Deputy Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds, Jakša Puljiz, and State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ingvild Næss Stub, signed today Memoranda of Understanding on the implementation of the Norway and European Economic Area financial mechanisms through which HRK 73.5 million will be available to Croatia for projects to be implemented in the 2014-2017 period.

The Memoranda signing ceremony took place at the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds in the presence of the Norwegian Ambassador Henrik Ofstad, and representatives of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts, as well as representatives of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Financial Mechanism Office in Brussels.

“These financial instruments strengthen capacities in innovations, the judiciary and education, and open up new forms of cooperation between Croatia and the Kingdom of Norway, as well as the countries of the European Economic Area (Iceland, the Principality of Lichtenstein and the Kingdom of Norway)”, said Deputy Minister Puljiz on this occasion.

The grant of the Kingdom of Norway, the Principality of Lichtenstein and Iceland to the Republic of Croatia amounts to HRK 38.3 million, while the grant of the Kingdom of Norway provides for HRK 35.2 million.

“Signing of the Memoranda provides new opportunities to the Norwegian research community, trade and industry. Norway and Croatia have good preconditions to jointly create a working environment in Europe turned towards the future, through ecological innovations,” said the Norwegian State Secretary Stub.

The above financial mechanisms will be used to finance the following projects:

  • Judicial capacity building project with the aim of achieving a more just and efficient judiciary system (total value of HRK 24.5 mio), promoted by the Ministry of Justice. The project is implemented through two sub-projects:

Cooperation activities with the Council of Europe on strengthening the efficiency and professionalism of the Croatian judicial system. The aim of the project is to improve the way files are processed by applying the tested methodology developed by the Council of Europe. The assessment of compliance of court files management with the European standards will be tested at the court in Karlovac, after which, depending on the results, it will be introduced in all courts in the Republic of Croatia.

Renovation of the Karlovac courthouse. The aim of the project is to support the efficiency of the judiciary by improve working conditions. Part of the project will be the renovation of the Municipal Court in Karlovac.

  • iNavis project (total value HRK 13 mio) – establishment of the Croatian national resource centre for energy, environmental, marine and maritime research and business innovation, promoted by the City of Šibenik.
  • Integrated schools project (total value HRK 10 mio) in Knin and Vukovar, project promoted by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. The aim of the project is the social rehabilitation of multi-ethnic communities after the conflicts they had experienced, and achievement of a higher level of understanding, respect and cooperation between the minority and the majority group.
  • Civil society strengthening programme (total value HRK 10 mio) with the aim of strengthening NGOs and their impact on development in the area of social justice, democracy and environmental protection/impact on climate change.
  • Tripartite cooperation between employers’ associations, trade unions and public administration (total value HRK 765,000), which will be implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Pension System.

On European Economic Area Financial Mechanisms

The financial mechanisms of the European Economic Area contribute to the reduction of social and economic disparities in the European Economic Area, at the same time strengthening bilateral relations between Norway and the beneficiary states. The final objective of the mechanism is to create a strong internal market turned to the future. Financial mechanisms in the 2009-2014 period amount to HRK 13.1 billion.

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