The Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) launched the present call for proposals in the framework of the b-solutions 2.0. Solving Cross-Border Obstacles initiative with the aim to facilitate cooperation across borders.
- The main purpose of the 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, inexistence, or overlapping of different administrative procedures;
- Applicable European, national or regional legislation or administrative procedure do not take into account the specificity of cross-border interactions.
- The general objective of b-solutions 2.0 is to promote sustainable solutions to obstacles of a legal and/or administrative nature which hinder cross-border cooperation.
- b-solutions 2.0 addresses border regions along EU internal land and maritime borders and along EU borders with EFTA and IPA countries.
- The initiative’s outputs consist of the analyses of a maximum of 120 cases of crossborder obstacles of a legal and/or administrative nature. The cases will be selected through calls for proposals and targeted research.
- The b-solutions 2.0 initiative also aims at:
- Supporting the implementation of 30 cases of cross-border obstacles of a legal and/or administrative nature; and
- Publishing content raising awareness of common obstacles hindering cross-border cooperation, and of potential solutions.
- As a result, through b-solutions the European Commission and AEBR expect to support exchanges of information among actors involved in cross-border cooperation and to increase the understanding and awareness of legal/administrative obstacles to cross-border interactions, and potential solutions, amongst key stakeholders at local, regional, national and EU level.
- For the present call for proposals, applicants can submit advice case proposals addressing the following topics mentioned in the European Commission’s report (2021), which are to be considered in their cross-border dimension:
- Institutional cooperation
- Public services
- Labour markets and education
- European Green Deal.
- Within the present call, successful applicants will be assigned the support of experts with sound knowledge of cross-border cooperation practices and competences in analysing a legal text and consultancy skills who will cooperate with the participants in b-solutions 2.0.
- Experts to advise the cases are selected by AEBR through an open call for expressions of interest. Experts will be matched with each case based on their field of expertise, their language skills and understanding of specific territories.
- The expert’s advice aims to grant support in defining the obstacle clearly and systematically, as well as in identifying a possible solution to it and outline the legal framework from which to proceed. The legal expert’s analysis attributed to successful applicants would lead, in each advice case, to a case report which underpins conclusions of their work relating to options for resolving the identified obstacle. This will include a description of the obstacle with indication of the legal/administrative provisions causing the obstacle; a description of possible solutions; a full list of all legal provisions relevant to the case with the correct citation both in original language and in English; and an executive summary. The template for the report will be assigned by AEBR to contracted experts.
- Experts are expected to visit successful candidates and stakeholders to carry out the analysis for a maximum of 9 days. However, in case of restrictions to travel due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, experts may decide to carry out the analysis and necessary interviews online.
- Experts carry out the visit and the analysis for a maximum of 9 days within a period of a maximum of three months. The three-months period starts on the date when the successful applicant is informed of the expert that has been assigned to the case. The start can therefore be expected a few weeks after the submission, upon selection by AEBR and validation by the European Commission’s Border Focal Point.
- In this chronological framework, the last advice period will end in May 2023.
- AEBR remunerates the experts for a 9-days advice period. The experts will produce a report according to the indications listed to be submitted to AEBR and the representatives of the successful case.
- Successful cases benefit from their participation receiving technical support by the expert who will provide legal advice on the obstacle identified. It should be noted that the selection as a successful case does not entail financial support.
- Successful cases do not need to file a report about their participation either.
- In conclusion of the analysis by the expert, successful cases are requested to fill in a one-page document to evaluate their experience and endorse the report by the expert.
- Public bodies at the national, regional or local level with a national boundary limiting their territory;
- Cross-border entities such as European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs), Euroregions, Eurodistricts, Eurocities and similar cross-border structures with legal personality, established under public or private law;
- “Bodies governed by public law” according to Art. 2(1) no. 4 Directive 2014/24/EU, if fulfilling following criteria:
- They are established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not having an industrial or commercial character;
- They have legal personality; and
- They are financed, for the most part, by the State, regional or local authorities, or by other bodies governed by public law; or are subject to management supervision by those authorities or bodies; or have an administrative, managerial or supervisory board, more than half of whose members are appointed by the State, regional or local authorities, or by other bodies governed by public law; and
- “Public equivalent bodies”, namely entities under private law which meet the conditions specified in 3) a)-c).
- Applicants shall be located in an EU Member State or neighbouring EFTA or IPA country and share at least one land or maritime border with another EU Member State. Applicants located in an EU member state may also share a border with an EFTA country or an IPA country.
For more information, visit AEBR.