European Projects

  • Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX)

The Migrant Integration Policy Index is a unique long-term project to evaluate and compare what governments are doing to promote the integration of migrants. 
The project “Integration policies: Who benefits? The development and use of indicators in integration debates” is led by the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB), and the Migration Policy Group (MPG). The project will conduct a complete review of integration outcomes, policies, and beneficiaries in the 28 EU Member States. In addition, the project aims to include other countries, Norway, Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, and major OECD countries of immigration, such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US (at the costs of partners in these countries). This project is co-funded by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals. The project started in November 2013 and will finish in April 2015.

MIPEX is a fully interactive tool and reference guide to assess, compare and improve integration policy. It measures integration policies in all European Union Member States plus Norway, Switzerland, Canada and the USA up to 31 May 2010. Data from Australia and Japan was collected up to September 2010 and in Serbia in January 2012, but as there have been no changes since May 2010 the data is directly comparable between the 34 countries. Using 148 policy indicators MIPEX creates a rich, multi-dimensional picture of migrants’ opportunities to participate in society by assessing governments’ commitment to integration. By measuring policies and their implementation it reveals whether all residents are guaranteed equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities.

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  • Equi-Health: Fostering health provision for migrants, the Roma and other vulnerable groups

The objective of the EQUI-HEALTH action is to improve the access and appropriateness of health care services, health promotion and prevention to meet the needs of migrants, the Roma and other vulnerable ethnic minority groups, including irregular migrants residing in the EU/EEA.

EQUI-HEALTH was launched in February 2013 by the Migration Health Division of the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The project is co-financed under the 2012 work plan, within the second programme of Community action in the field of health (2008-2013), by direct grant awarded to IOM from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANTE), through the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (Chafea).

The EQUI-HEALTH action is divided in 3 sub-actions:

1) MIGRANT HEALTH at SOUTHERN EU BORDERS sub-action aim is building a comprehensive multi-sectorial approach in upholding migrant and public health: situational assessments, discussions about data collection mechanisms and referral systems as well as prioritization of capacity building needs are planned to increase the understanding of migrant, occupational and public health, including in open/closed centers and border facilities, and enhance the capacity of public health authorities, law enforcement services and healthcare providers. 

TARGET COUNTRIES: Southern EU Member States

COUNTRIES COVERED: Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain, and Portugal (in certain activities)

2) The ROMA HEALTH sub-action focuses on promoting dialogue among key stakeholders (governmental and non-governmental groups) on Roma health issues. 8 Progress reports on national strategies (with health focus), 4 case studies on good practices and exchange of experiences as per identified priorities in support of the implementation of national health plans will allow EU MS to better monitor, share and strengthen their respective national approaches. A training package for healthcare providers will develop competencies in working with ethnic minorities, including Roma.

TARGET COUNTRIES: EU countries with high percentage of Roma nationals and EU MS with high percentage of Roma migrants

CONTRIES COVERED: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovakia, Spain

3) Under the MIGRANT HEALTH sub-action, available information on national legal and policy frameworks will be aggregated in the form of country briefs for policy makers linking to the MIPEX (Migrant Integration Policy) index by developing a health strand. Thematic study on cost analysis of healthcare provisions to migrants and ethnic minorities in support of consensus guidelines on access to healthcare services for those in undocumented situation will foster a harmonized EU approach to access to and provision of healthcare for migrants, Roma and other vulnerable ethnic minority groups.


  • C2ME - Culturally Competent Teachers and Medical Education

It is estimated that in 2050 in Europe about 40 million immigrants will live in the different EU member states. Despite occasional efforts, the medical work force is still relatively unprepared for giving care to the immigrant population. Medical education in Europe still pays modest attention to the ethnic and cultural diversity of patients. One general cause lies in the relative low cultural competence of medical teachers.

Cofunded by EACEA ERASMUS Lifelong Learning Program (2013) and coordinated by the Academic Medical Centre/University of Amsterdam the C2ME project (2013-2015) aims to develop an overarching faculty programme for faculty staff as well as educational leaders.  C2ME will develop design principles to implement cultural competencies in the curriculum. This will result in sustainable curricula that are truly inclusive and promote cultural competence teaching comprehensively. 13 partners are involved from 12 different countries (11 EU and 1 US).

A practical model for a sustainable curriculum that integrates diversity in medical education will be developed, in order to equip future care providers with adequate competencies for high-quality care provision to ethnically diverse patient populations. Concrete needs of medical teachers about teaching ethnic and cultural diversity will be assessed . Subsequently, courses will be developed to meet these needs and courses will be exchanged between different medical schools. The courses will be integrated in teach the teachers modules of the participating medical schools. To support medical teachers, a website will be developed to provide materials and teaching strategies where concrete educational material will made available to all medical teachers interested in cultural diversity. Also, practical guidelines for heads of departments will be developed.

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  • COST ADAPT - Adapting European Health Systems to Diversity

European societies are becoming ethnically and culturally more diverse, yet their health systems are failing to keep pace. This Action aims to promote the adoption and implementation of policies responding to this increased diversity. It builds on the achievements of COST Action IS0603 (Health and Social Care for Migrants and Ethnic Minorities – HOME), which reviewed health inequalities among migrants and ethnic minorities as well as the measures designed to remedy them. ADAPT will take this work forward, identifying obstacles to translating this knowledge into action as well as ‘levers for change’.

