Czech and Norwegian foreign ministers sign mutual understanding agreement

Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda and his Norwegian counterpart Jan Petersen signed a mutual understanding agreement in Prague on Tuesday that will see the Czech Republic receive around 65 million euros, or 2 billion crowns, in funds over the next five years. The finances are meant to be divided among smaller projects not covered - or not covered fully -by EU structural funds, including protection of the environment and historic sites, improving human resources, and financing research projects and health care.

The conditions for drawing money are to be similar to those that guide funds in the European Union: with funds being divided up by the Finance Ministry. It will be possible to submit first project proposals in November.

Norway's contribution follows a provision through which more well-off states in the European Economic Area contribute financially to economically weaker countries in the European Union. Norway itself is not a member of the EU.

Author: Jan Velinger