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NEW MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING ON EEA AND NORWAY GRANTS WITH HUNGARY

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have been cooperating with Hungary for almost 20 years to reduce economic and social disparities. On 21 December 2020, the representatives of the Donor States providing the EEA and Norway Grants signed agreements with the Hungarian side enabling the use of approximately EUR 214 million (approximately HUF 75 billion).
Already in the third period, Hungary will benefit from this source in exchange for the more effective participation of the Donor States in the EU market. With the signing of the agreements, a total of more than HUF 86 billion of development funds will be available, including the national contribution of about HUF 11 billion. Continuation of the joint work started in the previous funding periods may enable the implementation of further developments in Hungary supporting social and economic growth. Efforts in the field of energy and climate change continue to be an important element in the use of resources available to Hungary. Supporting business development and innovation, in particular green innovation, is of paramount importance. The overarching goal is to improve the living conditions of the most disadvantaged social groups, including Roma communities, but there will also be opportunities to receive support in other areas.
Information on future application opportunities and the application process will be available on the official website of the Grants and on the official Facebook page.

ROMA EMPOWERMENT IS A KEY AREA IN DEVELOPMENT PLANS FINANCED BY THE EEA AND NORWAY GRANTS

A wide-ranging public consultation on the details of the use of the EEA and Norway Grants has been launched with the involvement of Hungarian NGOs. The professional direction of the planned programmes in the fields of education, energy efficiency and climate protection, culture, local development and social inclusion were agreed at an online Roma Roundtable conference organized on 23 February 2021, by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Interior.

The EEA and Norway Grants is a contribution of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to reduce economic and social disparities and strengthen bilateral relations in the Member States of the European Union. In case of Hungary, in addition to the programme specifically targeting the Roma and disadvantaged population, most other programmes are also expected to have social inclusion aspects in the developments planned until 2024.

The conference was attended by Trine Skymoen, Ambassador of Norway to Hungary, who emphasized on behalf of the donor countries that the basic goal of the Round Table is a wide-ranging professional dialogue with Roma population and their organizations which will be a priority in the planning and implementation of the programmes at municipal and regional level, as well as in the local communities affected by the developments.

In the afternoon consultation following the programme introductions, an active professional dialogue was developed between the representatives of more than 30 invited organizations and the Representatives responsible for the programmes as well as the international partners on the challenges, development needs and opportunities affecting the Roma community. The invited organizations enriched the presented programme plans with many suggestions and new aspects.

Emphasis was placed on the development of coherence between the domestic human service systems and the domestic, EU and international development goals and resources, as well as on the better utilization of the mutually reinforcing effects of regulations and developments. Representatives responsible for the programmes as well as the participating organizations also expressed their intention to further cooperate in the elaboration and implementation of the programmes.