European Local Cooperation for Integration (ELCI)

Project duration
Responsible for the project
Kováts András
European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals

The project aims at involving European local and national authorities as well as migrant organizations in EU member states. The overall objective of the project is to reinforce the two-way process of integration by shaping the strategies for integration developed by third country nationals and host societies.

Migrant organizations can play a crucial role in the integration process of third country nationals, notably thanks to their in-depth knowledge of the cultural norms and customs of their respective communities as well as their capacity in identifying integration needs and gaps. However, migrant organizations are often not or underrepresented in the integration decision making processes and in the implementation of integration policies taking place at local level.
The contact between local authorities and the target population is often limited, notably due to the fact that migrant organizations may have insufficient resources to engage local authorities in developing more effective integration strategies, and also because most local authorities have little if any information on these organizations and have thus not considered their role in the integration process. The overall objective of the project is therefore to facilitate relations and exchanges between local authorities and migrant organisations.

The primary purpose of the project is to promote better awareness among local authorities regarding the valuable role migrant organizations should play in the process of integration. To achieve this, a mapping exercise will be undertaken by IOM in order to identify relevant migrant organizations involved in integration activities in EU member states. Secondly, the role that migrant associations play in relation to integration policy-making on the local level will be assessed. This will be complemented by a comparative view of the situations in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic.
The second purpose of the project is to establish and/or reinforce existing platforms for dialogue among migrant associations and to improve their role in the local decision making process as it relates to integration. Dialogue will be facilitated through the organization of local workshops, visits to migrant organizations and to the offices of local authorities. A Training of Trainers for representatives of civil society and migrant organisations will also be held. These activities will lead to an improvement in the capacity of these organisations to develop relevant and sustainable actions to improve the integration of third country nationals. They will also lead to raise awareness among local authorities on the added value to take in consideration migrant organisations’ views in the definition of their policies.
Finally, the third purpose of the project is to enhance the capacity of relevant authorities to involve migrant organisations in their integration strategies. Many integration tools, resources and best practices are available, such as the EU “Handbook on Integration for Policy-makers and Practitioners”, which could assist them in improving their integration strategies. Capacity building activities as well as transnational meetings will be organized by IOM. Sharing experiences and observing neighbours European authorities working with migrant organisations will consolidate the interest of authorities in working in this perspective.

In addition, the project result dissemination will be based on the production of a video, including several spots, presenting in a comparative way models of local integration governance. The video will be presented during the EU expert seminar, which will be organised at the end of the project. The video will be offered for publication on the European Website on Integration and disseminated in participating countries through a public debate.

The policy of IOM to include as much as possible the gender issue in its project will be realized by including in its partners a migrant organisation specialized in working for the integration of women migrants.

Overall Objectives and Purposes

The overall objective of the project is to reinforce the two-way process of integration by shaping the strategies for integration developed by third country nationals and host societies.

In order to reinforce the two-way process of integration, three objectives will be addressed

  1. Promoting knowledge and understanding of the valuable role that migrant organizations could play in integration process.
  2. Reinforcing the capacity of migrant organizations to contribute positively in integration processes;
  3. Enhance the dialogue and exchange of good practices between European stakeholders responsible for integration measures, notably taking place at local level.

The implementation of project activities in coordination with representatives from official institutions and from migrant organizations will also lead to enhance and facilitate a dialogue among these actors and will contribute to project sustainability.

Scope & Activities

Project Scope

The ELCI project started in December 2010 and will last18 months, until May 2012. Activities will be coordinated by IOM France and implemented in eight EU countries in partnership with migrant organizations, official institutions and IOM missions listed below.

The activities will be designed with an holistic approach of integration, which takes into account not only the economic and social aspects of integration such as employment, cohesion, education, health, housing, combating discrimination, but also issues related to cultural diversity, citizenship, participation and political rights.

Project Activities and Results

1.    Publication of a European study analyzing legislative and operational specificities in participating countries, as well as local contributions of migrant organizations involved in integration activities. The European study will be based on a legislation review and a mapping exercise.
2.    Organization of one training for trainers for representatives of migrant organizations in each participating country.
3.    Organization of one transnational video conference on Integration.
4.    Organization of one European training for representatives of official institutions in charge of integration and social cohesion services.
5.    Production of a video, presenting the study and project’s results.
6.    Organization of joint field-visits and local public conferences in each participating country. 
7.    Organization of one European Expert seminar on integration to be held in Brussels.

Coordinator Organization:

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