EEA / Norway Grants

The EEA/Norway Grants include programs to support deveopment in the EU-member states which have the biggest economical challenges. This is countries like Poland, Lituania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Portugal and Greece.

Bjerkaker LearningLab (BLL) offers partnership in projects initiated by e.g. NGOs in these countries. To be partner in the so called Active Citizens Program is very relevant for BLL. At the moment BLL is a partner for one project in Portugal (Literacy for Democracy), two in Slovakia (Otvor Dvor 1 and 2 and Roznava Climate Change), one coming up in Poland  and a dialogue is present for possible project managers in Romania and Poland.

In addition to this, BLL is partner in a cultural project:

Project cooperation Romania, Switzerland and Norway:

  • Old manuscript fragments from the Academy Library in Cluj.

Due to massive destructions in the modern age, very little has survived from the book collections of medieval Transylvania – the easternmost rampart of Western European civilisation. However, hitherto unfathomed amounts of fragmenta codicum have been preserved in the bindings of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century books and manuscripts. Digitising and cataloguing these fragments could help reconstitute some of the medieval collections of our region.

For instance, the Benedictine abbey of Cluj-Mănăștur, established in the mid-eleventh century, had a collection of manuscripts attested by an inventory drafted in 1427, and so did the Dominican convent of Cluj, and the parish church of St Michael. Only a few of these books are still extant – e.g. the Inventarium conventus Coloswariensis O. P. from 1509-14 (Biblioteca Centrală Universitară, MS 1030), or a large choir books from St Michael’s parish church (Alba Iulia, Bibl. Batthyaneum, MSS I.1).

However, many other leaves have survived in the bindings of early-modern Unitarian and Jesuit books. The town administration also used old parchment manuscripts as maculature to bind sundry annals and account books. Membra disiecta from the Benedictine abbey’s codices ended up in the Library of the Romanian Academy in Cluj (which preserves the historical holdings of the religious orders and churches from the Cluj area), but also at the University Library, at the State Archive of Cluj, at the National Archives of Hungary, and at the Academy Library in Budapest. So far, we have been able to identify 179 fragments in the bindings of books from the Academy Library in Cluj, and also a handful of loose fragments in Budapest. The appropriate study of these fragments is thus of utmost importance in the attempt to reconstruct the medieval collections of Cluj.

In order to give manuscript fragments from Transylvanian collections international visibility, the Centre for Manuscript Studies at the University of Cluj and the Academy Library in Cluj cooperate with Norwegian and Swiss partners, in a project funded by the Romanian Ministry of Culture thanks to an Iceland-Liechtenstein-Norway grant. Between 2020-2022, we are restoring, describing, digitising, uploadinng on the Swiss platform Fragmentarium, and exhibiting in Cluj (physically) and in Oslo (vitually) a series of manuscript fragments from the Academy Library in Cluj.

Updatet October 2020/Codruta Cuceu

  • SKOCKANO – quality standard of civil society organisations constructively engaged in non-formal education

Project leader: Centre for Peace Studies

  • Forum for Freedom in Education (FFE)
  • Human Rights House Zagreb (HRH)
  • Centre for Civile Initiatives Poreč (CCI)
  • GOOD Initiative for systematic and quality introduction of human rights and democratic citizenship education into the formal education system (GOOD Initiative)
  • Phronesis SA

Project implementation period: April 1st 2021 – March 31st 2024

Project total value: 199.000,00 €

Contact person for more information: Lovorka Bačić,

Link to relevant internet pages:

Project summary:

Non-formal education provided by civil society organizations (CSOs) is important link in increasing the civic competencies, prevention of discriminatory and risk behavior as well as in improving of life quality and development of local communities. In CSO register we have 4207 associations active in the education field, and according to 2011 research results done by National Foundation for Civil Society Development – the most common type of CSOs activities was education, 75% of CSOs stated they provide some of the different forms of non-formal education. On the other hand, CSOs work and contribution is still not enough recognized and valued. Public sector often does not accept CSOs as equal partners in solving the community problems as well as in work related to prevention through non-formal education although this is often pointed out in local and national strategies as important. Due to CSOs work circumstances the non-formal education activities they provide are mostly done sporadically or limited to project duration. So although there is invested effort, time and money in development of quality programs, they often stop with project ending. Because of all mentioned – achieving of long-lasting effects and changes in society are lacking.

