Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, today held a meeting with Elzbieta Bienkowska, Poland‘s deputy prime minister, who is also Minister of Infrastructure and Development. At the ministers‘ meeting in Warsaw, ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two states by means of EEA Grants were discussed, especially in the field of geothermal energy, but also in the field of education and culture, research and science.
“We have discussed possibilities for cooperation between the two countries. Poland's support to Iceland at a time of difficulties will long be remembered and we would be glad to work towards closer cooperation in areas where Iceland‘s expertise could be of benefit to Poland. The most obvious area to consider is geothermal heat,“ said Mr Sveinsson.
Poland is by far the largest of the states enjoying EEA Grants. During the current operational period, 2009-2014, the country receives 267 million euros. In addition to reducing social and economic disparities in the European Economic Area, the fund‘s other main objective is to strengthen the bilateral relations of EFTA states that are parties to the EEA Agreement with the beneficiary states in southern and eastern Europe.
Tonight, Mr Sveinsson will be present at the first Solidarity Prize ceremony in Warsaw at the invitation of Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland‘s foreign minister. The prize is to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first free elections in Poland, which marked a turning point in the course of events that led to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.