“Citizens about EU and themselves. Interpreting the last Eurobarometers: citizenship, identity, culture” (submitted)
UACES (The Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies) 49th Annual Conference to be held at University of Lisbon School of Law, 1- 4 September 2019
Based on data from the last Eurobarometers (EB), this paper brings an account of identity and citizenship issues, the challenging and most scrutinized binomial in the European stage. Despite their known limitations for deep analysis the Eurobarometers remain a basic tool to monitor the public opinion and, so, to acess Europe bottom-up by the citizens's voice - feelings and facts. The selection of indicators comprises what they say about their belonging to EU, their relation with institutions, the apparaisal of EU achievements and the main concerns vs. expectations for personal, national and EU’s future. Clustering the data by countries it shows a plural portrait with un/expected affinities across several issues, and due to the Brexit process it matters a special focus on UK citizens: with which idiosyncrasies and/or Euroscepticism in the comparative outlook? Additionally, a second range of topics on identity and culture relates the ground of voices to institutional agendas for them. Following a greater role in these areas, for some authors like a “third wave” in the Europeanisation process, the statement “Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture” (November 2017) has guided the European Comission until adopting the ambitious “New Agenda for Culture” in May 2018. Priorities are i) to “harness the power of culture and cultural diversity for social cohesion and wellbeing, by promoting cultural participation, mobility of artists and protection of heritage; ii) to support jobs and growth in the cultural and creative sectors, by promoting arts and culture in education, boosting relevant skills, and encouraging innovation in culture; iii) to strengthen international cultural relations, by making the most of the potential of culture to foster sustainable development and peace”. Now, looking at Eurobarometers from 2017-18 with some data on cultural topics, what do the citizens think, and with which engagement, about the own European culture as a feature for their EU identity?