The first steps towards ENGI were taken in 2005, resulting in a European Refugee Fund project initiated by Nidos (NL) and Refugium e.V. (DE). Several projects on guardianship and sub-themes around guardianship have been completed since, financed by the European Commission and the European Programme for Integration and Migration, among others. Organizations participate on a project basis.

Currently ENGI consists of several projects, aiming at developing the quality and quantity of and knowledge about guardianship. Projects are set up by different alliances of organizations. At the moment ENGI is working on the transformation to a more formal, member-based structure, based on recent developments in the EU and in several member states towards more professionalism in guardianship.