The EEA Grants aim to reduce social and economic inequality, in addition to strengthening bilateral cooperation among the EEA countries and the beneficiary countries. The EEA Grants are jointly funded by the three donor countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, with each contributing according to their size and GDP. Eligibility of the Grants mirrors the criteria set for the EU Cohesion Fund aimed at Member States where the Gross National Income (GNI) per inhabitant is less than 90% of the EU average. Recipients of allocations from the fund during the current funding period are Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Allocations from the Grants are decided by the Financial Mechanism Office, a committee composed of representatives of the Foreign Ministries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
The Grant currently has five priority sectors that allocations are channeled through, focusing on such things as innovation, youth employment and environmental considerations. Culture plays a significant role in the work that the Grants engage in. The vital role of culture in countries' economies, its role in uniting individuals, increasing stability and innovation is recognized. The Grants follow the Europe 2020 strategy and contribute to smart and sustainable growth, supporting cultural activities such as cultural heritage management, cultural entrepreneurship and artistic activities contributing to sustainable development and social cohesion.
The EEA Grants have supported an incredibly large number of projects in a wide variety of fields in the last 25 years. Since the beginning of the 2014-2021 funding period, over 110 stakeholder consultations have been held, with 95 concept notes finalized by year end 2019, 80 program agreements signed and 149 calls for proposals launched since the first release in 2017. The Grants have provided significant assistance to recipient countries economically, socially and culturally.
During the previous funding period of 2009-2014, the EEA Grants allocated 86,754,967 USD (78,600,000 EUR) to the 16 recipient countries at the time, with a large portion of that assigned to projects involving protection of cultural heritage, as well as climate change and energy. During that funding period, Iceland partnered with 181 organizations in 15 countries to work on 401 projects in various fields.
In 2019, 4,474,223.78 USD was allocated to the fund from the Icelandic State Treasury (611 million ISK).
|Name of partner||Type of entity|
Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNÍS)
National Energy Authority