Keywords: Critical Discourse Analysis, Europe, European Union, European Integration, President of the Italian Republic.
The paper explores the discursive strategies deployed by the Presidents of the Italian Republic to sustain and legitimate the European integration process in Italy from 1949 to 2019. By applying the Critical Discourse Analysis approach to a corpus made of all the end-of-year presidential speeches to the nation, the paper aims to address two main research questions: (1) what are the main frames that characterise the construction of “Europeµ and the legitimation of European integration? (2) How do they change over time? By developing an original five-fold scheme to classify and interpret the main discursive frames used by the Italian Presidents, the study represents the first systematic attempt to assess the role of the Presidency in the legitimation of Europe and European integration.