EEA and NORWAY GRANTS in BULGARIA

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December 2013 г.
Issue No. 3&4
A quarterly newsletter
EEA and NORWAY
GRANTS in BULGARIA
Points of
interest:
Open call for the
Bilateral Fund –
deadline in
December 2014.
Find out more on
page 5
Inside this
issue:
Confronting
hatespeech……..2
Fund for bilateral
relations...........5
Events and open
calls………..........7
Judicial Capacitybuilding…………..11
Visit of Bulgarian
Mayors to
Trysil……………….13
NGO Fund…….14
Open calls……..15
THE GRANTS IN 2013: A RECAP
It’s again that time of the
year when everybody looks
back at what has been
achieved for the past 12
months, not only to draw
conclusions, but also to
make plans for the next
steps. We join in with a
recap on what marked 2013
from the perspective of the
EEA and Norway Grants.
First and most important, all
programmes for Bulgaria
are approved by the donor
states as of October 2013.
This marks the end of
planning and the beginning
of implementation where
programmes come to life
and transform into projects
stories. These stories are
what we are looking forward
to sharing with you in 2014.
Brought to you by the Bulgarian Focal Point for EEA and
Norway Grants and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sofia.
www.eeagrants.bg; www.norvegia.bg
Second, the programmes are
getting speed. The last three
months
of
2013
were
marked by plenty of EEA and
Norway Grants events. Six
new
programmes
were
launched between October
and December. For us this is
a clear signal that the time
has come to move from
theory to practice. We are
very glad that you are willing
to join us along the way and
follow different cases and
stories on the EEA and
Norway Grants in Bulgaria.
Finally, we would like to
thank you for being with us
and to wish you happy
holidays and all the
best in 2014!
1
EEA and NORWAY GRANTS in BULGARIA
Stories
Patrizia Brandellero, Financial Mechanism Office, Georgi Stoytchev, OSI-Sofia, and Zinaida
Zlatanova, Vice Prime Minister (from left to right) during the opening of the event. Photo: OSI-Sofia
Confronting hate speech
NGO programme for Bulgaria.
Hate
speech
is
a
widespread
phenomenon in Bulgarian public life,
according to a study conducted by
Open Society Institute - Sofia (OSI)
in July 2013. Nearly half (45,6%) of
Bulgarian citizens have in the last
year
witnessed
statements
expressing disapproval of, hatred or
aggression against representatives of
ethnic, religious of sexual minorities.
The data was presented at the
conference “Hate speech and the role
of the civil society”, which took place
in Sofia on 28 November 2013. The
event was supported by EEA Grants
Bulgarian Vice Prime Minister and
Minister
of
Justice
Zinaida
Zlatanova opened the conference
stating that Bulgaria is a tolerant
nation, but that there exist a
negative trend in the spread of
hate
speech.
Norwegian
Ambassador to Bulgaria Guro
Katharina
Vikør
stressed
the
importance of the cooperation
between governments, policians,
civil society organisations, media
and
other
stakeholders
in
countering hate speech and hate
crime in Europe.
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria 2
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
EEA and NORWAY GRANTS in BULGARIA
Stories
Young people are one of the groups, which are most sensitive to hate speech. Photo: OSI-Sofia
The OSI study shows that Roma are
the most common victims of hate
speech, followed by the ethnic
Turkish minority and homosexuals.
Television is the most important
factor for the proliferation of hate
speech in Bulgaria. Approximately
75% of the respondents who
witnessed hate speech have heard it
on television.
Barrier to social cohesion
Reducing the economic and social
disparities in Europe is one of the
objectives of the EEA and Norway
Grants. Through different
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
programmes and projects, the Grants
promote tolerance, equality and
multicultural awareness.
Initiatives to tackle hate speech are
supported mainly through the civil
society and the NGO programmes.
– Hate is a barrier to social cohesion.
Hate should not find refuge in any
place of the EU and this is why we
have to cope with hate crimes
through consistent and coordinated
activities all over Europe, added John
Kellock, Director’s Policy Advisor in
the European Union Agency for
Fundamental Rights.
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
3
EEA and NORWAY GRANTS in BULGARIA
Stories
The NGO programme for Bulgaria
has so far supported six projects
that deal with hate related issues
directly or indirectly. A second call
for project proposals within the
programme will be launched in
early 2014, with democracy and
human rights being the largest
priority area.
Hate speech online
Among young and well-educated
people Internet plays a significant
role in the propagation of hate
speech, shows the OSI study.
– People share 170 billion pieces
of information on the newsfeed on
Facebook every day. Most of this is
innocent, but there is a part of it,
which is hate speech either
according to the law or to the
Facebook standard, said Gabriella
Cseh, head of policy in Central and
Eastern Europe in Facebook, while
explaining
the
challenges
in
tackling hate speech online.
