Participatory Immigration Policy Making and Harmonization (ImmigrationPolicy2.0)

Published on: 19/11/2010

EU-wide harmonization of immigration policies is a long standing and challenging issue, given the need to compromise numerous national immigration policy proposals, practices and procedures towards common, balanced, harmonized and effective EU policies.

The challenge stems primarily from the legal, political, technological and societal differences in the various Member States, as well as from the isolation of legal immigrants from the policy making processes and the formulation of balanced migration proposals. Collaboration between various stakeholders including politicians and decision makers, but also citizens and the civil society, is deemed essential to alleviate the heterogeneity of the various policies, regulations and viewpoints.  Despite this need, nowadays there are no proven and easy ways to ensure
the participation and collaboration of all stakeholders, while current policy making processes barely take this need into account.

Latest ICT developments, such as Web2.0, collaborative knowledge management, provide numerous opportunities for participatory governance and citizen-generated policy making. Furthermore, they can boost innovation in terms of both policy making models and decision support tools. In view of these developments, ImmigrationPolicy2.0 will pilot tools, techniques, solutions and overall services for collaborative development of immigration policies, as well as for supporting related decisions.

The project will pay emphasis in the provision and piloting of ICT infrastructures enabling identification, modeling, analysis, visualization, monitoring and harmonization of diverse policies and viewpoints in a secure and reliable fashion. Overall, ImmigrationPolicy2.0 will effectively integrate ICT tools in existing policy making and decision support processes, while at the same time focusing on reshaping these processes in order to ensure active participation from all stakeholders.

Policy Context

ImmigrationPolicy2.0 is a CIP co-funded project within the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP). It is undertaken under the CIP-ICT-PSP-2009-3bis call identifier within the Objective 3.5 (eParticipation- Empower and Involve Citizens in Transparent Decision Making in the EU).

ImmigrationPolicy2.0 is perfectly in-line with the general objectives of the ICT PSP work programme, since it proposes a set of novel pilot services that could enhance citizens' participation in the development of migration policies, regulation and related legislation.

ImmigrationPolicy2.0 contributes directly to the ultimate goals of the ICT Policy Support Programme in the area of e-participation, through facilitating citizens' participation, boosting interoperability and harmonization of immigration IT systems and policies, while at the same time empowering a range of business opportunities with European industry in the area of e government and the emerging participatory governance models.

Description of target users and groups

The project will provide a motivating and user-friendly environment empowering legal residents with a migration background (legal immigrants and children of migrants) participation in the policy making process. Accordingly the project will pilot services targeting both legal residents with a migration background and decision makers, in particular:

  • Empower public administrators, politicians and decision makers to work and collaborate towards a harmonized EU migration policy. The services will support the above user groups in drafting immigration policy text, develop and test policy models, evaluate scenarios ("what-if" process), as well as harmonizing policy text.
  • Facilitate legal residents with migration background in order to be able
    to get informed and evaluate various migration-related proposals and policies, while also expressing their feelings and opinions about the policies under development. The process will involve the development of new models for legal residents' participation, as well as the collection and analysis of collaborative input from multiple citizens.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

ImmigrationPolicy2.0 will be based on a complementary and well balanced consortium. Hence, it includes technical/technological partners possessing the expertise required to integrate and deploy the ImmigrationPolicy2.0 platform and services, as well as organization that can act as immigration policy development hubs with the active involvement of policy makers, politicians, decision makers, and public administrators. Note that the consortium has diversity in terms of both technology providers and user organizations.  Technology providers (i.e., ATOS, SLG, BOC) will build, deploy and operate the platform, as well as research providers/organizations (UPRC) will ensure that the pilot services are in-line with latest developments and innovations associated with migration policies development. The ImmigrationPolicy2.0 user organizations (IF, CDF and EFMS) are also of diverse nature, since they include both public and private organizations, municipalities and institutes, as well as organizations involved in EU wide policy making.


The project services will be piloted in the following countries:

  • Germany, through the European Forum for Migration Studies and with the involvement of 200 citizens and immigrants in Germany, along with 25 policy makers and policy development experts ,
  • Greece, through the Immigration Union of Greece (subcontractor of IUG) and CECL (subcontractor of UPRC) and with the involvement of 150 citizens and immigrants in Greece, along with 10 policy makers, decision makers and policy development experts.
  • Estonia, through the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People and with the involvement of 120 citizens and another 15 policy/decision makers and public administrators.

