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Annual meeting on the EEA and Norway Grants

Environmental protection, health, scientific research, urban development, entrepreneurship – these are just a few of the areas supported by the EEA and Norway Grants. What stage are we at with investing this money? Representatives of the Ministry, headed by the Deputy Minister Marcin Horała, as well as representatives of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and the Financial Mechanism Office in Brussels, discussed this in the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy.

The EEA and Norway Grants (formally: the EEA Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism) are money that Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein have granted to the several Central and Southern European countries and the Baltic States. These three countries are not members of the EU, but they benefit from the common market. In return, they support investments in various areas in EU countries. The third distribution of these funds is now underway. They are used by 14 countries, including Poland, which is their largest beneficiary for the third time. In total, we have EUR 809.3 million at our disposal out of the pool of EUR 2.8 billion for the entire fourteen.

We finalize  the signing of agreements with beneficiaries. We launched 42 calls for proposals in programs managed by Poland. We received 3.6 thousand applications. So far, 860 projects have received  grants. 60% of them are implemented in cooperation with institutions from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein - said Deputy Minister of Development Funds and Regional Policy Marcin Horała, who opened the annual meeting devoted to the  EEA and Norway Grants.

These meetings take place once or twice a year. During them, everyone involved in the implementation of the funds - ministries, Polish institutions, representatives of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein as well as the Financial Mechanism Office in Brussels - talk about how this money is invested and how to deal with emerging challenges.

The EEA and Norway Grants are implemented under specific programs.

Polish institutions (e.g. ministries, government agencies) manage 9 programs:

  • Environment, energy and climate change,
  • Culture,
  • Scientific research - basic and applied,
  • Health,
  • Local Development,
  • Justice,
  • Internal affairs,
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation,
  • Education. 

The exceptions are, as in previous editions, the "Civil Society" programs - managed directly by the donor states and "Social Dialogue - Decent Work" - implemented by Innovation Norway.

By the end of September 2022, EUR 171 million had been used under the programs managed by the Polish side. The most advanced programs concern research and education. The eligibility period for the EEA and Norway Grants ends on April 30, 2024. After this date, it will no longer be possible to settle project’s expenditures.

It is crucial from our perspective to use these funds for the best projects, despite the challenges we are facing due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, summed up the Deputy Minister Marcin Horała.