Europeanisation on the Internet? The Role of German Party Websites in the 2004 European Parliamentary Elections

Eva Johanna Schweitzer


It has been a key question of European communication research whether the growing transnationalisation of politics in the European Community has been paralleled by a similar Europeanisation of public political communication. In particular, scholars have scrutinized the ability of the mass media to engage the European public in a transnational political dialogue. In taking up this line of inquiry in the new field of computer-mediated communication, the paper develops a methodological design able to quantitatively assess the degree of Europeanisation on the Internet. Applied to German online campaigns in the 2004 European Parliamentary Election, this approach provides empirical evidence of Europe being a ‘missing link’ in German e-campaigning: Party and campaign websites lacked a genuinely Europeanised profile, were nationally focused and partisan biased in their hyperlink structure, and replicated the shortcomings of traditional mass media’s EU coverage in their online news.


EU; Europeanisation; European Parliamentary Election; Internet; online campaigns; party websites

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