The Norwegian Financial Mechanism and the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism, i.e. the EEA and Norway Grants, are a form of foreign aid granted by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to new EU member states. The funds are connected with the Poland’s accession to the European Union and the simultaneous accession to the European Economic Area (which covers the EU member states and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway). In exchange for the financial contribution granted to the beneficiary states the donor countries benefit from an access to the internal market of the European Union despite the fact that they are non-EU members.
The main objectives of the EEA and Norway Grants are: to contribute to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area and to strengthen the bilateral relations between the donor states and the beneficiary states.
On May 3rd., 2016 Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway reached an agreement with EU concerning the shape of the 3rd edition of the EEA Grants (2014-2021), signing the Protocol 38c to the EEA Agreement. At the same time Norway signed an agreement with EU concerning the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021.
The beneficiries of the new edition of the EEA and Norway Grants (2014-2021) are 15 EU countries: 12 countries that joined the common market in 2004, 2007 and on 2013, as well as Greece and Portugal.
Poland signed intergovernmental agreements (Memorandums of Understanding) as regards the 3rd edition of the EEA and Norway Grants on December 20th, 2017, receiving thereunder EUR 809,3 million (from the total amount of over EUR 2,8 billion), which makes Poland the largest beneficiary, likein previous editions.
The Ministry of Investment and Economic Development (MIiR) is responsible for coordination of funds implementation in Poland, acting as the National Focal Point (NFP) for the EEA and Norway Grants. As the NFP, it collaborates with the Financial Mechanism Office (FMO) in Brussels. Particular programmes of the 3rd edition of funds will be implemented by Polish public institutions. The exceptions are, as in previous editions, areas "Civil Society” and “Social dialogue - Decent work”, which will be managed by the Donors (accordingly by the Financial Mechanism Office and Innovation Norway).
Programmes under the EEA and Norway Grants will be implemented until 2024. The exception is the Fund for Bilateral Relations, which will be implemented until April 30th, 2025.
|Number||Programme||Operator||Programme Partners (DPP)||Budget|
|1||Business Development and Innovation||Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP)||Innovation Norway||EUR 85 million|
|2||Local Development||Ministry of Investment and Economic Development||Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS)||EUR 100 million|
|3||Research||National Science Centre (NCN) with support from the National Centre for Research and Development||Norwegian Research Council (Norges forskningsråd)||EUR 110 million|
|4||Education||Foundation for the Development of the Education System||Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (DIKU), Icelandic Centre for Research RANNIS, National Agency for International Affairs AIBA from Liechtenstein||EUR 20 million|
|5||Environment, Energy and Climate Change||Ministry of Environment with support from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management||National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, National Energy Authority of Iceland (OS)||EUR 140 million|
|6||Culture||Ministry of Culture and National Heritage||
Arts Council Norway (ACN), Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage (RA)
|EUR 75 million|
|7||Health||Ministry of Health||Norwegian Directorate of Health (HDIR)||EUR 20 million|
|8||Justice||Ministry of Justice||
Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Directorate of Norwegian Correctional Service (KDI)
|EUR 68,5 million|
|9||Home Affairs||Ministry of Interior and Administration (MSWiA) with support from the MSWiA European Projects Implementation Centre||Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB)||EUR 20 million|
|10||Bilateral Cooperation Fund||Ministry of Investment and Economic Development||n/d||EUR 16,2 million|
|11||Technical Assistance||Ministry of Investment and Economic Development||n/d||EUR 12,1 million|
|Programmes managed by Donors|
|12||Civil Society||Financial Mechanism Office (FMO)||n/d||EUR 53 million|
|13||Work life balance||Innovation Norway||n/d||EUR 6,1 million|