On 18 December 2009 the Donor States (Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein) reached the agreement with the European Commission (EC) about allocation of the financial assistance for the implementation of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (EEA FM) and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism (NFM) in the new planning period 2009-2014. On 28 July 2010 the agreements were signed between the EC and the Donor States for provision of the financial assistance.
The overall objectives of the Financial Mechanisms 2009-2014 are to contribute to the reduction of economic and social disparities within the EEA and to the strengthen bilateral relations between the Donor States and the Beneficiary State.
The grant of the EEA FM 2009-2014 will be available for 15 European Union (EU) member states – Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta – in total amount 988,5 million EUR. The grant of the NFI 2009-2014 will be available for 12 newest EU member states – Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta – in total amount 800 million EUR.
Latvia will receive the financial assistance in total amount 67,48 million EUR from both Financial Mechanisms. It is about ~ 30% more comparing to the financial assistance received by Latvia in the previous planning period 2004-2009.
The Financial Mechanisms 2009-2014 will be implemented through a programme approach with the aim to achieve more efficient implementation and more focused support in order to ensure measurable results and higher impact of the funding. Latvia shall commit financing in the programmes’ agreements till 30 April 2014, whereas implementation of approved programmes could be finished till 30 April 2017.
Programme operators – competent line ministries – will be responsible for implementation programmes’ implementation. Implementation process of the Financial Mechanisms are stated in the Regulation on the implementation of the EEA FM adopted by the EEA FM Committee on 18 January 2011 and the Regulation on the implementation of the NFM approved by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 11 February 2011.
In order to ensure the implementation of the Financial Mechanisms, on 28 April 2011 the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on implementation of the NFM between the Kingdom of Norway and the Republic of Latvia has been signed and on 8 June 2011 the MoU on implementation of the EEA FM between the Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway and the Republic of Latvia has been signed.
The MoUs define rights and obligations of the Donor States and Beneficiary State as well as main aspects of the implementation of the Financial Mechanisms in Latvia. The MoUs include two Annexes, from which Annex A states the national management and control structures for the implementation of the Financial Mechanisms and Annex B – the implementation framework of the Financial Mechanisms with the programmes’ areas and its financing.