This article examines the role television (TV) plays in the development of primary school children's European knowledge and identities in England and Bulgaria. It compares the media coverage on Europe and the European Union with pupils' European perceptions and identities. The article reports data from 174 qualitative interviews with children and the content analysis of seven TV programmes. It concludes that TV plays a strong role in collective identities when a topic is salient on the agenda. TV raises awareness and knowledge and sets the direction of understanding. Yet, despite the higher salience of Europe on the Bulgarian media agenda, Bulgarians feel less European than English children. The article provides an explanation to this phenomenon, thus filling an important gap in the literature about the media's role in collective identities formation from an early age. It also adopts an innovative approach in the study of agenda-setting theory by investigating its application among children.
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