Debates on the viability of European integration often rest on the need for some form of common European identity. This article looks at European integration through the framework of normative political theory to explore what form of European identity is needed for the EU to be considered both justified – having a good or just reason for existence, and legitimate – having consent from its citizens. It critiques arguments for a purely justified EU, which rule out the need for a common European identity, as well as those requiring a thick common identity for a legitimate EU. In contrast, this article argues for a European identification that is both desirable as an identity and works to sustain a justified and legitimate EU. The proposed conception of European identification takes into consideration national and sub-national identities and opens up the potential for Europeanised identities at multiple levels.
European identity; legitimacy; justification; Europeanised identity; multi-level polity
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.Material published in the JCER is done so under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence, with copyright remaining with the author.
- Articles published online in the JCER cannot be published in another journal without explicit approval of the JCER editor.
- Authors can 'self-archive' their articles in digital form on their personal homepages, funder repositories or their institutions' archives provided that they link back to the original source on the JCER website. Authors can archive pre-print, post-print or the publisher's version of their work.
- Authors agree that submitted articles to the JCER will be submitted to various abstracting, indexing and archiving services as selected by the JCER.