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Identity and European integration : diversity as a source of integration

Cram, L. (2009) Identity and European integration : diversity as a source of integration. Nations and Nationalism, 15 (1). pp. 109-128. ISSN 1354-5078

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This article explores the concept of European Union identity and its significance for European integration by drawing upon insights from theories of nationalism and national identity. European Union identity is viewed as an ongoing process which is banal, contingent and contextual. The central hypothesis is that: European integration facilitates the flourishing of diverse national identities rather than convergence around a single homogeneous European Union identity. The role of the EU as facilitator for diverse understandings of collective identities encourages the enhabitation of the EU at an everyday level and the reinforcement of a sense of banal Europeanism which is a crucial aspect of the European integration process. Facilitating diversity may thus provide a vital source of dynamism for the integration process.