Historical archive

Evaluation of decent work programme under EEA and Norway Grants

Historical archive

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Norwegian employee and employer organisations have played an important part in the results achieved in 13 countries in Central and Southern Europe. The projects have increased understanding of tripartite dialogue and the principles of decent work in general, while the concrete results have mainly been at local level.

The report was presented for project partners and promoters at a seminar in Warsaw on 2 March. Credit: MFA/Christian Grotnes Halvorsen

These are among the findings of an independent review of the Decent Work and Tripartite Dialogue programme under the EEA and Norway Grants, which was recently carried out by Nordic Consulting Group.

     Read more: What are the EEA and Norway Grants?

Norway has allocated EUR 8.1 million of the EEA and Norway Grants to promote decent work and tripartite dialogue in 13 beneficiary countries.

There has been an aim to involve Norwegian social partners in the implementation of the projects to strengthen cooperation across national borders and transfer knowledge and experience from Norway, where a commitment to tripartite dialogue has helped to safeguard jobs and labour standards.

Nordic Consulting Group concluded that: ‘The programme has done remarkably well and achieved as much as one could expect of such a fragmented and ambitious programme with a limited budget. This is largely due to the effective management of a diverse and fragmented programme by Innovation Norway and the commitment and zest of the project promoters.’

Key findings

  • Good results have been achieved in the individual projects. It is also possible to identify effects on national legislation in certain countries.
  • The structures for tripartite dialogue have been improved, and confidence between the authorities and the social partners has been strengthened.
  • Elements of the Norwegian model have been used in more than 90 % of the projects.
  • Good results have been underreported.
  • Innovation Norway has administered the programme in an effective way.

     Download: The Evaluation Report

Bilateral cooperation

One of the overriding goals of the EEA and Norway Grants is to enhance cooperation between Norway and the beneficiary countries. The report concludes that the projects have contributed to closer cooperation, but also points out that the individual projects are relatively small-scale and geographically spread out. Of a total of 52 project, 28 have been implemented in cooperation with Norwegian partners.

Norwegian partner Number of projects Country/countries
Norwegian Confederation of
Trade Unions (LO)
8 Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland,
Romania, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary
Confederation of Norwegian
Enterprise (NHO)
4 Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland
Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities 5 Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary
UNIO (Confederation of Unions for Professionals) 2 Hungary, Poland
Union of Norwegian Correctional Services Employees
1 Romania
Norwegian Civil Service Union
1 Slovakia
National Union of Norwegian Locomotivemen 1 Slovenia
Federation of Norwegian
1 Czech Republic
Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees 1 Lithuania
Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions 1 Latvia
Industri Energi 1 Lithuania
Norwegian Transport Workers' Union 
1 Estonia
Ministry of Labour and Social
1 Croatia


More than 28 000 people have taken part or been involved in various ways in the 52 projects that have been implemented. For example, more than 700 courses and seminars have been held.

Among the results achieved in these projects are new collective agreements and better health and safety standards. Some examples of projects are given below:

The Estonian Seamen’s Independent Union and the Norwegian Transport Workers Federation worked together to promote greater trust, in order to reach collective agreements. Credit: Christoph Vander Eecken


As a result of an analysis of the framework for tripartite cooperation, the Slovakian authorities have agreed that the social partners are to provide input to new legislation. 


A study on violence against social workers attracted national attention to the scale of this problem, and the working conditions for social workers have improved as a result. 


The new act on maternity leave that was adopted in 2014 incorporated a number of recommendations drawn up by a project under this programme. The aim of the project, which was implemented by the Polish employers’ organisation Lewiatan, was to present key decision makers with recommendations that would enable more women to participate in the labour market.

     Read more: Brochure about the projects


The Nordic Consulting Group report also sets out several recommendations that should be considered in the next round of the EEA and Norway Grants, for example: 

  • The level of ambition should be scaled to the size of the programme.
  • The scale of the individual projects should be increased, while the number of thematic areas should be reduced.
  • The system for reporting results should be improved.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will take these recommendations into account in its work on the programme for the next period.