According to Mara Georgescu,
Educational Advisor at the Council
of Europe, young bloggers and
journalists should be trained to
take stand and actively work
against hate speech.
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
Gabriella Cseh Facebook. Photo: OSI - Sofia
Bilateral cooperation
Non-governmental
organizations
from two of the EEA Grants donor
states - Norway and Iceland,
attended the conference in Sofia and
participated in a bilateral workshop
with Bulgarian NGOs the next day. A
special fund to encourage bilateral
cooperation is available within the
NGO programme for Bulgaria. The
preparation
of
joint
project
proposals between organizations
from the donor states and Bulgaria
is supported through the fund.
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
4
PRESENTING THE PROGRAMMES
Fund for Bilateral Relations at National level
In Bulgaria, €633,000 has been set
aside for a bilateral national fund.
Among the focus areas for the fund
are children and youth, combating
drugs
and
organised
crime,
promotion of European values and
nuclear energy.
The funding from the bilateral
national fund serves as a flexible
source of financial support for
initiatives from both Bulgaria and
donor country entities that can
contribute to strengthening the
bilateral relations.
The
funds
are
to
be
used
strategically and can go beyond the
programmes in Bulgaria to cover all
programme areas under the EEA
and Norway Grants.
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
What are the priorities?
 Knowledge
exchange
in
combating drugs and organized
crime, children and youth at risk
(Priority 1);
 Promotion of European values and
in particular history teaching in a
multicultural society (Priority 2);
 Predefined initiatives in the area
of nuclear decommissioning.
 Predefined activities that promote
research partnerships, encourage
regional activities on topics of
bilateral importance and strengthen
cooperation with intergovernmental
organizations;
 Travel support for participation in
seminars, workshops, etc.
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
5
PRESENTING THE PROGRAMMES
Fund for Bilateral Relations at National level
The grant schemes under priorities
1 and 2 will be operated through an
open call for project proposals.
What is supported?
The fund supports projects that will
contribute to strengthening the
bilateral relations between Bulgaria
and Iceland, Liechtenstein and
Norway. Funded activities include
study
visits,
organising
and
participating
in
seminars,
workshops
and
conferences,
training
courses
and
other
meetings implemented with the
joint
participation
of
representatives of the beneficiary
and
the
donor
states,
joint
participation
in
international
events, etc.
Supported activities – examples
 An international conference on
the new Bulgarian penal code was
organised with the Council of
Europe on 20 November 2012.
 Bulgarian representatives took
part in a geothermal conference
organised in Iceland in March 2013.
 Bulgarian mayors took part in a
study visit to Trysil, Norway, in
September 2013.
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
Planned activities – examples
 Cooperation
between
the
Norwegian
Radiation
Protection
Control Authority and the Nuclear
Regulatory Agency of Bulgaria.
Key facts
Bilateral fund at national level
Fund operator: Monitoring of EU
Funds
Directorate,
Council
of
Ministers of Bulgaria
Size of the fund: €633,000
A call for project proposals under
priority 1 and priority 2 of the fund
is currently open. The call is a
“rolling” one, which means that
submitted
applications
will
be
reviewed and assessed on a
quarterly basis. Final date for
application: 15 December 2014
Travel support is provided on an
ongoing basis, following a request
for financial support.
More information about the fund,
the application requirements and
the application forms are available
at www.eeagrants.bg.
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
6
EVENTS, OPEN CALLS AND INFO DAYS
Photo: Svetla Semerdzhieva
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
programme was launched on the 10th of October. The
participation of the Programme Partner – Water
Resource and Energy Directorate at the Norwegian
Ministry of Oil and Energy proved to be essential, as
well as of more than 100 representatives of Bulgarian
companies and Non-governmental organisations active
in the field of energy efficiency and innovative energy
technologies, mass media and other interested
institutions attended the event. They were able to meet
and discuss potential partnerships with 9 Norwegian
companies working in the area of consulting and
implementation of projects targeting improvement of
energy efficiency and utilization of the renewable
energy potential. Find out more here.
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
Four components
to be supported:
- Pilot microelectricity
generation;
- Energy efficiency
measures in public
buildings;
- Production of
fuels for heating
based on biomass;
- Training and
education activities.
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
7
EVENTS, OPEN CALLS AND INFO DAYS
Petar Stoyanovich, Minister of Culture, H.E. Guro Katharina Vikør, Ambassador of Norway, Zinaida
Zlatanova, Vice Prime Minister, Mariana Kordova, Head of the NFP (from left to right) during the
Photo
: OP of
Technical
Assistance
Directorate, CoM
opening
the event.
