Construction of European identity by the Pro-European Parties - Melek Aylin ÖZOFLU

Melek Aylin ÖZOFLU*


The political scene of the European Union (EU) presents a discursive field where identity construction becomes a vital tool for political parties to claim political credit and legitimize themselves. While pro-European parties utilize the narratives of an in-group of European identity, Eurosceptic parties problematize the gap between ‘us’ and ‘them’ by employing narratives of intergroup differentiation as an instrument to re/shape the political reality. The scholarly literature mostly focuses on Eurosceptic populist discourse and right-wing rhetoric relying on discursive socio-political exclusion to form in-group identification of national identities. By adopting a different stance, this article seeks to address the discursive strategies of the pro-European parties employed and mobilized during the 2019 European Parliament election campaigns through the discourse historical approach. It argues that it is of critical importance to reveal the pro-European discourse to reflect the pro-European stance over the debates on the existing identity cleavage within the turbulent European political scene.

Keywords: 2019 European Parliament elections, Discourse Historical Approach (DHA), European identity, European crises, identity construction

* Ph.D. Candidate, Corvinus University of Budapest, International Relations and Political Science, Budapest.