New chapter out in the book edited by Taru Haapala & Álvaro Oleart: Tracing the Politicisation of the EU. The Future of Europe Debates Before and After the 2019 Elections.
Although the EU has been the target of scepticism and criticism since its inception, this trend has had important milestones during the last three presidencies of the European Commission. While this has meant more contestation of the EU and its institutions, it also has implied an increased politicisation of EU issues. This has in turn forced EU institutions to react and take part in a conversation regarding the benefits and relevance of the European project. Here, we address the following research question: How has the European Commission responded to the increased politicisation of EU issues in its communication strategy? To answer this question, we investigate two aspects. On the one hand, we aim to briefly trace the evolution of the different communication strategies put forward by the European Commission during the last three presidencies (from 2004 to 2019), focusing more in depth on the Juncker Commission and the ‘political’ turn it claimed to have developed. On the other hand, we seek to understand how the European Commission has put this strategy in practice by looking at the 2019 #EUandMe Campaign as a case study to see how the ‘hearts and minds approach’ has been implemented, and how this could be interpreted as the Commission’s way of responding to increased EU politicisation by developing and upgrading its legitimation strategy.