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Building an Identity for the European Union: The Critical Value of Gender Equality Law

Annick Masselot, Jessica Bain

This paper aims to determine whether and how EU gender law communicates a sense of EU identity, and to what degree EU citizens identify with this. Our paper considers the ideological motivations underlying EU gender equality law and the role that relevant policies play in articulating and legitimising the political identity of the Union. Consideration is given to the origins and evolution of EU gender equality law and the role that the ECJ played in communicating and furthering institutional ideology. The paper examines the importance afforded gender equality law by the European public through a series of data on perceptions of gender equality. By considering the political and ideological roots of gender equality law within the EU as well as providing an analytical snapshot of the public's perception of that legal field, the paper proposes to evaluate its position within and contribution towards the EU's processes of self-identification and legitimisation.

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