NFM/EEA grants 2014-2021
The EEA Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism (the so called Norway Grants and EEA Grants) are a form of non-returnable foreign aid granted by Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein to new EU members – more than ten countries of central and southern Europe and the Baltic States. These grants are connected with Poland’s accession to the European Union and, at the same time, to the European Economic Area (made up of the EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). In exchange of the financial aid granted, the donor states enjoy access to the EU internal market, despite the fact they are not EU members.
The main purpose of the Norway Grants and the EEA Grants is to contribute to decreasing economic and social differences within the EEA and to strengthen the bilateral relations between the donor states and the beneficiary country.
The Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area (EEA) 2014 – 2021 (support from: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway).
From the entire EEA allocation of EUR 1,548,100,000, Poland will receive by 2021 the amount of EUR 397,800,000 (i.e. by EUR 130,900,000 more than in the last edition of the NFM). The grant assumes the following thematic areas (programmes):
– civil society
– development of entrepreneurship
– the other allocations (technical aid, mutual cooperation fund, reserve)
The area of internal affairs have not been included in the EEA grants 2014-2021.
Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014 – 2021 (support from Norway)
From the entire NFM allocation of EUR 1,253,700,000, Poland will receive by 2021 the amount of EUR 411,500,000 (i.e. by EUR 100,300,000 more than in the previous NFM edition 2009-2014). The grant assumes the following thematic areas (programmes):
– decent work
– scientific research
– social, economic and demographic challenges
– local development
– internal affairs
– prison system, justice and combating violence
– the other allocations (technical aid, mutual cooperation fund, reserve).
Stages of preparation and approval of the “Internal Affairs” programme
Memorandum of Understanding
Work on the new perspectives of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism and the EEA grant has been concluded. The key issues, that is priority areas (programmes) and division of funds, have been agreed upon with the donor states. On 20 December 2017, these arrangements resulted in signing of two Agreements called the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The new perspective of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 in the Blue Book (link), a description of strategic actions, distinguishes 5 priority areas and 23 programme areas.
The priority area for the Ministry of Interior and Administration, as part of the tasks carried out within the Ministry and the services and institutions subordinated to the Ministry, is Justice and Home Affairs.
The Memorandum of Understanding includes the Internal Affairs programme to be implemented by the Programme Operator: The Ministry of Interior and Administration in cooperation with its European Projects Centre. The total support from the NFM amounts to EUR 20,000,000. The programme will include three thematic areas specified in the Blue Book:
18 – Asylum and migration
20 – International police cooperation and combating crime
20 – Prevention of natural disasters and readiness for such disasters
On 1 March 2018, the Stakeholder Consultation meeting took place, at which potential beneficiaries of the Internal Affairs programme (representatives of uniformed services, international organizations and non-governmental organizations) identified the biggest challenges in the areas covered by financial support.
In early April 2018, the conceptual work started on the so called Concept Note, i.e. a document including the Programme’s conceptual and system assumptions. This document was accepted by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 4 March 2019.
The approval of the Concept Note allowed Poland to start preparation work on the so called Supplementary information, that is a documentation necessary for signing the Programme Agreement.
On 1 September 2019, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs approved the Internal Affairs programme, and the official signing of the Polish-Norwegian Programme Agreement by the Minister of Investment and Development, Jerzy Kwieciński, and the Ambassador of the Kingdom, Olav Myklebust, took place on 12 September 2019 at the conference organized by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development as an opening of the NFM and EEA grants.
On 18 September 2019, a conference was held in Warsaw that inaugurated the Internal Affairs programme as part of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021.
The meeting was opened by Mr Błażej Poboży – Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Interior and Administration together with Mr Olav Myklebust – the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Poland.
Other participants in the conference included representatives of Norway, that is the Programme Partners from the Donor State, from the Norwegian Directorate of Civil Defence and the Norwegian Directorate of Police and representatives of the Financial Mechanism Office in Brussels. The conference was participated by representatives of services and entities subordinated to the Minister of Interior and Administration, including the Police, the Border Guard, the State Fire Service, the Aliens Office, the State Protection Service and representatives of government administration institutions, including the Internal Security Agency, the Ministry of Finance, the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, as well as representatives of non-governmental and international organizations.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Investment and Development which serves as the National Point of Contact for the Norwegian and EEA grants and representatives of the Ministry of Justice with whom the Ministry of Interior and Administration cooperates as part of the so called chain of justice, looking for synergies between the Programmes implemented by both ministries.
The conference included presentations of the main objectives of the Internal Affairs programme, rules for organizing open calls for proposals and the main objectives of predefined projects, i.e. projects agreed upon by the parties at negotiation stage, the subject of which included support for minors seeking asylum, combating cyber crime, combating forgery of documents, cross-border police cooperation (description of projects below).
On 14-15 November 2019, training for representatives of the Beneficiaries of 6 predefined projects implemented as part of the Programme was provided.
Programme Agreement provisions
Pursuant to the signed Programme Agreement, 6 predefined projects for the total amount of ca. EUR 13,500,000 will be implemented by:
- Aliens Office – a project named We protect children, including unaccompanied children seeking asylum;
- General Police Headquarters – a project named Improving the process of gathering, analysing and assessing evidence on combating cross-border cyber crime using the network of computer forensic rooms of the forensic laboratories of the Polish Police;
- General Police Headquarters – a project named International police cooperation on searching the most dangerous criminals in Europe;
- Warsaw Police Headquarters – a project named Documents – Security and Control, including tactical identity check;
- Chief Boarder Guards Command – a project named Reinforcing the surveillance of the EU borders by developing cynological training activity, expansion, restructuring and infrastructure refitting;
- Internal Security Agency – a project named Improving security in terms of CBRNE – coordination and standardization.
As part of the remaining allocation, two open calls for proposals will be launched.