European Small Islands Federation

ESIN – the European Small Islands Federation is the fruit of a successful cooperation between small islands communities

European Small Islands Federation

ESIN History

ESIN – the European Small Islands Federation is the fruit of successful cooperation between small islands communities. In May 2001, six national organisations representing small island communities decided to gather within 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.

ESIN progressively made it known amongst islands communities. It was designed to be a strong strategic forum representing a body of small European islands and is now constituted as a federation.


It aims to be an influential voice for  359,357 islanders on 1,640 small islands, helping them remain alive.

Main Activities

Nowadays, ESIN works to raise awareness of the challenges experienced in Europe´s smallest inhabited islands and to promote inter-island co-operation on the subject of sustainable island development.

To this end, ESIN acts at two levels:

  • 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.
  • European level: informing relevant EU institutions, influencing EU policies and rules by increasing their awareness and understanding of small islands.


The project was built on the idea that cooperation between different levels of governance of islands (i.e. National, regional, local) can have a key role to play towards reaching the 20-20-20 EU goals in the area of energy and climate change.

Capacity building in order to enable insular communities to develop Sustainable Energy Action Plans is also an important aspect of the project, as is the expansion and adoption of the Pact of Islands to smaller island communities.

ESIN members

  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Scotland
  • Sweden
  • The Aland Islands