It is safe to say that it has been a rather hectic period since our latest newsletter, both in the life of the Embassy, and also when it comes to the preparations of the new Norway Grants.
I presented my credentials to H.E. Dr. János Áder, President of the Republic of Hungary on 8th October, and have thus officially begun my work here in Budapest, as the Ambassador of Norway. Since my arrival, the Embassy has arranged and participated in a long range of professional and cultural events, most notably the celebration of the Nobel Peace Prize, which in 2012 was awarded to the European Union. In addition to an article about the celebration at the Europa Pont in Budapest on the 10th December, you can read about several other events that were important in the life of the Embassy, such as the visit of the Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister in Budapest, the meeting of the world-famous Norwegian author, Linn Ullmann, with her Hungarian readers, and a public lecture I had the privilege to hold at the Corvinus University of Budapest about Norwegian gender policies.
The preparation of the new programmes, to be launched under the EEA and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms (2009-2014) has reached the final stage. All programme proposals have been submitted by the designated Programme Operators to the Donors by the end of the summer for appraisal and approval. The appraisal is currently on-going, and the first programmes will hopefully be approved in the first weeks of January 2013. This means that the first calls for proposals in some of the programme areas will be launched during the first months of 2013. Each Programme Operator, in cooperation with the National Focal Point, the Norwegian Embassy and the Norwegian partner institutions will organise information and matchmaking events, in addition to a grand launching event to be held in Budapest in the first quarter of 2013. All our Newsletter subscribers will receive firsthand information about these events, which will also be posted on the websites of the relevant institutions.
Let me wish all our readers a prosperous, happy New Year, and I look forward to continuing our fruitful cooperation in 2013.