Identity(ies)-Building in the EU: Discourse, Actors and Dynamics

Panel Code
Closed Panel

During the past decades, the European Union has increasingly focused on actively reinforcing a sense of European identity through the promotion of the EU citizenship status and rights, cultural policies and symbolic references, among others. Yet, a return to nationalist attitudes can be observed in some EU Member States, notably in the voting behavior of EU citizens and their increasing skepticism towards EU membership.

This sheds light on some unresolved conflicting identity issues between the European and national levels, while also raising important questions such as: What is the role of the EU institutions and national actors in shaping a common, European, identity? Which dynamics lead to reinforcing or weakening European or national identities? Can European and national identities coexist and complement each other? To what extent discourses for regional autonomy at national level or supranational discourses at EU level may have an impact on how identity is shaped in the EU?

This panel aims to address these questions by focusing on the multi-dimensional construction of identity – or identities – within the EU, as well as on the actors and dynamics involved in this process of identity-building. The panel welcomes contributions with both theoretical and empirical approaches, as well as with various methodological and epistemological stances.