Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev has signed two MOUs on projects worth EUR 210 M under the European Economic Area (EEA)’s financial mechanism for 2014-2020.
The assistance granted by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway places Bulgaria “among the first of a total of 15 countries” signing such partnership documents on their priority projects, the government says.
The programs comprised in the documents “are complementary to measures under main priority policies for the country that are little or are not at all covered by the scope of [EU] operational programs,” Donchev is quoted as saying in a cabinet press release.
“Through these agreements we boost cooperation between Norway and Bulgaria to achieve the maximum effect on a number of important policies,” Tove Bruvik Westberg, Norwegian Ambassador to Romania, Bulgaria and Norway, has added.
Out of this funding, EUR 115 M will be earmarked for regional development and poverty eradication projects, but also for ones linked to energy efficienty and security, the environment and cultural entrepreneurship.
Another EUR 95.1 M – granted by Norway specifically – will be allocated to projects aimed at business innovation, small and medium enterprises, justice and internal affairs.
Separately, the civil society will be given EUR 15.5 M for monitoring and assessments of policies and the activities of the administration.
Another EUR 0.951 M are to be spent on projects aiding social dialogue and guaranteeing dignified labour conditions.
The first projects can start by the end of next year. The deadline for all projects will be April 30, 2024. Ministries and interested parties in Bulgaria will have to pitch “concepts” of all programs approved by the EEA within six months.