The strengthening of the cooperation between the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and the beneficiary states is one of the two main objectives of EEA and Norway Grants.  The bilateral partnerships between public and private entities, NGOs, research institutes and higher education institutions in the donor and beneficiary states are facilitated and supported at all levels.

Expected results

The partnerships in the context of EEA and Norway grants have the following results:

  • Extent of cooperation: through promoting partnerships between various types of entities having mutual or complementary development intentions;
  • Shared results: through achieving joint results, such as the development of policies, laws, strategies or new knowledge/practice.
  • Improved knowledge and mutual understanding: through the creation of an environment where individual from various entities work together for common goals generating trust and mutual understanding. It also increases the awareness of the EEA Agreement, i.e. the free movement of people, capital, goods and services among the EU and EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
  • Wider effects: As a result of working together, the networks and partnerships that are established may lead to further cooperation beyond the EEA and Norway Grants funded projects and programmes.

Types of partnerships

In order to ensure the sustainability and flexibility of these grants, the types of funded partnerships are established at all levels:

  • Institutional cooperation at programme level between Programme Partners
  • Cooperation at project level between Project Partners
  • Cooperation at the level of mutual interest initiatives between the entities in the beneficiary states and those in the donor states (Fund for Bilateral Relations).

The Donor Programme Partners play a strategic role in programme planning and implementation as well as in facilitating project partnerships. The partnerships at programme level are expected to be mutually beneficial for the cooperating partners, and thus the national programme operators are offered support in the development and implementation of the programmes, while the partners in the donor states benefit in their turn from transfer of knowledge, technology, exchange of experience and best practices.  The Programme Partners in the donor states, designated on their initiative, are public entities responsible for public policies in their respective fields and have extensive international experience in the development and implementation of the programmes in the relevant fields.

At the same time, based on specific expertise and relevant experience, the donors designated the Council of Europe as partner within certain programmes. Under the EEA and Norwegian Grants 2009-2014, 13 of the 22 Programmes (60%) were implemented in partnership between programme operators in Romania and a total of 15 entities in the donor states or international organizations. The confirmation of the added value of this cooperation with donor partners is given by the fact that under the current financing period all programmes are implemented in cooperation with donor partners/international organizations.

Donor project partners are entities in the donor states actively involved in implementing the project together with partners in the beneficiary states. The partnerships at project level are widely recommended/encouraged within all programmes, while for some of such programmes they are mandatory.

Under the EEA and Norwegian Grants 2009-2014, 247 projects out of the total of 830 funded under the programmes (30%) were developed and implemented in partnership with organizations in Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, or with relevant international entities. Their number is expected to increase under the EEA and Norwegian Grants 2014 – 2021 due to promoting the partnerships at project level and to the contracts already signed based on the funding under the programmes/Fund for Bilateral Relations in the previous period.

Please consult the guideline for the identification and development of a partnership project.

To identify a partner the ptomoters can contact Programme Partners (from P.O. websites) or from the database developed by FMO with partners from Donor States involved in projects during the 2009-2014 EEA and Norway Grants.

Fund for Bilateral Relations

The Fund for Bilateral Relations is one of the main financial tools put in place to achieve the objective of strengthened bilateral relations between the donor and beneficiary countries.

This flexible source of funding contributes both to strengthening the cooperation under the programmes and to supporting mutual interest activities going beyond the programmes.

The funding may be used to for financing activities/initiatives such as conferences, workshops, study tours, studies/reports, technical cooperation and exchange of experts, strengthening the institutional capacity and short-terms courses, as well information activities in fields of common interest for the countries involved.

For more information on the Fund for Bilateral Relations, see here.