Norway to Help Make Bulgarian Prisons More Humane

Society | September 12, 2012, Wednesday // 20:22|  views

Norwegian and Bulgarian officials present at Wednesday's EEA mechanism launching ceremony. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria will renovate prison dorms in Sofia and Burgas using grants from Norway, part of the European Economic Area financial mechanism and the Norwegian financial mechanism.

Wednesday in Sofia, Norwegian state secretary from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gro Larsen officially presented the mechanisms' second programing period, which will see EUR 126.6 M flow in to Bulgaria.

"Bulgaria has oft been criticized on the conditions in its prisons, so the contribution is timely and needed," commented Bulgaria's Minister of Justice Diana Kovacheva.

Further repairs are planned in detention facilities in Varna, Sliven and Lovech.

EUR 8 M will be given to Bulgaria's Ministry of Education and Youth to target vulnerable youth groups.

Another EUR 11.8 M will go for the boosting of Bulgaria's NGO sector.

"For us, cooperation is part of our mutual responsibility for Europe's common future," stated Larsen.

"I am proud that today we are starting with a portfolio of projects worth some EUR 30 M and I am convinced that we will keep the good work going," added Bulgarian EU Funds Minister Tomislav Donchev.

In June 2011, Bulgaria, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the funds of the EEA mechanism.

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Tags: prisons, Diana Kovacheva, Norway, EEA, european economic area, Gro Larsen, Tomislav Donchev, youth, NGO


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