Universität Zürich

IKMZ - Department of Communication and Media Research

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Europeanisation of National Public Spheres: Empirical Evidence from Austria


Saurwein, Florian /

Brantner, Cornelia /

Köberer, Nina

Paper prepared for the First European Communication Conference “50 Years of Communication Research: Past & Future”. ECA/ECCR, Amsterdam, 24.-26. November 2005

An increasing amount of literature on European integration deals with deficits of European political communication, with problems regarding the formation of a European public sphere and with their impact on transparency and legitimacy of EU politics. Empirical analyses of the formation of a European public sphere often focus on Europeanisation of national public spheres and on the mutual interconnection between them. However data on the process of Europeanisation of the Austrian public sphere is scarce, although the sanctions of the “EU-14” against the Austrian government in 2000 display a unique event in the history of the European Union. This paper intends to close this research by presenting first illustrative results regarding EU coverage on the major Austrian television news platform (ORF-ZIB). The results show a trend towards Europeanisation in Austria and they confirm the thesis that Europeanisation mainly occurs as conflict induced. Moreover, the findings support the assumption that level(s) of Europeanisation vary according to separated regulatory powers in the European system of multi level governance.