The following topics are mentioned within the Memorandum of Understanding: the general framework for funding allocations, financeable domains, allocated budgets, definitions for the Program Operator, Program Partners from Donor States and International Partner Organizations. The reference document contains general information regarding the relationships between the Donor State and the Beneficiary State as well as particularities regarding the programme areas.
Thus, for the 2014-2021 period, the Ministry of Internal Affairs holds the Program Operator role for the Home Affairs Programme and will manage a total budget of 28.235.294 EUR (representing an allocation grater then 4.5 times that the ministry had at its disposal within the 2009-2014 period). The absorption of non-refundable funds represents one of Romania’s fundamental priorities, and the substantial allocations from the Donor State within the 2014-2021 period need to be optimally exploited, as this represents a key resource for development on short, medium and long term for the Romanian economy and society, as well as a central pylon of the national budget.
The programme is managed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs as a Programme Operator in partnership with MNAE, Norwegian Ministry of Justice, Norwegian Civil Protection Directorate, Norwegian Immigration Directorate and the Norwegian Police Directorate.
The programme contributes to strengthening the rule of law in Romania by:
- developing the institutional and operational capacity of asylum and migration authorities;
- increasing the capacity of the Romanian Police to investigate organized, cross-border and financial crime and international police cooperation;
- improving conditions for vulnerable people, especially Roma, and combating hate crimes;
- increasing the capacity of Romanian institutions to respond to emergency situations, including radiological issues.
The Home Affairs Programme is structured on 3 areas:
- Area 18 – Asylum and migration (5.882.353 EUR budget and includes one predefined project and open calls)
- Area 20 – Police Cooperation (11.764.706 EUR and includes two predefined projects)
- Area 23 – Disaster Prevention and Preparedness (10.000.000 EUR and includes 2 predefined projects and open calls)
Nonrefundable External Funds Directorate is the point of contact for the PO in relationship with national and external authorities regarding the Home Affairs Programme.
In order to define the allocation criteria, Norway, through its institutions (the Norway External Affairs Ministry (MAEN) and Financial Mechanism Office (FMO) headquartered in Brussels), has established the coordinates and necessary procedures, as well as the steps needed. The FMO has created the supporting document for the programming the funds, titled „Blue Book”, which describes the sectors and areas as well as the requirements for each financeable domain for each area.
PO has organized consultations with stakeholders and project promoters within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, identifying the project ideas and the main activities that need to be done. Negotiations have been done with the National Focal Point, donor programme partners and the FMO, establishing the Concept Note (a document representing the core for the elaboration of the Program Agreement, which includes, on each programme area, the outcomes, the outputs, the budget allocations of each project etc. The document approved by the financer, has been the base of the Programme Agreement (the equivalent of the financing contract), which has been negotiated between Norway’s Ministry of External Affairs and Romania’s Ministry of European Funds and signed on the 19th of June 2018. Concurrent with the Programme Agreement, the Program Operator (Ministry of Internal Affairs) and the Ministry of European Funds have signed the Program Implementation Agreement, also on the 19th of June 2018.
Within the Home Affairs Programme, the predefined projects will be financed through a full pre-financing mechanism and national co-financing is 15%.
Donor Programme partners are public entities responsible for public policies in different domains and with vast international experience in preparing and implementing programmes in their respective domains and play a strategic role in planning and implementing projects, as well as in facilitating partnerships at project level. Programme level partnerships are mutually profitable for participating entities through knowledge transfer, technology, experience and best practice exchanges.
According to MoU, the implementation for the Home Affairs Programme will be assured in partnership with entities from the donor state (MEAN, POD, DSB, UDI), as well as the Council of Europe as an international partner organization.
The implementation of the Home Affairs Programme will be achieved through a number of 5 predefined projects, which will be complemented by project calls, as follows:
- Programme area 18 – Asylum and Migration
Predefined Project no.1: „Improving National Asylum and Migration System”
- project promoter: General Inspectorate for Immigration
- total budget: 5.000.000 EUR
- Programme area 20 – Police cooperation
Predefined project no. 2: „Strengthening national capabilities in the area of international police cooperation and combating crime”
- project promoter: General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police
- total budget: 8.941.176 EUR
Predefined project no. 3: „Combating hate crimes and violent extremism, particularly against Roma population and increasing the quality of police services”
- project promoter: General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police (IGPR)
- total budget: 2.823.529 EUR
- Programme area 23 – Disaster Prevention and Preparedness
Predefined project no. 4: „Improving disaster risk resilience by enhanced preparedness for search and rescue and bomb removal missions”
- project promoter: General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (IGSU)
- total budget: 5.000.000 EUR
Predefined project no. 5: „Improvement of disaster resilience and preparedness for Nuclear and Radiological Events”
- project promoter: National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control (CNCAN)
- total budget: 3.500.000 EUR
In addition to the predefined projects, the Program Operator will organize three categories of open calls as follows:
- Program area 18: project calls aim to support the projects that contribute to the achievement of outcome 1 of the program „Increasing institutional and operational capacity of the Romanian authorities in the field of asylum and migration management”
- total budget: 882.353 EUR
- Program area 23: project calls aim to support the projects that contribute to the achievement of the outcome 4 of the program „Increased response capacity in emergency situation”
- total budget: 882.353 EUR
- Program area 23: project calls aim to support the projects that contribute to the achievement of outcome 5 of the program „Prevention and reduction of nuclear and radiological risks and vulnerabilities”
- total budget: 617.647 EUR
The Program Operator will publish in the „Open Calls” section the guidelines and conditions required for the submission of project calls and will be selected through a transparent competitive procedure.