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European citizenship and European identity: from the Treaty of Maastricht to public opinion attitudes. JMWP No. 03.96, December, 1996

Panebianco, Stefania (1996) European citizenship and European identity: from the Treaty of Maastricht to public opinion attitudes. JMWP No. 03.96, December, 1996. [Working Paper]

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    In order to answer the question whether the establishment of European citizenship helped to develop a European identity, both institutional and empirical aspects of European citizenship and European identity will be taken into account. The distinction between the formal meaning of citizenship as established in the Treaty of Maastricht on the European Union (TEU) and the attitudes of the Europeans is useful as it results from the Eurobarometer (EB) data on whether European public opinion is aware of the attempts to bring the European Union (EU) closer to the citizens. To understand the contemporary debate on the meaning of European identity, issues such as the relationship between European identity and national identity, and the necessity of strengthening the europeanness in order to indirectly increase the public support to the EU, will be addressed. The process of European integration is today faced with contradictory trends. On the one hand, there is increasing economic interdependence, the advantages of a large scale economy, the necessity of co-operation to cope with environmental disasters or epidemics, etc. On the other, there are local movements claiming for independence in the name of a particular local identity. In an era of globalization and fragmentation, the only way to cope with the clash between identities is to develop and spread a broader concept of European identity. The Maastricht Treaty established a "multiple citizenship". In a similar way, we can refer to a European "multiple identity" by considering local, regional, and national identities as compatible without excluding the one from the other. Recent empirical results indicate that the majority of Europeans declare having both a national and a European identity, demonstrating that they consider them compatible. But when asked to make a choice, the national attachment prevails. In reality, in the TEU the citizens are not asked to choose to have either a national identity or a European one. Identity cannot be analysed in terms of zero-sum games.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > europeanisation/europeanization & European identity
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJCC/AFSJ > European citizenship
    EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > Maastricht Treaty
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > public opinion
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > University of Catania > Department of Political Studies, European Centre Jean Monnet "Euromed", Jean Monnet Working Papers in Comparative and International Politics
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2003
    Page Range: p. 16
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:15

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