Croatia, Norway sign agreement to strengthen judicial system

Croatian Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Gabrijela Zalac and Norwegian Ambassador Astrid Versto signed on Tuesday an agreement on the EUR 15.3 million programme "Justice and Home Affairs".

The programme is aimed at strengthening the rule of law and improving the efficiency of the judicial system. Norway will give a EUR 13 million grant for it, while Croatia will provide the rest.

The money is intended for the renovation of the Split Municipal Court, the promotion of e-services in the judicial system, strengthening the probation system, improving the evaluation of judges and mediation, and the temporary transfer of judges to the European Court of Human Rights.

Versto said the programme would bring the judicial system closer to citizens as well as bring Norway and Croatia closer. She added that the two countries had a history of successful cooperation in the judicial sector, including the renovation of the Karlovac Municipal Court thanks to a Norwegian grant and work on improving judges' performance.

The agreement is the first within the Norwegian and European Economic Area financial mechanisms for the 2014-21 period as part of which Croatia will receive EUR 103.4 million, 46.6 million from Norway and 56.8 million from the EEA.

The mechanisms are aimed at reducing social and economic inequality in the EU and strengthening the bilateral relations of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway with beneficiary countries.

Text: Hina