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Conditions of the EEA and Norway Grants call for proposals are not discriminatory

The statements made by CNVOS and summed up by the media that the conditions of the EEA and Norway Grants call for proposals discriminate against non-governmental organisations are not true. The conditions for non-governmental organisations are set in order to guarantee that only the best project proposals are selected. Slovenia being accountable to the Donor States expects the available grants to be spent efficiently by generating the highest possible added value.

The call for proposals and the documents relating to the call for proposals for co-financing of projects under the programme Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation implemented in the framework of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 and the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 was approved on 10 May 2021 by the selection committee that comprises of Programme Operator (GODC) representatives, representatives of relevant ministries and Programme Partner representatives from the Kingdom of Norway. The call for proposals and the documents relating to the call for proposals for co-financing of projects under the programme Education – Enhancing Human Capital financed by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 grants was approved on 11 May 2021 by the selection committee that comprises of Programme Operator (GODC) representatives, representatives of relevant ministries and Donor Programme Partner representatives. The conditions for non-governmental organisations ensure that only the best project proposals are selected. Slovenia being accountable to the Donor States expects the available grants to be spent efficiently guaranteeing the highest possible added value which is why the selection committee having the consent of the Donor States has set conditions that ensure economic use of resources. The conditions apply to everyone meaning that the conditions do not discriminate against anyone.

The conditions for non-governmental organisations are, inter alia, based on the fact that out of all the funding available under EEA and Norway Grants in the current financial period up to EUR 3 million is earmarked for the Active Citizens Fund which is operated by CNVOS and intended solely for non-governmental organisations. The Financial Mechanism Office (FMO) selected CNVOS as the Active Citizens Fund Operator by way of a call for proposals. The contract between FMO and CNVOS was signed in 2019. The consortium consists of CNVOS, Legal Information Centre Maribor (Institute PIP) and the Association for Developing Voluntary Work Novo mesto (DRPD Novo mesto). The grants of the Active Citizens Fund are made available by CNVOS under the conditions agreed with the Financial Mechanism Office.

It is interesting that the accusations of the conditions being discriminatory are made by CNVOS that has a favourable position in light of the fact that the 3-million contract has been signed 2 years before this year’s call for proposals publication. Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy was not informed of the selection nor did GODC participate in the selection process.