From 17 to 18 January 2019 the Directorate of Norwegian Correctional Service organized in Bucharest, Rumania an international meeting for the Norway Grants programme partners from the recipient countries and donor country, setting up three international working groups – "Education", "Conference and Seminar" and "Evaluation and Indicator". The aim of the working groups is to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the donor country and the Norway Grants programme operators from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Czech Republic. The cooperation will promote the exchange of experience, current information and views on the events and activities planned under 2014–2021 programmes of the Norway Grants. The working groups will be chaired by representatives from the Directorate of Norwegian Correctional Service.
From 23 to 24 April 2019 the first meeting of the group "Education" took place in Lillestrøm, Norway. The representatives of the University College of Correctional Services of Norway presented their training system and training programmes to the representatives of the European Commission and programme operators from Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, and discussed issues related to the recruitment process and the activities of the mentor support system in Norwegian detention facilities. Representatives of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland also presented a system for training staff of the correctional services used in their countries, with a focus on the necessary changes and the objectives defined under the Norway Grants programmes. As part of the meeting, members of the working group had the opportunity to visit the classrooms and the conference room, as well as the practice room, and also to get acquainted with what is being offered by the library.The representative of the European Commission presented the various types of manuals and guidelines on the implementation and the development of detention facilities and probation work, which are available on the website of the European Commission.
The Ministry of Justice as programme "Correctional Service" operators was represented at the working group by Kristīne Ķipēna, the Head of the Criminal Sentence Execution Policy Unit, Sectoral Policy Department of Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Latvia together with Lāsma Kauliņa, representative of programme "Correctional Services" of project "Establishment of training centre infrastructure and model prison blocks for training opportunities in the Olaine prison territory", Head of Project Department of Latvian Prison Administration.
The first meeting of working group "Evaluation and Indicators" will take place from 8 to 10 May 2019 in Cambridge, the United Kingdom.
Working together for a safe and inclusive Europe.
The overall funding of 2014–2021 programme amounts to EUR 15,294,118; 85% (EUR 13,000,000) are financed by the Norway Grants but 15% (2,294,118) are co-funded by the State budget. Furthermore, additional EUR 100,000 were granted for the activities of bilateral cooperation.