The Process of Identification with the European Union – Preconditions and Limits

Nadya Birezhakli

Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”


Abstract: To what extent and how the process of European integration affects European citizens’ perception and self-categorization and what associations are provoked by the concepts of “Europe” and of the “European Union” are questions which are increasingly arising in the academic discourse. The concept of “European identity“ is often analysed in a theoretical perspective but there is not enough empirical research on the matter yet. Deploying content analysis of focus groups, the present paper aims to reveal the extent of the identification with the EU and to highlight the dimensions and the limitations of this identification.

Key words: identification with the EU; European identity; European Union; qualitative research methods; focus groups; content analysis.

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