A total budget of EUR 2.8 billion has been forwarded for approval under the EEA & Norway grants scheme for the 2014-2021 funding cycle, with focus on innovation, research and education. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have reached an agreement with the EU on a new contribution to strengthen social and economic cohesion in Europe. The agreement is valid from 2014 to 2021 and the grants will be made available to 15 of the less prosperous countries of the EU (CEE, Spain and Portugal).
The grants are targeted at stimulating growth through innovation, research and education and greater mobility in the European job market aiming to tackle high youth unemployment, but also projects that can strengthen Europe’s energy security and climate policy will be funded.
Another separate regional fund worth around EUR 100 million will be established by the Norwegian government to promote decent work in the beneficiary countries in cooperation with partners in Norway in the areas cross-border crime, police and judicial cooperation migration challenges, the latter topic being opened for countries that are not in the EU, such as Moldova and Ukraine.
The agreements must be approved by the parliaments in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, and the EU member states.