The European Web Site on Integration is the European Commission’s portal for information on immigrant integration.
The aim of the European Web Site on Integration is to help improve the effectiveness of integration policies and practices in the European Union by sharing successful strategies and supporting collaboration and cooperation between practitioners. It is intended as a tool for people working in the field of integration, both in non-government and government organisations.
The European Web Site on Integration can be accessed at www.integration.eu
The integration of third-country nationals legally residing in the Member States of the European Union (EU) has gained increasing importance on the European agenda in recent years.
The Hague Programme on strengthening freedom, security and justice in the EU, adopted by the European Council in November 2004, called for the development of a Web Site on Integration. In that same month the Groningen Ministerial Conference on Integration invited the Commission, in close cooperation with the National Contact Points on Integration, to establish a public- private partnership to create and maintain an integration Web Site.
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Home Affairs has commissioned the Migration Policy Group in partnership with various organisations to develop the website in 2007. Since 2011, MPG maintains the website together with Intrasoft International as IT service provider.
Supporting Integration in the EU
The website covers all dimensions of integration and gathers information from a wide variety of stakeholders. It has been designed for use by national, regional and local authorities, by civil society organisations, and by practitioners in local organisations.
The aim is also to develop the Site as an EU-wide platform for networking on integration, through exchange about policy and practice.
Wide stakeholder consultation
Consultation with stakeholders has been a key part of the development of the Web Site. The project has focused on working with European Institutions and with network organisations that have the remit and the means to communicate with practitioner groups in Member States. These included:
- European Institutions: Commission Directorate-General Justice, Freedom and Security and other DGs relevant to integration, including Social Affairs and Employment, Education, Enterprise, Health; the European Parliament, the Council, European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions National Governments, represented by the National Contact Points on Integration
- International organisations (e.g. IOM, ILO)
- Regional and Local Government organisations
- EU civil society: civil society networks, academics and experts, business networks, social partners.
What you can find on the website
Stakeholders consulted for the project said they wanted a site with information that is useful for practitioners. It therefore includes:
Special Features are designed to make the link between current news on integration and EWSI content. In doing so, they help to:
- Put what is heard in the news on integration into a wider and deeper perspective;
- Bring back balance to the often unbalanced portrayal of integration in the news;
- Guide users through the maze of EWSI content by acting as a ‘content vade mecum’.
- Special Features contrast with EWSI Integration Dossiers, which uses the inflow of new content on the website to identify and analyse emerging trends.
In contrast to EWSI Special Features, the EWSI Editorial Team uses the inflow of new content on the website to identify and analyse emerging trends. It then compiles findings in Integration Dossiers.
- Official, up-to-date EU information
All new Directives, Regulations and official documents from EU institutions appear on the website as they are released by the EU, along with policy documents, statistics and other information.
The site also includes material that makes the case for integration, demonstrating that integration can be successful and improving the situation of immigrants.
- National legislation, policy papers and impact assessments from Member States
- Documents from civil society organisations and research centres/academia
- Documents from international organisations
- Good practices
At its centre the website holds a wide selection of good practices. The practices are drawn from European and national projects, local authorities and civil society organisations. They are collected by using a common template, so they can be easily compared.
EU and other relevant media releases are available on the Web Site in the original language(s) of publication.
A regular email bulletin draws attention to useful background material and good practices pertinent to current events.
- Information on integration stakeholders
This ranges from basic information about organisations working in the area of integration and a listing of people registered with the site who wish to have their details shared.
- An Events Calendar
The calendar lists conferences, workshops and seminars of interest. Users are encouraged to submit their events information to the site.
Stakeholder consultations showed that up-to-date information on funding opportunities is an important requirement for potential Site users.
The Web Site brings together information about the variety of European Commission funding opportunities available to practitioners, as well as promoting funding programmes run by Member States and by private foundations. The Web Site’s email newsletter delivers alerts about deadlines wherever possible.
Information and documents appear on the Web Site in the original language of publication. The basic structure of the Web Site and the static information appears in three languages: English, French and German.
Documents submitted by Contributors are in the language in which the content is uploaded: this can be in any EU official language. Users are invited to provide some dynamic content (e.g. summary information or news-items) in English.
The Web Site is designed as a collaborative tool for practitioners. It provides opportunities for users to interact with other users and locate other practitioners with similar interests. It includes:
- Opportunities throughout to submit content for publishing on the Web Site. Criteria for publishing is clear and visible and submitted content is validated according to agreed criteria. Contributors are acknowledged by email, on the Site and in an annual report. Regular contributors are profiled in the email newsletter.
- A moderated online forum. The forum provides email digests of posts so subscribers can scan what’s been added and quickly decide whether to respond.
The Web Site also features country information sheets containing an overview of key information for all EU Member States. These are updated on a regular basis.
Information on the Web Site is organised around six key themes:
- Active Citizenship (residence and work permits, civic citizenship, naturalisation, political participation, volunteering and third-sector, consultation, mediation and dialogue platforms, civic education)
- Economic Participation (employment, recognition of qualifications and skills assessment, vocational training and career development, workforce diversity and capacity-building, self-employment and entrepreneurship, supplier diversity)
- Social Cohesion (housing and urban development, social inclusion, social protection, health, other services)
- Education and culture (school education, out-of-school education including lifelong learning and distance education, language competencies, E-learning, intercultural dialogue including interreligious dialogue, cultural activities and diversity)
- Anti-discrimination and equality (antidiscrimination at work, anti-discrimination in service provision, access to justice, equal opportunities, positive action)
- Tools and Techniques (benchmarking, indicators, evaluations and impact assessments, mainstreaming, infrastructure, media, awareness-raising)
Measuring success of the Web Site
The success of the project is measured by:
- Web Site registrations of organisations in different target areas: civil society groups, local government, European institutions and Member State agencies
- Levels of participation in collaborative areas of the Site and number of visitors
- The breadth of relevant information and document collection available on the Web Site, especially case studies
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