EU crises and the international media

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Series Details No.3, June 2013
Publication Date 2013
ISSN 1890- 7741
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Even a casual look at the history of the European Union (EU) since its inception in 1957 shows that at numerous junctures through its development, the EU (or EEC/EC in its previous incarnations) has been portrayed as being in severe crisis. Of course, the EU continues to exist today, and it is arguably stronger and more integrated than ever. Why do EU crises continually defy popular and media-driven expectations? We focus here on the role of international media coverage in cultivating crises and seek to draw out a pattern across three prominent case studies: the 2003 Iraq crisis, 2005 Constitutional crisis, and 2010–2012 Eurozone crisis. Through detailed media content analysis we argue that the media was not just reporting on crises, it was amplifying negative perceptions and portraying relatively average obstacles to EU integration as causing seemingly existential crises for Europe.

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