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Representations of Europe and the nation in current and prospective member-states: media, elites and civil society, EURONAT, EUR 22009

Project ID: HPSE-CT-2001-00044


This project studies European and national identities and the connections between them in nine countries (Austria, Britain, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain), adopting an interdisciplinary, comparative perspective. The project concentrates on the role of the media in the formation of meanings and representations of the nation and Europe or the EU in each country. This research should be considered against the backdrop of European integration studies and the recently emerging interest in the development of a European identity as a legitimacy basis for European integration.
The EURONAT project is organized around five interconnected phases of empirical work, theoretical analysis and user-oriented activities. The first phase concentrates on the historical background of nation and national identity formation in each of the countries under examination. We have also looked at the historical, policy and identity relationship between the country in question and the European Union. This first phase has enabled us to set the background against which our findings are analysed. Second, we have examined the media discourse on Europe and the European Union in the nine countries involved. We have analysed the daily press and television broadcasting with regard to two major EU events: the Nice summit in 2000 and the launch of the common currency in 2002. As a third step, we have looked at the discourse of political elites and their own understandings and representations of the nation, Europe, the EU and the relationship among them. The corpus of data analysed includes party electoral platforms and parliamentary debates on the Eastern Enlargement, on the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999 and on the Allied Forces¿ intervention in Afghanistan in 2001. The fourth stage of our research has concentrated on public opinion.

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