The agreements were signed in the presence of our prime ministers in Zagreb on 3 July 2018. The funds are distributed across five sectors. The programmes agreed are aiming to increase competiveness, social inclusion, and energy efficiency as well as to provide support to the civil society and justice sector.
Strengthening bilateral ties is at the core of the Grants and approximately 2 million Euros are set aside exclusively for that objective. However, partnerships will also be built during the implementation of programmes. Four Norwegian government agencies and institutions participate in the programme implementation together with relevant Croatian counterparts. The role of Norwegian programme partners is to facilitate strengthening of the ties between Norway and Croatia and assists in the programme implementation.
The next steps
Before the funds become available, the drafting of concept notes which will define in more derails the content of each programme will be performed. Also, the tender for the fund operator of the Civil society fund will be organised. The funds will be eligible until April 2024.
Facts about the Grants
The EEA and Norway Grants are rooted in the EEA Agreement which makes Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway part of the internal European market. Before these countries the EEA agreement sets a common goal for working together for decreasing social and economic disparities in the EU and strengthening cooperation between European countries. To reach these objectives a total of 2,8 million euros has been allocated to 15 European countries for the period 2014-2021. Norway secures almost 98 percent of the funds. To take part in the EEA and Norway Grants, Croatia became eligible in 2013 after joining the EU and becoming the signature the EEA agreement. This is the second programming cycle Croatia partakes since then and in the previous period 2009-2014 Croatia received the support of 9.6 million euros in total.
More about Norwegian partners
Innovation Norway will partner with Croatian Chamber of Economy in the business sector in order to facilitate business development focusing on the blue and green growth. It will also lead the Decent work fund with the objective to improve the tripartite cooperation between employer organisations, trade union and public authorities Innovation Norway is Innovation Norway is the Norwegian Government's most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry. It supports companies in developing their competitive advantage and to enhance innovation.
Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation and Education (SIU) will collaborate with Ministry of Regional development in supporting education and job prospects in underdeveloped areas. A possibility to include the European Wergeland Centre, an additional Norwegian partner in the Local development programme, will be explored. The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU) is a Norwegian public sector agency that promotes international cooperation at all levels of education. The European Wergeland Centre (EWC) builds on Council of Europe’s charters and policies and stands as a resource centre on education for intercultural understanding, human rights and democratic citizenship.
Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) and Croatian Environmental Protection and Energy efficiency fund will join forces in implementing energy efficiency programme. NVE ensures environmentally sound management of Norway’s water resources, promotes efficient energy markets and cost-effective energy systems and contributes to efficient energy use. The directorate plays a central role in the national flood contingency planning and bears overall responsibility for maintaining national power supplies. From 2009 NVE is assigned greater responsibility for the prevention of damage caused by landslides.
Norwegian Court Administration and Croatian Ministry of Justice will work on improving effectiveness of the judicial system. The Norwegian Courts Administration (NCA) administers the ordinary courts and the land consolidation courts. It provides support necessary for judges and staff to carry out their roles and to deliver justice efficiently and effectively. The NCA covers a steering role as well as carrying out the administrative and support for the courts. The NCA also holds a superior employer function and works to increase public confidence in the courts.