The Cooperation Committee of the Program “Justice” with the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2020 held its regular meeting on 11 October 2019. Its host was the Norwegian Correctional Service with head office in town of Lillestrøm. Representatives of the Program Operator, the Ministry of Justice, representatives of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security and of the Norwegian Correctional Service – partners of the donor of the program, beneficiary partners for predefined projects from the donor country and representatives of the Council of Europe – International Partner Organization, participated in the meeting of the Committee. One representative of the Financial Mechanism Office, the Norwegian Judicial Administration and the National Coordination Unit participated as observers. Representatives of the Directorate General for Execution of Sentences and of the National Institute of Justice participated as guests. The Chairperson of the Committee Prof. Nikolay Prodanov, Deputy Minister of Justice and Governor of the Program Operator opened the meeting and then the progress of the implementation of the program was presented. The participants were thoroughly acquainted with the ongoing procedure for evaluating the predefined projects and the organisational and technological progress of the procedure was explained. Emphasizing on the serious task before the independent external evaluator and the beneficiaries, Prof. Prodanov expressed confidence in the successful and timely completion of the evaluation procedure.
In accordance with the legal framework of the NFM, the Cooperation Committee is a major tool for monitoring and managing the program jointly with the Program Operator and the partner organisations of the donor country. The CC meetings are held twice a year, in Bulgaria and in Norway accordingly.
During the visit in Norway, preliminary work meetings were held on the day before the CC meeting, which is the established partnership practice and aims to hold detailed discussions in various formats. Among the topics discussed were the preparatory activities before the actual implementation of the projects started. The partnership and the specific involvement of the representatives of the Norwegian institutions in the implementation of the activities were discussed.