The GAPs project has launched at BICC!

GAPs is not an acronym – it’s a reference to a disconnect between what global return migration policies are expected to do, and what they do in practice. Migration return is a vital component of how national and EU asylum programs are managed. Yet, there is little alignment on the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of return. Critically, the experience of migrants is hardly considered when policymakers make decisions on return migration.

The GAPs project wants to change this. Specifically, it will:

a) scrutinise the shortcomings of the EU’s governance of returns internally and externally.
b) examine the complex interactions of policymakers and local actors involved in return processes to shed light on cooperation failures.

c) analyse the perspectives of migrants themselves to understand their knowledge of return policies, aspirations, and experiences.
GAPs is a new Horizon Europe project coordinated by Uppsala University and BICC with 17 partners in 12 countries across 4 continents. GAPs contributes to developing resilient and sustainable governance and cooperation models for global return migration.

Visit GAPs website for more information.

Photo: Osman Bahadir Dincer

At BICC, GAPs will be led by Dr. Zeynep Sahin-Mencutek, who is also the co-coordinator of the GAPs consortium.  

The project team includes Dr. Katja Mielke, Dr. Lamis Saleh, Dr. Osman Bahadır Dinçer, Dr. Benjamin Etzold, Daphne Wolf, and Monique Michelle Treutler. Erasmus intern Musa Kurt from the University of Bologna joined the team in the summer of 2023, and Ruth Vollmer and Clara Schmitz-Pranghe also support the project from a sister project at BICC.  

BICC will co-lead WP1 on conceptualization and data, WP5 on international cooperation, WP6 on public attitudes, and WP9 on alternative pathways. The BICC team will also be responsible for research on German return policymaking and implementation for WP2 and WP3. The team is looking forward to joint research, networking, and making a positive impact on the lives of people on the move through this project.
The project’s consortium partners include: 
Uppsala University (Sweden)
Stichting Radboud Universiteit (Netherlands)
Özyegin University (Turkey)
Hammurabi Human Rights Organisation (Iraq)
Svenska Forskningsinstitutet i Istanbul (Sweden / Turkey)
The Hashemite University (Jordan)
Ethniko Kentro Koinonikon Erevnon (Greece)
Association Migration Internationale (Morocco)
Toronto Metropolitan University (Canada)
University of Nigeria (Nigeria)
Bilim Organization for Research and Social Studies (Afghanistan)
Uniwersytet Warszawski (Poland)
Migration Matters EV (Germany)
University of Sousse (Tunisia) 
Science-Policy Interface Agency (Germany)
University of Glasgow (UK)
GAPs Project Grant agreement ID: 101094341
Start date: 1 March 2023 
End date: 28 February 2026
Total Project budget: 3,392,025.00 (EUR)
Funded link: Culture, creativity, and inclusive society 
Twitter @gapsreturns