The EEA Grants are funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (Donor States) by signing an agreement on 28th July 2010 between the Donor States and the European Commission about the allocation of the financial assistance for the implementation of Grants in the new period 2014-2021.
Grants have two main goals:
1. Contributing to an equal Europe, both socially and economically;
2. To strengthen the relations between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, and the 15 beneficiary countries in Europe – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia.
On 14th December 2017 Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway signed new cooperation agreements with Latvia on new programmes under the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021. The programmes is implemented by 30th April 2024. During the period, Latvia will be granted 102.1 million euro.
On 4th December 2019, the Programme Agreement of EEA (European Economic Area) Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 for the financing of the Programme “International Police Cooperation and Combating Crime” was signed between the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Mechanism Office.
On 25th November 2019 the opening event of programme “International Police Cooperation and Combating Crime” funded by EEA (European Economic Area) Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 took place with participants from Royal Norwegian Embassy in Riga, Financial Mechanism Office, Council of Europe, OECD, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Welfare, State Police, State Revenue Service, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB), Financial Intelligence Unit of Latvia.
Programme "International Police Cooperation and Combating Crime"
The aim of the Programme is institutional capacity strengthening for preventing and combating economic crime in Latvia, as well as inter-agency cooperation improvement to ensure child victims of violence or witnesses of it are working in a child-friendly manner in Latvia – implementing Barnahus model.
- Increased effectiveness in combating and preventing economic crime (PA20),
- Improved child protection system (PA22).
Seven pre-defined projects are being implemented:
- Promoting cooperation between law enforcement authorities in preventing and combating economic crime in Latvia;
- Preventing and combating economic crime at the Border Crossing Point Terehova;
- Support for the establishment of a whistle-blowing system in Latvia;
- Support to the State Police for increasing effectiveness and quality of economic crime investigation in Latvia;
- Improvement of employees’ knowledge in combating money laundering in Latvia;
- Support for Barnahus implementation in Latvia;
- Strengthening of the capacity of forensic system and inspection of the site of the event.
These outcomes are to be achieved:
- Cooperation between law enforcement agencies in preventing and combating economic crimes is promoted, a unified IT system is established, law enforcement officers are trained to use it.
- Improved infrastructure for prevention and combating of economic crimes at the border crossing point "Terehova", trained officials of the State Revenue Service Customs Board, State Border Guard, Food and Veterinary Service and improved training infrastructure of the Customs Cynology Service by established "dog training laboratory".
- An online complaints platform is set up, public awareness campaigns are created to educate the public on the creation of a virtual alert system and the protection of whistleblowers. The qualification of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau ("KNAB") employees in preventing and combating corruption is strengthened.
- Trained State Police officials to speed up and improve the quality of economic crime investigations, improved technical infrastructure, analysis and improvement of the existing regulatory framework in cooperation with the OECD, installation of analytical tool/software. The capacity of the State Police Criminalistics Department is strengthened by introducing new modern expertise methods, updating the infrastructure and purchasing equipment in the areas of cybercrime and financial expertise.
- To improve the knowledge of employees in the fight against money laundering in Latvia, the knowledge of the employees of the Financial Intelligence Service and the Financial and Capital Market Commission in the field of money laundering is improved.
- The Barnahus model has been introduced in Latvia by adapting the premises and preparing proposals for the base of regulatory enactments that will regulate the operation of Barnahus. Employees of the institutions involved in the provision of the service are trained and awareness-raising campaigns are implemented.
- Improved forensic system capabilities in Latvia by supplementing technical support, as well as by improving knowledge and promoting best practice in the application of innovative methods, such as three-dimensional scanning of crime scenes, though bilateral cooperation.
The total allocated funding of the program is 20 327 059 euros out of which 85% or 17 278 000 euros are financed as EEA Grants and 15% or 3 049 059 euros as national co-financing.
The following organizations participate in the implementation of the programme:
- Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Latvia as the Programme Operator,
- Council of Europe (www.coe.int) as the International Programme Partner,
- Programme Project Promoters, including the State Police, the State Revenue Service, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Ministry of Welfare of the Republic of Latvia, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Latvia,
- Programme Project National and International Partners.
More information at: www.eeagrants.lv.
Complaints regarding the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism programme “International Police Cooperation and Combating Crime” implementation or monitoring can be submitted:
1. in paper format in person or by mail by addressing the complaint to the Ministry of the Interior, Čiekurkalna 1. līnija 1 korp. 2, Riga, LV-1026;
2. electronically by sending the complaint to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.