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Frontpage News 2013 Cooperation to strengthen local authorities in Bulgaria

Launch event of the capacity-building and institutional cooperation programme in Bulgaria. Photo: Norwegian Embassy in Sofia
Launch event of the capacity-building and institutional cooperation programme in Bulgaria. Photo: Norwegian Embassy in Sofia

Cooperation to strengthen local authorities in Bulgaria

Through cooperation with similar institutions in Norway, a newly launched programme in Bulgaria will contribute to strengthening the institutional capacity of local and regional authorities. Cross-border cooperation with Bulgaria's non-EU neighbours is one of the focus areas under the programme.

Developing the institutional capacity and the human resources in Bulgarian public institutions, local and regional authorities through cooperation and transfer of knowledge with similar institutions and authorities in Norway is an objective of the Norway Grants capacity-building and Institutional cooperation programme. When the programme was launched in Sofia 28 February, more than 300 representatives of Bulgarian local authorities came to the launching event.

The programme is supported by Norway Grants with € 2 016 000.

Cross-border cooperation
The programme consists of two projects that are already agreed. The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities will exchange experience and good practices with the National Association of Municipalities in Bulgaria. The project will focus on capacity-building for development of efficient dialogue between Bulgarian local and central authorities, sustainable and transparent local finance management, efficient inter municipal cooperation.
In another project, the Norwegian Barents Secretariat will cooperate with the Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development on ensuring enhanced level of understanding of the cross-border processes between Bulgaria and its neighbouring countries Serbia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Contact with municipalities in Norway
The programme provides opportunities for bilateral cooperation and knowledge exchange beyond the two projects. Special funding is available to support networking between Norwegian and Bulgarian entities during the implementation of the programme.
With support from the fund, the municipalities of Trysil and Sør-Varanger in Norway could participate in a bilateral workshop in Sofia, which was arranged in connection to the programme launching and was dedicated to the challenges for the border municipalities in Norway and Bulgaria.
Bulgarian border municipalities Tran, Kyustendil and Krumovgrad were very interested in the experience of Trysil and Sør-Varanger in tackling common demographic challenges and ensuring good quality of life for the local citizens.

Read more about the programme here