The Ministry of Justice, as the Program Operator, hosted a meeting of the Cooperation Committee under the Justice Programme of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021. The workshop was held on November 12, 2020 through the online platform Webex.
The meeting was attended by the Chairman and members of the Committee, representatives of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security of the Kingdom of Norway, the Norwegian Correctional Service and the Council of Europe, experts from the management team of the Programme Operator, representatives of the Ministry. Experts from the Financial Mechanism Office, the Norwegian Embassy in Bucharest and the National Coordination Unit took part in the meeting as observers. Guests of the meeting were colleagues from the Norwegian Judicial Administration, the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, as well as representatives of the beneficiaries, the General Directorate for Execution of Sentences, the Supreme Judicial Council, the National Institute of Justice, the National Legal Aid Bureau and the Procedural Representation of Republic of Bulgaria before the European Court of Human Rights Directorate at the Ministry of Justice.
During the meeting, information was provided on the progress of the Justice Programme, and specific challenges in the implementation of the redefined projects for a period of one year after the last meeting of the Committee in October 2019 to October this year were discussed. The initiatives under the Bilateral Relations Fund and forthcoming activities under the Small Grant Scheme were reported.
The effect of the coronavirus pandemic situation on the implementation of activities on key projects was commented. The Programme Operator stated its determination to adequately respond to the challenges posed by the Covid crisis with the support of OFM, NCU and donor partners and projects.
In conclusion, the participants agreed on the need to make flexible decisions and use a constructive approach so that the goals set in the Programme are met. Additionally: to emphasize the risk mitigating factors, to adapt activities and to strengthen online communication in all its forms.
According to the NFM legal framework, the Cooperation Committee is the main tool for managing and monitoring the programme in mutual cooperation between the programme operator and the partner organizations from the donor country.