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Norwegian Barents Secretariat

Country: Norway

The Barents Secretariat is donor programme partner in the Cross-Border Cooperation programme in Slovakia and in a programme on Capacity Building and Institutional Cooperation in Bulgaria.



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Contact person Mr Atle Staalesen
Telephone +47 78 97 70 50 / +47 905 58 503

About the programme area - Cross-Border Cooperation

It is now widely recognised that regions along the EU external border share a number of common challenges, from pollution in trans-boundary rivers to communicable diseases and organised crime. Cross-border cooperation has the potential to address these issues through the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and the development of joint strategies. Stronger links between civil society organisations on both sides of the EU’s borders also have the potential to create stronger foundations for civil society engagement in neighbouring states.

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About the programme

Slovakia: The Barents Secretariat contributes with its expertise within the field of cross-border cooperation and project grant management. It also promotes contacts and cooperation between Slovak and Norwegian organisations and help to promote the programme to the public in Norway, Slovakia and beyond. The Secretariat seeks to build links between programme and project activities in the Carpathian region and similar activities in the Barents Region and in the Balkans. In the management of the programme, the Secretariat is represented in both the Cooperation Committee and Selection Committee.

Partnership possibilities

Project partnerships are possible within a wide range of specialisations. However, Norwegian entities with experiences in cross-border cooperation, preferably with Russia, are given priority. Norwegian partners are recruited from both the public and non-governmental sector, within the fields of culture, sports, media, environment, education and border management. Local and regional authorities and state authorities with responsibilities in the field of cross-border relations are also targeted.

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About the programme area - Capacity Building and Institutional Cooperation with Norwegian Public Institutions

This programme area will facilitate the exchange of experience and learning between partners in Norway and the beneficiary states. It provides the framework for administrations and public authorities in the beneficiary states to cooperate with their counterparts in Norway, with the aim of developing modern and efficient administrations.

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About the programme

Bulgaria: The Barents Secretariat's activities are mainly related to the "Bulgarian Border Dialogues project", one of the two pre-defined projects of the Capacity Building and Institutional Cooperation programme, where it also acts as project partner.

The project focuses on social and economic mapping of Bulgarian borderlands and cross-border cooperation, primarily with Serbia, Macedonia and Turkey. Together with the Project Promoter, the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, as well as other partners, the Secretariat is developing an innovative Data Portal and engage regional journalist in cross-border data journalism training.

Partnership possibilities

Under this project, there will be possibilities for engagement of Norwegian partners from the fields of media, local and regional government, statistical services and border management authorities.

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About the Norwegian Barents Secretariat

The Barents Secretariat engages widely in cross-border cooperation in the Barents Region, first of all as a project grant manager and news information provider. The organisation is owned by the three northern counties of Norway and it works closely with authorities and the NGO sector in all four countries in the Barents Region; Norway, Russia, Finland and Sweden.

The engagement as donor programme partner gives the Barents Secretariat a unique opportunity to widen its cooperation with EU partners and strengthen its expertise in the field of cross-border cooperation. The Secretariat sees its donor programme partnership engagement as an opportunity to share its own experiences and to get valuable learning from other border regions, as well as a way to engage in new cross-border initiatives.

The Barents Secretariat seeks to facilitate exchange of knowledge, experiences and best practices between European border regions, and sees this exchange as vital for the handling of common challenges in European cross-border affairs.