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Revitalisation of the castle in Schumen
The restoration and conservation of the Shumen Fortress in Bulgaria was enabled by a the €340 000 provided under the EEA and Norway Grants 2004-2009.

Achievements in Bulgaria 2007-2009

Environment and sustainable development was the largest area of investment in Bulgaria. Funded projects include renovations to make public buildings more energy efficient, enhancing nuclear safety in Bulgaria, a new solar park, a new wind park, measures towards more sustainable energy use, and measures to increase efficiency of the energy market.

Among the investments that contributed to safeguarding biodiversity were the development of a new national biodiversity-monitoring system, a new fire-protection monitoring system in Pirin National Park, and a comprehensive study of the European chestnut tree that will form the basis of a strategy to preserve this species. Capacity-building projects have taken place in the north-west region, the most disadvantaged region in the EU, where local authorities participated in training schemes to raise the skills of the regional administration, which may help increase foreign investment and improve the local business climate.

Bulgaria’s capacity in implementing Schengen was supported by financing a new telecommunications infrastructure covering Bulgaria’s main Schengen borders – the Black Sea coast, all border points with Turkey, and the main ports and airports in the area – and by improving the country’s response to trafficking in human beings.

Through the scholarship fund, 53 researchers/academic staff and 12 students from Bulgarian universities participated in exchange programmes with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Thirty-four projects were implemented in cooperation between Bulgarian and Norwegian entities.