European flags 2018

European flags fluttering in front of the Berlaymont Building. © European Union , 2018 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Mauro Bottaro.

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Emma Charlton, Writer

Which nation is most proud to be European?

Finland, according to a Pew Research poll of people in 15 countries. Eighty-seven percent of respondents in Finland said they were “very” or “somewhat” proud to be European, followed by Portugal and Norway.

Perhaps unsurprisingly after it voted to leave the European Union, the UK was least appreciative of its European status. Italy – where support for the EU has floundered as euroscepticism rises – scored second lowest after the UK.

Image: Pew Research report

While the survey didn’t offer a reason as to why Finland, which joined the EU in 1995, is so pro-European, it may have something to do with the period of stability and economic prosperity the nation has experienced in recent years.

Pew asked people how proud they are of their national identity, their European identity and their religion and showed national pride is widespread and far more prevalent than European pride. Respondents could select “very proud,” “somewhat proud,” “not very proud” or “not proud at all” to a series of questions about their identity.

Large majorities in every country said they are either “very” or “somewhat” proud of their nationality, and again, Finland topped this list, with 94% of respondents saying they are proud “to be Finnish”. In terms of national pride, Germans are less likely than people in most other countries to say they are very proud to be a national of their country, but most say they are somewhat proud to be German.

Another set of questions sought to assess what it takes to “be one of us.” Here most respondents said speaking the national language and respecting local laws are the keys to sharing national identity. Fewer people said it was necessary to have family background in the country, or have been born in the country.

Even so, people in some countries were fixed on ancestry and birth, with at least eight-in-ten adults in Portugal saying a person should be born in the country to be truly Portuguese.

 Speaking the Language Key to National Identity

Image: Pew Research Center