EUCROSS project's objectives in the FP7

The EUCROSS project is part of the EC’s 7th Framework Programme ( ‘Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities’ , Activity 8.5: “The Citizen in the European Union”). Its primary goal is to explore European citizenship and its relation to identities and practices. In particular, EUCROSS refers to Area 8.5.2 (‘Diversities and commonalities in Europe’) that focuses on understanding the future of Europe on the basis of different cultural and social experiences, taking into account knowledge, attitudes and practices of European citizens and third-country nationals.

From a policy point of view, the suggestion of the Work Programme is that research is needed to assess the impact on European identity of the ongoing internationalisation of everyday social practices in Europe, and consequently tailor local, national and European Union policies that promote a spirit of EU-wide cohesion and commonality.

Specifically EUCROSS responds to the suggested topic for small or medium-scale collaborative focused research projects “European Identities: Inner and outer perceptions of Europe and the EU” (code: SSH.2010.5.2-1). The EUCROSS project fully addresses these research contents focusing on the whole range of cross-border practices that are experienced by individuals living in the EU, distinguishing three main groups (nationals, EU mobile citizens and third-country nationals) and encompassing analysis of physical and virtual cross-bordering.

Research strategy

The EUCROSS project examines the relationship between the manifold activities of EU residents (nationals, mobile EU citizens, and third-country nationals) across the borders of nation states and their collective identities. To disentangle empirically the factors and mechanisms that link together the cross-border practices facilitated by European integration, globalisation and/or other dimensions of collective identity, EUCROSS adopts a two-stage, mixed quantitative/qualitative approach.

In the first stage, a quantitative survey is carried out among nationals, intra-EU movers (Romanian citizens) and third-country nationals (Turkish citizens) who reside in six European countries (Denmark, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom).

In the second stage, via in-depth interviews, the meaning given by individuals to cross-border practices, their collective identifications, and the role that the European Union, globalisation, and the nation play in these personal narratives, is investigated among a select typology of respondents to the quantitative survey.

Research questions

Which cross-border practices are more likely to foster some form of identification with the EU – e.g., contacts with foreign friends and/or unwanted foreigners, periods of labour mobility abroad, buying property abroad, business and tourist travel, or consumer relations with international companies?

Under which contextual and individual conditions do these experiences promote a higher sensitivity to ‘Europe’ – rather than the ‘local’ or the ‘global’ – as an identity catalyst?

Which social groups are more prone to adopt a European mindset in the wake of the Europeanisation of everyday life?