19 February 2020

Fund for bilateral relations

Implementation of strategic initiatives could start in spring of 2019 following the development and approval of the necessary national normative acts and signing of the agreement with the Donor States.

Aim To strengthen the cooperation and to increase mutual knowledge and understanding between the Donor States (Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland) and Latvia.
Available funding 1 342 000 EUR.
Decision of allocation of funds is taken by the Joint Committee for Bilateral Funds.
Grant for one initiative Not less than 10 000 EUR, guiding limit 50 000 EUR.
Grant rate 100%
Eligibility period Till 30.04.2025. (Starting from the date when the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the promoter is signed).
Promoter of initiative Any institution in Latvia or Donor States.
Bilateral relations The initiative should be implemented in cooperation with at least one Donor State ((Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland) partner or, if the initiative is implemented by a Donor State institution, in cooperation with at least one partner from Latvia.
The partner can be natural or legal person, involved in planning and implementation of initiative activities.
The proposal should be submit only after partnership is established. The initiative's proposal should be prepared in cooperation with the partner. A written approval from a partner(s) about participation and role in the initiative should be annexed to the proposal.
Examples of activities
  • Matchmaking events not tied to one particular programme (Funding)
  • Technical cooperation and exchange of experts
  • Secondments and internships
  • Capacity building and short term training
  • Workshops and seminars on topics of common interest
  • Study tours and visits
  • Data collection, reports, studies and publications
  • Campaigns, exhibitions and promotional material
Priorities Planned priorities according to the Work Plan to be approved by the Joint Committee for Bilateral Funds:
  1. education and research (cooperation between universities, institutes and libraries; people-to-people contacts, cooperation within think-thanks, youth development; media – development of the independent media and media literacy, research in the field of security policy);
  2. art and culture (exchange of cultural experiences, exhibitions, concerts, cultural days, conservation of the cultural heritage; translation and popularization of Latvian literature; celebrations of centenary of Latvia);
  3. cooperation projects between local governments (twin towns) (conferences and other type of networking and exchange of ideas between Latvian and DS local governments);
  4. promotional activities for business development and bilateral cooperation (conferences and other type of networking and exchange of ideas between Latvian and DS organisations);
  5. promotional events for bilateral cooperation (EEA and Norway Grants events and other events at conversation festival LAMPA in Cesis, Norwegian days in Latvia, etc);
  6. promoting transparency and democratic participation.
Applicant of initiative for approval in Joint Committee for Bilateral Funds Members of the Joint Committee for Bilateral Funds.
  1. National Focal Point (Ministry of Finance);
  2. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia;
  3. Norwegian Embassy in Riga;
  4. Icelandic Embassy in Helsinki;
  5. Mission of Liechtenstein to the European Union in Brussels.

In order to ensure transparency at national level during examination of initiatives, the Focal Point according to the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers on the Management of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 approved on 13.11.2018. established the Advisory Working Group of the Fund for bilateral relations. It operates in accordance with the Regulations and Decree approved by the Ministry of Finance. The Advisory Working Group consists of representatives from Focal Point, line ministries, State Chancellery, social and cooperation partners (largest umbrella NGOs of employees, employers, trade and municipalities, large cities), council for implementation of the cooperation memorandum between NGOs and the Cabinet of Ministers. The aim of the Advisory Working Group is to receive, to discuss and to provide opinion about initiatives submitted to the Focal Point. As well the Cabinet of Ministers shall make decision on Advisory Working Group's opinion.

Regulative documents of the fund for bilateral relations

  1. Donor States’ "Bilateral Guideline" (09.02.2017.)
  2. Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers on the Management of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on 13.11.2018.(section 5 "Implementation of the Technical assistance and the fund for bilateral relations")
  3. Agreement between the Donor States and the Focal Point on the Fund for bilateral relations (12.12.2018.)
  4. Work plan of the fund for bilateral relations (15.01.2020.)
  5. Informative material for strategic initiatives (03.07.2019.)
  6. Application forms:
    1. Template for strategic initiative proposal(15.11.2019.)
    2. Annex 2 - budget template (03.07.2019)
  7. Expression of interest for programme operators for additional funding (Annex 4 of Donor States’ "Bilateral Guideline") (03.07.2019)
  8. National Advisory group for the fund for bilateral relations:
    • Regulations
    • Decree
  9. Agreement on implementation of strategic initiative
  10. Financial and progress report on implementation of initiative of the Fund for bilateral relations


JCBF meetings:


Meeting of National Advisory group:


Initiatives approved by the Joint Committee for Bilateral Funds


No. Title Promoter     
Partner(s) Implementation period
Approval date Funding,    euro
Remaining funding
680 696
Pre-defined intiative in the Annex B of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Implementation of the EEA Financial Mechanis
1. Building Resilient Media and Inquisitive Audiences in the Baltic States Baltic Centre for Media Excellence

1)Norwegian Journalism Institute

2)Norwegian media organization ‘’

April 2019 – March 2022 18.01.2019 400 000
Available funding 1 342 000
2. 3D scanning and new technologies in cultural heritage management National heritage board of Latvia

Norwegian directorate of Cultural Heritage

May 2019 – April 2025


126 606
3. Participation in the Conversation Festival LAMPA Ministry of Finance of Latvia Norwegian Embassy in Riga 2019 June till 2024 July 05.04.2019. 90 000
4. Norway-Baltic Research Network. Critical Infrastructure: Institutional Coordination and Policy Preferences Latvian Institute of International Affairs

1) Norwegian Institute for International Affairs

2) International Centre for Defence and Security

3) Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University (Lithuania)

July 2019 – December 2020 18.07.2019. 187 000
5. The international cycle of conferences with participation of Norwegian and Latvian experts on issues topical for correctional services*  The Ministry of Justice of Republic of Latvia

Directorate of Norwegian Correctional Service

October 2019 – March 2025    19.09.2019.  98 700

Building public resilience through verified knowledge sources: a Latvian - Norwegian encyclopedic approach*


National Library of Latvia

Store Norske Leksikon of Norway

September 2020 – November 2021    15.01.2020.  52 801


Building bridges between Latvian and Norwegian democracy festivals and municipalities*



Foundation for an Open Society DOTS

 Arendalsuka, Cēsis municipality, Arendal municipality May 2020 – December 2022   15.01.2020.  56 200

Public participation is the key to the future of democracy**


tate Chancellery of the Republic of Latvia

Citizens Foundation in Iceland, Latvian Civic Alliance

 June 2020 – December 2021 n/a  49 997

* with reference, that the Cabinet of Ministers (CoM) provides a positive decision (included in the Biannual Information Report of the Ministry of Finance on Cohesion Policy EU Fund Investment Issues to be submitted to the CoM by 1 March 2020).

** The initiative is being discussed in the Advisory Group until 22 January 2020. If supported by the Advisory Working Group, the initiative will be referred to the JCBF Committee and included in the Biannual Information Report of the Ministry of Finance on Cohesion Policy EU Fund Investment Issues (to be submitted to the Cabinet by March 1, 2020). The initiative will only be considered approved with the support of the JCBF Committee and subject to a positive decision of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Last changes:
12 February 2020

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