Survey Reveals: 1 in 3 Bulgarians Embrace European Identity

World » EU | November 28, 2023, Tuesday // 16:24
Bulgaria: Survey Reveals: 1 in 3 Bulgarians Embrace European Identity

According to a recent survey, 1 in 3 Bulgarians sees themselves as European, while half view Bulgaria's place on the world map as a member state of the European Union (EU). The study, "National and European dimensions of the modern identity of Bulgarians," presented at a BTA press conference, polled 1,014 adults in 2021 via face-to-face interviews. The aim was to delve into the collective identity of contemporary Bulgarian citizens.

Dr. Magdalena Slavkova from the Institute for Ethnology and Folkloristics at the Bulgarian Academy of Science highlighted the study's focus on examining various aspects of national identity, specifically the Bulgarian and European dimensions. The findings revealed a hybrid identity among Bulgarians, combining national, supranational, ethnic, and local elements. Notably, over 30% identified themselves as "EU citizens."

National identity led the charts at 84.7%, followed by place of residence (52.5%) and ethnic identification (13%). Comparing present data with a 2009 study, Dr. Albena Nakova from the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology noted a shift from local identity dominance to an emerging European identity shaping national pride.

The survey unveiled differing perceptions of Bulgaria's geopolitical status, with 50% viewing it as an EU member state, 25% as a Balkan nation bridging East and West, and 7% as oriented toward collaboration with Russia.

Responses on Bulgarian pride emphasized history (60%) and traditions (44.7%). Interestingly, nearly 18% highlighted the privilege of global mobility and work opportunities as an EU citizen.

The survey also explored factors contributing to the sense of belonging to the Bulgarian nation: the Bulgarian language (66%), cultural traditions (65%), historical heritage (59%), and Orthodox religion (31%).

However, the study also reflected negative attitudes toward refugees and migrants, with about 20% identifying them as "foreigners" of Bulgaria.

These findings illuminate the evolving dynamics of Bulgarian identity, capturing the rise of a supranational European identity alongside enduring national pride.

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Tags: Bulgarians, European, EU

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