As non-EU countries, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have provided, since 1994, through EEA and Norway Grants financial contributions to those EU countries whose gross domestic product per capita is less than 90% of the EU average. There are 15 such states in the programme period 2014 – 2021. On the other hand these Donor states have access to free movement of goods, capital, services and persons within the all member EU states. The main aim of the EEA and Norway Grants is to contribute to decreasing economic and social differences within European Economic Area (EEA) and to strengthening the cooperation between Donor and Beneficiary states. Implemented projects are financed from two mechanisms – EEA financial mechanism and Norwegian financial mechanism. Slovak national budget contributes 15 %. Slovak Republic is a beneficiary state from 2004 since it became the member of European Union as well the member of the European Economic Area.
The Donor states contributed more than 80 Million EUR in total of eight programmes in previous programme period 2009 – 2014. Conducted projects may be considered as successful with specific influence on development in programme areas – environmental, cultural, educational or social sector.
In connection with the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) at the end of November 2016 preparation of new programmes for the present programme period 2014-2021 has commenced. These were agreed upon with the Donor states in the MoUs.
Programmes financed via EEA Financial Mechanism:
- “Cultural Entrepreneurship, Cultural Heritage and Cultural Cooperation” (17,5 mil. €) – Programme Operator: Government Office of the Slovak Republic
- “Cross-border Cooperation/Good governance, Accountable Institutions, Transparency” (8,5 mil. €) – Programme Operator: Government Office of the Slovak Republic
- “Active Citizens Fund” (9 mil. €) - Programme Operator: the Ekopolis Foundation, the Open Society Foundation and the Carpatian Foundation
Programmes financed via Norwegian Financial Mechanism:
- “Local Development, Poverty Reduction and Roma Inclusion” (15 mil. €) - Programme Operator: Government Office of the Slovak Republic
- “Domestic and Gender-based Violence” (9 mil. €) - Programme Operator: Government Office of the Slovak Republic
- “Social Dialogue and Decent Work” (€ 582,000) - Programme Operator: Innovation Norway
Programmes financed via EEA Financial Mechanism and Norwegian Financial Mechanism:
- “Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation” (16 mil. €) - Programme Operator: Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic
- “Business Development, Innovation and SMEs” (20 mil. €) - Programme Operator: Research Agency
The implementation of the two previous programming periods (2004-2009 and 2009-2014) has brought the desired results and identified benefits across the areas in which the programmes were implemented. The EEA and Norway Grants can be considered as a "brand" with stable position in social consciousness and "success story" supporting a green, competitive and inclusive Europe, which is, incidentally, very appropiate Pan European motto of grants for the programming period 2014-2021.