It is a decade since the Court first established that asylum seekers are inherently and particularly vulnerable in law

A University of Exeter expert will lead major new research to help inform the fight against inequality, racism and xenophobia in Europe.

Professor Susan Banducci is part of the Infra4NextGen research team, a four-year €9.75m project funded by the European Commission due to begin next year.

Social scientists across the continent will work to inform the EU’s NextGenerationEU recovery plan and European Union youth policy.

The aim of NextGenerationEU is to help inform the fight against racism, discrimination and xenophobia in Europe and promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. The research aims to strengthen EU law to cover all forms of hate speech and hate crime, promote equal opportunities and call out discrimination and hate speech, in real life and online.

Professor Banducci will collect evidence about social attitudes towards inequalities and discrimination. This evidence will help to better formulate policy to address these issues across the EU. 

This work includes the compilation of a comprehensive inventory of cross-national survey data. This will be analysed and available online.

Infra4NextGen will be co-ordinated by the European Social Survey European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC).

Researchers will work in five key areas: Make it Green; Make it Digital; Make it Healthy and Make it Strong. Make it Equal will be led by Professor Banducci.

Other universities involved are Cardiff University, Bielefeld University, NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and TÁRKI Social Research Institute.

Researchers will develop an educational tool (E-NextGen) allowing data to be used in classrooms and by the general public. This will include interactive maps, infographics, blog posts, short research notes and the ability for users to position themselves on the five themes.

Academics will use the European Social Survey (ESS), Eurobarometer, European Quality of Life Survey, the Gender and Generations project (GGP), the European Values Study (EVS), and the International Social Survey Project (ISSP).

New public opinion surveys will also be carried out in Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.