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PR(97)07: EFTA Surveillance Authority decides on Interreg IIA scheme and Pilot Projects programme in Norway

11.10.2002

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has today authorised the Interreg IIA scheme and Pilot Projects programme in Norway.

The Interreg IIA scheme and Pilot Projects programme are initiated by the European Community. Norway is invited by the European Commission to participate in these activities. The aim of the Interreg IIA scheme is to assist border areas in overcoming the special development problems arising from their isolation within national economies. The Pilot Projects programme is to assist innovative smaller scale joint actions.

In co-operation with local authorities the Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian authorities have established six regions along the borders between the countries as Interreg IIA regions. In one of these, the Barents-region, co-operation with Russia is also foreseen.

NOK 52.5 million have been allocated by the Norwegian Government to the Interreg IIA scheme and Pilot Projects programme both in 1996 and 1997. The same amounts are foreseen for each of the following two years of the action plan period. The European Commission and the Finnish and Swedish Governments are assumed to contribute equal amounts.

The Norwegian authorities have decided to grant aid under the mentioned schemes in accordance with the criteria for existing State aid schemes which previously have been examined by the EFTA Surveillance Authority and found compatible with the EEA Agreement. The EFTA Surveillance Authority has therefore found the Interreg IIA scheme and Pilot Projects programme to be in accordance with the State aid rules of the EEA Agreement.

For further information please contact Mr. Amund Utne on tel. + 32-2-2861850.

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