National And European Identity Essay

1717 words - 7 pages

Scholars of the European Union (EU) have a strong interest in the concept of European Union identity (Cram, 2009). The ‘European union’ identity can be identified nowadays, although there are still conflicts between national identities and a shared European identity which can be illustrated by the data from Eurobarameter and other sources. Most people perceive themselves as Europeans, as Anderson (1991) state, there is no contradictory between Europe and nation-state, ‘country first, but Europe, too’ is the main feeling of the public. However, some people don’t consider themselves as European which result from a strong attachment to the national culture. Even though, the tendency of the convergence of diverse national identity cannot be resisted (Cram, 2009). Migration of population within Europe and the implementation of Europe policy accelerate the progress of formation of the shared identity. This article is going to focus on two reasons why people are willing to define themselves as European by showing how their national identities interact with the European identity, mainly in two countries UK and Poland .The first reason is the issue of Euro, which can be regarded as a tangible symbol of a shared identity and can be perceived easily. The second reason is the collective memory shared among countries and entire Europe.

The first reason is the issue of euro. Considering a strong correlation between money and collective national identity, money can be used as an effective tool in facilitating the integration of diverse identities (Risse, 2003). Actually, the principal goal of the issues of euro is to promote the unification of the monetary system and foster integration of the economy in order to ease economic activities between member states. However, the advent of Euro potentially shows that a shared identity has gradually formed due to the conversion (Helleiner, 1998).As Salazar and Rose (1978) claimed that as a result of implementation of new currency system, people had an unprecedentedly strong feeling of being members of the EU. These positive attitudes towards euro mainly derived from the expectations of economic developments within EU, strengthen the image of a united European identity. (Müller-Peters, 2011). This can be illustrated by Spain, who considers Euro as a symbol of bright prospects of economic growth and modernization, adopted a potential social identity proposed by the European Union to express their desire to be a European citizen(Arocas,2001)

However, apart from the general approval of the issue of Euro, there are still negative attitudes towards the conversion in Euro land (Anderson, 1998). This is mainly because the competition between the national identities and supra- national identities, European identities, is embedded in the currency transitioning process (Müller -Peters, 2011). The desire of maintaining the independence of the economy system declares their determination of protecting their own identity. In...

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