University of Twente Student Theses


European Identity 2.0? : An analysis of the European Parliament’s communication strategy via social media in the context of European identity building

Magaletta, Michelle (2015) European Identity 2.0? : An analysis of the European Parliament’s communication strategy via social media in the context of European identity building.

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Abstract:The question of European identity is entangled with the question of the nature of the EU polity. The European Union (EU) has developed from an economic project based on the common purpose of peace, to a political project which has not found its identity yet (Schmitt-Egner, 2012, pp. 16–19) (Delanty, 2005, p. 127). Despite its extensive increase, the current academic discourse on European identity still lacks a distinct terminology (Vogt, 2007, pp. 348–350). In the sociological debate the ques-tion of the possibility and structure of a European public sphere is dominant. The realisation of transnational discourses among Europeans is supposed to lead to the formation of a shared European identity (Schmitt-Egner, 2012, pp. 55–60). Pursuant to the debate in political science, European polity as institutional structure, European demos as collective basis and European Citizenship as individual basis, depict the political form of a European public and enable the formation of a collective identity (Schmitt-Egner, 2012, pp. 60–62). In September 2013 the European Parliament (EP) has launched its infor-mation campaign for the 2014 elections. The general aim of the campaign has been the raise of awareness and the motivation of EU citizen to express their voice. The motto ‘Act.React.Impact’ emphasises that EU citizens can shape Europe’s future by making use of their right to vote (Press Service , Directorate for the Media, 2013). Moreover, the campaign has also made use of social media to increase citizen’s awareness of the upcoming European Parliament election. The hashtag #EP2014 has been prevalent and used to inform, communicate and motivate voters over so-cial media in an organised manner. Notably, the EP addresses the right to vote and hence the status of belonging to the EU as citizen, via the interactive and European-wide medium of social media. According to Walkenhorst, political institutions have the ability to influence collective identity. In the context of identity-building, the use of mass media is cru-cial. Walkenhorst remarks the issue that the EU has no common broadcasting ser-vices, which would enable the formation of a public sphere (Walkenhorst, 1999, pp. 43, 179-180). As shown above, social media is not affected by this issue. As a European-wide medium, without an intermediary, its potential for European identity 2 building could exceed the common mass media and might provide a solution for the lack of European collective identity.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 71 sociology, 88 social and public administration, 89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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