Missed opportunity to connect with European citizens? Europarties’ communication on Facebook during the 2019 European election campaign
Keywords:Europarties, election campaigning, European lead candidates, European public sphere, social media, Facebook, quantitative content analysis
The digitization of political communication and major transformations in the European Union (EU) have altered the conditions for European election campaigns. Whereas national political parties remain highly visible political actors in the EU, Europarties attract relatively little attention from the media and citizens. Social media could provide Europarties with an opportunity to raise awareness among European citizens. In our study, we investigated the social media campaign strategies of Europarties by conducting a manual quantitative content analysis comparing their Facebook posts with the posts of national parties from 12 European countries, focusing on the communication elements used to inform and mobilize citizens, especially in relation to the lead candidates. Our results revealed that some Europarties employed the concept of European lead candidates by emphasizing their candidates in their Facebook posts. However, in their relative inactivity on Facebook compared with national parties, Europarties did not seem to counteract the oft-cited lack of a European public sphere.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Anna-Katharina Wurst, Vicente Fenoll, Jörg Haßler, Simon Kruschinski, Melanie Magin, Uta Rußmann, Katharina Schlosser
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