Romania has received so far an allocation of some 25.4 million euros as EEA and Norway Grants for environmental projects, the reduction of hazardous substances and conservation of bio-diversity respectively, according to the official data posted on the portal eeagrantsmediu.ro.
The project proposals submitted within the calls for RO04 Programme Reduction in Hazardous Substances benefited from a total budget of 10 million euros, and Norway’s Environmental Agency was the financier-donor.
Under the Programme RO02 Bio-diversity and Ecosystem Services, the sum allocated amounted to 15 million euros, and the general objective was improving ecosystems, and increasing the general public’s level of knowledge, information and awareness regarding the benefits produced by the ecosystem services and the importance of maintaining ecosystems in a good condition.
From 2009 to 2014, the EEA Grants backed 86 programmes in 16 countries in Europe and are available for the 13 EU states which joined the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) in 2004, 2007 and 2013, as well as Greece, Spain and Portugal.
According to the cited source, the EEA grants are jointly funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Thus, from the 993.5 million euros allocated for the period 2009 to 2014, Norway contributes some 94pct, Iceland – around 5pct and Liechtenstein – slightly over 1pct. The decision-making body of the EEA Grants is the Financial Mechanism Committee, which is made up of representatives of the Foreign Ministries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Romania has been allocated 190 million euros from the said amount.
The agreement on the European Economic Area, which took effect on January 1, 1994, brings together 28 EU states and the three EEA-EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) in a single market. The EEA and Norway Grants aim to reduce social and economic disparities in EEA.
At least 30pct of funding through Grants is for environmental protection, measures on climate change and renewable energy. Programme for NGOs, worth 158 million euros, are also created in all the countries benefiting from the EEA Grants.