B-solutions “4th Call for Proposals”- EU Countries

Deadline: 11-Mar-21 Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), in cooperation with DG REGIO, opens the fourth call for proposals under the pilot initiative b-solutions. The objective of this fourth call is to identify further cases where a legal or administrative obstacle hinders cooperation amongst border regions. b-solutions is a 4-year pilot initiative promoted by the European Commission’s DG REGIO as one of the actions proposed in the referred Communication Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions. The Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) manages the initiative since December 2017. The main purpose of the fourth call for proposals is to address cases where interactions across the border are more difficult because of the following structural reasons: lack of coherence of legislation applicable on the different sides of the border; inconsistencies and overlapping of the different administrative procedures; applicable European, national or regional legislation does not take into account the specificity of cross-border interactions. The European Commission has decided to closely align the topics of this pilot initiative to those defined in the framework of the Communication Boosting Growth and Cohesion in European Border Regions. For the present call for proposals, applicants can submit advice case proposals addressing the following topics: Employment: Labour mobility is a very important area directly affected by border obstacles. This particularly concerns cross-border workers who live on one side of the border and travel to work on the other side of the border on a daily or weekly basis (crossborder commuters). Public Transport of passengers: Transport is a key enabler of exchanges between regions across national borders. Especially public transport services not only help integration processes but also enhance the sustainability of cross-border connectivity. Health, including emergency services: Encouraging cooperation between the Member States to improve the complementarity of their health services in border regions is a priority for the EU. This means focusing not only on pure health care services but also on other healthrelated infrastructures and procedures. Institutional Cooperation: The EU Member States have different administrative cultures and systems. This diversity can be a constraint when different systems meet. Most administrative procedures tend to be of a national nature and cross-border procedures are less widespread. Multilingualism: Multilingualism is a European integration goal. The ability to speak foreign languages is also increasingly important to boost employability, mobility and competitiveness, which is of particular relevance in border regions. Many examples of bilingualism projects are already available as a source of inspiration. eGovernment: Promoting ongoing and future eGovernment projects to engage the stakeholders of the border regions to deliver cross-border public services that meet the needs of individuals and businesses in border areas can bring positive results in terms of open, efficient and inclusive public administrations. eGovernment could also support the provision of borderless, personalised end-to-end digital public services. Information Services: Resolving border obstacles will take time and sustained effort. In the meantime, access to available and reliable information and problem-solving services on life or work on the other side of the border is vital. Evidence and Data: Collecting data and evidence on border obstacles is the first necessary step towards resolving them but only limited resources are invested in collecting and analysing information on border difficulties and complexities. Eligibility Criteria Eligible organisations are: public and public equivalent bodies (national, regional, local) with a national boundary limiting their territory; and cross-border entities such as European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs), Euroregions, Eurodistricts, Eurocities and similar cross border structures with legal personality, even if they are not public bodies. The concept of territory, as applied in this call for proposals, covers the territory for which a given public institution or body has a mandate, meaning the legal competence to intervene in certain areas and territories. As such, the territory is not limited to the territory in which one entity is located. The following principles apply to all eligible applicants in the framework of the bsolutions initiative: All applicants shall be located in an EU Member State (or neighbouring EFTA country or the United Kingdom) and their territories share at least one EU internal land border with another EU Member State/EFTA country/United Kingdom. Only eligible public and public equivalent bodies or cross-border structures as “applicants” may submit an application form in the framework of the present call for proposals. Any applicant or partner can be involved in only one advice

B-solutions “4th Call for Proposals”- EU Countries