The Eurozone financial crisis was widely seen as a challenge to the legitimacy of the European Union (EU). It raised concerns about the quality of its policy outputs, the democratic character of its decision-making, and the EU’s willingness to respect its own legal framework. This article examines how the legitimacy dimension of the crisis was reflected in media discourse. Using methods of political claims analysis, it studies newspaper reporting in four Eurozone states (Germany, Austria, Spain, and Ireland) between 2009 and 2014. It inquires whether the Eurozone crisis led to an increase in discourse that explicitly challenged the legitimacy of the EU and assesses which discourse constellations were particularly likely to result in de-legitimation. The analysis shows that there was no dramatic erosion of legitimacy in media discourse. EU-related reporting was dominated by statements from EU and member-state executives and largely had a technocratic focus, until the outcome of the 2014 European Parliament election made popular discontent with the EU impossible to ignore.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Eurozone crisis, Legitimacy, Media discourse, Political claims analysis, Politicisation
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41295-020-00205-6
Journal Comparative European Politics
Citation
Hurrelmann, A, & Wagner, A. (Andrea). (2020). Did the Eurozone crisis undermine the European Union’s legitimacy? An analysis of newspaper reporting, 2009–2014. Comparative European Politics. doi:10.1057/s41295-020-00205-6