Royal light on Budapest seminar
HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway opened a seminar on the EEA and Norway Grants in Budapest, which was organised in order to draw some lessons so far and prepare common ground for a successful implementation of projects.
On 23 September 2009, representatives from the donor states, Hungarian authorities and many of the 99 approved projects, programmes and funds in Hungary gathered in Budapest in order to share experiences and best practices. Their aim was to exchange information and views in order to prepare for a best possible implementation of projects.
In his opening speech, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway stressed that the EEA and Norway Grants strengthens ties between the two countries, especially through cooperation at project level. In Hungary, 28 projects are implemented in partnership with Norwegian entities. The majority of these projects are within the priority sector for academic research.
Strengthening the civil sphere
One of the areas of support which were highlighted not only by the Crown Prince, but also by Mr. István Varga, Hungarian Minister of National Development and Economy, and Mrs. Elisabeth Walaas, Norwegian State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, was the support to civil society through the NGO funds. "Strengthening the civil sphere is especially important", Mr. Varga said.
Support to the NGO sector is a cornerstone of the EEA and Norway Grants, and an area which is close to the donors' hearts. "We focus on areas where we can make a difference", Mrs. Walaas said. So far, around 240 projects have received support from the 2 NGO funds established in Hungary.