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Reporting Europe: A Narrative Analysis of Euractiv and Politico Europe on EU Affairs


  • Julia Kaiser

Summary, in English

The EU is home to uncountable media outlets whose narratives are vastly impacted by their national identity. Yet, in recent years, Europe witnessed a growth in transnational media. While the European public sphere is vastly researched, little attention has been paid to these newly established newsrooms. This master’s thesis seeks to investigate the framing by the pan-European press. Aside from determining narratives, the question of whether these narratives contribute to European identity-building and the Europeanization of the public is taken up, as well as in which way transnational media can be considered a viable alternative
to national media.

In order to provide a solid background, the concepts of European public sphere,
Europeanization and European identity-building are defined. Furthermore, multiple studies on the quantity and quality of EU-affairs, as well as the history of Europe’s transnational press, is presented. Concerning the methodological approach, this thesis follows the narrative analysis. Concretely, Labov’s six-part model is applied. The news website Euractiv and the newspaper Politico Europe provide the material. The articles selected for the analysis were published during the German EU Council Presidency in 2020 and cover either Hungary’s and Poland’s veto on tying the rule of law to the EU budget, or policies vis-à-vis the enlargement in the Balkans.
The analysis found that Euractiv and Politico Europe are similar as they seem to side with European values and the enlargement, despite some differences in framing. It remains debatable if and to what extent this press contributes to Europeanizing the public, considering that their outreach is rather limited. Moreover, their contribution to Europe’s cultural identity is questionable, as their narratives are rather built on “civic” identity. Yet, both newspapers can be considered an alternative to national media, as they clearly provide decentralized coverage and offer a pro-European point of view.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Cultural Sciences


  • Transnational media
  • European public sphere
  • European identity
  • Europeanization
  • journalism
  • narrative analysis
  • integration
  • culture


  • Tomas Sniegon