Cohesion in the new economic and social conditions, new media, new public space
Communication and Media Studies University of Athens Athens, Greece
In recent years the European policy concerning the media was directed towards a growing commercialization and privatization of the sector. Despite all declarations and expressions of good will the possibilities to create a European public sphere, as Habermas conceived it, or a public space remained has extremely restricted. Furthermore, the incremental enlargement of the EU member states has increased the challenges of integrating them into a common legislative and economic system.
The current financial and monetary crisis reveals ambivalent stances and anticipations regarding the EU cohesion. On the one hand, each country try to minimize the consequences of the crisis at a national level adopting distinct measures, and on the other, it becomes more and more obvious that effective solutions can only emerge from a common policy. In this case the media undertake a decisive role because they mediate in rebuilding consent and posing the prerequisites for a common encountering of the crisis. This is a new situation given the fact that the media never sustained cohesion among the member states in practice but only in rhetoric.
How will the EU communicative space develop regarding the possible set-up of a future public space? Is the current economic crisis a crash test for EU cohesion? Will this be the beginning of new common identifications and political priorities or will it signify the end of the vision for a European community? What will be the role of the national and international media? These are the main questions this paper will try to answer by examining the discourse about the emergence of a European public sphere and by monitoring the role of the media in mediating the economic policy in selected EU countries.