The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the European Economic Area States (Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein) and Spain entered into force on 19 November 2011 and is regulated by the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (EEAFM) 2009-2014. Specifically, Spain was allocated €10,191,250 in grants to manage the Programme on Gender Equality and Work-Life Balance ("Programme").

The aim of this programme is to undertake projects that promote gender equality in the labour market, female entrepreneurship, gender balance on corporate boards of directors, reconciliation of work and family life, socio-labour integration of women from vulnerable groups and that combat gender violence.

The Programme Operator (PO) is the Secretary of State for Social Services and Equality through the Directorate-General for Equal Opportunities, which entails responsibility for designing and implementing the Programme. It is advised for this purpose by the Programme's Donor Partner, the Norwegian Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud (LDO).

The national focal point is the Subdirectorate-General of Cohesion Funds and European Territorial Cooperation. It is responsible for achieving the objectives of the Financial Mechanism and of implementing the Memorandum of Understanding.

The Programme Proposal was approved by the Financial Mechanism Committee (FMC) and the donor states, in accordance with the EEAFM Regulation, last 31st of May of 2013..

Management of the Programme is structured as described below:

  • Projects: understood as a series of economically-indivisible technical tasks that seek to achieve clear and identifiable Programme objectives. There are predefined projects set by the programme itself and there will be annual competitive calls for proposals to select other projects that will be designed and implemented by the organisation.
  • Complementary actions: actions organised by the PO that contribute to achieving the Programme's objectives through cooperation between the various operators in the programme and other similar bodies, and through the exchange of experiences and good practices associated with implementing the Programme.
  • Bilateral relations: the Programme includes a section intended to ensure that close ties are maintained between Spain and the donor countries.
  • Management costs: the management costs that the PO incurs in implementing the Programme are included in same.