Negotiating Europe: EU promotion of Europeanness and non-institutional actors since the 1950s
Title: Negotiating Europe: EU promotion of Europeanness and non-institutional actors since the 1950s
Author: CALLIGARO, Oriane
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
The concept of Europe is a strong symbolic underpinnings of European integration. Europe functions as a mobilizing metaphor, a sign of recognition that indicates belonging to a community in formation. At the institutional level, the mobilization of narratives on Europe participates in the promotion of Europeanness. It aims to render the project of European integration, which is perceived by most Europeans as abstract and technocratic, more concrete, and to arouse feelings of belonging to the European Union. Europeanness is understood as a flexible and contingent relation to the category ‘Europe’ and not necessarily as an identification with a fixed substance. The goal of this thesis is to demonstrate that the promotion of Europeanness does not constitute the kind of overarching identity policy that imposes a homogenous interpretation of European identity. Rather, I argue that promoting Europeanness is a process of negotiation in which entrepreneurs of Europeanness within the European institutions involve non-institutional actors and charge them to invent and communicate representations of Europe. Both the negotiation and the hybrid and multilayered representations of Europe that it produces are investigated through four case studies: the academic world and specifically, the historians, negotiations over European cultural heritage, the second European City of Culture Florence 1986 and the iconography of the euro. The thesis adopts a socio-constructivist approach in which the promotion of Europeanness is considered as a collaborative and social process. It implies the invention of new rules and norms and the resort to inter-institutional agreements, unwritten administrative procedures and informal modes of behavior. The investigation into various types of promotion of Europeanness reveals that, although ‘unity in diversity’ is systematically proclaimed, a celebrative and teleological approach to Europe is remarkably resilient, advocated not only by the European Commission but also by Members of the EP, representatives of national governments level and non-institutional actors.
Subject: European Union; European Union; Politics and government; European integration
Defence date: 8 July 2011; Examining Board: Prof. Kiran Klaus Patel (EUI), Prof. Rainer Bauböck (EUI), Prof. Juan Díez Medrano (University of Barcelona), Prof. François Foret (ULB, Brussels)
Final published version: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/29320
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