Ministry of Finance - National Focal Point for the EEA and Norway Grants – responds to the increasing number of misleading information and speculation about the purpose and importance of the EEA and Norway Grants in the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is the recipient of these funds since 2004, when it joined the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA). Since then, through them have been supported hundreds of projects worth more than 6 billion.
The providers of funds are three Member States, EEA - Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The support is provided to sixteen countries in Central, East and South Europe, mostly to the so called the new EU member states. The main objective of the EEA and Norway Grants is to reduce social and economic disparities in Europe and to strengthen bilateral contacts and mutual cooperation.
Program areas that are supported in the Czech Republic were chosen by Czech side and are anchored in bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between the Czech Republic and donors, which was approved by the Czech government.
Subsequent preparation of programs, announcing open calls, and the selection of projects have been fully coordinated by the Czech intermediaries programs. The Czech Republic bears responsibility for the support of specific projects and donors cannot interfere in this process. EEA and Norway Grants emphasize the importance of transparency which excludes any pressure to enforce ideological or political intentions of another state in the Czech Republic
Currently, projects from the 2009-2014 period are being completed. Within this period the Czech Republic used approximately 3.5 billion Czech crowns.
Whereas in the first period 2009-2014 almost half of the support was invested in the revitalization of cultural heritage, nowadays the finance is divided evenly between programs such as support for contemporary art, environmental protection, health and social development, cooperation in education, science and research, strengthen the non-profit sector and cooperation in justice. These areas are financed insufficiently from the budget of the Czech Republic or the volume of the resources in these areas decreases.