With SKOCKANO project we want to increase the CSOs influence in the field of non-formal education through: establishing of sustainable quality assurance system for non-formal education; building the capacities of CSOs for implementing non-formal education and application of quality system; strengthening of sectoral and inter-sectoral cooperation as well as increase of sector visibility. Mentioned activities are aiming at raising the quality of CSOs work in area of non-formal education and also to improve the frame and the environment for work of CSOs that provide non-formal education. Strengthening of CSOs capacities for quality implementing of non-formal education will assure the support in education for citizenship and human rights, as well as support for CSOs work (and its spreading) with citizens and local communities, increased reach of the sector in inclusion and informing of citizens and public sector. Through promotion and firming the inter-sectoral cooperation as well as synergy work within the sector, we want also to influence and increase the recognition of non-formal education provided by CSOs as well as influence the effectiveness of funding and valuing the CSOs in order to assure the sector sustainability.


Sturla Bjerkaker


Susan Guerra

  • Funky Republic – promoting civic engagement

Short project description

This project aims to provide an answer to an issue encountered over the previous years all throughout the country of Romania – there is no coherent dialogue framework for CSOs, citizens and local authorities -, by establishing and implementing a viable model. We wish to find the formula that will allow authorities to better understand their prerogatives and their citizens’ needs, while also providing the citizens with ways to become more civically engaged within their community and CSOs to better collaborate with one another. Moreover, Funky Citizens wishes to invest in the internal development of the organization, by spearheading a network of local NGOs on a national level, thus creating a framework for implementing, monitoring, and counselling of local CSOs. To do so, the project will start with a double research phase – covering both on mapping and identifying possible candidates for our CSO network and the development of the methodology for local dialogue. Experts will provide their aid for both these endeavors, alongside local authorities from Romania and abroad, CSO members and other stakeholders. Afterwards, this model will be promoted and implemented on a local level, via the established network, all in the name of decision-making transparency and civic engagement. We strive to make our model accessible and easy to implement, for it to be available to all interested entities and to have a great replicability coefficient. Throughout the project, Funky Citizens will act as an umbrella-organization, providing overview, counselling, and feedback to the members of the network, to assure efficiency in implementation. The project features two strategic partners – Bjerkaker Learning Lab (Norway) and RISE Project (Romania).

Key activities:

A6 (L12-26) – Capacity-building for networks through workshops or trainings that support local level involvement.

BLL will aid our network by preparing two working sessions for local development and democratic participation by using working circles, a learning method successfully used in past projects. The funding received covers all costs related to said events, including the expert’s fee and travelling and accommodation.

A7 (L19) – Network work reunion

This activity is designed to bring together all those involved in our project within a working reunion. This is where we will share our experiences, create connections between organizations and give/ receive feedback on the content of our trainings and workshops. It will also help in determining how Activities 8 and 9 will unfold, together with the Local Participation Index, in order to turn it into a real advocacy tool on a local and national level.

Partner’s role:

BLL will decisively contribute with their expertise in the development phase of the materials that will be used in this project, by aiding and feedback, but also with the expertise gained from similar initiatives in the past. The partner will also assist in the implementation of the materials, both by supervising the remote approach, by online communication, as well as through working visits to Romania and through trainings. In the first place, BLL will contribute by providing input in establishing the methodology for research, our project relying on the infusion of experience that the Norwegian partner will bring. The main purpose of this point will be a better understanding of the pre-existing needs on which a successful intervention at local level depends, an area in which BLL was a strong partner in a project carried out between 2014 and 2015 in Riga, Latvia, called “Local Development and democratic participation – the use of study circles.”. In this phase of the project, the communication will take place mostly online, but the project calendar also includes a working visit that will allow the Norwegian partner to contribute, together with the local team, to the development of the methodology. Subsequently, the partner will contribute to the project by providing Funky Citizens input for the development of the guide (ABC of civic participation), which is the main theoretical landmark of this initiative. We will be the beneficiaries of BLL’s knowledge in terms of adult education and building dialogue-based communities. Finally, BLL will assist Funky Citizens by providing input in the launch phase of the theoretical support, thus helping to implement the model to which they initially contributed. This part includes BLL’s participation in a series of events, dedicated to members of the local network that will be created through this project. Thus, they will be able to offer advice and assistance to those who need them most. The amount agreed to cover the fee of the BLL expert involved in the project, plus the costs related to the visits and trainings in which BLL will participate, is 20,000 EUR, covered by the grant.

The project will be running from April 2021 to Spring 2023.

For the Norwegian Partner

BLL/Sturla Bjerkaker