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Migration Whitepaper: a new approach to digital services for migrants


The six European projects: REBUILD, MIICT, NADINE, MICADO, EASYRIGHTS and WELCOME, which are funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, organized Joint Migration Policy Roundtables between the 14th and the 16th of October, 2020.

The roundtables were tackling the challenge of how to better integrate migrants in European societies using ICT solutions. The result was a whitepaper, which is intended as a strategical input for improving integration and shaping future migration policy of the EU. It focuses on ICT-enabled solutions, participatory design and co-creation of these solutions, and end-to-end collaboration between the various parties involved in migrant integration in European societies. 

"A new approach to digital services for migrants" - EU’s official website article about the Joint Policy Recommendations. The article presents the Joint Migration Policy Paper resuming its basic approach as follows:

Regarding the delivery of digital services to migrants, the projects recommend involving multiple stakeholders, including migrants, from the early design process to testing and validation. The different challenges encountered by these projects make it clear that involving migrants, public authorities and local NGOs is essential to ensure ICT tools can provide services tailored to migrants’ needs.

The projects also recommend developing digital platforms that are practical, user-friendly and have concise information available in many languages so migrants can quickly understand which services they need to access or how to complete a procedure. 

Regarding ICT tools and digital services for supporting integration, the authors of the whitepaper recommend for the Commission to encourage central governments, local authorities and public bodies to produce open APIs (software interfaces) and share open data.

In the area of migration, ensuring transparency and privacy are particularly important issues. The whitepaper recommends that the EC proactively engage with the Member States on the issue of surveillance. Transparent communication is essential to tackle and overcome migrants’ widespread lack of trust in state-provided technology. As a potential solution to this issue, the whitepaper recommends supporting and promoting the concept of a “Self-Sovereign Digital Identity”, which could help to boost the access to and use of digital services, while ensuring the data ownership of the user, helping build trust.

On participatory design and co-creation of solutions, the projects stress the importance of understanding the lives of migrants and refugees as a prerequisite for participation. The projects believe service design and strategies should not aim for “one size fits all” solutions because people’s conditions are incredibly varied and diverse.

Furthermore, the whitepaper provides recommendations on additional topics, such as multi-stakeholder collaboration, innovation, research and development and improving the ICT-skills of both public authorities and migrants. We invite you to read the Joint Migration Policy Whitepaper.

Next steps: The article mentions that the Joint Migration Policy Whitepaper provide useful input to the Commission for a strengthened digital government policy. In the Council conclusions Shaping Europe’s digital future, Member States called on the Commission “to propose a reinforced EU digital government policy, bearing in mind the e-inclusion of all citizens and private actors”.

In the Action plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021-2027, the Commission announced it will work on an inclusive EU e-government action plan, promoting human-centric digital public services for citizens, including migrants, and engaging migrants in the creation and delivery of digital public services. The Commission will take the policy recommendations of the Joint Migration Policy Paper into consideration in the policy-making process of a strengthened EU digital government policy.

Read the full article about Joint Migration Policy Whitepaper in EU’s official website here

Find here the Joint Migration Policy Whitepaper

Read more about the Joint Migration Policy Roundtables 

Rebuild project
European project
This project has received funding from the European Union’s
Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under
grant agreement No 822215.