In a statement sent to Lusa news agency, the Galicia-North Portugal EGTC said that the vice-president of the North Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR-N), Beraldino Pinto, participated in the first meeting of the new project which was assigned to the legal expert Miguel Guimarães.
"The expert met with all entities and workers belonging to the project in order to gather more information about the problem and move forward in the search for a possible solution," the note specifies.
In the first meeting, "besides the participation of the vice-president of CCDR-N, Beraldino Pinto, the meeting was attended by the General Director of Foreign Affairs and the European Union of the Junta de Galicia, Jesús Gamallo".
"Both stressed the need to work on the resolution of administrative or legal obstacles that penalise cross-border inhabitants, particularly exposed to this problem due to the great permeability and high economic, labour and social interconnection existing in the Euroregion," the statement describes.
At stake is the project called "Elimination or simplification of the travel document for cross-border workers" presented by the EGTC of the Euroregion Galicia - Norte de Portugal to the 2020 B-Solutions programme, promoted by the European Commission and the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR).
The application submitted by Galicia and Northern Portugal EGTC to the B-Solutions programme, now under study, resulted from a proposal of EURES-Transfronteirisme.
The 2020 B-Solutions programme aims to identify and promote the resolution of border obstacles of a legal or administrative nature, along the internal borders of the European Union.
According to the note, other meetings will take place with representatives of public entities, security forces and workers in northern Portugal and Galicia".
That expert will produce a report with recommendations so that the respective administrations may give the necessary follow-up to their resolution.
The expert "will analyse the information contained in the application, meet with the entities and people who, in the territory, feel the circulation problems", estimating that this evaluation can begin by the end of the year.
The expert "will define the obstacle in a clear way, as well as identify a solution and outline a legal framework".
Currently, the circulation guide "can be obtained 'online' and can be renewed annually".
"It is a free procedure, but due to the complexity of its procedure and the lack of knowledge of its mandatory nature, it ends up generating, indirectly, some sanctions due to the non-use of it. This fact is only applicable to Spanish workers, as Portuguese workers do not need the same requirements in Spanish territory", explains the Galicia-North Portugal EGTC.
The EGTC Galicia - North Portugal Euroregion is made up of the Galicia Regional Government and the North Portugal Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR-N).
The grouping "has as its main objective to facilitate and foster institutional cooperation, to help to break down physical and bureaucratic barriers that contribute to mitigate the border effect, and allow the creation of an authentic and effective Euroregion".