The Eurozone crisis is among recent developments that upset the European Union (EU) most profoundly and sparked unprecedented contestation. This article adopts a discursive notion of politicisation and the frame of Discursive Political Studies to investigate whether that moment of contestation re-politicised EU economic governance in substantive terms. It argues that, while emerging counter-narratives of crisis projected alternative scenarios of economic integration and established a practice of constructive EU critique, they were co-opted by the dominant mass-mediated story of a public debt crisis.
After the end of the Cold-War, the EU started advancing its Common Foreign and Security Policy and Common Security and Defence Policy (CFSP/CSDP), making them part of reform that eventually led to the Lisbon Treaty. The article argues that this endeavour was above all a project of polity-construction: it endowed European integration with new purpose, imagining the EU as a polity that legitimately asserted itself globally as a civilising power.
The Greek crisis has attracted more public-political attention than any other sovereign debt crisis within the European Union. This article investigates the argument that this is due to the symbolic-catalytic role that the Greek crisis played in forging a specific approach to state rescue and the reform of th.e European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Drawing on assumptions of narrative political studies and Critical Discourse Analysis, the study shows how this approach was ‘catalyzed’ by a specific construction of the ‘Greek case’ in editorials of the financial press.
Given the particular incentives that the EU offered for the empowerment of non-state actors during pre-accession, it has often been assumed that EU intervention strengthened civil society in Central and Eastern Europe. We argue that, instead, the EU’s impact was highly ambivalent. Although the EU aid and EU-induced policy reform levelled the way for established actors’ involvement in multilevel politics, it reinforced some of the barriers to development that the civil society organisations face in CEE.