For 2009-2014, Norway will make available over EUR 305 million for Romanian projects through the Norway Grants and the SEE (European Economic Area) Grants – grants offered by Norway (97 percent financial contribution to the scheme) together with Iceland and Lichtenstein.
Between 2009 and 2011 the total allocation through the two programs amounted to EUR 98.5 million – EUR 50.5 million though EEA Grant and EUR 48 million through the Norway Grants. Grants were awarded to more than 65 individual projects and 117 NGO projects in the following sectors: sustainable production, environment and environmental protection, health, energy efficiency, HR and cultural heritage. The Norwegian Embassy to Bucharest estimates that by April 2012 the absorption rate of 77 percent for EEA Grants and 80 percent for the Norway grants.
Norway Grants represents a bilateral cooperation program deriving from the provisions of the European Economic Area (EEA) Enlargement Agreement to which Romania became a signatory part in 2007. The Agreement lays down the rules for co-operation between the EU, on the one hand, and Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, on the other hand. The Agreement makes it possible for a non-EU country like Norway to participate in Internal Market, while contributing financially to regional cohesion via programs such as Norway Grants.