Despite a remarkable increase in research and innovation in this area, as well as significant backing from international bodies, the pace of change in Europe remains slow. Few countries have adopted national policies on migrant and ethnic minority health and even where they have, implementation has encountered many obstacles. This Action will make practical recommendations for promoting change.

Interdisciplinary teams will identify bottlenecks and missed opportunities, while the pan-European nature of COST will provide a unique opportunity to identify the factors driving policy and implementation. The results will have implications for effective policy making and organisational change, not only in health but also in other fields of public policy.

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  • Project to Develop Standards for Equity in Health Care for Migrants and other Vulnerable Groups. Task Force on Migrant-Friendly and Culturally Competent Health Care

The Task Force on Migrant Friendly and Culturally Competent Health Care is established within the international HPH network with a specific mandate for coordination assigned to the HPH regional network of Emilia-Romagna (Italy) by the General Assembly and the Governance Board of the international HPH network. The provider is the Health Authority of Reggio Emilia, which is the coordinating institution of the regional HPH network of Emilia Romagna.

The Task Force was set up to continue the momentum created by the MFH project (2002-2005) which involved 12 European countries engaged in the development of models of good practice for promoting health and health literacy of migrants and improving hospital services for these patient groups in selected pilot hospitals. The idea of creating a Task Force originated from the desire to continue working on these themes in a comparative international context after the conclusion of the MFH project, and to build on this experience in order:

- To facilitate the diffusion of policies and experiences and stimulate new partnerships for future initiatives;
- To foster cooperation and alliances between health care organisations and other networks;
- To support member organisations in becoming migrant-friendly and culturally competent health care organisations, as recommended in the Amsterdam Declaration (2004).

The approach of the TF was informed by some initial considerations regarding the dynamics of the migration phenomenon in Europe. The new situation created the condition for a more differentiated composition of migrants in terms of origin, legal status, motivations and levels of integration. The resulting growth in diversity requires health systems that take into account the differences in the needs, beliefs and practices concerning health and health delivery. Migrants and minority groups often suffer from poorer health compared to that of the average population. In addition to being more vulnerable due to low socio-economic position, unclear legal status and problematic migration experiences, specific analyses show that migrants may face inequity in health care services because of the existence of formal and informal barriers. Therefore, in order to reduce disparities in health care it is necessary to improve access and quality of health care services for migrants and other vulnerable groups. Here, the role of the Task Force is to support member organisations in this process of developing policies, systems and competences for the provision and delivery of equitable and accessible health care services for migrants and other vulnerable groups.

  • Meeting the Healthcare Needs of Culturally Diverse Population: A Psycho-Sociopolitical Approach to Cultural Competence in Health Professionals
One of the most important sources of disparities in healthcare for immigrant populations is the lack of cultural competence in health professionals (GIS, 2010; Ingleby, 2009; Ingleby et al., 2005; Padilla, 2009; Woods et al., 2005). Cultural competence transcends issues related to immigration and ethnicity, incorporating various aspects of human diversity, including gender (Fernandes et al., 2010; Soon & Fisher, 2005). Therefore, the enhancement of cultural competence in health professionals may improve not only healthcare accessibility and quality for migrant populations, but also the ability of health professionals, and the health system as a whole, to meet the needs of diverse populations, including natives.
In the particular case of Portugal, as a result of migration, healthcare professionals confront issues related to cultural and human diversity more than ever in their daily practice (Lechner, 2009).The national health system is also increasingly diverse with the continuous incorporation of health professionals coming from many different parts of the world. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of research on cultural competence within this group of professionals, with the exception of few remarkable studies in the area of mental health (Pussetti, 2009). In consequence, research in this field is strongly required as a starting point for the development of cultural competence models, specifically based on the Portuguese context, which may serve as a guide for the promotion of culturally sensitive healthcare, able to meet the needs of diverse populations.
The present research project pays particular attention to the role of both culture and power dynamics, assuming that healthcare often takes place in the context of asymmetrical power relations between health professionals and their patients. Taking a participatory action-research approach, particular attention is paid to health needs assessment, good practices, and the empowerment of culturally diverse populations.
  • COST HOME - Health and Social Care for Migrants and Ethnic Minorities
The recent increase in the number of migrants in Europe has generated a growing volume of research on their state of health and the need to adapt care services to their needs. Scientific progress in this field, is held up by a lack of interdisciplinary and international collaboration. Moreover, the addition of a cross-national perspective can yield new insights into the causes of ill-health and can further the exchanfe of good practices. In Southern, Central and Eastern European countries, work on migration and health is in particular need of strengthening and encouragement. This Action will bring together an international group of experts to consolidate and review work carried out so far, identity blind spots and persistent problems, and recommend ways forward. Its three Working Groups will be concerned with social and policy factors, migrants' state of health, and improvements in service delivery. The Action will produce "state of the art" reports on the most urgent themes and will organize workshops, conferences, joint publications and training actitivities to discuss and disseminate its findings.