Browsing by Subject "European Parliament"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-2 of 2
  • Rantala, Juho (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The goal of this research is to gain better understanding of the EU legislative system through a case study of the trilogues of the Erasmus+ 2021-2027 programme. Trilogues are a series of informal negotiations between the EU legislative bodies and are a central part of the modern EU legislative process. A rich field of research exists on the topic, focusing especially on the roles of the legislative institutions and the transparency of the informal practice. The data used for the research is gathered from interviews and legislative files. A series of expert interviews were conducted with people who participated in the negotiations, representing both EU colegislators, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The legislative files were gathered from publicly available sources and include most importantly the Commission legislative proposal, the Parliament first reading position, the Council first reading position and a four column document from late 2020. Three interesting topics that caused intense intra- and inter-institutional negotiations are identified: the DiscoverEU initiative, inclusion and governance. These provided three different methods of finding compromise. Firstly, it is shown how the Council position can shift to correspond to the Parliament position. Secondly, it is shown how it can still be difficult to agree on the exact words of the legislation even when the goal is a shared one. Thirdly, it is shown how the Parliaments demands can turn into a compromise that is significantly closer to the Council position. A brief summary of transparency over the Erasmus trilogues is given. The main findings of the study are the methods in which the EU legislators are willing to seek compromise: in the case of Erasmus trilogues, they negotiators were more consensus seeking than adversarial.
  • Scholz, Svenja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    After the all-time low voter turnout in the European elections in 2014, the European Parliament faces its legiti-macy being undermined. While the mass media is often made responsible for being a major contributor to the lack of an active political European public sphere where the EU governance can be debated, social media has been considered as a means to connect the European institutions and its citizens through direct communi-cation. From the viewpoint of deliberative democratic theory, the European Parliament can restore legitimacy through engaging citizens in public deliberation and involving them in the European decision-making process. At the same time, political institutions are known for their attempts to generate legitimacy in social media through promotional campaigns that do not stipulate policy impact. This study contributes to the debate about the European public sphere by exploring the motivations behind the European Parliament’s institutional communication on the social networking site Facebook. Its theoreti-cal underpinning hence links together the debates about the EU’s democratic deficit on the one hand, and the democratic potential of social media on the other. Specifically, this research scrutinises how the members of the European Parliament’s Web Communication unit make sense of their work practices on Facebook and which role they ascribe to themselves and other actors in the construction of a European public sphere. The goal is to offer a critical assessment of the European Parliament’s Facebook communication against the back-drop of the normative framework derived from the deliberative theory of public sphere. The qualitative research is based on two data sets: The first data set was collected through participant obser-vation in the European Parliament’s Web Communication unit in February 2018; the second one through eight semi-structured interviews with the Unit’s communication officials working with Facebook. Based on positioning theory, an interpretative interview analysis is conducted. The findings assert that the European Parliament’s Facebook communication must be understood as a politi-cal, top-down, promotional campaign rather than an attempt to engage ordinary citizens in an online delibera-tion. Thus, it does not provide for a systematic political bottom-up policy impact. The findings hence support the view that the narrative of social media connecting political actors and the citizens is most of all put forward to legitimise political promotion. This study moreover emphasises a liberal representative understanding rather than a deliberative understanding of European democracy within the European Parliament’s administration. Accordingly, the role of the European Parliament web communication officials in the European public sphere is to substitute the weak media coverage about the Parliament and raise aware-ness about its benefits to the voters.