The Fund for Bilateral Relations is a flexible source of supporting mutual interest initiatives both for entities in the Donor States and in Romania, contributing to strengthening the cooperation and improving the mutual knowledge and understanding between institutions, public or private organizations  in Romania, on one hand, and in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, on the other hand. The Fund aims at strengthening the contact, cooperation and knowledge at all levels - administrative, political and cultural – between Romania and the donors.

The budget of the Bilateral Relations Fund is 10 050 000 EUR, representing about 2% of the total allocation for Romania in the period 2014-2021, being distributed as follows:

  • The fund managed at the level of the National Focal Point, amounting to 6.4 million euro;
  • The fund managed at the level of the Programme Operators, aiming at supporting bilateral initiatives in the frame of the programmes, with an allocation provided by the Memorandums of 2.65 million euro.

The Fund for Bilateral Relations is implemented through predefined projects or open calls.

The implemented bilateral initiatives concern the following priority sectors and fields (in the Blue Book, without limitation):

  • Innovation, research and competitiveness
  • Social inclusion, youth employment and poverty reduction
  • Environment, energy, climate change and low carbon economy
  • Culture, civil society, good governance, fundamental rights and freedoms
  • Justice and home affairs

The strategic mutual interest objectives may be financed under the Fund for Bilateral Relations, and among such objectives there are: Romanian Presidency of the EU in 2019, Timișoara – European Capital of Culture 2021, International Film Festival Transilvania in Cluj, FILIT Literature Festival in Iași, 30 years of Norwegian teaching in Cluj in 2021, etc.

The following activities are considered eligible under the Fund for Bilateral Relations, provided that they contribute to strengthening the bilateral relations between the Donor States and Romania:

  • finding partners for partnership projects, before or during the preparation of a call for projects or during the development of such partnerships;
  • creating networks, exchange, transfer of knowledge, technology, experience and best practices;
  • the activities aiming at strengthening the cooperation and the exchange of experience and best practices between the programme operators and the similar entities in the beneficiary states and in the donor states, as well as with international organizations, provided that at least one entity in the donor states be involved in the activity.

The eligible promoters and partners are any public or private entity, commercial (under specific programmes) or non-commercial, as well as the non-governmental organizations established as legal entities, either in the donor states or in the beneficiary states, as well as any international organization, body or agency. Trade unions, employers or professional organizations are also eligible applicants.

The bilateral initiatives aim at meeting the following indicators (as the case may be):

  • number of participants in Romania / donor states involved in bilateral activities
  • number of persons / experts in Romania / donor states involved in bilateral visits
  • number of common reports, studies, publications, articles, etc. written / published as a result of the initiative
  • number of new policies, laws and regulations, working procedures, manuals etc., adjusted and adopted as a result of the bilateral cooperation
  • number of new technologies and practices, including IT systems, implemented in the beneficiary state, as a result of the know-how transfer from the partners in the donor state
  • number of articles published in the beneficiary state about the donor states and vice-versa
  • level of satisfaction of the participants / beneficiaries

The Fund for Bilateral Relations is run at a double level:

  • At strategic level, by the Joint Committee for Bilateral Funds
  • At operational level, by the National Focal Point.

The NFP is relaunching the call for bilateral initiatives in the context of Timișoara European Capital of Culture 2023,  financed under the Fund for Bilateral Relations. The total budget is 2 mil. Euros (100% grant) and the date of closing of the call is 20.12.2021. The call text and the supporting documents can be found at the following link.

The National Focal Point monitors and verifies the use of the Fund for Bilateral Relations allocated to programme operators, based on the provisions of the programme implementation agreements.