Norway Grants : key areas of support 2009-14

Environment, biodiversity and climate change

Environmental protection and adaptation to climate change is the largest priority for Poland. Almost half of the net allocation (46% – €247 million) is earmarked for four programmes on energy efficiency and renewable energy, climate change, protection of biodiversity and improvement of environmental monitoring.

Over half of the support to the field of environment (€137 million) is set aside to support the development and use of carbon capture and storage (CSS) technology in Poland, with Gassnova of Norway as programme partner in the new CCS programme. Substantial funding (€75 million) will also be spent on improving energy efficiency and introducing renewable energy sources in public buildings. The Climate and Pollution Agency (KLIF) of Norway is a partner in the programme on environmental monitoring.

Public health initiatives
Public health initiatives is the second largest priority in Poland, with €70 million to be spent on two programmes aimed at improving access to and quality of health services and reducing social inequalities in health. Special focus is given to reproductive and preventive child health care, health care related to the ageing society, and preventing life-style related diseases. The Norwegian Directorate of Health will be a partner in the programme and reducing social inequalities in health. €60 million will be channelled through the Norway Grants, and €10 million from the EEA Grants.

Cultural heritage
Similar to the previous funding round, considerable funding will be set aside to conserve, protect and revitalise cultural heritage. A total €60 million of the EEA Grants will be spent on projects that will document cultural history, revitalise cultural heritage to further development in local communities, and make new sites and monuments of historical and cultural value accessible to the public. An additional €10 million will be spent on a bilateral programme to further institutional cooperation and cultural exchanges, involving the Arts Council Norway and the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage,.

Justice and home affairs
The field of justice, home affairs and Schengen is allocated €37 million. The Norwegian National Courts Administration is an advisor to the new €14 million programme on judicial capacity building and cooperation, which will improve access to justice and the efficiency of the court systems, develop alternative dispute resolutions, and increase the competence of actors within the judiciary. The Norwegian Correctioncal Services will be involved in a €13 million programme on correctional services and non-custodial sanctions, aimed at increasing the use of alternatives to prison and improve the competences of both inmates and prison staff. Another €3 million has been set aside to reduce gender-based and domestic violence.

Civil society
€37 million of the EEA Grants is earmarked a fund for non-governmental organisations. The objective of the fund is to strengthen civil society development in Poland and enhance the contribution of civil society to social justice, democracy and sustainable development. A grant scheme for NGOs will also be set up under the biodiversity programme.

Research and scholarships
To further Norwegian-Polish research cooperation, €36.8 million is earmarked a bilateral research programme that will focus on environment and climate, health and social sciences. €3 million of this research programme is set aside for research on gender equality and work-life balance. €10 million will be spent on a scholarship programme to increase student and staff mobility between Poland and the donor states and strengthen the countries’ institutional cooperation. The Research Council of Norway will be involved in the implementation of the research programme. The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU), The Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS), and
Agentur für Internationale Bildungsangelegenheiten (AIBA) in Liechtenstein will be partners in the scholarship programme.

Other areas
There will be continued support to local and regional capacity building and institutional cooperation and new funding to promote decent work and tripartite dialogue between social partners and public authorities.

Bilateral cooperation
Under the agreement for 2009-14, the bilateral dimension is strengthened with more strategic cooperation being established at the programme level. Partnerships at project level will continue to be encouraged.

Donor programme partners 2009-14:
Agentur für Internationale Bildungsangelegenheiten (AIBA) in Liechtenstein
Arts Council Norway (NKR)
Research Council of Norway
The Climate and Pollution Agency (KLIF)
The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU)
The Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS)
The Norwegian Correctional Services
The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage (RA)
The Norwegian Directorate of Health
The Norwegian National Courts Administration

A snapshot of achievements 2004-09

Conservation of European cultural heritage, protection of the environment and support to Poland as a new Schengen member were core areas of support. Check out the project portal for key facts on all projects, videos, photos and project stories.

50% energy savings
More than €51 million of the EEA and Norway Grants were spent on improving energy efficiency and introducing renewable energy sources in 350 draughty public buildings, including schools, kindergartens, hospitals and town halls. The energy savings are expected to reduce the consumption of coal by almost 20 000 metric tones per year, and CO2 emissions by around 70 000 tonnes per year. Read more

Support to environmental monitoring
€4.2 million in funding covered the development of 5 environmental monitoring systems in Poland, ranging from conventional monitoring systems for air, water and biodiversity to emergency response systems. In cooperation with the Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif), the Polish Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection strengthened its capacity to identify and contain industrial emissions. Read more

Conservation of cultural heritage
The funding set aside for cultural heritage has helped conserve some of Poland’s most well-known monuments. To name a few, the support ensured renovation of several architectural landmarks in Krakow’s UNESCO-listed old town, including the 13th century Sukiennice or Cloth Hall, the International Cultural Centre, as well the renovation of three Jesuit style buildings. Following renovation works, 35 cultural heritage sites across Poland exhibiting over 40 000 items have been made available to the public.

Schengen and strengthening the judiciary
Close to one fifth (€105 million) of the funding was spent on efforts to secure 70 Schengen border crossings, strengthen police cooperation and the fight against organised and cross-border crime. Through collaborative efforts with the Norwegian police, Polish police units located near the eastern and northern border of Poland were provided modern equipment and technology to improve border controls. Read more

Strengthened civil society
Three NGO funds were set up totaling €37.4 million in support from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. One fund focused on projects to promote democracy and civil society engagement, one on environmental protection and sustainable development, and the third on equal opportunities and social integration. More than 600 NGO projects were supported with 50 of them being implemented in partnership with donor-state NGOs. Read more

Health and childcare
The 70 health projects, supported with €58.5 million, concerned a wide range of areas, including improved access to and quality of healthcare, prevention and health promotion, prevention of juvenile crime, drug and alcohol abuse and integration of disabled children. Renovations and upgrades to hospitals and healthcare institutions have increased Poland’s annual diagnosis and treatment capacity with over 110 000 patients per year. This figure includes more than 32 000 patients suffering from cancer, and 10 000 patients with communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C. More than 5000 medical professionals have received training.

Research cooperation
Other key areas of support included research with €20.7 million spent on individual research projects and an additional €21.4 million provided to the Polish-Norwegian Research Fund focused on environment and health research. Through the HOMING programme, young Polish scientists were encouraged to continue their research in Poland.

Bilateral relations
The grant schemes significantly strengthened cooperation between entities in Poland and the donor states. A total 95 projects include a donor state partner, and more than 20% of all supported projects in Poland include a partner from Norway. The majority of the partnership projects were within the fields of academic research and cultural heritage.

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