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The vocal citizens of the European Parliament Facebook page: Who are they and why do they get engaged online?


  • Helena Martinez Martinez

Summary, in English

Digital media and social media are by now established platforms for daily online social interaction, expression and debate, also in the political field. They offer users a space to voice and exchange opinions, as well as a tool to organise political acts of protest or support around offline world events. And they are changing the game of politics in remarkable ways. Political institutions such as the EU also understand the potential of social media as a platform to communicate with its citizens, and even as a means to increase its transparency and legitimacy.
This dissertation examines the citizens who comment on the particular setting of the European Parliament Facebook and defends their comments contribute to the formation of public opinion and their authors conform a Europeanised public. The study gathered 110 participants from different countries and adopted an online survey method in order to capture (1) who these commenters are, (2) how Europeanised they are, (3) why they comment, (4) how often they do so and (5) how interested in politics they are, by asking them individually through a questionnaire. The outcomes of the study suggest that commenters of the European Parliament page are mostly male and well educated, Europeanised as well as interested in EU politics and that their main drive to comment is being able to express their opinions on EU affairs they consider important. The European public sphere supported by this particular page shows a great deal of transnationalism, but is not representative of all Europeans.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Social Sciences


  • EU
  • European politics
  • social media
  • European Parliament
  • Facebook
  • public sphere
  • commenters
  • European Studies
  • European Public Sphere
  • survey


  • Anamaria Dutceac Segesten (Biträdande Lektor)