Publications and findings

WP 8 – Identity Formation and Enlargement


Democratic legitimacy needs to be grounded in the collective will of the members of a political community. European integration has transformed the old Europe of independent nation states and the European Union has formally embraced democratic principles and procedures. However, it has not yet consolidated a democratic practice bringing forth citizens’ trust and solidarity.One might say that the search for democracy in the EU is connected to the search for an expression of the shared identity of the European people. To what extent does such a European identity exist? And if so, how can we see it? How does it affect identification with the nation state?


Publications and activities WP 8

A complete list of publications and presentations is available for each year of the project:

 2007 / 2008 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011

You can also try an open search in RECON’s database, or search by partner institution and name.



Selected findings from RECON’s research on identity formation and enlargement

  • Collective identity should be understood as evolving through democratic processes, not as based on historically and culturally rooted identities
  • European identification supplements and reshapes national identification
  • Young Europeans exhibit a broad and inclusive identity which goes beyond national identity, indicating a move towards a European collective identity
  • Structural and cultural changes in Central and Eastern Europe and in Turkey are closely related to values identified as ‘European’
  • As Turkey increasingly moves towards the EU’s democracy standards, underlying anti-democratic tensions in domestic politics become visible
  • NGOs contribute to reshaping collective identities and building a more inclusive and equal society


Read more on these findings in the WP 8 leaflet A European identity? (pdf), which presents snapshots of selected findings to practitioners and policy makers, media and informed readers, civil society actors and interest groups, as well as other ‘stakeholders’.


RECON pamphlet

Reconstituting Democracy in Europe – Snapshots of findings (pdf)

Selected findings in brief from all RECON’s research fields