b-solutions is a pilot initiative to tackle legal and administrative border obstacles along EU internal land borders. It is promoted by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) and managed by the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) as one of the actions proposed in the Communication “Boosting growth and cohesion in EU border regions“.
The essence of b-solutions is to provide solutions for cross-border obstacles of a legal and administrative nature. This means that border-adjacent municipalities and regions as well as cross-border entities have the chance to submit information about a border-related legal or administrative obstacle they face. Successful candidates are assigned support from the European Commission to remove these border-related obstacles.
From 2018 to 2021, four calls for proposals were launched in the framework of b-solutions, involving practitioners and policymakers to identify obstacles to cross-border cooperation and possible solutions. In total, 90 cases were collected and reviewed by experts who advised on potential solutions to overcome these obstacles in various thematic fields (cross-border public services, green deal, institutional cooperation, labour market and education). Publications including two compendiums of reports, three thematic booklets and an illustrated storytelling booklet can be found here. These publications offer a great opportunity to build capacities to handle legal and administrative obstacles in CBC, to promote the exchange of information between practitioners of cross-border cooperation on these issues, affecting most aspects of their daily work, and to raise awareness among the general public about the challenges and innovative solutions exiting in border regions.
Since January 2022, AEBR has entered a new phase of b-solutions and is implementing the b-solutions 2.0: Solving Cross-Border Obstacles initiative.
The b-solutions 2.0 call for proposals addresses public entities and cross-border structures located along EU internal land and maritime borders as well as along EU borders with EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and IPA countries (Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, the Republic of North Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina). The objective is to promote sustainable solutions to obstacles of a legal and/or administrative nature which hinder cross-border cooperation in these border regions.
Information on the application procedure for the b-solutions 2.0 call for proposals is accessible on https://www.b-solutionsproject.com/call-for-proposals and on https://futurium.ec.europa.eu/en/border-focal-point-network.
To identify cross-border experts with legal and consultancy skills, a call for expressions of interest has been opened from 31 March 2022 until 31 March 2023. More information on: https://www.b-solutionsproject.com/experts-apply.
Duration: From January 2022 to December 2023
AEBR role in B-solutions pilot initiative: holder of a Commission’s grant (DG Regio); manager of this initiative
Responsible persons in AEBR: Martín Guillermo Ramírez, Anna Cinzia Dellagiacoma, Mariane Bloudeau.
Link to b-solutions web-page: https://www.b-solutionsproject.com/
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