Parliamentary Communication of Europe (PACE)

Project Lead: Katrin Auel
Duration: October 2012 – August 2016
Funding: Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

The role of national parliaments in EU affairs has gained considerable academic attention over the last 20 years. Much of the literature, however, has focused on parliamentary scrutiny and control in EU affairs. Parliaments also have the potential to provide an ideal arena for the deliberation of important European issues and thus to help overcome the much-lamented distance between European policy processes and the citizens. While it is precisely the opacity of policy-making processes and the lack of public discourse that have been defined as core problems of democratic legitimacy within the EU, scholars have so far tended to neglect the parliamentary communication function. Based on the assumption that citizens experience politics mainly through the media, the research project will therefore investigate both the communication efforts of national parliaments in EU politics and their coverage in the national media. The aim of the project is to make a theoretical as well as empirical contribution to the debate on the role of national parliaments in the European system of multilevel governance. Furthermore, it will contribute to three main areas of research. First, it contributes to literature on Europeanization. With the additional focus on the national media coverage it also adds to our understanding of the Europeanization of public discourse. Second, this project will contribute to debates on the democratic deficit of the EU by investigating whether national parliaments play their part in legitimizing EU politics or whether this deficit is not at least partly 'homemade'. Finally, the project aims at increasing our knowledge in the area of legislative studies more generally.

Website: project website PACE.