This case study provides a multi-perspective view on the power of political events as a strategy to influence public opinion-building regarding the European Union and the European Idea. To achieve this purpose, it examines one prominent political issue of 2007, namely the German Presidency of the Council of the EU. Looking at three different groups of actors, the German Government, the media, and the audience, the public perception of events is analyzed according to their varying degree of mediatization. The case study compares the three main objectives of the German Presidency on the actors' agendas and describes how issues were framed during three different time periods. The findings suggest that the media agenda was heavily influenced by the government's scheduled events. Regarding the frames identified in the public sphere, the media offered different interpretations, somewhat varying from the political leaders' intentions and from the citizens' perceptions.
© 2008 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, D-10785 Berlin