Coordinated by University of Bremen/FB 8
Institute of Political Science
Jean Monnet Centre for European Studies (CEuS)
Professor Dr. Ulrike Liebert
Research Project, funded by VolkswagenFoundation in the Program “Diversity in Unity? Foundations and Conditions for an Enlarged Europe” (1.4. 2005 – 31. 3. 2008)
The Treaty on a Constitution for Europe of 2004 transforms the Union of states into a Union of citizens and states. It was elaborated by the “Convention on the Future of Europe” whose 105 representatives from member states’ parliaments and governments and from the EU institutions over 16 months deliberated in public. Whether the constitutional treaty will be ultimately approved in the enlarged Union of 25 members, depends crucially on how citizens’ opinion and will formation, political representation and participation are impacted by European constitutionalisation, and on whether this process gives rise to a European public sphere. This interdisciplinary project draws on public opinion and communication research as a novel theoretical, conceptual and empirical approach for studying European integration in general, and constitution-building in particular. It is comparative, including case studies on the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Poland and Spain. The research group (1) analyzes the representations of European constitutionalisation in national publics, including parliamentary and party debates, mass media, sectoral publics, mass public opinion and their impacts on citizens’ participatory practices; (2) studies the EP and the Convention, national and regional governments, political parties, NGO’s and the media as two-way mechanisms of transmission and translation, between European constitutional negotiations and member state/regional publics. Against the background of historical and cultural divergences shaped by the cold war, the research ultimately aims at understanding changes in citizenship and the public sphere due to Europeanisation and how they impact European integration. The project group consists of one doctoral researcher and one supervising scholar from each of the countries under investigation; institutionally the doctoral group is based at the University of Bremen.