1970–2000 — The Emergence of a Mass European Identity
It has just been shown that, as expected, exposure to symbols of European integration, exposure to positive and negative ‘news’ on Europe, and, to some extent, the personal experience of European integration of citizens all influence the level of European identity of individuals. These findings are extremely important in that they give us information not known so far regarding the mechanisms of identity change and evolution and the potential role of institutions in mass identity formation. This chapter is precisely concerned with the aggregate level consequences of the findings of Chapter 6 on the progressive emergence of a mass European identity. In other words, if positive news on and symbols of Europe have, as shown in the last few pages, a positive effect on the European identity of citizens, the efforts of EU institutions to generate a full set of symbols for the European political system must have led to a slowly emerging mass European identity, while the type of news received on Europe in the various EU countries must have made this emergence slower or faster across the fifteen member-States. Moreover, a further hypothesis formulated in Chapter 2 suggests that the very membership of the European Union must, in itself, be a factor of increasing identification of citizens with their new political community.
KeywordsEuropean Integration European Union Country European Economic Community Country Dummy Northern IRELAND
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