EEA grants for energy efficiency and research
Published on 04-11-2013
Another two new programmes for Romania to attract EEA grants were signed on November 1 by the minister of European funds, Eugen Teodorovici. The two programmes are "Energy efficiency" and "Research in priority sectors", and the cumulated amount of the grants is € 28,000,000.
Within the "Research in priority sectors", Romania is allocated non-reimbursable funds amounting to € 20,000,000. The funds will be used for the implementation of projects in the following priority sectors: social and human sciences, renewable energy, health and healthy food, environment protection management. The programme is implemented by the Ministry of National Education, with the support of the Implementation Agency – the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding.
At the same time, through the "Energy Efficiency" programme, Romania is allocated grants amounting to € 8,000,000. This programme will provide funding for projects aiming at improving the energy efficiency in industry. The programme will be implemented by the Ministry of Economy, which is to launch the call for applications dedicated exclusively to the SMEs.
Thus, 17 of the 22 programmes through which Romania benefits from EEA and Norway grants have been signed so far. The amount of the non-reimbursable funds allocated to Romania in the period 2009-2014 is about € 306,000,000. These funds will support the implementation of projects in sectors such as justice and home affairs, environment protection, research, health, culture, civil society and improvement of social conditions for the Roma.
Through the Agreement for the European Economic Area (EEA), three of the EFTA Member States – Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein – belong to the European internal market and contribute to the social and economic development by means of the EEA and Norway grants, from which 15 member states in the east, centre and south of the European Union benefit. Norway is the main donor state, contributing with 97% of the total funds. The major objectives of the EEA and Norway grants are the reduction of social and economic disparities in the European Economic Area, as well as strengthening the bilateral relations between the donor states and the beneficiary states.
In the 2004-2009 financing period, Romania was allocated grants amounting to about € 100,000,000, for projects in key sectors such as environment protection, sustainable production, health and children's care, conservation of the cultural heritage and development of the civil society. 65 specific projects and over 100 projects developed by NGOs were implemented, the absorption rate reaching 85%.