ABSTRACT

This chapter contains a concluding discussion of the findings on EU identity construction and its relation to EU democratisation. The findings highlight the difficulties in the emergence of an inclusive and difference-affirming European multi-level identity and the crucial role of national contexts and national identity narratives. The conclusion is mixed: in the German case, until the end of May 2005, the continuous, active, and positive multi-level reference of the discourse had a potentially constructive effect on European identity. The lack of attributions to the EU tended to counteract this. The German EU discourse from the end of May was a potential means for the construction of European identity, as the multi-level reference was also accompanied by an intensive debate about politically substantive attributions to the EU. The French discourse was very intense, but those attributions of meaning that constructed a demarcation from the EU, or non-belonging, prevailed discursively. The French discourse thus potentially worked against the construction of a difference-affirming European multi-level identity. On that basis and the process dimensions developed in Chapter 2, current gaps in the identity construction process in the EU are assembled.