Norway-Kosovo Project Cooperation 2018
Prishtina, 6 March 2018 - The Republic of Kosovo, having and also aiming at strengthening the same values with those of the Norwegian people, namely integrating values and with strong Euro-Atlantic aspirations, has welcomed the cooperation and support provided by the Norwegian friendly people.
Kosovo and Norway are close and strong partners that have continuously deepened interstate cooperation. Norway wants Kosovo to succeed in its efforts to ensure political and economic progress, Euro-Atlantic integration, as well as full normalization of relations with Serbia, and the Ministry of European Integration has highly appreciated this commitment.
Norway has been engaged in the Western Balkans, both politically and through project assistance and partnerships, for many years. The objective is to promote stability and reconciliation in the region, as well as rule of law and economic progress. Through these projects, the Ministry of Integration has shown its commitment to the continuous deepening of cooperation with Norway.
Norway has in the last fifteen years contributed with a total of more than Euro 130 million in bilateral project assistance to Kosovo. The contribution in 2018 will be around euro 6 million. A large portion of the funds will be allocated through an open call for proposals, which will be announced in 6th of March. The Ministry of European Integration is grateful for this assistance, considering it very essential to the processes that its citizens have passed through.
The priority areas for the Norwegian funds have been selected in consultations with the Ministry of European Integration (MEI), being responsible for donor coordination in Kosovo.
The priority areas will be as follows; facilitating European integration (with focus on capacity- and competence building in the public sector); reconciliation and transitional justice; reform of justice sector, independent oversight bodies and the police; transparent and effective national parliament and public institutions; fight against organized crime and corruption; job creation and competitiveness (with focus on ICT and renewable energy); gender-equality and non-discrimination.
There will also be established a Norwegian NGO Fund covering both Kosovo and Albania. The NGO Fund will be managed by an independent fund manager. The Ministry of Integration, in this regard, will welcome and offer full cooperation.
In addition to the bilateral funds to Kosovo, Norway will make an open call for proposals for regional projects including two or more countries in the Western Balkans. Eligible applicants from Kosovo can apply for regional project assistance. Further, Norway is the largest bilateral donor to the EU-based Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF). We welcome that the first project in Kosovo under the WBIF, targeting the upgrading of the railway system in Kosovo, was signed in February this year.