Narratives on migration and its impact: past and present

MIGRATION-09-2020 (RIA Research and Innovation action)

Horizon 2020 Framework Programme CLOSED


The way we collectively discuss about migration has an impact on the production of policies and responses to address this phenomenon. Narratives on migration -be it in the media, public or political discourses- affect political processes across Europe, influence our perceptions on migration dynamics and ultimately have an effect on the integration of migrants in our societies. The challenge is to understand and explain the causes and consequences of such narratives, examining their construction and assessing their effects on attitudes to migration and on society at large. By identifying the responsibility of each stakeholder - policy-makers, civil society organisations, citizens and migrants- in shaping these narratives, and by shedding light on the consequences of discourses on migration, the role and responsibility of each stakeholder will be better defined and their competences enhanced.


Proposals should address the dynamics and developments of migration narratives at local, national and EU level. Moreover, projects that include countries of origin and transit would be welcome. They should examine the general and potential long-term societal impact as well as the ethical implications of narratives on policy making. Successful projects should study the historical perspectives and changes in attitudes of non-migrant populations towards migrants and vice versa. Furthermore, projects should analyse the extent to which migrants’ voices are included in the shaping of these narratives. Research could also address innovative ways for migrants to shape their testimonials and narratives. This could include the role of ICT and social media, literary and artistic representations and may involve cultural heritage representation e.g. in museums, or other artistic products and events. Proposals could also explore, through collaboration with relevant international partners from countries of origin, how migration narratives and their transmission affect migration decisions and behaviours of potential migrants, taking into account gender aspects where relevant, including the use of social media to facilitate migration. For the study of the impact of media and public narratives on perceptions, opinions, attitudes and behaviours of different categories of people, the use of innovative research methods, including experimental ones and the methodologies offered by the research infrastructures for social and cultural innovation, is strongly encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact

Practitioners will be informed by the new knowledge produced on the consequences of discourses on migration. This may have an impact on their conduct and policy choices when relevant. Projects will improve access and dissemination of information on narratives of migration and their effects including their scale, patterns and the social and economic impact on host societies. This will contribute to a more informed debate on migration and about public perceptions of migration. In the longer term, they may contribute to changing the debate on migration in European societies, opening new opportunities for a successful integration of migrants.

Cross-cutting Priorities

Socio-economic science and humanities

Application date
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology, History, Linguistics, Literature, Digital humanities and big data, Philosophy, Theology and religion
Social sciences