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Signs of Europeanization?: the 2014 EP election in European newspapers

  • Marinella Belluati (a1)

Taking into account the European public sphere and the EU democratic deficit theories, and utilizing the European elections as an evidence, this article demonstrates that despite appearances the European public sphere is showing signs of Europeanization. In the last European electoral campaign, the electorate has gained a more direct voice in the selection of the President of the European Commission. For the first time, EP parties (or party groups) have selected candidates for this position, hence structuring the electoral campaign and giving visibility to such candidates, as suggested by the European Parliament resolution document issued on 4 July 2013. Through political communication approaches, the article explores the impact these guidelines had in the domestic electoral strategies. It does so drawing on a comparative perspective approach. Descriptive content analysis tools are utilized to examine the online edition of articles related to the European election campaign in five European newspapers: The Guardian, Le Monde, El Pais, La Stampa, and Süddeutche Zeitung. The research focused on (i) coverage of European campaign, (ii) main issues and topics of the electoral debate, (iii) visibility of European and national leaders, and (iv) impact of Eurosceptic perspective in the European election debate. Special attention is given to comparing the different journalistic approaches about gender balance and Euroscepticism. The results of this comparative analysis show a strengthening of the Europeanization of the public sphere.

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Italian Political Science Review / Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica
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