The COM(2017) 534 final points out that the „access to available and reliable information and problem-solving services on life or work on the other side of the border is vital”, especially when structural obstacles – such as diverging regulations or not harmonised administrative systems – hamper cross-border cooperation in fields of primary importance.
Under the 3rd call for proposals of b-solutions, the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) and the European Commission’s Border Focal Point at DG REGIO selected the first obstacle under the thematic area of “Information Services”. The advice case was submitted by the Svinesund Committee located at the Swedish-Norwegian border.
Collecting data and evidence at cross-border level might be problematic. Member States use different models or follow non-equivalent principles to classify them and, in some cases, their accessibility is limited because of internal legal constraints.
This is problematic when the comparison of the data in cross-border regions is essential to implement projects, to make evaluation on cross-border flows and, eventually, promote new policies.
Two of the Pilot Actions implemented in the course of the first call for proposals of b-solutions already implemented actions to harmonise different databases and systems of data collection existing on the different sides of the borders under analysis. The Pilot Actions were identified under the thematic area “Institutional cooperation” (as the field “Evidence and Data” was included within the thematic coverage of b-solutions only in 2019) and more details on them are available on the first compendium.
Coming to this year, under the 3rd call for proposals, the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) and the European Commission’s Border Focal Point at DG REGIO have selected two advice cases showing obstacles related to the impossibility to access cross-border data in the sectors of health and tourism.
The cases were submitted by a local authority and a European Grouping of Territorial Organisation (EGTC). They involve 4 Members States and 1 EFTA country for a total of 3 different borders.