Romania will benefit of non-refundable funds amounting to EUR 502 million through the European Economic Area (EEA) and Norwegian grants, under the 2014-2021 financial exercise, following the Memorandums of Understanding initialled on Thursday by Minister of European Funds Cristian Ghinea and State Secretary with the Norwegian Foreign Affairs Ministry Elsbeth Tronstad, Norwegian Minister of EEA and EU Affairs Elisabeth Vik Aspaker.
According to the new agreements, there will be taken into account the funding of areas such as: local development and poverty fight, improving the Roma population’s situation, public health, innovation, business environment and SMEs, the NGO sector, research and education, energy efficiency, renewable energy and environment, cultural heritage and exchange, justice, correctional services and internal affairs, Agerpres informs.
The two agreements concluded on Thursday stipulate both the institutional management framework and the established programs, with the main objectives, the financial allocation, and special areas of interest.
“The Memorandums initialled today establish certain criteria, and the details will be settled in the following period. I hail the special interest for the social area, and here I refer to the fight against poverty, as well as to the interest in the justice area. (…) We will start as soon as possible the procedures regarding the funding allocation for the projects that won’t receive funding from this grants,” European Funds Minister Cristian Ghinea stated, during a press conference on Thursday, on the occasion of the signing of the two Memorandums of Understanding.
The EEA and Norwegian grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and the Kingdom of Norway to reducing the economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area and strengthening the bilateral relations between the beneficiary and donor states.
Romania benefited during 2007-2009 of an allocation worth EUR 98.5 million, the absorption rate being of 77.7%. The programme officially ended in June 2014.