Thematic Agenda on Twitter in the 2019 European Parliament Elections: A Comparative Study Between ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ and National Candidates

Authors

  • Rubén Rivas-de-Roca University of Seville
  • Mar García-Gordillo University of Seville

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51698/tripodos.2020.49p29-49

Keywords:

political communication, EP elections, agenda-setting, Twitter, Spitzenkandidaten

Abstract

The representativeness of the European Parliament has usually been a subject of controversy which is currently enhanced by Brexit and the development of several populist movements within the EU. In this context, the elections to the European Parliament in 2019 were the second time in which the Spitzenkandidaten system was applied. Bearing this in mind, the objective of this research is to know the thematic agenda set by these transnational candidates on Twitter, trying to find differences with the issues raised by the traditional national leaders. To this end, the technique of quantitative content analysis is used, referring to the issues addressed on Twitter by the six candidates to chair the Commission, as well as the thematic agenda expressed by a selection of the national candidates. The sample includes politicians from the four most populated countries of the Union: Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The results show a more thematically concentrated agenda in the Spitzenkandidaten than in national candidates. Therefore, the European elections seem to move on two levels: the national, in which the candidates by countries confront national issues, and the transnational, in which the Spitzenkandidaten address topics from a European approach, together with references to domestic policy.

Author Biographies

Rubén Rivas-de-Roca, University of Seville

Personal Investigador en Formación (PIF) del Departamento de Periodismo II de la Universidad de Sevilla con un contrato predoctoral. Doctorando en Comunicación (línea Periodismo) del programa interuniversitario de las universidades de Cádiz, Huelva, Málaga y Sevilla. Miembro del grupo de investigación Communication & Social Sciences (SEJ-619).

Mar García-Gordillo, University of Seville

Profesora Titular de Periodismo en la Facultad de Comunicación de la Universidad de Sevilla. Directora general de Comunicación de la Universidad de Sevilla. Miembro del grupo de investigación Communication & Social Sciences (SEJ-619).

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Published

2021-02-05