Contesting the European Union in Times Of Crisis

    • Cover Porto 2017
    • Presentation speakers
      • Milica Pejovic, University of Trento, Italy


    The European Union (EU) has been struggling with a series of crises which have often been framed as existential. The Eurozone crisis has brought into question the viability and utility of the common currency and the solidarity with crisis-ridden countries, whereas the refugee crisis has tested the sustainability of the Schengen system under massive migratory pressures and the willingness of EU states to share the burden of increased migration. Moreover, citizens’ fading trust in the EU, evidenced by Eurobarometer surveys, has been often interpreted as a result of the lack of both ‘input’ and ‘output’ legitimacy of EU decision-making when tackling these crises. Due to its role in the crises management, the EU has become a matter of political conflicts and a very salient theme in the media. Thus, the aim of the proposed paper is to analyse how the EU is contested in social media during the Greek bail-out crisis, as an episode of the Eurozone crisis, and during the peak period of the refugee crisis. Using the content analysis of Facebook pages of the European Parliament and the European Commission, the proposed paper seeks to extrapolate different evaluations of the EU polity and underlying reasons for different assessments of the Union. Moreover, it will investigate how the role of the EU in the crises resolution has been interpreted by citizens, who they attribute the responsibility for the crises to and what the most salient concepts are. The content of debates in these transnational virtual arenas will provide me with a rich set of data on popular attitudes towards the EU, complementing the existing statistical data.