Italy, through the Municipality of Forli and with the involvement of 110 citizens and another 10 policy/decision makers and public administrators.

Technology solution

ImmigrationPolicy2.0 will be exploiting next generation internet technologies, with particular emphasis on Web2.0 technologies (leading to Web3.0 empowered "policy intelligence"). More

In terms of software the project will exploit:

  • Web2.0 technologies for building user-friendly portals, while facilitating information exchange and sharing;
  • An Open Source collaborative platform will provide readily available support for
    content management services;
  • Web2.0 enabled portal development, as well as for social networking services;
  • Content and business process management technologies enabling mixing, analysis, combinations and content-based search of policy texts;
  • Leading edge service oriented architectures (SOA) and technologies (e.g., Web Services, Enterprise Service Bus) for coupling together distributed heterogeneous diverse information systems and services.

In terms of delivery channels, the project will rely on the Internet as a primary
channel, while at the same time taking provisions for the users' interaction over mobile networks (e.g., 2G/3G).

Technology choice: Open source software

Main results, benefits and impacts

The goal of ImmigrationPolicy2.0 is to pilot and evaluate a range of services enabling active citizens' participation in the shaping of migration policies, including the harmonization of diverse policies stemming from multiple EU countries.

To achieve this goal the project sets the following main objectives:

  • Objective 1: To elicit, collect and analyze requirements for the ImmigrationPolicy2.0 services from all relevant stakeholders (citizens/immigrants, decision makers, policy makers, politician, public administrations). The requirements engineering process will pay special emphasis on processes associated with citizens' participation in migration policy development, as well as harmonization of migration policies related to economic activities.
  • Objective 2: To provide a detailed definition of pilot services associated with search/browsing of information assets, content/knowledge extraction and analysis of migration-related data, open debate on policy development, government modelling, data mining and analysis for immigration intelligence, as well as services for migration policies harmonization.  The objective is to specify services that can realize a holistic integrated approach in the collection and analysis of immigration data, the interoperability of various immigration information systems, the drafting of migration policy texts, the organization of open debates, as well as the harmonization of national migration policies.
  • Objective 3: To produce the detailed architecture and technical specifications of the ImmigrationPolicy2.0 services in terms of hardware, software and middleware required for the integration and deployment of the pilot services.
  • Objective 4: To set up the various pilot sites in Greece, Germany, Italy
    and Estonia, through deploying the system, localizing the platform and the services and
    training citizens, decision makers and public citizens in using the services.
  • Objective 5: To pilot the ImmigrationPolicy2.0 services for (at least) 18-months with the active participation of users in all pilot sites, while providing continuous
    technical support and realizing an improvement of the services. The pilots should collectively lead to an integrated holistic approach to the development of EU wide migration policies with active citizens' participation.
  • Objective 6: To evaluate the pilots from an operational, social, technological and techno-economic perspective, with emphasis on the benefits of citizens' participation in the development and harmonization of migration policies. In the scope of this evaluation, the project will develop new metrics of success for the digitally enabled migration services of the new era. The evaluation of the operational benefits of the participatory governance approach will be performed at a national and EU levels. The assessment of the pilot services will be taken into account in order to tune the participatory and collaborative approach of the project.
  • Objective 7: To produce best practices and blueprints associated with the collaborative development of policies (with active citizens participation in related debates), as well as with the harmonization of diverse migration policies.
  • Objective 8: To devise, evolve, finalize and execute business plans for exploiting the pilots, in a way that ensures the sustainable development and evolution of the pilot services, while also ensuring benefits for all stakeholders across the value chain. For service developers, integrators and ISVs (independent software vendors) the business plans will target the profitable exploitation (e.g., licensing) of the platform, while for service providers they will target the profitable operation of the platform. For public organizations (e.g., municipalities, migration policy organizations) the business plans will focus on the sustainable deployment of the pilot services, along with the perspective of extending the pilots to more countries and organizations.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Lessons learnt

ImmigrationPolicy2.0 endeavours to become a valuable eGovernment platform with an associated set of services targeting the area of participatory governance and more specifically migration policy development.


These services should be used by citizens, public administrators and policy makers involved in migration policy development.

ImmigrationPolicy2.0 will take advantage of state-of-the-art ICT technologies (notably Web2.0, Web Services, Business Process Modeling  and policy models) in order to pilot this range of citizen-centric services. Hence, the project will provide a motivating and user-friendly environment empowering legal residents with a migration background (legal immigrants and children of migrants) participation in the policy making process.

Scope: Cross-border, International