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Handbooks on Integration

The Handbooks on Integration act as a driver for exchange of information and best practice, and enable the development and promotion of policy initiatives. The three editions of the Handbooks are collaborative products of the European Commission, the National Contact Points on Integration, and MPG as independent consultant, all of whom can be seen as “editors” of the Handbooks.

The third edition of the Handbook was published in April 2010. The second edition was published in May 2007 and the first edition was published in November 2004.

The production process is as follows:

  • Desk research
  • Issues papers setting out the key questions to be discussed at the technical seminars
  • Technical seminars
  • Concluding documents drawing out key lessons learned as well as good practice examples
  • Handbook chapters

The overarching theme of the Handbook series is Governance, in terms of:

  • Different levels of governance: the local, regional, national and European dimensions of integration.
  • Different governmental and non-governmental actors: social partners, service providers, immigrant associations and support groups, advocacy groups, and others.

Although the Handbooks cover a number of topics, certain key concepts can be identified that recur throughout the discussions at technical seminars and meetings of the National Contact Points on Integration.

These key concepts are:

  • Engagement
  • Dialogue and negotiation
  • Active citizenship
  • Competence
  • Equality
  • Access
  • Justice and security

The third edition has been developed in cooperation with the National Contact Points on Integration and is based on the outcomes of a series of thematic technical seminars hosted by ministries responsible for integration in six different Member States, taking the exercise from Vienna (mass media) to Lisbon (immigrant youth, education and labour market), Paris (citizenship), Athens (public awareness and empowerment), Dublin (dialogue platforms) and Tallin (coordination mechanisms).

The second edition of the Handbook addresses issues related to housing and urban issues, access to services, labour market and economic integration, mainstreaming, and integration infrastructure, and is based on technical seminars in Tallinn (May 2005), Rome (July 2005), Dublin (October 2005), Berlin (December 2005) and Madrid (March 2006).

The first edition of the Handbook was based on the outcomes of a series of technical seminars held in Copenhagen (February 2004), Lisbon (April 2004) and London (June 2004). The chapter headings are ‘Introduction of newly arrived immigrants and recognised refugees’, ‘Civic participation’, and ‘Indicators’. The Handbook also includes an annex on ‘Translating policies into programmes’.

The first edition of the Handbook was presented at the Dutch Presidency’s Ministerial Conference on Integration in Groningen on 9-11 November 2004. It has since been translated into 21 languages.

The Justice and Home Affairs Council of 1-2 December 2005 adopted “Integration Conclusions” mentioning the Handbook. The Council “invites the Network of National Contact Points on Integration, supported by the Commission, to continue developing the ‘Handbook on integration for policy-makers and practitioners’. In order to utilise fully the successful exchange of experience and best practice, the Council calls for a wide and accessible dissemination of this Handbook, adapted to the intended audience.” (p.37)