Portugal’s outgoing ambassador to Norway is getting a nice going-away gift after her four years in Oslo. The two countries signed a new agreement this week regarding the use of NOK 900 million (EUR 96 million) worth of grants that Norway finances in order to have access to the EU’s inner market.
Norway’s foreign ministry announced that EUR 62 million will be used to strengthen business, research and climate cooperation between the two countries. Innovation Norway will play a key role in arranging funding for various projects and cooperative efforts, while organizations, local governments and cultural institutions can also participate in addition to companies.
The trade agreement calls for Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to pay NOK 2.8 billion between 2014 and 2021 to be part of the so-called European Economic Area (EØS) without being members of the EU. Norway picks up 98 percent of the bill, with Iceland and Liechtenstein paying the rest. The money goes to 15 EU member nations that are economically challenged. Disputes have flared up over funding to Poland and Hungary, where newly authoritarian governments want to control the funding themselves at the expense of civilian organizations.