EEA and Norway Grants: Additional allocation of NOK 64 million for Polish civil society

Norway is increasing support to NGOs in Poland. The aim is to promote democratic values and gender equality, and safeguard the rights of vulnerable groups.

‘A diverse and strong civil society is a vital component of a well-functioning democracy. The EEA and Norway Grants play a major role in strengthening civil society, both in Poland and in the other beneficiary countries, and this is a good way to use some of the reserve funding,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

In the course of the spring, Norway and Poland have conducted negotiations on the allocation of the remaining reserve funding of NOK 351 million. Agreement has been reached on an increase of over 10 % in support to civil society. This allocation comes in addition to the funding for existing programmes in this sector and will be administered by organisations that are independent of the Polish authorities.

The parties have also agreed to allocate up to NOK 10.3 million for the training of Polish judges under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights.

‘Norway is concerned by developments relating to the rule of law in Poland. I am confident that the cooperation with the Council of Europe will help to increase knowledge and expertise in the Polish courts on European rule of law and human rights standards,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.

The EEA and Norway Grants are intended to strengthen cooperation between Norway and Poland in a number of different sectors. The allocation of the rest of the reserve funding reflects this, and gives priority to cooperation on climate change, research and business partnerships, among other things.

Facts

Roughly 5 % of EEA and Norway Grants has been set aside as reserve funding in almost all the beneficiary countries. Poland receives a total of NOK 8.3 billion in funding. Of this, NOK 351 million (EUR 33.9 million) has been designated as reserve funding, and has been distributed among the following programmes:

Programme Allocation from reserve funding
(in EUR million)
Total
(in EUR million)
Active Citizens Fund – national 3.2 33.2
Active Citizens Fund – regional 3.0 26.0
Justice up to 1.0 59,2
Applied research 3.2 69.2
Basic research 7.5 51.5
Energy and climate change 6.0 146.0
Business development and innovation 10.0 95.0

Exchange rate EUR 1 = NOK 10.36