KS is actively making use of Norwegian experience in the area of local development in several cooperation projects across Europe. One of the countries currently benefiting from this experience is Bulgaria, where KS is involved as a partner in the ongoing project “Grow through Activating Local Potential” (GALOP), which is financed by the EEA/Norway Grants.

This project, which is managed by KS’ Bulgarian sister association, the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria (NAMRB), aims to help small- and medium-sized Bulgarian communities to sustainably achieve economic development based on their existing local resources. In order to do this, NAMRB, KS and Telemark Research Institute are supporting and facilitating the elaboration of local development plans in ten pilot communities, which will subsequently serve as models on a national basis. When the local development plans in each of the ten pilots have been completed, a separate small-grants scheme will provide financing for the implementation of selected parts of each plan.

In order to provide a reference point of relevant Norwegian experience in the field of local development, KS commissioned Telemark Research Institute to produce a report in which best practices from 10 successful rural municipalities in Norway are described and analyzed. The report, which presents the cases of Frøya, Aurland, Trysil, Åfjord, Vang, Lærdal, Træna, Gloppen, Røros and Inderøy, was first presented as a draft by KS and Telemark Research Institute at NAMRB’s national convention in Sofia in December 2019. It was subsequently completed in the spring of 2020, translated into Bulgarian, and is now actively used by NAMRB to inform their efforts to encourage local development in Bulgarian municipalities.

The complete report in English language can be accessed at this site

Questions about KS’ involvement in Bulgaria and the GALOP project can be directed to adviser Christian Larsen