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Study to examine impact of migrant crisis on Europe

Researchers will examine how the language used in political speeches shapes public perceptions on immigration and refugees.

Scottish academics are to examine how politicians and the media shape perceptions of refugees as part of a £3 million study on the impact of the migrant crisis on Europe.

Researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) will study how the language used in political speeches on immigration, and the resulting coverage, shapes public perception.

They will also travel to Turkey and Iraq to set up “advice clinics” to ensure migrants and refugees have access to accurate information, as part of the three-year project.

The Respond project is an EU-funded review of mass migration to Europe triggered by conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

It will focus on border control, migration and integration and will involve 14 universities across the Europe, as well as in Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq.

Dr Umut Korkut of GCU said: “We are going to see what politicians talk about in terms of European integration, how they appeal to their domestic audience and what kind of ideas they introduce to the public.

“Our researchers will concentrate on three types of newspapers in each country; conservative, liberal and middle ground and see how the politicians’ speeches are put into context.

“The plan is to establish legal aid, educational aid, employment aid and public health clinics, in Istanbul and Baghdad, and we will also look to host a series of lectures to dispel the false news about immigration into the European Union.”

GCU said figures show around 1.7 million migrants have arrived on European shores since 2014.

The objectives of the project state: “Respond will show which migration governance policies really work and how migrants and officials are making do in the too-frequent absence of coherent policies.”

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