How we want
to make
an impact

Different levels of expected impact

PERCEIVE wants to understand what influences the perception of Europe at a regional level. Why do we have variations in Cohesion Policy’s results? Do they have an impact on citizens’ positive identification with the European Union? PERCEIVE is an acronym that stands for “Perception and evaluation of Regional and Cohesion Policies by Europeans and Identification with the values of Europe”.

For Citizens: cultural and societal impact

PERCEIVE aims at affecting, in the long term, the way in which European citizens perceive the outcomes of Cohesion Policy and identify with the EU project. A clear trend in recent political election in Europe is the strengthening of Euro-sceptics political parties. PERCEIVE project wants to reinforce the identification with the EU project by highlighting the potential benefits of Cohesion Policy. In fact, PERCEIVE’s project, its communication and dissemination activities, will increase European citizens’ awareness of Cohesion Policy and trigger a debate on its efficacy in creating a positive identification with the European project. In addition, an online campaign will be launched to get people involved in the project’s topics.

For Professionals: conceptual, instrumental and capacity building impact

PERCEIVE will help local managing authorities in advancing their understanding and reframing regarding the link between regional diversity, policy-making and identification and will lead to policy recommendations on a wide range of regional policy related issues including governance and communication practices. In addition, PERCEIVE will develop skills of local managing authorities and policymakers at national and EU level: practitioners and stakeholders of the regional policy will be able to exploit the innovative tools designed in the project to model regional policy interventions and maximize their efficiency and relevance. Meetings with stakeholders and a simulation website will be organized for Central and Local Managing Authorities. Professionals will be able to play with projects’ results and use them as policy instruments. Enterprises involved in EU funded projects will benefit from the analysis of the effects of communication on citizens’ appreciation.

PERCEIVE’s activities will inform communication strategies at the EU, Member State and regional levels regarding the European regional policies and specific projects. They will provide insights on how to adapt these communication efforts to local and regional realities in order to maximise their impact. At the same time the research will consider how to increase the civic appreciation of these policies and how to improve regional policy relevance and efficiency.

For Researchers: scientific impact

PERCEIVE will help advance the understanding and reframe current academic debates on a variety of regional policy-related notions and concepts such as regional identities and legitimacy and identification with policy and institutions. Under a scientific point of view, PERCEIVE aims at filling gaps in relevant literatures. Following a number of potential areas of contribution:

  • fill the current knowledge gap about the cultural-cognitive multiplicity of meanings (logics of) Cohesion Policy and European identity and identification (WP5);
  • develop a comprehensive theoretical conceptual framework able to include and represent the key elements of a theory of policy communication and identification (WP3);
  • advance our knowledge regarding how computer simulation and virtual learning environments aids processes of policy-making. This area of research is developing fast, yet, to our knowledge, do not exist studies that specifically research how interaction with virtual learning environment may support identification processes (WP6).

PERCEIVE’s 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. Contributions will be substantive in five major research areas:

  • quality of government and econometric analysis of the impact of Cohesion Policy on citizen’s awareness, appreciation and sense of europeanness;
  • analysis of communications’ strategies and rhetoric employed by local and central authorities;
  • urban & rural differences: smart cities versus rural areas; possible synergies with the funds related to agricultural development (European agricultural fund for rural development (EAFRD);
  • social constructivist and discursive approach to EU identity emergence and integration: analysis of the emergence of European Identity;
  • integration of very diverse research areas in order to reach transdisciplinary results through simulation;
  • dissemination of scientific/academic results will be performed through conference participation and through publishing papers on major scientific journals. Moreover, project data will be freely available in due time for further analysis.