On 18 December 2009, the donor countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) reached an agreement with the European Commission (EC) on the allocation of funding for the implementation of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (EEA Grants) and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism (NFI) for the new programming period 2009-2014.
In the new programming period, 15 European Union (EU) Member States - Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta - will receive LVL 694.7 million (EUR 988.5 million) in funding from EEA Grants. The 12 newest EU Member States - Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta - will receive funding of LVL 562 million (EUR 800 million) in funding from NFIs.
The funding allocated to Latvia from EEA Grants and NFIs (including donor management costs) amounts to LVL 51.27 million (EUR 72.95 million), which represents an increase of ~30% compared to the previous 2004-2009 financial instruments programming period. More than 14% of this funding is earmarked for the NGO Fund programme.
EEA Financial Mechanism 2009 – 2014 has the main objectives of reducing social and economic disparities in the European Economic Area and strengthening the mutual relations between the Donor and Beneficiary Countries in the priority sectors set out in the Memorandum of Understanding on the Implementation of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 between the Republic of Latvia and Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein and the Kingdom of Norway. The Memorandum stipulates that a substantial share of the support for the implementation of the EEA Financial Mechanism for the period 2009-2014 should be directed towards supporting civil society in Latvia.
For more information on other EEA and Norway Grants 2009-2014 funded programmes in Latvia, please see here: http://www.eeagrants.lv
For other EEA and Norway Grants 2009-2014 funded programmes in Latvia, please see here: http://eeagrants.org.ez.07.no/
The Programme area is funding for non-governmental organisations, which will be implemented as the NGO Fund programme, will receive more than €10.3 million of the total EEA and Norway Grants allocation for Latvia (€72.95 million).
The NGO Fund aims to strengthen the development of civil society and support for social justice, democracy and sustainable development.
The target group of the NGO Fund programme includes NGOs (associations and foundations) established and operating in the Republic of Latvia.
The results-based methodology has been used as the basis for the development of the programme. To ensure that the programme achieves its objective, three outcomes are set:
- promote active civic participation,
- increasing welfare provision, including social services, for specific target groups,
- promote democratic values and respect for human rights
The programme will be implemented as two sub-programmes.
The sub-programme accounts for 40% of the total funding earmarked for projects under the programme. The sub-programme supports the day-to-day activities of NGOs in the areas of democracy and participatory democracy; human rights, including minority rights; good governance and transparency; combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination; environment and sustainable development; and gender equality and reducing gender-based violence.
The sub-programme accounts for 60% of the total funding earmarked for projects under the programme. The sub-programme supports NGO projects in the following thematic areas:
- Social sector activities, including welfare and basic services, local and regional initiatives by non-governmental organisations to reduce social inequalities and promote social inclusion, gender equality, including support for children and young people at risk of social exclusion;
- Building a united society - intercultural dialogue and integration of national minorities, including strengthening human rights and national identity, awareness-raising and educational activities on citizenship issues and language training activities that promote democratic participation, prevent discrimination, foster tolerance and facilitate the acquisition of citizenship.
In order to increase the capacity of the NGO sector in Latvia, as well as to analyse the situation regarding the development trends of the sector, thus providing information for the development and updating of policy planning documents, an additional result has been set within the framework of the programme - strengthened NGO capacity and stimulated environment for the development of the sector, which will be achieved through the implementation of the project, within the framework of which regular studies will be conducted on the NGO sector in Latvia and the development of the concept of human security and the role of NGOs in it, development of proposals for the establishment of a monitoring NGO system, establishment of an NGO support (funding) system for the sustainable development of civil society.
Within the framework of the NGO Fund programme, special attention will be paid to the promotion of bilateral cooperation between Latvian NGOs and the non-governmental and public sectors of donor countries, other beneficiary countries and the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.