Since 2015, the EU institutions are increasingly trying to respond and communicate to public opinion about developments and facts on EU migration policies. Information about policy developments spread through Europe’s fragmented media landscape, alongside highly mediatised stories of migrant arrivals and living conditions in and outside Europe, incidents of crime and acts of terrorism and the use of fake news and disinformation for political purposes.
As our first expert brief mapping the recent research on media and public opinion relationship shows, the public opinion on EU migration policy are linked to changing narratives and frames in policy and discourse circulating in different media sources and at different scales (local versus national media). Social experiments also point at several individual factors in shaping what we observe as “public opinion,” such as one’s empathy level, already existing partisanship or geographical proximity to newcomers. In our expert interview, Dr. Leila Hadj Abdou and Dr. Lenka Dražanová highlight that:
- it is necessary to consider the negative effects of the increased salience of the issue on public opinion on migrants and migration policies.
- what appears as fake news nowadays is more related to how the available information is framed and presented.
- issue framing must be a key consideration of NGOs and policy actors who would like their claims and policy proposals to be welcomed and accepted by those with opposing values and opinions.
Therefore, key issues and controversies highlighted in the upcoming ReSOMA discussion brief include:
- links between attitudes towards migrants and attitude towards the EU
- trends towards polarisation, political fragmentation and mistrust
- changing discourses of mainstream political parties
- the importance of framing, messengers and storytelling
- role of the media in different politicised national contexts
- effects of direct experiences of EU migration policies
- new uses of social media, especially for fake news and disinformation.
This online consultation aims to discuss with national stakeholders, practitioners, policy actors and researchers the following three topics:
Topic 1- Needs for better support:
- Where have you observed major changes in public attitudes towards the EU migration policies? On what types of policies?
- In what ways are information and disinformation reshaping public opinion about the EU’s migration policies? Please also fill out a quick scoring survey on different options.
- What elements are necessary for local and national actors to build a narrative and communications strategy that will influence public opinion on migration policies?
Topic 2: Policy actions to ensure that needs are addressed:
- Which proactive measures and actors are effective for informing public opinion on a large scale? And which are effective for limiting the damage of fake news?
- How can authorities be more responsive to changes in public debate?
Topic 3- The role of the EU and other actors:
- What role could the EU play to support these measures and empower the most effective local and national actors?
- How can authorities directly reach the citizens and migrants most directly affected by EU migration policies on the ground?
We invite you all to share your views, experiences and examples on the public attitudes towards the EU migration policies in your country of work/residence.
To join the discussion, please first log in to the platform in the top right corner.
When you leave a message, please note in the subject line the topic you are responding to in order to ensure a more interactive dialogue between commentators. Ex: “Topic 3: school boards play more important role than…”
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