Baseline report

In summary, we can state that in mainstream discourses, when focusing on migrants’ perceptions to Europe, policymakers, academics and civil society organisations are mainly concerned with ‘unrealistic’ or ‘false’ expectations of migration trajectories and life in Europe. Hence, they often start from the idea that these expectations, inherent in these discourses, should be re-shaped to avoid deception and a massive inflow of migrants coming to Europe, especially when they migrate based on illusions or ‘false perspectives’. One should be very critical when using terms like misperceptions or false perceptions, and keep an eye on the equal and balanced representation of all stakeholders’ perceptions – certainly including migrants’ perceptions – on migration to Europe, when discussion perceptions to Europe. The systematic analysis also shows how host societies or their representatives seem to give much attention to perceived threats, and particularly to the threat of radicalisation and violent extremism. This can be understood from a security perspective in which all risks (to migration) need to be considered and decreased. However, it is not necessarily in balance with the actual threats posed by migration, nor does it consider the multiple perspectives of all actors involved in migration to Europe. Taking this into account, the PERCEPTIONS project and the multi-perspective approach it embraces provides a good opportunity to look beyond these dominant discourses: it includes the voices and perspectives of vulnerable groups or those who are not yet fully represented in these discourses and narratives, and tries to understand how these different actors consider particular perceptions, narratives, and discourses as either ‘accurate’ or ‘inaccurate’, or ‘true’ or ‘false’.


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