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Syrian Imaginations of Europe

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SYRMAGINE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: SPUI 21
postcode: 1012WX

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Project website
 Total cost 165˙598 €
 EC max contribution 165˙598 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2016
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-09-01   to  2019-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Refugees’ attempts to flee to a certain country are usually preceded by imaginations about possible destination countries. These imaginations not only contribute to refugees’ decisions where to seek asylum but also have an effect on how refugees experience realities when they eventually arrive in the destination country. The research project ‘SYRMAGINE – Syrian Imaginations of Europe’ focusses on how Europe is imagined by Syrian refugees settling in Syria’s neighbouring countries and examines how refugees’ imaginations affect their attitudes to seek asylum in European countries. SYRMAGINE understands “geographical imaginations” of Europe as subjective human conceptions of a geographical location and stresses the differences between “imagined regions” and reality. The project adopts an interdisciplinary mixed-method approach combining a large sample of individual surveys, semi-directive interviews and an online ethnography in two recipient and transit countries of Syrian refugees in the Middle East, Lebanon and Turkey. SYRMAGINE contributes to the academic literature on the active role of imaginations in refugees’ decision-making. From a policy perspective, it responds to one of the key priorities of the Horizon 2020 work programme 2016-2017, which is to investigate the governance of migration and asylum. The research is highly time relevant due to the surge of Syrian asylum application in Europe in the last years: Between April 2011 and June 2016, more than one million Syrians have applied for asylum in Europe (UNHCR 2016). The research project has the following three objectives: 1) to investigate the relation between refugees’ imaginations and decision-making and to study how the present country of residence compares to Europe as a destination choice, 2) to examine how refugees inform themselves about social and political realities in European countries and 3) to use these findings to contribute to the development of evidence-based asylum and integration policies.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Lea Müller-Funk Sonja Fransen
Return aspirations and coerced return: A case study on Syrian refugees in Turkey and Lebanon
published pages: 1-31, ISSN: , DOI:
IMI Working Paper Series 162 2020-03-23
2019 Lea Müller-Funk
Adapting to staying, or imagining futures elsewhere: Migration decision-making of Syrian refugees in Turkey.
published pages: 1-41, ISSN: , DOI:
IMI Working Paper Series 154 2020-01-29
2019 Lea Müller-Funk, Osama Alaa Aldien, Arij Basrak, Weam Ghabash, Mustafa Hatip, Rand Shamaa, Mouran Tourkmani
Researching urban forced migrants in Turkey and Lebanon: Alternative ways to study a vulnerable population in fragile political contexts (IMI Working Paper 151)
published pages: 1-46, ISSN: , DOI:
IMI Working Paper Series 151 2020-01-29

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The information about "SYRMAGINE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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