The accession of Croatia to the EU has opened up the possibility of using grants of the countries of the European Economic Area and the Kingdom of Norway. Since 1994, the Kingdom of Norway, the Principality of Lichtenstein and Iceland have financed projects in EEA member states in order to reduce social and economic disparities within the community, and to strengthen bilateral relations between member states.
In the 2009-2014 financial perspective, a total of EUR 1.798 billion is available to the beneficiary states, and the approved projects will be implemented until 2016. The programme involves a total of 16 beneficiary states in the areas of environmental protection, climate change, civil society, children and health, social development, cultural heritage, research and scholarships, employment, justice and home affairs.
The National Foundation for Civil Society Development has been accredited as the operator of the EEA and Norway grants in Croatia for the area of civil society, for which the amount of EUR 1.3 million has been allocated to finance NGO projects.
The programme of the NGO Fund in Croatia is aimed at strengthening civil society development and enhancing the contribution to social justice, democracy and sustainable development. This highlights the significance of NGOs as important stakeholders in creating a healthy and stable democracy, building an inclusive society, and helping vulnerable groups at risk of exclusion, discrimination and inequality.