This time it’s different? Effects of the Eurovision Debate on young citizens and its consequence for EU democracy–evidence from a quasi-experiment in 24 countries

Jürgen Maier*, Thorsten Faas, Berthold Rittberger, Jessica Fortin-Rittberger, Kalliope Agapiou Josifides, Susan Banducci, Paolo Bellucci, Magnus Blomgren, Inta Brikse, Karol Chwedczuk-Szulc, Marina Costa Lobo, Mikołaj Cześnik, Anastasia Deligiaouri, Tomaž Deželan, Wouter deNooy, Aldo Di Virgilio, Florin Fesnic, Danica Fink-Hafner, Marijana Grbeša, Carmen GreabAndrija Henjak, David Nicolas Hopmann, David Johann, Gábor Jelenfi, Jurate Kavaliauskaite, Zoltan Kmetty, Sylvia Kritzinger, Pedro C. Magalhães, Vincent Meyer, Katia Mihailova, Mihail Mirchev, Ville Pitkänen, Aine Ramonaite, Theresa Reidy, Marek Rybar, Carmen Sammut, José Santana-Pereira, Guna Spurava, Lia-Paschalia Spyridou, Adriana Stefanel, Václav Štětka, Aleksander Surdej, Róbert Tardos, Dimitris Trimithiotis, Christiano Vezzoni, Aneta Világi, Gergo Zavecz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

For the very first time in EU history, the 2014 EP elections provided citizens with the opportunity to influence the nomination of the Commission President by casting a vote for the main Europarties’ ‘lead candidates’. By subjecting the position of the Commission President to an open political contest, many experts have formulated the expectation that heightened political competition would strengthen the weak electoral connection between EU citizens and EU legislators, which some consider a root cause for the EU’s lack of public support. In particular, this contest was on display in the so-called ‘Eurovision Debate’, a televised debate between the main contenders for the Commission President broadcasted live across Europe. Drawing on a quasi-experimental study conducted in 24 EU countries, we find that debate exposure led to increased cognitive and political involvement and EU support among young citizens. Unfortunately, the debate has only reached a very small audience.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Volume25
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)606-629
ISSN1350-1763
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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    Maier, J., Faas, T., Rittberger, B., Fortin-Rittberger, J., Josifides, K. A., Banducci, S., Bellucci, P., Blomgren, M., Brikse, I., Chwedczuk-Szulc, K., Lobo, M. C., Cześnik, M., Deligiaouri, A., Deželan, T., deNooy, W., Di Virgilio, A., Fesnic, F., Fink-Hafner, D., Grbeša, M., ... Zavecz, G. (2018). This time it’s different? Effects of the Eurovision Debate on young citizens and its consequence for EU democracy–evidence from a quasi-experiment in 24 countries. Journal of European Public Policy, 25(4), 606-629. https://doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2016.1268643