The Meaning and Importance of European Identity and its Relationship to Regional and National Identities in Spain: Some Contributing Factors to the Development of European Identity

Grad, H�ctor; Ros, Mar�a
June 2004
Sociologia;Jun2004, Vol. 36 Issue 3, p219
Academic Journal
The article discusses the meaning and importance of European identity and its relationship to regional and national identities in Spain. European, Spanish, and regional identities were studied as part of a wider research survey of youth beliefs and experiences regarding the European Union. The research was conducted in the capital city Madrid, Spain, and the Basque Country and Bilbao of Spain. At each location, representative and European-oriented youth samples of 18-24 years were gathered. The interviewees were asked about their perception of border countries as included in Europe, and to rate different feasible meanings of the EU, its impact at personal, regional, and country levels, and different cognitive, affective and evaluative aspects of European, Spanish and regional identities. Regarding European borders, Turkey was the only country most interviewees did not perceive as part of or belonging to Europe. Geography, membership in the EU and, above all, the Euro currency emerged as the most salient features of meaning for Europe, beyond shared values and traditions. The European Union was perceived as having a positive, but small impact for the person, moderate for the region, and greater impact for the country of Spain.


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