Flowchart Project

An Exchange Programme for Learning and Labour Mobility

The right to be mobile across national borders is one of the fundamental freedoms of European citizens. Not only is the EU seeking to guarantee this right, but it also actively promotes it. However, it was recognised that Europe suffers a deficit when it comes to mobility and, it is for this reason that the Flowchart project had materialised. 

The Flowchart Project was a European Commission funded project aimed at initiating and developing an exchange programme among a number of organisations based in various Member States. This, it was hoped, would address the free movement challenges that exist within the European Union and the societal impact of the EU policies related to migration. 

The European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) has opted to use ‘A, B, C’, a framework pioneered by them in a previous project relating to vulnerable migrants (‘One Stop Mobility Shops’), as the foundation of this project. Flowchart will therefore be based upon:
  • Assisting migrants in one service or location; 
  • Building bridges to other services; and 
Co-operation among different mobility stakeholders across Europe.

By implementing ‘A, B, C’, it was achieved that EU citizens moving across Member States found as many answers to their questions in one place as possible. This in turn created partnerships locally among a wide range of third sector and public services. Further, there was a transnational dimension linking countries of origin and countries of destination to create a supportive environment. 

There were a total of seven countries involved with Flowchart: England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Romania, Spain, Poland and Italy. From each of these countries an organisation specialising in providing advice to citizens had been selected to be involved. 

From each of the organisations, an internal member was selected to participate in the exchange programme aspect of this project. That member travelled to another of the countries involved, stayed for a period of ten days, during which time he or she was introduced to how the organisation operates. By following the migration flows, members travelled to organisations in countries which held some relevance to them. Further, by having a strong cultural and social focus, those involved in the exchange programme learnt more about where their ‘clients’ came from, or where they were going to, thus allowing them to provide a more comprehensive and in depth service in their own country. 

The outcome of these placements lead to improved, more multi-lingual services for European migrants (such as information systems, feedback mechanisms, mutual learning on common themes for advice etc). 

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The Flowchart project started with a “Kick-off” meeting which took place in Londonon 19th February 2010. The exchange placements took place in June, July and September 2010 with the participants keeping an online diary detailing their experiences. The exchange flow was as follows:

United Kingdom (CAB) and Spain, Romania and Poland
Northern Ireland (STEP) and Poland
Italy (FOCUS) and Romania
Romania (NACAB) and UK, Spainand Italy
Spain (ACCEM) and UK and Romania
Poland (UCAB) and 
UK and Northern Ireland

In the first week of November the participants gathered in Brussels for a study visit and to attend the conference "Mind the Gap – towards better enforcement of European citizens' free movement rights" held on 3 November 2011. The event brought together representatives of citizens’ advice organisations and other NGOs with experience in dealing, at a local level, with the problems of enforcing European free movement rights for EU citizens and members of their family. The report on the conference and study visit can be downloaded below.

The final meeting for the project took place in Brussels on Wednesday 19th January 2011. At this meeting the finalisation and outcomes of the project were discussed. ECAS prepared a charter on ensuring free movement of people in the EU, which citizen’s advisors committed to. A report, within the framework of Flowchart, on EU migration trends in the EU was published on the 1st May 2011. To help the success of the project live on a network of EU migrant advisors was launched thereafter. 


To download the PROGRAMME of the conference, please icon click here

To download Commissioner Reding's speech at the conference, please icon click here

To download the Charter On A Commitment To Ensuring Free Movement Of Persons / Migrants Within The EU please icon click here 

To download the Evaluation of Flowchart project, please icon click here


The Organisations Involved

Citizens Advice (CAB) (England and Wales)

The Citizen’s Advice service helps people resolve their legal, monetary and other problems by providing information and advice at over four hundred and twenty Bureaus across England and Wales. It is a registered charity that relies upon trained volunteers and funds to provide their services. In 2008-09, the service dealt with just over six million separate advice problems including a total of 80,726 separate advice problems relating to immigration, asylum or nationality brought by 56,700 individual clients.


STEP is a community development organisation, a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. Within the migrant rights programme, STEP actively supports free mobility of workers and new arrivals to negotiate the local systems effectively so they become integrated in the local community. Further, the organisation provides specialist support to the most vulnerable migrants, particularly those in danger of being homeless or already homeless and those who are victims of violence and/or racism. STEP and ECAS have previously worked together on other migrant projects.


UCAB is a national association of independent non-governmental organisations whose mission is to provide all citizens with the knowledge of their rights so they can effectively and actively solve their problems. Further, UCAB acts for socially indicated changes. The association’s activities primarily concentrate on developing and strengthening the network of organisations dealing with citizen’s advice and past projects have concerned migration issues.


FOCUS is a federation of Italian non-profit and non-governmental organisations engaged since 1985 in the promotion of fundamental rights of disadvantaged targets, such as migrants, victims of sexual slavery, homeless people, refugees and asylum seekers. The general aim is to find innovative methodologies to promote social autonomy of these categories of people. The organisation offers legal advice to those who encounter difficulties in Italy in their fundamental rights. Additionally, it helps with practical aspects such entry procedures, rights of residence, social rights, permanent residence for EU citizens etc.


ACCEM is a nationwide non-governmental organisation that has developed its services and programmes in the field of migration since 1951. Its objective is to provide social services and to perform social and legal actions to benefit asylum seekers, refugees, displaced people and migrants in Spain. The organisation is present in ten Autonomous Communities (twenty one Provinces and twenty six Municipalities) across Spain.


NACAB was founded to support and direct the activities of the Citizens Advice Bureau and is made up of thirty seven non-governmental organisations that created the CAB branches in over six localities within Romania. Through these, NACAB ensures equal access of citizens to information and advice services so that they are able to use their civil and social rights and responsibilities. It is estimated that over 10,000 citizens benefit annually from the direct services from the CABs.


With the support of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.


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