PM's office to administer Norway grants

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The government is planning to transfer administration of nine EEA and Norway Fund-supported programmes from the state-owned Széchenyi Program Office to the Prime Minister's Office by the end of August, after the Norwegian Foreign Ministry requested a change in management, a government resolution published in the official gazette Magyar Közlöny revealed on Friday. 

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on May 9, 2014 in which it said "The Hungarian Government is well aware of the requirements stipulated by the donor countries. The monitoring and implementation tasks in connection with the programmes and funds under the EEA and Norway Grants scheme must be transferred back to the central government administration in Hungary, in line with the practice used in all the other beneficiary countries."

It is not clear, however, that the Norwegian Ministry meant it would be better if the Prime Minister's office controlled the funds. János Lázár is the head of the Prime Minister's Office, and he has said in the past that some of the donations being given out by the EEA and Norway are political, and opposed to the ruling Fidesz Party.

Széchenyi Program Office employees will automatically become employees of the Prime Minister's Office on August 15, under the resolution. The transfer is to be completed by August 31.

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