Norway to offer Romania 305m euros as non-repayable aid, over 2012-2014
24. February 2011. | 11:46
Source: ACT Business News
Norway will offer Romania a grant of 305 million euros in the period 2012-2014, through the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (EEA) and the Norwegian Cooperation Programme, a quarter of these funds going to be earmarked for environmental projects, renewable energy and climate change research, the Norwegian Ambassador to Bucharest, Oystein Hovdkinn, announced in a press conference.
This is the second round of projects funded through these programs, after in the 2009-2011 period the aforementioned programs contributed 98.5 million euros to finance 69 projects of social and economic development in Romania, the Norwegian Ambassador highlighted.
According to him, negotiations between representatives of the two programs with the Structural Coordination Authority of the Ministry of Public Finance in Bucharest on the criteria for allocating funds for the period 2012-2014 were launched last autumn and will be completed later this year, and in 2012 the first selection of projects and funds allocation will be open.
Also, according to Anne Lise Rognlidalen, manager for Romania of the state company Innovation Norway, which manages the Norwegian Cooperation Programme, the 48 million euros granted for 2009-2011 have been fully accessed for a number of 29 projects, of which 14 focused on a sustainable production (21.9 million euros), 7 environmental protection projects (8.2 million euros), 5 - health and social assistance (7.89 million euros), and 3 energy efficiency projects (4.21 million of euros). Implementation of most of these projects (80-90 percent) is to be completed by the end of April this year, and the remainder received the extension accord to be finalized by 2012.
Among these projects financed by the Norwegian Cooperation Programme for the period 2009-2011, the Norwegian officials have mentioned a center for technology-based induction processes in Bucharest, a center for children with rare diseases in Zalau, an incubator of ideas in the maritime sector, already operating in Constanta, with five business incubation centers, a center for children with developmental problems in Bucharest, a fruit processing plant in Odorheiu Secuiesc, a medical equipment manufacturing unit extended in Iasi, a center for atmospheric research in Magurele.
The projects are developed in partnership with an NGOs, institute or private agent in Norway, selected by the grant program representatives, supposing a transfer of Norwegian experience and technology.
Under the second program of the EEA Financial Mechanism, 40 individual projects were approved for non-reimbursable financing worth 50.5 million euros, of which 47.5 million euros representing Norway's contribution, the remainder of Iceland and Liechtenstein.
The Cooperation Agreement between Romania and the European Economic Area (EEA) was signed in July 2007. Through the EEA Agreement, the three countries not members of the European Union - Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein - but participating in the Internal Market Policy - provide financial support to Romania in view to support economic and social cohesion in Europe. The three countries have granted in the period 2004-2011 a total non-reimbursable assistance of 1.3 billion euros for the 12 new EU members, which joined in 2004 and 2007, as well as for Spain, Portugal and Greece, and in the period 2011-2014 the total amount stood at 1.79 billion euros, Agerpres informs.