The region people identify with -- the place where they live and feel at home -- more often than not is a smaller geographical area than their country, regardless of the latter's size. It is a physical, social and cultural area with which they identify. However, regional or local or national attachment are not mutually exclusive.
The great majority of the EEC/EU population see themselves as "very" or "fairly" attached to their region (87 %), their town or their village (85 %) -- almost as many as those who feel attached to their country (88 %). Among those who feel "very attached", the region comes first (55 %), with town or village coming second (54 %) and country third (53 %). Regional attachment within the EC is most marked in the three southernmost countries: Greece (97 %), Portugal (94 %), and Spain (93 %)/ These are also the countries where people are most attached to the town or village (94 % for Portugal, 93 % for Spain and Greece). Attachment to the country is strongest among the Danes (98 %), Greeks (97 %), Irish (95 %) and Portuguese (94 %). Those seeing themselves as "quite" or "very" attached to Europe as a whole scores highest in Denmark (61 %), Italy (59 %), Spain and Greece (52 %) and France (50%). Whatever the degree of attachment, it increases with age and media consumption. There is little variation according to gender or political opinions.
When people are swayed by geo-sentiments they identify themselves with a specific homeland, nation or holy site to the extent that they condemn, refuse to speak with, hate, fight and exploit people who do not share their particular geographical identification. The danger comes when people identify so strongly with their locale that they divide themselves from others.