Berlin Studies on the Sociology of Europe (BSSE) No. 33 | January 2015 | Download as pdf
According to some observers, the Euro crisis could have provoked a broad politicization of European affairs and the emergence of a European-wide public discourse, paving the way for a democratic deepening of the EU. In this paper, I test whether there has been a common public discourse on the Euro crisis beyond national borders through a systematic content analysis of editorials in center-left and center-right quality newspapers in Germany (Euro zone core) and Spain (Euro zone periphery). Based on the research literature, I formulate three indicators for such a European public discourse: (1) the same issues have to be discussed at the same time across the member states of the EU; (2) their interpretations should differ according to the ideology of the discussant instead of his/her nationality; and (3) opinions should differ according to the ideology of the discussant instead of his/her nationality. My analysis shows that the public discourses on the Euro crisis have not met these requirements. I found significant differences between Germany and Spain, while cross-cutting ideological differences did not play a significant role. I conclude that there has not been a European public discourse on the Euro crisis.