Synthetic Report on Cultural Inclusion
Anna Triandafyllidou and Hara Kouki
One of the most difficult aspects in understanding Europe in the present but also in the past has had to do with the question of European identity. Does a European identity exist? Do the Europeans feel European? And if they do, how their feeling of belonging to Europe relate to other important collective and political identities such as national identity or indeed ethnic or minority identity? Are there multiple or even conflicting ways of identifying with Europe? How much diversity can be integrated within one union? European identity as a concept and a lived experience may indeed enable us to perceive what Europe is about under current circumstances, but it can equally complicate, if not impede our understandings.
This Synthetic paper briefly maps important theoretical perspectives, institutional programmes and research policies undertaken so far on European identity and culture: the aim is not to draft a comprehensive and detailed overview, but rather to identify the dominant conceptions of European identity and culture within them and reveal the gaps and current needs for further research on the links between European identity, diversity, their potential for inclusion/exclusion and the role of culture in this process. The paper concludes by drafting a series of opportunities for further research emerging from our dialogue with non-academic stakeholders and proposes four specific thematic areas for further analysis.