The Hidden Interest in a Common European Identity

Gintaras Aleknonis
2022 Societies  
A common European identity is an important part of the European political lexicon; however, at the institutional level, it was taken seriously only when the economic crisis, the legal challenges of EU integration, and the Brexit story encouraged a fresh look into the problem. Moreover, the European identity problem may be viewed differently from the Western and Eastern European perspectives, which helps to identify the roots of contemporary "official" and "sociological" perceptions of a common
more » ... uropean identity. The Standard Eurobarometer (EB) questionaries were used as a proxy to analyze the interest of the EU in a common European identity. We analyzed the types of questions asked from 2004 to 2020 and took a look at the responses. The shifts in the composition of the Standard EB questionaries signal that the "official" understanding of identity is gaining ground against the "sociological" approach. The promotion by official bodies of the EU of a one-sided understanding of a common European identity, based on the Western approach, narrows the field and creates certain risks. In the face of a permanent EU-ropean unity crisis, it would not be wise to lose one of the important instruments that could be successfully used to identify the hidden challenges of the future.
doi:10.3390/soc12010010 fatcat:ai43dx7g4ngedhk7o5cmsojnrm