The EGTC Galicia-North of Portugal (ES-PT) was looking for legal solutions to ease the minors mobility across the border - so to allow for most frequent cultural and educational exchanges or joint sport and leisure activities.
Xose´Lago, Director of the EGTC shared wish us his opinion on how b-solutions was beneficial to the cross-border stucture and on how it has also became a tool to draw the attention of national authorities on the identified obstacle.
"For us, an organisation devoted to promote cross border cooperation, is always a pleasure to collaborate with other institutions that are also devoted to CB cooperation. Besides that, b-solutions allowed us to tackle a problem from another different perspective and to work in close coperation with some of our usual partners in the territory of Galicia - North of Portugal, in particular with the Eurocity Cerveira-Tomiño. Furthermore, it has been of a great help to get juridical advices in a very complex thematic, the CB mobility of not accompanied minors. Finally, the support of a European Commission is very notable, as it contributes to raise awareness of our work to boost CB cooperation. Thanks to b-solutions, we managed to organise many meetings with all the relevant and competent public institutions, both Portuguese and Spanish, and at all levels (national, regional and local). One of the main positive effects was to sensitise about the existence of the obstacle. Another rewarding point was to notice that citizens were ahead of institutions, when trying to set up imaginative solutions to overcome this problematic situation. Going further, the report of the expert proposed several possible steps and solutions to overcome the obstacle and it became the basis to develop an action plan in this specific field. Nevertheless, we must also mention that to achieve a complete solution, to get over the administrative and bureaucratic procedures that hamper the mobility of minors along the border, requires a lot of additional work. In this sense, a continuation or extension of the project through European funds would be very welcome. The report written by the external expert though, constitutes one of the main points of a document that the two institutions conforming our EGTC (Xunta de Galicia and Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional doNorte de Portugal) will write on the the priorities of the Euroregion Galicia - North of Portugal. This, will include questions and issues related to CB cooperation and will be sent to the national governments of Spain and Portugal in occasion of the next annual Iberian Summit. Including the solutions proposed by the expert will surely help national actors to deal and set up the required actions under their competences. To count on the help of an external expert specifically devoted to the problematic of our project, facilitated enormously the development of a precise report with viable solutions. The expert assigned to our project, Mr. Sobrino Heredia, has a wide professional curriculum, highly specialised in European Union issues, and especially in subjects of our interest. Besides that, he also contributes by providing an external point of view on the situation without any prejudice. To conclude, we would definitely suggest other organisation to taka part in b-solutions as it is an innovative initiative that precisely supports CB cooperation from a very practical point of view. It proposes solutions to administrative issues that hamper cooperation and that are still ongoing as they require a specific and skilled approach to be solved."