Migrant participation has been increasingly hailed as a prerequisite to meaningful policymaking and implementation in the field of integration. Notably, the new Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion, published by the European Commission (EC) to promote integration across the EU in the 2021-2027 period, specifically urges to step-up the participation of migrants in all stages of the integration process. With this scope, the Commission launched at the end of 2020 an Expert Group on the view of migrants to directly hear from third-country nationals (TCNs) in the conception and implementation of asylum, migration and integration policies.
With close to 34 million EU residents born outside the EU (Eurostat, Population data 2019) and large historic diasporas across the EU countries, ensuring migrant participation and representation should be an easy task. Yet, little is actually known about how migrants are able to associate across the different EU countries. What types of structures do they organise through in the different EU regions? Are migrants even able to form their own associations? What activities do they engage in on a national and local level, and are there any successes that can be traced back to them?
With this analysis, EWSI provides a glimpse into some of the most active – and, where possible, policy-relevant – migrant-led structures in the 27 EU countries (EU-27). The analysis is exploratory in nature, as the list of migrant-led structures is not exhaustive but focused on prominent examples identified by our network through desk research.