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European Web Site on Integration


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

EWSI_28.02.12The website provides a “one-stop-shop” for information and good practices to support the integration of immigrants in all Member States.

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:

Regular analyses

Special Features

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.

Integration Dossiers

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.


A broad range of good practices and documents relevant to immigrant integration

  • 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.

  • News

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.


Information on funding opportunities for integration practitioners

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. 


Multi-lingual content

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. 


Opportunities to contribute

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.

Country information sheets

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. 


Thematic structure

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

European Web Site on Integration

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

For more information email us at contact@integration.eu


European Web Site on Integration WORK IN USE

Mapping the integration efforts of local and regional authorities

LRA_mapThe European Web Site on Integration, which is managed by MPG on behalf of the European Commission, has recently launched an interactive map which shows examples of good practices on integration by and for local and regional authorities. The map was launched at the beginning of June by Commissioner Malmström at the 9th European Integration Forum meeting. Furthermore, she blogged about it in order to highlight the importance of local and regional authorities at the front line of the integration process. “Integration takes place in the local community, and the different conditions and obstacles to integration cannot be dealt with through legislation. The Commission has therefore developed an interactive map (…) to further strengthen the local dimension of the integration policy framework.

The purpose of the map is to improve the exchange of good practices on a local and regional level, and to further highlight the local dimension of integration policy by showing the work that is being done by the local and regional authorities. Clicking on a given point on the map will open the website of an authority that has shared its experiences and good practices in the area of integration on the Website. The map includes good practices identified by the Committee of the Regions and they included an article about it on their website. The map launch was also highlighted by the Joint Migration and Development Initiative, a programme implemented by UNDP and five agencies: IOM, ILO, UNHCR, UNFPA and UN Women.

FRA’s annual report refers to various projects MPG is involved in

MPG’s work takes up large part of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s Annual Report 2012 on EU integration developments.

The report highlights the European Web Site on Integration, managed by MPG, as well as MPG’s pilot work on European immigrant integration indicators. In addition, the report underlines the results of MPG’s Immigrant Citizens Survey which covered 15 cities in seven EU Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal and Spain), and in which 7,473 immigrants born outside the EU participated.

Read the full report here.

European Web Site on Integration WORK IN CONTEXT

ECJ: Language requirements can act as barriers to family reunification

The ECJ building in Luxembourg. Credits: Alfonso Salgueiro/Flickr

The ECJ building in Luxembourg. Credits: Alfonso Salgueiro/Flickr

The European Court of Justice has found in the Naime Dogan vs. Germany Case C-138/13 that Germany’s pre-entry language test contravenes the EU-Turkey Association Agreement and constitutes a disproportionate obstacle to family reunification.

In this judgement, the ECJ did not pronounce on the pre-entry test’s compatibility with the Family Reunification Directive (MPG briefing on the Directive). Still, the ECJ will have to address this question soon in response to a request for a preliminary ruling from the Netherlands lodged on 3 April 2014 (Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken; other parties: K and A, Case C-153/14). Still, the ECJ’s judgement does hint at its likely answer on whether such a test can apply to all types of third-country nationals: “the language requirement at issue goes beyond what is necessary in order to attain the objective pursued, in so far as the absence of evidence of sufficient language knowledge automatically leads to the dismissal of the application for family reunification, without account being taken of the specific circumstances of each case“.

The 2007 test was assessed by MIPEX as not yet favourable for integration (scoring 57/100 points), because the test creates as many opportunities as obstacles for learning German. MIPEX monitoring shows that the same or greater obstacles exist in the language tests for family reunification in Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, who also submitted observations in this ECJ case, as well as the United Kingdom. The weaknesses of these tests were presented in a 2011 MIPEX blog, later cited by The Guardian. Attaining basic level German and passing the professional test abroad is feasible for many learners, but not for several types of vulnerable learners who are not exempt from the test. Moreover, free German courses and tests are not available in and across several countries. The MIPEX scores predict that the pre-entry test may only be a language learning incentive for spouses abroad who can pay.  Only France’s language requirements come out on MIPEX as slightly favourable for language learning because France’s network of migration and language representatives abroad provide free courses for all applicants and provide exemptions for all those cannot access them.

French classes to migrants and refugees in France. Credits: European Commission

French classes to migrants and refugees in France. Credits: European Commission

Evaluations by government and independent academics have confirmed that pre-entry language tests and requirements have only marginal effects on language learning and integration, as MPG summarised in its 2011 literature review. The effects on language learning are marginal and often disappear by the time spouses get their visa, move to the country, and enroll in an in-country language course, where language teachers have said that they cannot tell the difference between immigrants who passed a pre-entry test and those who did not. The tests also seem to have little-to-no-effect on the education, labour market integration, or incidence of forced marriages among reuniting spouses. Instead, the introduction of pre-entry tests and other recent integration requirements has clearly had a disproportionate effect on limiting the number of family reunifications, as demonstrated by national statistics and by MPG’s comparative analysis.

Instead of pre-entry tests, high-quality and accessible information sessions and language courses, such as those by the Goethe Institute, British Council, or Alliance Francaise, have been found to improve spouses’ motivation and preparation for their life in their new country of residence. Unfortunately, these courses are often unavailable, inaccessible, low-quality, or expensive in many countries and circumstances. As a result, language courses abroad prior to migration are often much less effective than courses in country after migration. In Germany’s case, spouses who cannot pass the pre-entry test cannot then move to Germany, where they would have learned German rather well through the government’s obligatory German courses. Indeed, Germany’s in-country language courses have been well-evaluated as effective for learning German (Special Feature on Language Courses from European Website on Integration).

New Public Procurement Directives – Good News for Immigrant Integration?

On Friday 15th January the European Parliament approved the new EU Public Procurement Directives, paving the way for their formal adoption by the Council of Ministers in the near future.

The new Directives represent a major overhaul of the procurement rules across the EU.  With Member States spending 18% of GDP on procuring goods, services and works, will the changes have an impact on immigrant integration?

The main aim of the EU Procurement Directives has always been to help public bodies get the best value for money by opening up tenders to competition from all over the EU.  The detailed rules and procedures put in place to achieve this goal favour bids that bring the most economic benefits and make it difficult for public bodies to take due account of the social benefits that could be achieved, such as providing equal employment opportunities for migrants.  In addition, the administrative burden placed on tendering companies puts small immigrant-owned businesses at a disadvantage, meaning that they are particularly under-represented among suppliers of public contracts (a more detailed analysis is available in the EWSI Integration Dossier on Public Procurement, authored by MPG).

DELI_summaryThe new rules have the potential to change this.  Firstly, they allow public bodies to take into account social aspects of the process of production or provision of the goods or services when awarding contracts, for example the employment conditions of workers performing the contract.  This is good news for the MPG’s BUYDIS project, which seeks to identify and experiment anti-discrimination clauses in public contracts awarded by local authorities.  Secondly, the rules should allow for better access to the market for immigrant-owned businesses by simplifying the documentation requirements in procurement procedures, creating a standardised document for selection purposes, and offering incentives to public bodies to divide contracts into smaller lots that are more accessible to small businesses.

This all comes in good time for the kick-off of the Diversity in the Economy and Local Integration project later this month, which will see MPG team up with the Council of Europe and ten European cities to facilitate access of migrant-owned SMEs to public and private procurement and help local governments develop procurement policies that are consistent with the principles of equal opportunities, integration and diversity management.


Are you looking for past news and events related to the European Web Site on Integration?

News and events prior to 2012 are available in our archive.

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