The Ministry of Justice, as Programme Operator, hosted a meeting of the Cooperation Committee under the Justice Programme of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021.
The meeting was held in Plovdiv on 24 June 2022, with the participation of the Head of the Programme Operator, Desislava Gaydarova, Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, the heads of the two programme areas, members of the Programme Management Team, representatives of the Execution of Punishments General Directorate. From the donor country side, representatives of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, the Norwegian Correctional Service, the Norwegian Judicial Administration and the Council of Europe participated. Representatives of the Financial Mechanism Office, the Embassy of Norway in Bucharest and the National Coordination Unit of the Council of Ministers participated as observers.
The meeting presented the progress made so far on the 8 predefined projects of the Programme as well as the upcoming activities. Other issues discussed included an update on the implementation of the Programme and joint bilateral initiatives with donor country partners.
There was a strong commitment from the Programme Operator to deliver quality results that will ensure that the main objectives of the Programme are met.
Before the first attendance meeting of the Cooperation Committee in 2 years, the guests had the opportunity to visit the training center for supporting the social inclusion of prisoners after their release in the Pazardzhik Prison, which is the first open facility under the project “Ensuring safe and secure conditions in prisons and places of detention”. The guests were also able to attend legal consultations in the Roma neighbourhood of Stara Zagora. The service is provided free of charge by mobile lawyers under a predefined project of the National Legal Aid Bureau.
Under the legal framework of the NFM, the Cooperation Committee is the main instrument for monitoring and managing the programme jointly by the programme operator and the donor country partner organisations. The Cooperation Committee holds meetings twice a year.