The development of a European identity : the cultural politics of the EU

University essay from Lunds universitet/Europastudier

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to examine how the European Union through its cultural program “Creative Europe” is constructing and promoting a transnational European identity. In the context of humanities and European Studies this can be seen as relevant in the sense it is the study of man as a cultural being, as well as it is stated in Merriam-Webster dictionary “humanities plural : the branches of learning that investigate human constructs and concerns as opposed to natural processes and social relations”, and a part of the EU. According to social constructivism, identity is a social construction created by people in interaction with each other by creating joint institutions in order to facilitate joint solutions to a problem. In addition, other ideas and knowledge of these institutions are exchanged, thus gradually creating common interests, which in turn can also result in a common identity. Identities and interests of an actor are formed based on ideas. No interests are identified as already predetermined. This makes it possible to have multiple identities at the same time. A European identity does not necessarily mean that the national identity may give way since nationalism is a political principle in which politics and national unity must integrate, which generates nations and uses pre-selected cultural mechanisms for its people. The common ideas and arguments developed in political cooperation through cultural policies can be seen as part of the creation of a European identity, which is an important part of europeanization.

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