This paper studies the Europeanization of media coverage of the European Union's (EU) socio-economic strategy, which is a crucial building block for developing a European Public Sphere. As the EU level increasingly influences public policy in member states, there should correspondingly be a more intense and visible media debate with attention for EU-level and cross-national policies and developments. On the basis of a content analysis (2000–2010) in Denmark, France, Poland and the UK, we find that media attention for the EU's growth and jobs strategy is limited, that it does not increase over time and that it is mainly driven by the EU agenda. There are cross-national similarities in thematic focus and EU-level actors are omnipresent in reporting on the strategy. Finally, we find that coverage of the strategy has a transnational dimension in all four cases, with reference to peer countries in terms of benchmarking and reporting on criticism and advice to member states. This criticism is more often diffuse than aimed at specific member states. Therefore, we conclude that media coverage of the EU's socio-economic strategy is Europeanized, but that it remains a debate by and for EU-interested actors.
- European public sphere
- Compensatory Europeanization