, social dialogue and cooperation with civil society representatives,
- Development and better adaptation of health care to demographic and epidemiological trends,
- Maintenance and revitalisation of cultural heritage,
- Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage,
- Scholarship and Training Fund, Norwegian-Polish Research Programme,
- Reducing social inequalities in health,
- Domestic and gender-based violence,
- Strenghtening Schengen Cooperation and Combating Cross-Border and Organised Crime, including Trafficking and intinerant criminal groups,
- Decent work and tripartite dialogue.
Generally, applicants can be public or private, commercial or non-commercial or NGOs established as a legal entities in Poland as well as intergovernmental organizations operating in Poland. List of eligible applicants will be established for each programme.
Operators are responsible for the implementation of programmes (theme areas). Operators are responsible for call for proposals, selection of projects, monitoring their implementation and so on. Operators act as the first point of contact for beneficiaries.Operators are institutions/organizations specialized in a particular field, such as in the case of health - Ministry of Health.In some cases, Operators cooperate with companies/institutions from Donor countries. They are called “partners at the program level”.
Contact the Operator
Operators are institutions/organizations specialized in a particular field, such as in the case of health Ministry of Health acts as the Operator. In some programmes, Operators cooperate with companies/institutions from Donor countries. They are called “partners at the programme level”.
Does the project have to be implemented in partnership with entities from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway?
In case of projects submitted under the programmes: “Norwegian-Polish Research Programme”,“Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage”, and most of activities under the “Scholarship and Training Fund”, the project has to be implemented in partnership with units from Donor countries.For other programmes, the partnership is optional.
Calls for proposals are announced by the Programme Operators.
Generally, applications for funding must be submitted to the Programme Operator, i.e. institution which is responsible for the implementation of the programme. For example, when applying for funds for health care, application shall be submitted to the Ministry of Health.The Operator informs about the place of submission of applications in the call announcement.
In accordance with the general principles, call for proposals must last a minimum of two months. This period may be longer. For each of the programmes, call duration will be determined individually. Call duration is specified in the call announcement. The announcement includes all relevant information on applying. The announcement is published on the website of the Operator.
In general, the evaluation of applications is made by the Operator. The Programme Operator ensures also the proper implementation of a project.
The selection of projects is mostly based on the calls for proposal, which are announced by the Operators within each programme. In addition, there will be implemented so-called pre-defined projects. In the case of open calls for proposals the Programme Operator shall evaluate the applications using administrative and eligibility criteria. If application meets the eligibility and administrative criteria then it’s analyzed by two independent and impartial experts indicated by the Programme Operator*. The Operator forwards evaluated list of projects to the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee reviews the ranking list and then submits a list of recommended projects to the Operator.
* In the case of programmes: “Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage” and „Norwegian-Polish Research Programme” one of the experts is selected by the Programme Operator, and the second one by a partner from the Donor countries.
Generally, applications are evaluated by the Polish side.However, in the case of programmes supervised by the Polish Operator and his counterpart from the Donor State, the Selection Committees also consists of a representative from the Donor State at the programme level.In addition, in the case of programmes: “Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage” and „Norwegian-Polish Research Programme”, one of experts evaluating proposals shall be selected by the Operator, and the other by the Partner from the Donor State.
The tasks of the Committee include:
- approving - proposed by the Operator - formal and content-related criteria, on the basis of which applications will be assessed,
- recommending: projects for funding, ie. list of projects recommended, and a reserved list of projects.
The Committee is composed of experts from particular field (eg. environmental experts). In case of Donors Partnership Programmes, the representative from the Donor State is invited as an advisor to the Selection Committee. Selection Committee is established for each Programme separately.
The eligibility of project expenditure will expire on 30 April 2016 with an exception of Scholarship and Training Fund, for which the eligibility period ends on 30 September 2016. Initial and final date of the eligibility period for each project is determined individually in the Project Agreement between the Operator and the Beneficiary.
The project grant rate varies depending on the programme. In accordance with the general rules the amount of grant assistance shall be no less than EUR 170,000. In case of some programmes there will be possible to carry out "small" projects (within so-called Small grants scheme), where the grant amount could range from EUR 5,000 to 250,000. The minimum and maximum grant amount depends on the of the programme and it will be given in the call documents for each programme.
Beneficiaries may apply for funding up to 85 per cent of eligible project costs. The remaining costs are covered by beneficiaries as their own contribution to the project. At the same time - for example - non-governmental organizations may receive a grant of up to 90 per cent of eligible costs. It is also possible to apply for 100 per cent funding. Detailed information on the level of funding will given in the call documents of particular programme.
The term relates to projects which due to their special importance, are identified without any call for proposals. Some programmes will be implemented only by means of pre-defined projects. For other programmes, co-financing may be divided between pre-defined projects and projects selected within open call for proposals.Generally, the pre-defined projects were identified in the Memorandum of Understanding, i.e. an international agreement under which Donor States provide funds for Poland. Projects of this type can also be proposed at the stage of planning and approval of a programme.
Frequently Asked Questions