“Europe is a thought that needs to become a feeling,” Bono, U2.
In the first of our 'Reflections on the Future of Europe' series, Professor Dimitris Ballas asks:
"What does it mean to be European today?
To what extent do citizens of Europe self-identify as European and with Europe?
What does this mean to those who identify with Europe?"
Social surveys such as the Eurobarometer have long been used to capture identification with Europe and a form of belonging and European identity.
Respondents are asked about the degree to which they feel citizens of the EU and their attachment to Europe as opposed or compared to their town or village, their region or their country.
Dimitris Ballas' talk will engage with relevant questions and statistics and at the same time it will also attempt to address the question asked by Bono:
"What would it take for Europe to become a feeling?"
To that end the talk will also engage with issues pertaining to what are considered to be pan-European and universal human ideals (including views on human rights, the environment and social cohesion).
It will also consider temporal and geographical variations of identification with Europe between different countries and regions.
How to take part
Dimitris Ballas' presentation will be followed by a Roundtable with the other speakers in the series. This will be followed by a Q&A with our social media audience,
You can take part by watching the livestream on Facebook and by adding your comments and questions to the comments box.
To receive the FB Livestream link please register on the link above.
Please use the hashtags #FutureofEurope and #EuropeFutureFringe on social media.
About the Reflections on the Future of Europe series
Reflections on Europe is designed to give leading international experts in the fields of European democracy, citizenship and identity the opportunity to come together.
The idea of the series is to present and discuss new work in these areas which touches on the future of Europe debate and the well-being of citizens.
A key component of the series will be the interaction with the public though social media immediately after each discussion and between one event and the next.
About Europe Future Fringe
Europe Future Fringe is an open access festival of democracy where everyone who wants to be part of the conversation about the future of Europe can find a space to tell their story.
The idea is for Europe Future Fringe to spark a conversation about the future of Europe, to energize the debate about what happens next. Too often the discussion about Europe is located in formal institutional settings, out of reach of the citizens.
We want Europe Future Fringe to open up the debate about Europe in all the spaces in between.
Find out more here
About Dimitris Ballas
Dimitris Ballas is Full Professor (Chair in Economic Geography) in the Department of Economic Geography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen.
He is an economist by training (1996, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece) and also has a Master of Arts (with distinction) in Geographical Information Systems (1997, University of Leeds, UK) and a PhD in Geography (2001, University of Leeds, UK).
He has also previously worked as Associate Professor at the University of the Aegean, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield and has held Visiting Research Scholar positions at the University of Cambridge, Harvard University, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria) and a Visiting Professor position at Ritsumeikan University (Japan).
He has published widely in the fields of social and economic geography, social and spatial inequalities, the geography of happiness and well-being regional science and Geoinformatics in the Social Sciences. His publications include the books :
The Human Atlas of Europe: A Continent United in Diversity, co-authored with Danny Dorling and Benjamin Hennig (Policy Press, 2017),
GIS and the Social Sciences: Theory and Applications co-authored withGraham Clarke, Rachel S. Franklin and Andy Newing (Routledge, 2017)
The Social Atlas of Europe, co-authored with Danny Dorling and Benjamin Hennig (Policy Press, 2014).