PERCEPTIONS assesses potential issues related to the security of migrants, as well as host countries, connected to perceptions and narratives of Europe and the EU in Third Countries. For that purpose, the project conducts research on the narratives and the myths that are circulating about the EU in three non-European countries of migrants’ transit (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco) and seven countries of arrival (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany, The United Kingdom), as well as two countries of transit to Europe (Bulgaria and Kosovo), representing three routes into Europe (Western, Central, and Eastern Mediterranean). Research is conducted in cooperation with local and international partners in order to find out how the EU is perceived in different contexts, which factors influence these perceptions, and how information is distributed via different channels (e.g. social media, local newspapers).

A comprehensive approach combining quantitative and qualitative research methods clarifies the picture for the exemplary selection of research sites The outcomes are analysed against the background of scientific literature. Based on the research insights, the consortium will develop a PERCEPTIONS framework model including policy recommendations, action plans and a policy strategy – aligned with the ethical principles of the EU –addressing these challenges through foreign policy on different levels (from bilateral contacts to high-level working groups). Furthermore, this framework will contain validated new methods for practitioners and civil-society organisations in order to support them to present a realistic picture of the EU in these countries.

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