Through the Norway Grants and EEA Grants, Norway contributes to reducing social and economic disparities and to strengthening bilateral relations with the beneficiary countries in Europe. Norway cooperates closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA).
The EU launched the Eastern Partnership (EaP) on 7 May 2009 at a Summit with its Eastern Partners. The Eastern Partnership sets out an ambitious path for deeper relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, through a bilateral and a multilateral dimension.
In January 2015, the European Union and the Council of Europe renewed their commitment to support democratic reforms in the Southern Mediterranean through the launching of a new Joint Programme “Towards Strengthened Democratic Governance in the Southern Mediterranean” for 2015-2017 (South Programme 2).
The European Union and Council of Europe signed Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey (hereafter referred to as “Horizontal Facility”) on 23 May 2016. The Horizontal Facility builds on the Council of Europe and EU Policy priorities in the context of the Western Balkans and Turkey and on the Council of Europe expertise in standard-setting, monitoring and cooperation methodologies.