ESIN is a federation of island organisations, uniting 448,000 islanders living on 1,300 small islands all over Europe. ESIN is a forum for sharing experiences and joint development and will represent its members on issues of mutual importance before the European Parliament and institutions.
ESINs main objective is to help small island communities remain alive. To this end, ESIN acts at two levels:
1. Local level: strengthening islands cultural identity, facilitating the circulation of information between its members, allowing comparison on how different countries cope with issues, sharing knowledge.
2. European level: informing relevant EU institutions, influencing EU policies and rules by increasing their awareness and understanding of small islands
The European Small islands Federation is the fruit of a successful cooperation between small islands communities. In May 2001, six national organisations representing small islands communities decided to form a network: the European Small Islands Network composed of Danish, Finnish, French, Irish, Scottish and Swedish small islands was born. In 2005, the six founding members of ESIN decided to formalise the network. Statutes were approved and the European Small Islands Federation came into being. The name “ESIN” remains to designate the federation. Three new organisations joined ESIN in 2006 : the Association of Estonian Islands, the Association of Italian Minor Islands, the Federation of Greek Islands. In 2009, the Åland Islands joined ESIN.
In Smilegov, ESIN is the cluster leader for small islands from Ireland, France, Italy, Finland and Åland. Due to their small size of these islands are in general to be categorized as learning members in the project.