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Norway will Support Children, Health care, Cultural Heritage

Date

2005 04 14

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Oslo, April 14, 2005. In 2004-2009 Lithuania will be granted EUR 40.257 million (LTL 139 million) under the bilateral Norwegian Financial Mechanism and will be provided EUR 27 million (LTL 93 million) under the multilateral European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism.

Minister of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania Algirdas Butkevičius and the State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kim Traavik today have signed Memoranda of Understanding on the Implementation of the Norwegian and the EEA Financial Mechanisms for 2004-2009.

Norwegian funds will be used to support conservation of the cultural heritage, restoration of wooden architecture, education and training, health care, renovation of children’s foster homes, the fight against international crime, other important areas. EEA funds will also cover environment protection, human resources development, local government capacity building.

Call for applications to obtain grants under the EEA and the Norwegian Financial Mechanisms is planned to be announced in June.

Upon accession to the EU, Lithuania joined the European Economic Area. The European Economic Area covers EU Member States as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. All the three countries make the single market that sets up so called four freedoms (free movement of goods, services, capital and people) and the common competition rules.

After signing the Agreement on Joining the European Economic Area in October 2003, Lithuania gained the right to use the multilateral EEA Financial Mechanism, the funds to which are contributed by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and the bilateral Norwegian Financial Mechanism. These are the Funds through which the assistance made available to the new EU Member States is allocated. In order to obtain a grant, Lithuania has to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on the Implementation of each Financial Mechanism. The Memorandum of Understanding on the Implementation of the Multilateral EEA Financial Mechanism is also to be signed by the representatives of another two donors: Iceland and Liechtenstein.