Switzerland and Norway have supported Estonia with tens of millions of euros ({{commentsTotal}})

Switzerland and Norway have given tens of millions of euros to Estonia in financial aid. Iceland and Lichtenstein are also among the country's supporters.

Funds from outside of the EU reach Estonia through three separate cooperation programs: the Estonia-Swiss Cooperation Program, Norway Grants and the European Economic Area (EEA) Grants. The latter are also mainly funded by Norway, reported Postimees.

Between 2009-14, Estonia received 21 million euros from the EEA, 23.7 million euros directly from Norway and 33 million from Switzerland.

Swiss grants will run out this year and the projects funded by them must be finished by 2015. Norwegian programs will continue until 2016.

Swiss and Norwegian grants are divided up between six ministries, with the Ministry of the Environment getting the largest, a 7-million-euro cut. But the Swiss money has also paid, for instance, for the emergency services' new geographic information system.

The largest share of the Norway grants go toward public health initiatives (8.9 million euros), green industry innovation (6 million euros), bilateral research cooperation (3 million euros), mainstreaming gender equality and promoting work-life balance (2 million euros), and domestic and gender-based violence (2 million euros). The help centers for victims of sexual assault that will open soon in Tallinn and Tartu have been partly funded by a Norwegian grant, for example.

The program areas financed by the EEA grants include integrated marine and inland water management (6.9 million euros), children and youth at risk (6.5 million euros), and conservation and revitalization of cultural and natural heritage (4.5 million euros). Another 2.3 million has been allocated to different NGOs, and 600,000 euros for scholarships.

Between 2000-13. Estonia also received more than 6 billion euros, or 4,552 euros per person, from the EU development and structural funds.

Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

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