EN Perceptions News

The Euro-Arab Foundation participates in the 18th IMISCOE CONFERENCE 2021

Researchers from “the Department of Projects & Research” of the Euro-Arab Foundation will participate in the IMISCOE Annual Conference ‘Crossing borders, connecting cultures’ (July 7-9).

Two panels ‘Migrants’ perceptions of the EU. Imaginaries, policies and symbolic management across Europe and beyond‘ will be dedicated to presenting the results of the PERCEPTIONS H2020 project on July 7, from 14:00 to 15:30, and from 15:45 to 17:15.  

These two panels will analyse  how migrants perceive migration to Europe , as well as the narratives of journalists and policy makers and how this (potentially) relates to each other. Perceptions on (migration to) Europe are structured by prevailing and each continuously reinforcing narratives that are spread through (social) media, by policy makers and personal networks. These perceptions vary along migration trajectories as they are part of social constructions that are repeatedly reinterpreted through a series of stories and highly impacted by information campaigns and migration management by policy makers.

José M. González Riera and Patricia Bueso Izquierdo will present some of the results of the research carried out by the Foundation in a paper  titled: Across the Strait: migrants’ narratives on Europe in Morocco and Spain.

Our research has studied the Moroccan context, which in the last three decades has become a key transit country, mainly for sub-Saharan nationals on their way to Europe. At the same time, it continues to be the origin of a sizeable amount of Moroccan citizens migrating to the EU. Additionally, Morocco is consolidating as a host country, mainly for sub-Saharans (Khrouz & Lanza, 2015), many of whom reside irregularly despite of the two regularisations that the country has recently implemented (Benjelloun, 2017). A question often raised is which visions of the final destination move so many people to undertake such a costly and often perilous journey. This paper aims at comprehending the ways in which the perceptions and narratives of Spain/Europe are framed amongst migrants in Morocco on transit to Spain/Europe as well as potential Moroccan migrants. Such views will be then contrasted with those of migrants who have already arrived to Spain. Based on the assumption that these imaginaries are affected by migrants’ experiences, we aim at analysing the evolution of this narrative plasticity, assessing the ways in which the migration itinerary interacts with the perceptions and narratives from the country of origin to the final destination. We will depict the evolution of various patterns of narrative itineraries in parallel to the migration journeys.

This paper is based on the empirical research findings stemming from the fieldwork conducted in Morocco and Spain. The key outcomes will be discussed in terms of a better management of the migration flows and the development of migratory policy recommendations.

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