MONTHLY NEWSLETTER OF THE FINANCIAL MECHANISM OFFICE, NR.9 2007
norwegian financial mechanism
Brussels, October 2007
Bulgaria and Romania set to benefit
On 25 October private and public actors in Bulgaria and Romania took a leap forward to start benefiting from the EEA Financial Mechanism aimed at reducing social and economic disparities, when Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on the use of the funds in the two EU and EEA newcomers. The MoUs are due be signed by Bulgaria and Romania shortly. The EEA Financial Mechanism consitutes the contribution from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to European cohesion efforts, and Bulgaria and Romania are to use the funds to spur opportunities for economic growth, social cohesion and strengthening of human resources. Support can be granted to projects and funds within the fields of environmental protection, human resources development, health and childcare and cultural heritage. In Bulgaria and Romania’s two first years of membership of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA), Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will make available a total of €140 million to the two countries. Out of the total, Romania will receive €50.5 million euros and Bulgaria €21.5 million euros through the EEA Grants. In addition, Norway will contribute with €48 million to Romania and €20 million to Bulgaria through new bilateral cooperation programmes. While the MoU for the Norwegian cooperation programme with Bulgaria was signed along with the framework agreements for the funding under the EEA Financial Mechanism, the MoU for the Norwegian cooperation programme with Romania is expected to be signed in connection with a launch event for the cooperation programmes in Oslo, Norway, on 7 November. The EEA Grants have proven to be a positive addition to the cooperation between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the beneficiary states in Central and Southern Europe. In addition to the shared...