In September, the city of Vienna will host the launch of 'PERCEPTIONS', a new research project funded by the European Horizon 2020 programme. This project, which the Euro-Arab Foundation is working on, aims to identify and understand the false narratives about the EU circulating in the Western Mediterranean, assess possible problems related to border and external security and outline reactions and measures against these narratives.

On 11 September, the Euro-Arab Foundation will attend the presentation of 'PERCEPTIONS', a research project aimed at identifying and understanding (mis)accounts and perceptions of the EU abroad, evaluating possible cross-border and external security issues to plan and outline reactions and countermeasures.

Narratives on a “better life” that can become reality somewhere else has always been shaping human migration. The image or idea of a “promised land”, however, might not be real, and newcomers are often faced with obstacles and challenges. These false images can produce frustration and impotence in the newcomers, and even lead to radicalization processes, threatening the security of the destination country.

This is the case in Europe: certain narratives and perceptions of Europe influence migration aspirations,  are formed in the country of residence and are massively spread by new media and social networks.  It is, therefore, of the utmost importance to understand and investigate narratives about Europe, how these can lead to problems and threats, how they are distributed, and, in a next step, find ways to react and counteract on them.

Due to new communication technologies, false or incorrect claims become a life on their own, raise expectations or disapproval.  At the same time, however, these technologies and communication networks might also provide a channel to set an exaggerated image straight and to promote a more realistic narrative.

In order to identify and understand (mis)accounts and perceptions of the EU abroad, the project will conduct research on the narratives and the myths that are circulating about the EU in countries West- and Central Mediterranean area. Based on the research insights, the consortium will develop a PERCEPTIONS framework model including policy recommendations, action plans and a policy.

The Euro-Arab Foundation, as a member of the PERCEPTIONS consortium, will work for the next 3 years with other 24 organizations from: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Egypt, Spain, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Netherlands and United Kingdom.  

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