In 2004, the year of the enlargement of the European Union, the Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway launched the EEA and Norway Grants, a mechanism to provide funding for social and economic development in 15 countries in Central and Southern Europe in order to reduce disparities between regions and states within EU.
Since December 2010 the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy has been the National Contact Point for the EEA Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism.
Both the EEA Grants and the Norway Grants are in a large part funded by the state of Norway. The Norway Grants are in full awarded to 12 new EU member states, the EEA Grants also include old members in Southern Europe (Greece, Spain and Portugal). The priority funding areas of both grant schemes include environmental development, research, scholarships, sustainable development, and cultural heritage. Each five-year funding period is devoted to donating within 32 different programme areas divided between both grant mechanisms.
Focal point in Slovenia
A significant amount of more than 40 per cent of funding in Slovenia were devoted to individual projects in the field of cultural heritage. Projects such as the adaptation of Mini Theatre, the renovation of Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture and Koper Theatre were funded through the Norwegian Financal Mechanism programme.
In the framework of the regional project The Fair was Living [Sejem bil je živ] in 2006–2009, the Norwegian Financial Fund (EEA and Norway Grants) in co-operation with Slovene Association of Historic Towns and Business Support Centre (BSC) Ltd, Kranj co-funded the renovation of old historic buildings in 5 historic towns in the Gorenjska region (Kranj, Jesenice, Tržič, Škofja Loka, Radovljica).
Some recipients of EEA and Norway Grants in Slovenia