Journal of Social Research & Policy,
Volume: 1, Issue: 2, Pages: 47-62
Date: December 2010
ISSN: 2067-2640 (print), 2068-9861 (electronic)
Abstract: The paper analyzes the prospects of building European identity in the changing environment of the EU enlargements. Drawing on data from Eurobarometer surveys, the study specifically looks at citizens’ perceptions and images of EU and their availability to participate in European affairs. The article points out different views about the meanings and expectations regarding the EU project. Although both national and international contexts play a significant role in fostering specific representations of EU, there is no clear-cut divide between the citizens of “old” and “new” Member States (MS). Instead, one can notice a more complex picture in terms of identification with the EU. In general, people from different MS tend to feel on average more attachment to their country (and sometimes to their own village/town/city) than to the EU. Moreover, individuals from “old” MS do not necessarily have higher levels of attachment to the symbols of EU than those living in “new” MS. In addition, the level of effective knowledge on how EU actually works remains at relatively low rates throughout Europe, regardless of a country’s date of accession to the EU. Consequently, the socialization effects of the European integration process seem to remain weak in terms of fostering the emergence of European identity.
Keywords: Integration, Identity, Participation, Socialization, European Union
1. University of Oradea, Faculty of Political Science and Communication Studies, Str. Traian Blajovici 2, Oradea, Romania. Email: email@example.com