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With globalization and the acceleration of migratory flows, an increasing number of people experience family life across geographical borders. Relatively affordable travel and new communication technologies have led to the development of transnational families, that is, families with members who live in different countries and continue to care for, and about each other across distance. Today, migrants exchange financial, material, practical and emotional support with their distant children, siblings, and aging parents, sometimes on a daily basis. They also travel to provide and receive personal, ‘hands on’ care. Articulating local working lives and transnational family obligations is a major challenge for these families. The TRANSFAM RESEARCH PROGRAM aims at better understanding this social phenomenon, and identify key obstacles to the maintenance of transnational family solidarity.


‘The Transnational Family’– Horizon 2020 projects: portal, Issue 2, April 2014

The second issue of the Journal 'Horizon 2020 projects: portal' published by the Pan European Network includes a 2 pages profile on the Transfam Research Programme. This journal is the definitive guide to Horizon 2020 and offers informative, in depth and timely analysis and comment on the Union’s successor to FP7. The publication features exclusive interviews and articles from top European politicians as well as leading scientists undertaking Horizon 2020-funded research in their fields of expertise.

Banner on the ‘society and culture’ page - H2020 projects website



The Transnational Care project , financed under the EU FP6 Program from 2007 to 2010 explored and compared the impact of distance on the experiences of Salvadoran migrants living in Europe and Australia who cared for ageing, disabled parents in their home countries. This work addressed the questions of their motivation and capacity to contribute to the financial, practical, emotional and personal care of their elderly parents back home and investigated the structural constraints that shape the forms of this type of care-giving.

The ongoing Transnational Family Networks project financed under the EU FP7 Program studies the extent to which transnational adult migrants living in Belgium are able to exchange care and support with their geographically distant parents, and the specific role that intra-familial dynamics play in the exchange of care between adult migrants from the Dominican Republic and Brazil, their siblings and their parents.

The TRANSFAM research program is coordinated by Dr Laura Merla .