“The spoilt children of Europe”
German press coverage of the Nice Treaty referenda in Ireland
Ireland’s rejection of the Nice Treaty in a referendum in June 2001 led to intense media discourse about this “no” vote and speculation about the outcome of the second referendum to ratify the Treaty in October 2002. The German media, traditionally positive in their portrayal of Ireland, were particularly critical, with the Irish electorate being characterised as anti-Eastern enlargement and Ireland recast in the role of “bad” European. This study of German press coverage of the two referenda points to a consensus in the negative representation of Ireland across all strands of media opinions and ideologies. The corpus of texts analysed also highlights the construction of a “them and us” divide between a morally superior in-group (the Germans) and a defective out-group (the Irish). Whilst much of the reporting still takes place within a received map of meaning (Hall et al. 1978), the established reference points are now used to de-legitimise Ireland’s role and to reassert Germany’s position as a “big” country within Europe in order to restore normal power relations.
Keywords: EU Enlargement, media discourse, political discourse, Nice Treaty, German-Irish relations, power relations
Published online: 27 May 2004
Chilton, Paul and Ilyin, Mikhail
Hall, Stuart, Critcher, Chas, Jefferson, Tony, Clarke, John and Roberts, Brian
Institute of European Affairs
2002 The Nice Treaty: The 2002 Referendum Amendment. www.iiea.com
Iren stimmen Erweiterung der Europäischen Union zu. Süddeutsche Zeitung (SzonNet), 21. October 2002.
National Forum on Europe (NFE)
2002 Chairman’s Report: The First Phase of Work October 2001 to January 2002. www.forumoneurope.ie
Forthcoming. German-Swiss press representation of Ireland’s rejection of the Nice Treaty. In: Gisela Holfter and Marieke Krajenbrink eds Proceedings of the 3rd Limerick Conference of the Centre for Irish-German Studies, 4–6 April 2002 Oxford, Bern etc. Peter Lang
Potting, Christoph und Weweller, Annette
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Matytsina, Marina Stanislavovna
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Richardson, Kay P. & John Corner
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 12 april 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.