Organisations from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the Council of Europe play a vital role as donor programme partners in many programmes supported by the EEA and Norway Grants. We have asked four partners taking part in the justice programmes (funded by Norway) about their participation as donor programme partner. This is the last of four interviews.
The Council of Europe (CoE) is a donor programme partner in four Norway Grants programmes in the fields of judicial capacity building and correctional services. We spoke to Natalia Voutova, who until recently was the Council’s Head of the Judicial Capacity Building and is now the Head of the Council's Office in Yerevan, about their cooperation.
Q. How does the Council of Europe’s involvement contribute to this area?
A. The Council of Europe brings over 25 years of experience in managing joint projects; we know how to make sure projects are viable, efficient and results-oriented. Norway Grants are vitally important in helping countries meet international standards and tackle weaknesses in their judicial systems.
Q. What are the specific challenges that the beneficiary countries face?
A. This depends on the country as there is an on-going process of reform in many of the countries. The challenge is to capture and understand what the issues are. Through working with these countries over the last 20 years, we know how to tailor projects to the countries’ needs.
Q. Do you think the funding will make a lasting difference?
A. From the very outset, we have thought about the sustainability of our work, this is one of the 'golden rules' for us, we don't want a short term win, we want to make a long term difference. Norway’s funding in this area is starting to make a real difference. Our most advanced projects, in terms of implementation, are in Bulgaria. We have definitely achieved results; the Roma minority has much better access to justice.
Other interview in this series
Read the interview with Kim Ekhaugen from the Directorate of Norwegian Correctional Service
Read the interview with Eva Lynghjem from the Norwegian National Police Directorate
Read the interview with Audun Hognes Berg from the Norwegian Courts Adminstration