Strengthening bilateral relations is one of the main general objectives of the EEA Grants. In Spain, it can be said that the goal has been fully met.
Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Spain are a step closer thanks to the EEA Grants. 3 programmes and half of the funded projects during 2009-2014 period with donor partner and a good number of bilateral activities have contributed to strengthen links between the 4 countries and to create networks and alliances that in most cases will continue beyond the EEA Grants closing.
One million euros out of 45 million allocated to Spain were dedicated to the Bilateral Relations chapter at national and programme level. This money funded study trips, best practices exchange seminars… that have benefited not only Spain but also the donor partners.
Moreover, 201 out of 412 projects funded in the last period were developed with the cooperation of a donor partner, 85% of them from Norway. For example, the 101 projects of scientific research within the NILS Science and Sustainability programme involved 236 researchers from Spain, Norway and Iceland, a collaboration which 57% of them envisages maintaining beyond the funds.
68% of the Spanish companies which have developed a research project in the fields of environment and climate change within the CDTI programme also forecast to continue cooperating.
Cooperation within the Gender Equality and Work-Life Balance programme between the Spanish Secretary of State of Social Services and Equality and the Norwegian Ombudsman (LDO) have fostered experiences exchanges not only between the two entities but also among public administrations, regional and local authorities, companies and NGOs. Especially in two key issues: the fight against gender based violence and the full integration of the most vulnerable groups.
Personal networks of contacts and institutional links created, particularly between Spain and Norway, are without a doubt, one of the biggest legacies of the EEA Grants.