National Differences in Citizens’ Talk about Europe. The Case of Bulgaria

Based on a survey of the dynamics of European integration at attitude and opinion level, this study attempts to reflect on social transformation and identity change. The essay is part of a research project that aims to identify national differences in attitudes towards Europe. This study wishes to establish a method for interpreting the concept of European identity and to assess everyday attitudes and patterns of behaviour attached to the process of identity transformation, the ability and willingness of individuals to identify with the national group and with the higher order European group. The study hopes to estimate the ration of committed European versus committed nationalists. The essay is concerned with the shifts in the concept of European identity itself during the process of European enlargement in 2004 and 2007 but also with affective expressions of identity and belonging, the impact of political and economic benefits on attitudes and feelings of belonging as well as resonance with cultural dimensions. Methodologically the study uses focus group surveys to assess components, expectations and factors of identity change as well as the scenario workshop method.

Keywords: European integration, identity, national difference