Closing event in Slovenia rounds off successful implementation
Slovenia received €18.6 million through the EEA Grants and Norway Grants in the period 2004 to 2009. Five years of successful implementation were rounded off with a closing event held in the capital, Ljubljana, on 19 September.
The Slovene State Secretary of the Government Office for Local Self-Government and Regional Policy, Bojan Suvorov, opened the event, followed by an address by H.E. Guro Katharina Vikør, the Norwegian Ambassador to Slovenia. Although the Norwegian embassy in Slovenia is set to close at the end of September, the Slovenian-Norwegian Friendship Group, present at the event, underlined their intention to continue to promote connections between Norwegians and Slovenes in Slovenia.
Several of the projects which were awarded funding under the Grants 2004-2009 were showcased during the event, including sub-projects from the NGO Fund as well as the Scholarship and Training Fund.
The NGO fund supported the development of civil society and institutional capacity-building in Slovenia. The Scholarship Fund facilitated a broad variety of cooperation between educational institutions from the donor states and beneficiary states. In addition to cooperation under the funds, a total of five partnership projects between Slovenian and Norwegian entities were implemented.
A group of three musicians performed in between the presentations, featuring Norwegian and Slovene folk songs, with the evening crowned by a Norwegian-style buffet reception.
In the period 2004-2009, cultural heritage was by far the largest sector in Slovenia, with projects including the €1.2-million ‘Lively Old Town’ project which saw the renovation of key heritage sites in five cities in the Gorenjska region
In the health and childcare sector, notable projects included the construction of a new nursery school in Idrija, where radioactive radon gas from local mining activities had threatened the health of schoolchildren, and the modernisation of the Slovenian Institute for Blind and Partially Sighted Children.
Better-quality drinking water, a new environmental educational resource centre, and a nationwide campaign to promote environmental awareness were just some of the achievements in the environmental sector.
Photo: Ubald Trnkoczy and Tihomir Šumič