CLOSING CONFERENCE OF THE NGO PROGRAMME IN BULGARIA
Malina Krumova, Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds participate in the closing conference of the NGO Programme in Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009 – 2014. “I believe that the strong civil sector is the one that offers solutions and ways of change for a better society” – said Ms Krumova and added that with the implemented 454 projects amounted almost 12 mln. Eur, the Programme reached people who needed that support. She reminded that 15,5 mln. eur. are set out for future support of initiatives of the civil society in frame of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014 – 2021. This opportunity was given with the signed in December 2016 Memorandums of Understanding on the Implementation of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism for the period 2014 – 2021.
The event was organized by the Operators of the Programme – Open Society Institute and Workshop for civic initiatives Foundation. Over than 600 organizations, incl. 50 from the Donor Countries were included in projects implementation during the last 4 years. Part of them are inserted in book titled “Short stories about good deeds” – presented in the event.
Welcome words from Norwegian side were introduced by Ms. Тove Bruvik Westberg, Ambassador of Norway to Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova and Mr. Christian Grotnes Halvorsen, Senior adviser at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “You are the true ambassadors of change. You are the real heroes of that change.” – announced Mr. Halvorsen to the beneficiaries under the Programme. Mr. Georgi Stoychev, Executive Director of Open Society Institute noted the high recognition of EEA and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms, as well as the fact that, out of the 800 NGOs interviewed, 60% of the support provided to the NGO sector in Bulgaria is of great importance as a tool for change.