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Estonia and Norway Sign Financial Agreement

08.06.2011

No. 406-E

Today in Oslo Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre signed memorandums for the implementation of the financial mechanisms of the European Economic Area and Norway with Estonia. Estonia will receive a total of 44.9 million euros of support from the European Economic Area and Norway by 2014.

Paet stated that the sum will be used to finance environmental, social, and cultural projects. Both of the financial mechanisms were created as part of the European Economic Area Enlargement Agreement in 2004. In accordance with that agreement, the three non-members of the European Union Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein are to support 15 European Union member states on the principle of solidarity. Norway provides over 95% of the funds.

At the signing of the agreements, Foreign Minister Paet said that ever since Estonia’s accession to the European Union, co-operation with Norway in implementing the financial mechanism that supports various projects has been very good. “During the last five-year period from 2004 to 2009, Norway mainly financed projects in the environmental, cultural heritage, health care, and regional policy sectors,” Paet noted. “The biggest projects were renovating the infectious disease centre of West Tallinn Central Hospital with Norway’s support and creating a project to renovate schools located in old manor houses. An SOS Children’s Village was also established in Põltsamaa,” he added.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre confirmed that the results from the first period are very good. The financial mechanisms have been greeted with enthusiasm and inspired a great deal of activity among Norwegian partners. In addition, political dialogue and co-operation between Estonia and Norway have grown even stronger, said Støre.

During the second period of the programme from 2009-2014 many different sectors in Estonia will receive support. For example, health care projects will receive 8.9 million euros and projects geared towards high-risk children and youths will get 6.5 million euros in support. The financial mechanisms focus on environmental issues and green innovation. Other areas that will receive support are cultural heritage, civil society, the education and research sector, and gender equality projects. There is also an emphasis on promoting co-operation between Estonia and donor countries.

Additional information is available at www.eeagrants.org

Photo from the signing: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry

SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE
+372 637 7654
pressitalitus@mfa.ee


 

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