Three Years Around 9 European regions.
A deep research.

Cohesion Policy and European values

PERCEIVE is a research project funded by Horizon 2020, the biggest Research and Innovation Programme of the EU. The project investigates, in different European regions, the way European Cohesion Policy affects the process of identification of citizens toward the ‘EU project’, and citizens’ awareness and appreciation of the EU policy instruments for delivering cohesion.

Public Deliverables

Explore all the public deliverables produced by PERCEIVE project so far.

PERCEIVE Project Objectives

A specific challenge

With a budget of €700 billion over the last two programming periods, regional policies target all EU regions and cities in order to support economic growth and improve citizens’ quality of life, yet we don’t know much on their contribution to the emergence of a valued, popular sense of European identity among beneficiaries.

What is the aim?

The tailor-made, multidisciplinary, geographically balanced and comparative research will aim at exploring the interplay between highly different European regions, the application of cohesion, regional and urban policies in the EU and the contribution of these policies to a positive identification by the European societies.

What is the expected impact?

The research is expected to make major conceptual, methodological and analytical contribution towards a better understanding of the relationship between European regional policies, local and regional identities and the perception of the added value of the EU by its citizens.

What is the structure?

PERCEIVE relies on a multidisciplinary portfolio of competences bridging socio-political, regional-economic and public-administrative backgrounds. It integrates the use of both qualitative and quantitative analytical methods such as surveys, focus groups, case studies and econometric modelling.

PERCEIVE Research Areas

PERCEIVE Work Packages


WP1 • Framework for comparative analysis: differences, implementation, perceptions and data gathering

The objectives of this Work Package are to set the framework for the theoretical development for the next stages of the research activities and to grasp the complexity of the conceptual interactions between the main constructs of the PERCEIVE project. These are regional diversity, the framework of cohesion and its actual implementation experiences, the relationship between policy implementation and European identity emergence and citizens’ identification with the value-based European integration project.

WP2 • Evaluation of EU citizens’ perception of the EU project in relation to regional performance of the Cohesion Policy and institutional quality

This work package provides the methodological framework and quantitative background to understand the relation between the EU Cohesion Policy performance and citizens’ perception of it and quantitative representation of the key concepts at the backbone of the project objectives and rationale. It will also map case studies selected at the regional level according to the class of identity value they belong to. The last objective is to use alternative quantitative methodologies, both parametric and non-parametric, to analyse the evolution of citizens’ identification with the EU project in different territories.

WP3 • The effectiveness of projects’ communication strategies

The objectives of this work package are to map material and rhetorical strategies to build legitimacy characterize the communication efforts of a variety of EU financed projects. With a focus on symbolic aspects of communication, it will appreciate and measure how the content of media centrally generated and locally adapted. Finally it will assess both the impact and the effectiveness of communication efforts related to EU-financed regional development projects, in terms of variations in citizens’ awareness and appreciation of the projects, followed by the reconstruction of an historical-dynamic dimension of communication efforts concerning EU financed projects.

WP4 • Spatial determinants of policy performance and synergies

This work package has three objectives: identification of possible complementarities and synergies between EU Cohesion Policy, rural and urban policies supported by EU funds in order to improve the EU citizens’ perceptions of European Policy performance; exploring the interplay between EU Urban Policy and the implementation of ‘smart cities’ and define an innovative index of city’s ‘smartness’; in-depth analysis of discrepancies between regional policies implemented in each case study area and the “real problems” perceived by regional actors/population to allow the better understanding of spatial discrepancies between the EU citizens’ perceptions of European Policy performance.

WP5 • The multiplicity of shared meanings of EU and Cohesion Regional and Urban Policy at different discursive levels

This work package has the following objectives: to advance an original conceptual account for the importance of social construction in understanding the impact that Cohesion Policy might have on EU identity; to empirically explore empirically and quantitatively the discourse about the EU, implementation of Cohesion Policy and European identity; to assess the diverse contribution of relevant actors “theorizing” the EU Cohesion Policy and identity at different levels; and to finally validate the proposed conceptual account through statistical data analysis.

WP6 • Virtual Learning Environment

The general objective of this work package is to integrate contributions from previous WP and to generate a model to be processed through simulation in order to develop a scenario analysis.

WP7 • Dissemination and communication

The objectives of this work package are to maximise comprehensibility of the project at different levels and to support general visibility of research activities. It will open specific communication channels towards research users within non-academic sector and reach out to civil society’s theme enthusiast. Finally, it will share projects’ communication impact with EU political and lobbying architecture.

WP8 • Project Management

The overall objective of the management WP is the smooth implementation of the project, and in particular: to coordinate and supervise activities to be carried out according to the work plan; to carry out the overall administrative and financial management of the project; to manage contracts with the European Commission (EC) and the Consortium Agreement (CA); to manage the knowledge generated by the project and the IPRs; to monitor quality and timing of project deliverables and to resolve conflicts; to establish effective internal and external communication procedures.

WP9 • Ethic Requirements

The objective is to ensure compliance with the ‘ethics requirements’ set out in this work package.

Project Summary

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Visit the Journal

PERCEIVE has a journal where we share news on the project and interviews with staff members about the research’s progress.