‘It’s important for the Government that the EEA and Norway Grants are used to strengthen efforts and cooperation with a view to promoting economic development and progress in Europe. This agreement will provide a framework for this work,’ commented Minister of EEA and EU Affairs Elisabeth Vik Aspaker.
The MoU was signed in Bucharest on Thursday morning. It is the most extensive cooperation agreement Norway has ever signed with Romania.
There are high expectations that the programmes will create new employment opportunities. Around EUR 160 million has been allocated to business, research and energy cooperation.
‘This cooperation is primarily intended to benefit Romania. However, the programmes are implemented with Norwegian partners, and this is a good opportunity for Norwegian companies that would like to get to know new markets,’ said Ms Aspaker.
Innovation Norway is responsible for the implementation of the business and energy programmes, and the Research Council of Norway will be involved in the implementation of the research programme. Together with 14 other Norwegian programme partners, they will play a key role in recruiting Norwegian partners for projects under the 12 programmes.
In addition to business and research cooperation, the MoU covers programmes on justice and home affairs, health, culture, and measures to improve the situation of the Roma population.
‘EUR 70 million has been made available for the poverty reduction programme, which will have a particular focus on the Roma. But funding under other programmes will also be earmarked for measures to help the Roma,’ said Ms Aspaker.
About the EEA and Norway Grants
Under the EEA Agreement, Norway is part of the European internal market. The EEA Agreement sets out the common goal of working together to reduce social and economic disparities in Europe and strengthen cooperation between European countries. Norway contributes to this through the EEA and Norway Grants. EUR 2.8 billion will be available under the grant scheme for the period 2014-2021, and will be distributed between 15 beneficiary countries. Norway provides some 98 % of this funding, the rest of which is provided by Iceland and Liechtenstein.
The MoU between Norway and Romania is the first of the MoUs to be signed on the use of the EEA and Norway Grants in the 2014-2021 funding period. Romania is the second largest beneficiary country. See the fact sheet for an overview of the programmes and Norwegian partners.