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The Royal Norwegian Embassy

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Presentation on theme: "The Royal Norwegian Embassy"— Presentation transcript:

1 The bilateral relations between Norway and Bulgaria – past, present and future
The Royal Norwegian Embassy 13th February 2012, Sofia University ”St. Kliment Ohridski”

2 A historical retrospect
Intensive contacts in the Middle Ages. Vikings served in the Byzantine army. Got inspiration from local people. Harald Hardråde (1015–1066) took part in suppressing the uprising of Peter Delyan against the Byzantine rule. Legend has it that Harald took with him a Bulgarian princess to Norway. Oslo was named after her.

3 A historical retrospect
Diplomatic relations were established as early as at a consulate level. Diplomatic relations were severed during and after WWII, resumed in 1956, raised to an embassy level in 1964. 1970 – the Bulgarian Embassy in Oslo was opened. 28th November 2001 – Ambassador Rolf Baltzersen presented his credentials. The Norwegian Embassy in Sofia was opened. 2004 – Bulgaria joins NATO. 2007 – Bulgaria joins the EU and the EEA.

4 Fridtjof Nansen and Bulgarian history
Thanks to the Nansen committees and the Nansen passes thousands of displaced Bulgarians from Western Thracia came back to their homeland after the Greek-Turkish War of Russian and Armenian refugees settled in Bulgaria after WWI. Important to maintain Nansen’s values.

5 Norwegian – Bulgarian relations today The European Economic Area (EEA)
27 countries; 500 mill. citizens EEA/EFTA: 3 countries; 5 mill. citizens

6 EEA and Norway Grants to date
EEA/EFTA countries’ contribution to reducing economic and social disparities in Europe €1.3 billion made available to 15 beneficiary states in Central and Southern Europe in 1 250 projects, programmes and funds were awarded grants Implemented in close co-operation between the beneficiary states and the donor states More than 1 in 5 supported projects are partnership projects with entities from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein

7 EEA grants in Bulgaria 2007-2009
Common goal of reducing social and economic disparities in the enlarged European Economic Area. € 21.5 million totally available 42 projects have been selected for funding Priority sectors : Protection of the environment – € 4.1 mill. Human resource development- € 3.1 mill. Health and childcare - € 4.6 mill. Conservation of cultural heritage - € 5 mill NGO fund - € 2 mill. Scholarship fund - €

8 Norway grants in Bulgaria 2007-2009
Promotes economic growth and sustainable development in Bulgaria € 20 million totally available 22 partnership projects have been selected for funding Priority sectors: Energy efficiency - € 6.4 mill. Schengen aquis - € 5.3 mill. Sustainable production - € 4.6 mill. Environment - € 1.2 mill.

9 Funding under the EEA and Norway Grants New financial period
A new financial period of EEA and Norway Grants is agreed –Bulgaria will receive 126,6 mln. euro for A programme approach is introduced – 15 thematic programmes will be developed The preparation and the implementation of each programme is assigned to a Programme Operator A designated fund at national level will encourage the bilateral relations within priority areas



12 EEA and Norway Grants 2009-14 – next steps
Preparation of programme proposals and sending them for approval by the EEA Grants secretariat in Brussels (FMO) – Feb. 2012 Approval of the programme proposals – June 2012 Launching of the new programmes – July/August 2012

13 Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art

14 Restoration of the Shumen Fortress

15 National Library ”St.Cyril and Methodius” Digitalizing and preserving the written legacy of Bulgaria

16 Cooperation within NATO
Sharing the same goals Partners in Afghanistan Euro-Atlantic integration for all Western Balkan countries

17 Cultural cooperation Translation of Norwegian literature into Bulgarian – Nesbø, Gaarder, Egeland. Norwegian classics like Ibsen, Hamsun, Bjørnson, Undset are well- known in Bulgaria. Concerts with contemporary Norwegian music – Garbarek, Molvær, Skouen. Grieg is very popular. Exhibitions of contemporary Norwegian art and design.

18 Trade relations between Norway and Bulgaria
The trade relations between both countries date back to the early 19th century. The first trade agreement was signed in 1924. Agreement for cooperation in the field of tourism signed in 1981. Agreement for double taxation avoidance signed in 1989.

19 Trade relations nowadays
Slightly increasing turnover between the countries, hit by the crisis during the last years Huge potential for future activities Total amount of Norwegian investments in Bulgaria for the period 1998 – 111.5 mln EUR. Bilateral trade during the last 10 years Source: Bulgarian National Statistic Institute

20 Trade relations between Norway and Bulgaria Exports and imports
Main commodity groups in the import from Norway in 2010 Merchandise and clothes, used Frozen fish Audio or analogous carriers Paper and cardboards Machines and devices for operation with stones, earth, ore and other mineral materials Fillet and other fish meat (fresh, chilled or frozen) Main commodity groups in the export to Norway in 2010 Wrapping bags and sacks Yarns Plastic transport packaging Sunflower seeds

21 The Norwegian residence – an example of contemporary Norwegian architecture

22 Contact information Royal Norwegian Embassy Sofia 26 – 30 Bacho Kiro Str. Phone: 02/

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