b-solutions is a 2-year pilot initiative financed by the EU budget, managed by theAssociation of European Border Regions6 (AEBR) and promoted by the EuropeanCommission’s DG REGIO as one of the actions proposed in the referred CommunicationBoosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions.
The general objective of b-solutions is to identify and promote sustainable methods of resolving border obstacles of a legal and/or administrative nature along EU internal land borders.
b-solutions consists of two calls for proposals, one opened in early 2018 and the one currently running. Public authorities could seize the opportunity offered by b-solutions totest effective ways of overcoming border obstacles of a legal and/or administrative nature along EU internal land borders (including also the neighbouring EFTA countries) that can be replicable in other contexts – in the form of pilot actions (first call) or advice cases (second call). Selected applicants receive support from the European Commission to tackle the difficulties which hinder cooperation with the neighbouring country.
To increase their replicability, and to facilitate that the solutions found can inspire other solutions to similar problems in other border regions, AEBR will disseminate the outcome. Participants should also communicate the results achieved via the online platform“Boosting EU border regions”.
After the reporting phase of the pilot actions and advice cases implemented under both calls, AEBR, in cooperation with the Commission services, will elaborate a consolidated report (compendium) illustrating main findings and proposals derived from the cases, and will also report on all cases identified. Lessons learned and policy recommendations for decision-makers are expected to be major outputs of the b-solutions initiative. That said, b-solutions is expected to provide with:
– Solutions addressing specific legal and administrative obstacles, tested and based in case-studies, which should be replicable, made available and promoted to other border regions across Europe.
– Innovative proposals developed that can inform further development and implementation of future approaches by national/regional authorities and/or via EU instruments (particularly, but not exclusively, Interreg).
– Evidence of increased exchange of information and mutual engagement between the different levels of administration in border areas, and of joint initiatives involving multi-level governance across borders.
– Increased understanding of specific obstacles, and potential ‘solutions’, amongst key stakeholders at local/regional/national/EU level.
There are two levels of expected impact:
– the particular impact in relation to the specific cases due to overcoming an identified obstacle; and
– a broader impact on other areas that can be achieved if innovative approaches are developed that are truly replicable and can be effectively promoted and disseminated across the EU inspiring similar solutions to be implemented in other border regions. In addition, part of the impact will be a substantial increase in awareness of, and knowledge about, various legal/administrative obstacles to cross-border interactions.
Call opening: 30 January 2019
Call closing: 15 March 2019
Selection of successful proposals: second half of March 2019
Implementation period: from selection notification to end of July 2019 (up to 4 months)
More information: Second Call for Proposals under b-solutions