Pivniceru, meeting with the Norwegian ambassador to discuss the financial assistance to Romania

Oeystein_HovdkinnThe Norwegian ambassador, Mr. Øystein Hovdkinn, had a meeting today, with the Minister of Justice, Mrs. Mona Maria Pivniceru, to discuss the Norwegian assistance to Romania provided through the Norway Grants.

For the period up until 2016, an amount of about 306 million EUR will be transferred to Romania in the form of non-refundable financial assistance to programs and projects in various sectors, i.a. environmental protection, cultural heritage, justice and civil society. Approximately 25 million EUR will be allocated to the justice and home affairs sector.  Programs within this sector will be launched later this year.

According to the agreed institutional setup, the Ministry of Justice will be the Program Operator for most of the funds within the justice and home affairs sector. These funds will be used i.a. to support Romanian judiciary for implementation of the New Judicial Codes, to improve standards in the Romanian prisons and probation services, to combat domestic violence, organized crime and human trafficking.

During the discussions, Ambassador Hovdkinn also touched upon the high absorption rate of 85 % in the previous funding period. Up until 2011, Romania benefited from about 100 million EUR in project assistance in key sectors such as environmental protection, sustainable production, health and childcare, cultural heritage, and the NGO sector. The Norwegian official also conveyed the feedback received from beneficiaries of the funds, namely that they were user friendly, flexible, and easily accessible.

The minister of justice, Mrs. Mona Pivniceru, thanked the Ambassador for the steady support of the Norwegian Government in financing strategic projects for the Romanian judiciary in the context of enforcement of the New Judicial Codes as well as other key areas pertaining to justice and home affairs sector.

Through the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, the three EFTA countries – Norway, Island and Liechtenstein – take part in the European internal market and contribute to social and economic development through the EEA and Norway Grants. Norway is the main donor, contributing 97% of the total funding. The EEA and Norway Grants are also intended to strengthen bilateral relations  between Norway and Romania.

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