Analysts should expect neither too much from European Union identity and its causal role in driving the integration process, nor too little, by underestimating the stabilizing force of implicit identification with the EU. Daily transactions in an EU institutional context embed an acceptance of the EU as a legitimate political authority and underpin passive consent to the continued functioning of the EU. The emergence of explicit EU identification is contingent upon the value (real and symbolic) attached to transactions, the extent to which valued goods are perceived to be under threat and whether competing political authorities are viewed as legitimate.