Eastern Journal of European Studies (2016-12-01)

Europeanization through students’ lens: EU versus EaP citizens. Is there a collective identity?

  • Elena-Alexandra GORGOS,
  • Elena-Mădălina VĂTĂMĂNESCU,
  • Andreia Gabriela ANDREI

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7, no. 2
pp. 185 – 206

Abstract

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The process of Europeanization has been intensively discussed and participation in debates has been vigorously tested by the academic world, mostly concerned with examining political personalities. This process is often seen through a political and economic view, ignoring the spiritual part pointing to a collective identity rationale. Hereby, our interest consists of finding how this concept is perceived through students’ lens. We aim at investigating students’ opinions, revealing young citizens’ points of view. The conducted research is qualitative, consisting of in-depth interviews, for discovering participants’ standpoints and attitudes towards admitting European bonds and becoming Europeans not just as frame, but in a substantial way, from the perspective of belongingness to a European Union (EU) member state or to an Eastern Partnership (EaP) member state. As the findings show, the bond with the European Union is seen through a political and cultural approach. Students’ understanding of the Europeanization process is varied, and so are their endeavours of spreading the importance to adhere to the European Union and to share the European spirit among students belonging to EaP states.

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