EUROPEAN IDENTITY ARCHIVE

The European Identity Archive (EIA) is a collection of commodities that relate to the notion of a shared European identity among the European Union member states. Symbols such as the € symbol and the European flag have come to represent the EU – primarily through efforts of the EU and the private sector. The EIA also holds commodities that do not directly promote the EU, but have contributed to the creation of its identity, such as newspapers, magazines, memorabilia or commodities of practical and/or cultural use.

The EU is the only supranational union that has such a developed inter-governmental bureaucracy and global power. This makes it a contemporary example of the effects globalisation has on ideas of belonging and national identity. The EIA researches the complexity of an European identity set out by the EU, mimicking the characteristics of a nation state.

As these symbols fuse with who or what uses them, the idea of an European identity becomes a complex matter.

But, in contrast to a nation state, an European identity seems much more fluid as it is affected by the history and actions of the 28 member states EU has. As many EU member states are in fact neocolonialist nation states, their previous and continuous actions become entwined in the entity of the EU, and therefore in its identity. This makes the idea of an European identity not only complex but also makes the EU, and its efforts to promote it, a part of contemporary imperialism.