The State of the European Identity : A four-dimensional idea analysis


Summary, in English

This thesis examines how European identity is expressed and articulated in the European Union’s State of the Union speeches from 2010, 2015 and 2018 by using the method of idea analysis. The analytical dimensions of the methodology are based on four key aspects of identity formation - action, narrative, difference and multiple - which are operationalised as methodological tools applied to the speeches. These dimensions can be seen as both performative and descriptive. Through this method, we arrived at the conclusion that European identity is expressed and articulated in the speeches through; the action dimension by the EU’s overcoming of formative challenges and crises, the narrative dimension by rhetorically defining what values, standards and ethics the EU identifies itself with, the difference dimension by defining the European self-image by differentiation from Others, and the multiple dimension by acknowledging other identities as a part of European identity.


  • Cultural Sciences
  • Social Sciences


  • European identity
  • EU
  • identity formation
  • othering
  • idea analysis
  • State of the Union speeches
  • European Studies


  • Mattias Nowak