Standing for Europe: Citizens' perceptions of European symbols as evidence of a “banal Europeanism”?

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François Foret and Noemi Trino
Nations and Nationalism


This article analyses the perception of the symbols of the European Union (EU) by citizens. Relying on a survey of a representative sample of the population in eight countries (France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom) carried out in December 2020, it investigates to which extent these symbols are considered as good representations of the EU and differences related to political, cultural, social and economic belongings. Empirically, our findings show a large acknowledgement of these symbols in congruence with general attitudes towards the EU. Theoretically, it offers some evidence of the existence of a “banal Europeanism” taking - to a certain extent - European symbolism as granted in contrast with its politicisation in elite discursive struggles.