The European Economic Area (EEA) was created in 1994, as a Free Trade Area between the European Community (EC) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The EEA gathers the Member States of the European Union (EU) and 3 of the EFTA Member States (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), within an internal market based on the free circulation of goods, persons, services and capital.

On July 28, 2010, the Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway for the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, as concerns the non-reimbursable assistant provided by this country between 2009-2014.

Through this mechanism, Romania is to benefit from a total financial assistance amounting to 115.20 million Euro.

The Norway Financial Mechanism 2009 – 2014 aims at reducing the economic and social disparities within the European Economic Area and at strengthening the cooperation between the donor state (Norway) and the beneficiary states through the proposed priority sectors.

The programme areas financed under this Financial Mechanisms are detailed in the "Financed programmes" section.

Thus, further to the negotiation process between Romania and the donor state between October 2011 – January 2012, the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Norway Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 have been finalized. The document establishes the cooperation framework and allows for the efficient implementation of the financial assistance granted.

Therefore, the Memorandum of Understanding for the Norway Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 established the national entities involved in the implementation of the Norway Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, as well as their functions in the national management and control system (Annex A) and the implementation framework (Annex B), which specifies the list of the priorities and the financial assistance granted through the Norway Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, the identification of the programmes approved for financing with their main objectives and expected outcomes, the identification of the Programme Operators, as well as the accepted pre-defined projects.

The general objectives of the Norway grants are the reduction of the social and economic disparities in the European Economic Area, and strengthening the bilateral relations between the donor states and the beneficiary states.