First projects approved in Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania
April 2009 saw the approval of the first EEA Grants projects in Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania*. In total, 140 Bulgarian, Greek and Romanian projects have been approved, making up some €100 million in project support.
Greek efforts to protect the environment
In Greece, over €30 million in support to individual projects was approved in the final month of commitments, with environment and sustainable development coming out as the largest priority sector. More than 20 environmental projects have been approved, ranging from the restoration of endangered ecosystems and protection of the marine environment to the development of an urban mobility management system to reduce air pollution levels in the city of Thessaloniki. In addition, Greece has allocated substantial funding to cultural heritage and health and childcare projects. Partners from Norway are involved in seven of the approved projects
Human resource development in Romania
Receiving close to €50 million in grant support, Romania has chosen to allocate substantial funding to projects promoting human resources development. Supported activities include the prevention and investigation of internet child pornography, improving public services in local government and increasing accountability in public administration. Over 40 Romanian projects are now ready to be implemented, and 11 of the projects have partners in Norway and Iceland.
Health and childcare in focus in Bulgaria
With close to €20 million in grant support, Bulgaria has chosen to allocate large parts of its funding to health and childcare projects. The project activities range from drug prevention programmes and efforts to improve medical treatment and strengthen childcare services, to the establishment of a social support centre for children and families at risk. In addition to health related projects, protection of the environment and the preservation of cultural heritage are other central priority sectors in Bulgaria. 11 of the Bulgarian projects are implemented in partnership with Norwegian and Icelandic entities. Bulgarian projects under the EEA Grants were approved on the condition that the Central Finance and Contracts Unit (CFCU) will be replaced by another implementing agency for the EEA Grants. Read more here.
*) In addition, 53 projects and funds have been approved through the Norwegian bilateral cooperation programmes with Bulgaria and Romania, which are administered separately by Innovation Norway.
Photo: The opening of the Youth Volunteer Club under the Together for Human Rights and Against Violence Project, supported by the Bulgarian NGO fund.