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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 27, 2006

Obstacles or motors of Europeanization? German media and the transnationalization of public debate

  • Ruud Koopmans EMAIL logo and Barbara Pfetsch
From the journal Communications


This article aims to contribute to the discussion on the Europeanization of public spheres. It is the starting point for an investigation into the role of the media in transnational debate in Germany. The study aims to determine whether the media function as either a motor of or an obstacle to Europeanization of national public debate, compared to other actors. Drawing on empirical data from the project ‘The transformation of political mobilisation and communication in European public spheres’ (, we analyze the communications through which political actors, civil society actors, and the media in Germany make public demands on European issues. Sources on which this investigation was built were the news and editorial section of two national quality newspapers (center-left, center-right), one tabloid and one regional newspaper in the period between 2000 and 2002. The findings show that the demands made by the media are generally more European in scope than those made by other political actors. Regarding the evaluation of EU integration and the frames that are advocated, the German press and the political elite are rather convergent.

Published Online: 2006-11-27
Published in Print: 2006-06-01

© Walter de Gruyter

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