Marinella Belluati, Giuliano Bobba

Europe Is There. But What about the Campaign? 2009 EU Elections and the Cycle of News

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The EU integration for a long time has been considered a supranational process that does not trigger substantial changes in national political contexts. Moreover, the enlargement process has stressed cultural differences between member states and has highlighted diffi culties in the construction of a shared public space; so that the existence of a European public sphere is still questioned. European elections are usually a pretext to discuss domestic issues and this is a common feature in most of the member states. In Italy, 2009 elections represented a test which confi rmed a tendency to "nationalize", or to ignore, the EU issues in terms of political strategies and journalistic practices. Once again European election campaigns have played a secondary role in the process of "Europeanization" of public opinion. This article provides some suggestions about the place Europe and the European elections have within the political and media systems by studying the election campaign coverage in newspapers, newscasts and on the Web.

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