EEA and Norway Grants post-2014 

Borge Brende

Pleased to welcome you to this consultation on the shaping of the future of the EEA and Norway Grants, which are an instrument for solidarity and cooperation in Europe. A special welcome to Commissioner Barnier, Professor Veugelers, and Director Zietara from Poland, responsible for the excellent handling of Norwegian Funds in Poland.

I am interested in your views on how Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein can use the grants to enhance the efforts of the European Union and its member states, particularly in promoting (1) apprenticeships and entrepreneurial skills, and addressing (2) energy and climate and (3) migration issues.

You represent private and public stakeholders. We have invited experts from the European Union, academia, think tanks, trade unions, business and of course, the beneficiary states of the EEA and Norway Grants, so that you can all contribute with your accumulated knowledge and experience.

This meeting is part of a broad consultation process that runs in parallel with the negotiations between the EU and the three EFTA states on a new five-year period for the EEA and Norway Grants and for enhanced market access for fish products in the EU. The negotiations are still at an early stage.

Common European challenges
The Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth identifies ways to reduce poverty and enhance social inclusion and the need to create conditions for new growth in Europe. We share the priorities.

Too many people are out of work, too many people of all ages experience poverty and social exclusion.

We need to invest in research, innovation, education, job creation and a business friendly environment.

The energy sector is key to European challenges; we need more renewable energy, more efficient use of energy and more security of supplies in order to move towards a low carbon economy in Europe.

We need a global approach to justice, home affairs and migration based on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Today we will discuss one aspect of this broad field, namely migration policies and related challenges.

The Norwegian Government’s strategy for cooperation with the European Union 2014 – 2017

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