changing narratives – modifying practices – influencing policies

Together with nine other EU-funded research projects, SO-CLOSE is organizing a joint policy roundtable to bring together researchers, practitioners, journalists, and policy-makers to discuss the potential of re-interpreting existing narratives, to present good practices resulting from the ongoing projects, and to inform political decision-making processes. The event is scheduled to take place on March 1st, 2022.

Including migrants in the European Union has not been a uniform process and has revealed several obstacles in the path of making the inclusion of people on the move efficient, humane, and dignified. This roundtable aims at sharing the findings from ten Horizon2020 projects on legal protection of refugees and migrants, on the (economic, cultural, political) impact of their presence on local, regional, or European constituencies, on innovative solutions to enhancing cohesion, and on the role of domestic agents.

The involved projects are:

Cultural Heritage and Identities of Europe’s Future

CHIEF ran from 2018-2021 and aimed at building an effective dialogue between young people, education practitioners, civil society activists, community leaders and policymakers to facilitate a future of Europe based on more inclusive notions of cultural heritage and cultural identity.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 770464

Forced Displacement & Refugee-Host Community Solidarity
FOCUS is running from 2019-2022 and aims at deepening the understanding of critical dimensions of integration, taking stock of the decade passed since the unparalleled influx of more than 1 million refugees and migrants from Syria and other countries (UNHCR 2018), with a special emphasis on psychological and social factors; and by making this knowledge accessible in an efficient and useful way.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 822401.

Migrant Integration Cockpits and Dashboards
MICADO is running from 2019-2022 and aims at facilitating the exchange between migrants, public authorities and engaged civic society and ease migrants’ access to regular social systems (housing, education, health care, and labour) and counselling services through attractive digital services. Thus, it will lower the socio-economic effort and expenditure in migrant integration, both for host economies and individuals.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 Innovation Action under Grant Agreement No 822717.

Understanding the Impact of Narratives and Perceptions of Europe on Migration and Providing Practices, Tools and Guides for Practitioners
PERCEPTIONS is running from from 2019-2023 and examines how Europe and the EU are seen by people who have immigrated there or intend to do so. It further examines what perceptions of Europe exist among this group, how they are formed, whether they correspond to reality and how they influence migration decisions. It aims at deepening the understanding of how the flow of information could be distorted and whether inaccurate information could lead to a threat to the security of migrants (e.g. through dangerous border crossings) or even national security (e.g. radicalisation).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 Research & Innovation Action under Grant Agreement No 833870.


The Right to International Protection. A Pendulum between Globalization and Nativization?
PROTECT is running from 2019-2023 and studies the impacts of the UN’s Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration, which are two non-binding frameworks promoting international cooperation and responsibility-sharing as key solutions to handle global refugee flows. By studying how the Compacts are received and implemented in different countries, and how they interact with existing legal frameworks and governance architectures, PROTECT investigates the Compacts’ impact on refugees’ right to international protection.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 870761.


Skills and Integration of Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Applicants in European Labour Markets
Sirius ran from 2018-2020 and aimed at advancing knowledge on the complexity of labour market integration for post-2014 migrants, refugees, and asylum applicants, and to explore their integration potential by looking into their spatial distribution (in relation to the distribution of labour demand across the labour market), while taking into account labour market characteristics and needs in different country and socio-economic contexts.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 770515.

Enhancing Social Cohesion through Sharing the Cultural Heritage of Forced Migrations
SO-CLOSE is running from 2019-2022 and aims at contributing to social cohesion and fight refugee marginalization or exclusion by facilitating the encounters between similar life stories, through the mediation of innovative digital and artistic tools.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870939.

Opera co-creation for a social transformation
TRACTION is running from 2020-2022 and aims at providing a bridge between opera professionals and specific communities at risk of exclusion based on trials, understood as experimental attempts, to foster an effective community dialogue between diverse individuals and collectives on each one of the nodes. Moreover, TRACTION will also address cross-fertilisation activities between these trial-nodes and new ones that will join the network during its lifetime.
This Project has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870610.


Migration Impact Assessment to Enhance Integration and Local Development in European Rural and Mountain Areas
MATILDE is running from 2020-2023 and aims at examining migration impacts on local development and territorial cohesion in European rural and mountain regions, to improve integration of third country nationals and local development.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 870831.

Investing in ‘Welcoming Spaces’ in Europe: revitalizing shrinking areas by hosting non-EU migrants
WelcomingSpaces is running from 2020-2024 and aims at searching for new ways to merge two policy challenges: How to contribute to the revitalisation of shrinking areas in the EU while also offering a welcoming space for non-EU migrants to pursue their life projects?

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 870952.

This event offers a rare opportunity to engage with various researchers and practitioners from 34 countries including 21 EU countries, representing a total of 135 institutions. Efforts are currently going into making this a hybrid event with the potential of online participation and live streaming. Please stay tuned for more news and updates on the event.

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