Fostering European Identity


  • Sarah Ciaglia London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Clemens Fuest Ifo Institute and Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
  • Friedrich Heinemann ZEW - Leibniz-Centre for European Economic Research



Erasmus, civic identity, cultural identity, Adonnino Report


Over recent years, the concept of ‘European identity’ has received increasing scholarly attention. Despite this progress, political initiatives to foster a shared feeling of Europeanness still appear to be designed largely ad hoc. This contribution aims at providing a link between the existing state of knowledge and policy approaches to promote European identity. With a target group perspective, we develop a classification of measures to promote European identity. This classification is based on the distinctions between a ‘civic’ and a ‘cultural’ European identity. Within this framework, we assess seven proposals: transnational party lists for the European Parliament, an EU Citizens’ Assembly, EU consular offices, a Pensioners’ Erasmus, a ‘European Waltz’ program, an EU public service broadcaster, and a European bank holiday. We conclude that current identity strategies suffer from too narrow target groups that already tend to have a European perspective.






Social Evolution of Europe