Conclusions: Institutions and the Emergence of a Mass European Identity — Lessons for the Future

  • Michael Bruter


This book has shown three important — and yet undiscovered — elements regarding European identity:
  • In spite of the sceptical assertions of many journalists and some academics alike, a mass European identity has progressively emerged over the past 30 years, continues to grow, and has already achieved high enough levels not to be ignored by academics commentators, and politicians alike.

  • Institutions have played a very important role in the emergence of this new political identity, in particular, by generating symbols of the new European political community, and via the good and bad news conveyed by the media on Europe and on European integration. The European Union has also contributed to the progression of European identity.

  • When they explain that they feel European, citizens actually have specific conceptions in mind, particularly a ‘civic’ conception of their Europeanness, based on the relevance of the European Union as a relevant political system that generates some of their rights, duties, and symbolic civic attributes. To a lesser extent, they also hold a ‘cultural’ conception of this identity, based on a perceived shared baggage, which may, according to the individual, thought to consist of a variety of historical, cultural, social, or moral attributes.


Political Scientist European Integration Identity Formation Cultural Identity Political Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Michael Bruter 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Bruter
    • 1
  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceUK

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