EEA Grants is a financial mechanism established by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The Donor States are not members of the European Union, but are members of the European Economic Area (EEA). Therefore they do not contribute financially to the common policies of the EU, but in the spirit of solidarity they help reduce differences between the countries of the European Economic Area with these separate Grants.
The overall objectives of EEA Grants are the reduction of economic and social disparities and strengthening of bilateral relations between the Donor States and the beneficiary states, including Hungary. The beneficiary states of the Grants are the 12 states that joined the European Union since 2004, and Greece, Spain and Portugal also receive Grants support.
In the framework of EEA Grants it is cooperation, exchange of knowledge and know-how with Norwegian, Icelandic and Liechtensteiner organizations that can contribute to strengthening bilateral relations.
Despite the title, the 2009-2014 financing period did not terminate in 2014.
After lengthy negotiation and preparation, calls were launched in 2013. The implementation period of the winning projects can run until 30 April 2016.
Hungary and the Donor States jointly selected seven areas to the development of which the Donor States are willing to contribute. These are called Programme Areas for which the responsible Programme Operators were also designated in the Memoranda of Understanding. The seven Programme Areas supported by EEA Grants are the following: Energy efficiency, Renewable energy, Adaptation to climate change, Civil society – NGO Fund, Children and youth at risk, Conservation of cultural and natural heritage, Scholarships.