Perceptions logo

Project Overview

Understanding the Impact of Narratives and Perceptions of Europe on Migration and Providing Practices, Tools and Guides for Practitioners

This project has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 Research & Innovation Action under Grant Agreement No 833870.

The PERCEPTIONS project examines how Europe and the EU are seen by people who have immigrated there or intend to do so and how such perceptions impact migrant behaviour. It examines what perceptions of Europe exist among migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, how they are formed, whether they correspond to reality and how they influence migration decisions. The project further examines how the flow of information could be distorted and whether inaccurate information could lead to a threat to the security of migrants (e.g. through dangerous border crossings) or even national security (e.g. through radicalisation). Building on these insights, the project team creates toolkits of creative and innovative measures to react or even counteract on distorted information, considering social, societal and structural aspects, provided on an intuitive web platform.

Project Objectives

The main objectives of the PERCEPTIONS project are to (1) identify narratives, images and perceptions of Europe abroad, (2) to investigate how different narratives could lead to problems, expectations that do not meet reality, threats to migrants or host countries in what way; and (3) to create toolkits of creative and innovative measures to react on harmful narratives, considering social and structural aspects. Thus, the following seven objectives have been defined.

Project Aims

  • RESEARCH the body of scientific literature on the creation and the distribution of place-related narratives with a particular emphasis on their creation and the distribution through social networks and mass media, as well as relevant project outcomes, models and measures.
  • UNDERSTAND the relevance of positive and negative narratives in relation to the motivation for migration through conducting quantitative and qualitative empirical research, allowing transverse and transnational comparisons.
  • ANALYSE social media data and mass media to understand how narratives, rumours and images of Europe are spread, investigate novel technologies, as well as secondary data and scenarios, and conduct a network analysis to identify the impact of novel technologies.
  • DESIGN dynamic new approaches and measures in the form of intuitive toolkits for civil society organisations and development aid organisations in order to support their local activities to deconstruct harmful narratives and enhance the dissemination of other narratives.
  • LEVERAGE a modular Web Platform including an Open Information Hub to spread knowledge and public materials, as well as public and professional service modules hosting digital solutions with a centralised dashboard.
  • VALIDATE the outlined materials and measures to ensure the sustainability of the PERCEPTIONS solutions, allowing the flexible and individual adaptation of the toolkits to the specific local, regional or country-specific needs.
  • DISSEMINATE the PERCEPTIONS solutions by raising awareness, disseminating results in the scientific community, and creating international networks of practitioners working in the field for supporting them with knowledge exchange, training approaches and resources.