Photo: NFP
Cultural Heritage
The
Cultural
Heritage
and
Contemporary Arts programme was
signed on the 15th of October at the
lush premises of the National
Musesum of Bulgarian Art. With high
level of attendance by Deputy-Prime
Minister Zinaida Zlatanova and H.E.
Ms. Guro Katharina Vikør, the event
proved to be in the center of media
attention. The setting was perfectly
enriched by a live performance of
pieces by
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
Edvard Grieg linking the signing to
the forthcoming concert dedicated
to the 170th anniversary of the
birth of the composer, held on the
very next day.
With a budget of 16 470 588 Euro
the
programme
will
finance
projects for renovation of buildings
of cultural importance, creation of
new museums, making cultural
content more accessible in the
internet, etc.
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
8
EVENTS, OPEN CALLS AND INFO DAYS
Schengen Cooperation
Domestic violence
November was dedicated to the
Justice and Home Affairs priority
sector with opening events for the two
programmes operated by the Ministry
of Interior in partnership with the
Council of Europe – Schengen
Cooperation
and
Domestic
and
Gender-based Violence. The Schengen
cooperation programme aims
to
improve effectiveness in transborder
and organised crime. The programme
beneficiaries are from a number of
institutions involved in the security
sector in Bulgaria and will benefit from
the expertise of their partners on
programme and project level.
The opening of the Domestic and
Gender-based Violence programme
coincided with a conference on the
same topic. “This social phenomenon
is not a trade mark for any society or
social group. We cannot eliminate it
completely neither in a fast way, but
we have the ambition to diminish it
to its minimum,” said in his opening
speech Deputy-Minister of Interior
Mr. Plamen Angelov. Vulnerable
groups will be among the targets of
the programme, being one of the
main targets of Domestic and
Gender-based Violence.
Ms Rachel Eapen Paul from the Norwegian Equality and Anti-discrimination Ombud presented the Norwegian
experience in confronting domestic violence and attended the public event. Photo: Norwegian Embassy
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
9
EVENTS, OPEN CALLS AND INFO DAYS
Public Health Initiatives
Scholarships
The signing event for the Public
Health Initiatives programme was
held on 13 December. With a budget
of 15,78 million Euro, the event
gathered high level of participation
with the attendance of the Minister of
Health, the Chairmen of the Health
Commission of the National Assembly
and H.E. Ms. Guro Katharina Vikor.
The
Programme
Implementation
Agreement was signed by the Head
of the NFP Ms. Mariana Kordova and
the Head of the PO Deputy-Minister
of Health Mr. Chavdar Slavov.
On 18 December the Ministry of
Education held the Opening Event for
the Scholarship programme. With
special participation of Mr. Vidar
Helgason
from
the
Icelandic
Programme Partner “RANNIS”, the
event
was
attended
by
representatives from the majority of
Bulgarian
higher
education
institutions. The afternoon session
involved the institutional coordinators
that represent the link between the
higher education institutions and the
PO and will help the potential
beneficiaries with information and
guidance.
Chavdar Slavov, Deputy-Minister of Health and Mariana Kordova, Head of the NFP
(from left to right) during the signing event. Photo: NFP Photo: Garo Marukian, NFP
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
10
RESULTS IN FOCUS
Photo: Council of Europe
Three Bulgarian judges join the
EHRC for a one year practice
Ms. Irina Ganeva, Ms. Iliyana Baltova
and Ms. Tsveta Jeliazkova are the first
three of nine Bulgarian judges to work
at the institution as part of a
predefined project within the Judicial
Capacity-building and Cooperation
Programme. The aim is to contribute
to the effective implementation of the
European Convention on Human
Rights by broadening the knowledge
and skills while collaborating with their
colleagues and reviewing the cases at
the European Court of Human Rights.
“For us as national judges it is an
invaluable experience to have an
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
inside perspective to the work of the
Court, the mechanisms related to
executing the rights given by the
Convention and to explore the
working environment where the
protection of human rights is not
regarded as an abstract rule, but
rather as a conscious engagement for
correcting the occurred injustice”, say
the three judges who have joined the
Bulgarian division within the court.
They are working with petitions while
being introduced to the workflow of
the Court. Their expertise is further
increased
with
participation
in
seminars and trainings, organised by
the Court.
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
11
RESULTS IN FOCUS
Photo: NLAB
Study visit on legal aid provision
for vulnerable groups
Bulgarian experts from the National
Legal Aid Bureau, the Supreme Bar
Council and Open Society Institute
Sofia took part in a 2-day study visit
to Norway in the period 9-10
September 2013. The event was
part of predefined project n.4
“Improving the access of vulnerable
groups to legal aid through the
implementation of a pilot project for
primary legal aid hotline and
regional
consultation
centers”
funded within area Judicial Capacity
Building programme of the Norway
Grants.
