Understand the Impact of Novel Technologies, Social Media, and Perceptions in Countries Abroad on Migration Flows and the Security of the EU & Provide Validated Counter Approaches, Tools and Practices


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. Certain narratives and perceptions of Europe influence migration aspirations, and false images can not only lead to problems when the image does not hold true, it might even lead to security threats, risks or radicalisation. 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. Perceptions on Europe are formed in the country of residence, and they are based on a multitude of sources. Social media and new communication networks, in addition, have increased the scope and the intensity of distribution of such narratives; and furthermore, so-called filter bubbles and echo chambers can lead to isolated misperceptions that are not corrected. 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. It is therefore the aim of the PERCEPTOINS project to identify and understand the narratives and (mis-)perceptions of the EU abroad, assess potential issues related with the border and external security in order to allow better planning and outline reactions and countermeasures. For that purpose, 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.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Luca Pietrantoni

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Psicologia "Renzo Canestrari"
Dipartimento di Sociologia e Diritto dell'Economia

SYNYO GmbH(Austria)

Other Participants:
"Sapienza" Universita' Di Roma (Italy)
Universiteit Antwerpen (Belgium)
Hellenic Police (Greece)
Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)
Egyptian Center for Innovation and Technology Development (Egypt)
Association Des Agences De La Democratie Locale (France)
Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (Netherlands)
Fundacion Euroarabe De Altos Estudios (Spain)
Kosovar Centre For Security Studies (Kosovo)
Centre De Recherche En Economie Appliquee Pour Le Developpement (Algeria)
Center For The Study Of Democracy (Bulgaria)
Aditess Advanced Integrated Technology Solutions & Services Ltd (Cyprus)
Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Italy)
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain)
Swansea University (United Kingdom)
University of Northumbria (United Kingdom)
Ministry of Public Security (Israel)
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna (Italy)
Universidad De Granada (Spain)
Glavna Direktsia Granichna Politsia-Chief Directorate Border Police (Bulgaria)
Koinonia Caritas Cyprus (Cyprus)
Kentro Meleton Asfaleias-Center For Security Studies (Greece)
SINUS Markt- und Sozialforschung GmbH (Germany)
International Centre For Migration Policy Development (Austria)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 4.994.652,50
Project Duration in months: 42
Start Date: 01/09/2019
End Date: 28/02/2023

Cordis webpage

Reduced inequalities This project contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.