Exploring the emotional appeal of green and social Europe myths among pan-European Union organisations

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This paper aims to advance European integration research by exploring the emotional appeal of political myths in day-to-day EU politics with a special focus on the reception and reproduction of myths among pan-European Union non-governmental organisations. I investigate myths associated with ‘EUROPE 2020: a European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’, adopted in early 2010. What makes Europe 2020 especially interesting here is that it draws upon and feeds into a number of myths about European integration including ‘green Europe’ and ‘social Europe’. The paper argues that: (1) pan-EU NGOs are receptive to political myths, including in the short term; (2) pan-EU NGOs contribute to the reproduction of myths, especially already-institutionalised myths and myths that resonate with their sectoral activities; and (3) pan-EU NGOs strategically use political myths to justify policy positions and continually mobilise desires around utopian ideals to secure organisational survival.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1409-1429
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Green Europe
  • Social Europe
  • Political myths
  • Political emotions
  • NGOs
  • Europe 2020

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