Through the EEA and Norway Funds, the states of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute to reducing economic and social differences in the European Economic Area (EEA) and to strengthening cooperation with fifteen European states. Beneficiaries of financial support are the countries of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. The great emphasis on the sharing and exchange of experience between donors and grant recipients is an important aspect by which these funds differ from EU funds.
The Czech Republic has been a recipient of these funds since 2004, when it joined the European Union and thus also the European Economic Area, which is an agreement between the EU and the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
Since 2004, the EEA and Norway Funds have supported over 1,000 interesting projects in the Czech Republic for more than CZK 6 billion. Currently, the Czech Republic is the fifth largest recipient, after Poland, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.
On September 4, 2017, the Memorandum of Understanding for the current, already third program period of the EEA and Norway Funds was ceremoniously signed in the St. Agnes Monastery in Prague. During this period, the Czech Republic will receive EUR 184.5 million (approx. CZK 5 billion). Projects focusing mainly on science and research, environmental protection, cultural heritage and cooperation in culture, public health, education and cooperation in justice will receive support. Great emphasis is placed on human rights, the inclusion of Roma and the development of civil society. The new period also brings great opportunities for bilateral projects and activities.
The main coordinator of the EEA and Norway Funds in the Czech Republic is the Ministry of Finance, which administers most of the programs in cooperation with relevant departments and institutions.
The Secretariat of the EEA and Norway Funds for all beneficiary countries is the Office of Financial Mechanisms in Brussels. Official EEA and Norway Grants website (www.eeagrants.org).