Norway and Bulgaria have signed agreements on a range of new cooperation programs through the EEA grants. Justice and asylum, business, energy and measures for Roma people are priority initiatives.
Over 210 million euros are distributed in a total of ten funds and programs. Of this, 51.5 million euros is going to the police and justice sector.
For the first time Norway and Bulgaria are making joint efforts on the asylum and migration field, with UDI as the Norwegian partner. Moreover, they agreed to collaborate on probation, court reform and the fight against organized crime and corruption in the police.
– The government is keen to use the EEA funds to strengthen efforts to create economic growth and prosperity in Europe while contributing to fulfilling our joint climate commitments. We do that through these agreements, says EEA and EU minister Elisabeth Vik Aspaker.
She refers to special programs for industry- and energy cooperation which together constitute 56.5 million euros and where there are great opportunities for Norwegian companies to enter into partnerships in projects.
Meanwhile, there are continued efforts to fight poverty and promote local development with a particular emphasis on improving the Roma people’s living conditions. EUR 35 million is being set aside to create jobs and strengthen education and health services in poor areas.
The agreements also include at least 10 percent of the justice and culture programs earmarked action Roma.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today