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The question of what is European identity becomes ever more meaningful against the background of fading unity in the EU as a result of the current sovereign debt and financial crisis. This inductive analysis of reference points of European identity (history, territory, language, public sphere, values, symbols) aims at understanding and approaching the concept of European identity by testing the above mentioned reference points’ suitability to promote something like a European identity according to the functional criteria of exclusivity, tangibility and plausibility. Because the European Union has no international equivalent, and is thus an organization sui generis, scattered comparisons with the United States do make sense - also against the background of the idea of a “United States of Europe”. After the actual analysis of reference points of European identity, this dissertation also takes a look at how the European Union has developed as an external actor, and it asks whether the European Union, as an external actor, operates according to its defining identity traits.