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
The aim of the visit was exchange of
experience and transfer of know-how
on the set up of decentralized
services for legal aid provision with a
special emphasis on access to justice
for socially unprivileged groups.
Members of the Bulgarian delegation
were the appointed managers of the
national hotline and the regional
consultation center in Vidin within
predefined project n.4 whose priority
was to get acquainted with the
Norwegian legal aid system and
make sure a transfer of best
practices is ensured as part of the
pilot services to be rendered in the
next 12 months.
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
12
RESULTS IN FOCUS
Visit of representatives of the
National
Association
of
Municipalities in the Norwegian
town of Trysil
From the 17th to the 21st of
September 2013 the Mayors of the
municipalities of Karnobat, Malko
Tarnovo and Varshets have visited
the
town
of
Trysil
(3000
inhabitants), situated 250 km north
from Oslo. The visit was following
an invitation of the Mayor of the
municipality Mr. Ole Martin and was
financed by the Bilateral Fund at
National Level. The visit began with
an introduction to the activities of
the Trysil Municipality followed by a
presentation of an energy efficiency
project
implemented
by
two
partners – on the one side the
regional council of South Osterdal,
through which are represented 5
municipalities – Elverum, Engerdal,
Stor-Elvdal, Trysil and Amot and
the other is the regional council of
Hedmark. Its main goals are to
provide technical assistance for the
municipalities and the regional
council with the aim of reaching
25% of energy efficiency in all
municipal buildings till the end of
the project in 2015.
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
The group of visiting mayors. Photo: NAM
As a follow up, the Bulgarian
delegation
visited
the
municipal
company for treating wood material,
where the production waste is used
for heating and delivering of warm
water to the inhabitants of the town.
The delegation also visited a built in
2011 factory for bio-fuel and for
producing central heating and energy
for the town of Hamar. The factory
can ensure the heating of a city with
1,5 mln. inhabitants. The process in
the factory is fully automatic and
computer-operated. The staff of the
factory is 55 people.
The result from the exchanged
experience and the shared good
practices of the Norwegian and
Bulgarian
municipalities
was
a
common will for joint activities and
cooperation for realizing concrete
projects.
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria 13
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
RESULTS IN FOCUS
72 organisations are already
implementing projects under the
NGO Grants
How to make a family budget? What
are my employment insurance rights
and
obligations?
What
is
the
difference between a credit and a
debit card? What is an overdraft?
What is the difference between the
obligatory and the additional pension
insurance?
At first glance the answers to all
these questions seem fairly easy.
Studies on financial literacy show
that close to 2/3ds of the 16 and 17
year-old youth have no or very little
knowledge on finances. Striving to
compensate this deficit, the Financial
Literacy Initiative Foundation (in
partnership with Junior Achievement
Bulgaria) has developed the project
“My life, my finances – programme
for financial literacy for the youth”. A
total of 15 teachers and 300 students
from the latter phase of high school
education from the poorest regions in
the country – Northwest and North
central will be trained. Both regions
are generally associated with low
living
standard,
excessive
dependency on government social
programmes and social exclusion.
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
“My life, my finances” is one of the
already contracted 72 projects within
the first open call of the Fund for
NGOs, supported by the EEA Grants.
The funding is for micro and small
projects within all four priority areas
of the programme: “Democracy,
human rights and good governance”,
“Social inclusion and empowerment
of vulnerable groups” and “Capacity
building for NGOs”. “We are very
happy that a large number of the
contracted projects have a practical
purpose and we hope that their
successful implementation will be
beneficial not only for the target
groups, but also for the NGO sector
in the country as a whole,” said Ms.
Elitsa Markova, programme manager
of the NGO Programme. The total
amount of the currently contracted
projects is 969 616 Euro. Additional
details are available on the website of
the programme, section Results.
The evaluation of the medium and
large projects concluded on 16
September. The Programme Operator
of the NGO Fund intends to finalise
the contracting process with the
awarded projects in January 2014.
This will be followed by the launch of
a second call for project proposals.
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
14
EVENTS, OPEN CALLS AND INFO DAYS
Oslo, Norway. Photo: Svetla Semerdzhieva
Check out the
cultural agenda:
20 January 2014 –
13 February 2014
Month of Norwegian
cinema, Artnewscafe,
Plovdiv
www.artnewscafe.com
21 January 2014 –
09 February 2014
Exhibition of Atelier
Oslo, Union of the
Architects in Bulgaria,
Sofia
www.edno.bg
Contact us:
National Focal Point
Council of Ministers
Ms. Mariana Kordova
[email protected]
Norwegian Embassy
Ms. Svetla Semerdzhieva
EEA and Norway Grants
[email protected]
www.eeagrants.bg
www.norvegia.bg
EEA and Norway Grants in Bulgaria
Newsletter 3&4, December 2013
15
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