Through the EEA and Norway Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute to reducing social and economic inequalities and strengthening bilateral relations with beneficiary countries in Europe. Three countries work closely with the EU on the basis of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA Agreement).
Across the European Economic Area, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are internal market partners of the 28 EU Member States. The EEA Grants and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism are the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reducing economic and social disparities and to strengthening bilateral relations with the EU in the countries of Central and Southern Europe.
In the period 2009–2014, the value of EEA and Norway Grants amounts to EUR 1.79 billion. Norway provides around 97% of the total funding. Funds are available for NGOs, research institutions and universities, the public sector and the private sector in 12 newly admitted EU Member States, i.e. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Greece, Portugal and Spain. As part of them, there is extensive cooperation with entities from the donor countries, and projects can be implemented until 2016.
Key areas of support include environmental protection and climate change, research and scholarships, civil society, health and support for children, gender equality, justice and cultural heritage.