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European identity and European citizenship in three "Eurocities": A sociological approach to the European Union

Abstract : This text is a complement to the book Eurostars and Eurocities in which the practices and sentiments of those who might be considered archtypal new Europeans are analysed - that is, the views of the ultra-mobile Europeans who have moved to live and work and work in another member state of the EU. The research is based on 60 interviews with residents of three of the major hubs of European mobilty : the "Eurocities" of Amsterdam, London and Brussels. Focusing on those who moved, most often because of a desire to get away from the restrictive circumstances they felt in their own home country, the article analyses the opinions of these individuals about Europe. It shows the low consistency of their attitudes towards the EU, which contrasts with their intense usage of the new possibilities that the EU offers its citizens. This however is not the case concerning the political rights guaranteed by the Maastrict Treaty. Eurostars rarely vote in the cities where they live, and if they are interesteed in politics, for the majority it is politics in their home country. It is in their daily life, as consumers, neighbours, public service users and cultural entrepreneurs that they exercise their European citizenship. This is also how they legitimate the European project, rather than in developing a so-called "European identity". The findings thus end by questioning arguments concerning the notorious "democratic deficit" of the EU.
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Adrian Favell. European identity and European citizenship in three "Eurocities": A sociological approach to the European Union. Politique européenne, l'Harmattan, 2010, 1 (30), pp.187-224. ⟨10.3917/poeu.030.0187⟩. ⟨hal-01023809⟩



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