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Frontpage News 2019 Programme agreement signed for Home Affairs in Bulgaria

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Programme agreement signed for Home Affairs in Bulgaria

The programme agreement for the Bulgarian Home Affairs programme was signed on 23 May 2018.

Key information about the programme
The programme is operated by: Ministry of Interior in Bulgaria
The Donor Programme Partners in this programme are: The Norwegian National Police Directorate (POD), the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security (NMoJ), and the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI)
International Partner Organisation (IPO): Council of Europe (CoE)
The programme's objective is: Strengthened rule of law
The programme funding (excluding co-financing) amounts to 21.5 million Euros and is funded entirely by the Norway Grants.

Why is the programme needed?

The EU and its Member States face complex cross-border security threats highlighting the need for further synergies and closer cooperation between countries. Due to its geographical location, Bulgaria is situated on routes for trafficking in people, smuggling of goods and money which leads to worsening of crime parameters. Since 2013, Bulgaria is also under increased migration pressure which necessitates strengthening of the national migration and asylum systems. The Bulgarian authorities seek to undertake all relevant measures to face these challenges, thus contributing to the efforts at EU level.

In this programme, priority will be given to activities related to improvement of the police, having in mind that there is very limited funding from other sources for similar measures. Of the three pillars: Border Management, Asylum System and Police Cooperation, the EU funding mainly covers the first two while the Norway Grants will focus on police cooperation, including organised crime and trafficking in humans.

What will the programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries?

The programme seeks to assist vulnerable groups, victims of crime, Roma, vulnerable asylum-seekers, including unaccompanied minor migrants, arriving in Bulgaria and victims of domestic and gender-based violence. The programme is aims to improve the conditions for the Roma population, including improving the cooperation with police, and reducing violations against the Roma population. It will furthermore strengthen the capacity of law enforcement authorities with an emphasis on strengthening the capacity to conduct forensic investigations, enhancing international cooperation and ensuring the interoperability and coordination of national law enforcement authorities. The programme will also support the introduction of efficient and sustainable anticorruption measures and the enhancement of the asset recovery and management system in Bulgaria.

How will the programme strengthen bilateral relations?

This programme will facilitate and encourage actions related to strengthening bilateral relations between Bulgaria and Norway; actions will in particular promote networking, exchange, sharing and transfer of knowledge, experience and good practices between public entities in both countries. The programme will allow for laying foundations in institutional cooperation in the field of forensics and encourage the continuation of the established partnership under the 2009-2014 programming period in the fields of combating organized crime.

The Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security (NMoJ) is a Donor Programme Partner in the Home Affairs programme. Bilateral ambitions are an opportunity to develop crosscutting activities that could aim at strengthening the justice chain and the asylum chain. The main partner on the asylum and migration component of the programme is the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). The main partner on the police cooperation and fighting organised crime component of the programme is the National Police Directorate (POD).

Availability of funding through open calls

The funding in this programme will be made available through the following open call:

  • Call 1: Increased capacity of the national authorities in the asylum and migration area - The call will open in the 1st quarter of 2020

Download the full programme agreement for more detailed information about the programme

> More information can also be found on the programme's website and on the Donor Programme Partners' websites: the Norwegian National Police Directorate, the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, and the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration.