Agreements on new round of Grants in Romania
Today, agreements were signed with Romania on a new round of EEA and Norway Grants. Within the €306 million investment from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, environment, justice and the situation for the Roma population are among the priorities.
"A new round of EEA and Norway Grants will further strengthen our good contact and cooperation", said Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre.
A major part of the funding - €133.2 million - from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will in the coming years go to investments within the areas of environment and climate change. A €24 million programme to promote increased competitiveness of green enterprises, green innovation and green entrepreneurship will offer opportunities for Norwegian companies to cooperate with Romanian partners. This business-to-business cooperation will aim to reduce waste production, to increase the use of environmentally friendly technologies and to increase green job creation. Innovation Norway will operate the programme.
Romania has considerable challenges within its justice and home affairs sector. The Grants will support Romania’s efforts against organised crime and human trafficking, to strengthen the judicial system and to improve correctional services. Measures to prevent, tackle and reduce domestic and gender-based violence will also be supported. The Norwegian Police Directorate, the Norwegian Court Administration and the Norwegian Correctional Services will all participate in this work. The Council of Europe (CoE) will also be directly involved. Justice and home affairs receives €25 in total funding.
Improving the situation for Romania’s large Roma population is another priority for the Grants. A specific programme targeting children and youth at risk will be focused on the regions where the Roma make up a large proportion of the population. Around €22 million is set aside for projects to reduce discrimination, improve integration and reduce disparities. Council of Europe will be directly involved in this work. In addition, at least 10% of the funding in most programmes will be set aside for improving the situation of the Roma.
The Grants are also stepping up the support to civil society. The €30 million NGO fund will benefit organisations promoting social justice, democracy and sustainable development in Romania. Efforts to improve the situation for children and youth, vulnerable groups, minorities and Roma will be supported.
“We have a great interest in expanding our cooperation with Romania. It is positive to see that this keen interest exists on both sides,” said Gry Larsen, Norwegian State Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Ms. Larsen signed the agreement this afternoon in Bucharest on behalf of Norway, while the Minister for Europe, Mr. Leonard Orban signed on behalf of Romania.