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eParticipation in the EU Re‐focusing on social media and young citizens for reinforcing European identity

eParticipation in the EU Re‐focusing on social media and young citizens for reinforcing European... Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to research the key role of eParticipation and social media in the construction and diffusion of a European identity for European citizens, as a valuable means of acculturalisation, through the creation of a common sense of belonging and self‐identifying with the European ideals. Design/methodology/approach – The paper argues that the limited success of current EU institutions' communication strategy and eParticipation initiatives could be partly attributed to a communication gap between the means currently used on the one hand, and the preferences of targeted audiences on the other. Findings – This communication gap is demonstrated by combining empirical data on EU eParticipation initiatives addressing young people, young citizens' involvement in EU affairs, the penetration of social media on young citizen groups and the social media presence of EU political entities. Research limitations/implications – These empirical data could be enriched with more detailed statistics, and monitored across time to identity advancements and changing trends. Practical implications – The paper proposes, therefore, that the focus for eParticipation instruments be redirected to social media due to their comparative advantages as regards their great visibility, their notable level of penetration into current social groups and their potential of targeting specific audiences and becoming an integral part of these audiences' everyday life. Originality/value – The paper believes this approach can contribute to improving eParticipation ventures in terms of their actual appeal to young citizens and contribution to the construction and diffusion of a European identity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy Emerald Publishing

eParticipation in the EU Re‐focusing on social media and young citizens for reinforcing European identity

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1750-6166
DOI
10.1108/TG-01-2013-0003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to research the key role of eParticipation and social media in the construction and diffusion of a European identity for European citizens, as a valuable means of acculturalisation, through the creation of a common sense of belonging and self‐identifying with the European ideals. Design/methodology/approach – The paper argues that the limited success of current EU institutions' communication strategy and eParticipation initiatives could be partly attributed to a communication gap between the means currently used on the one hand, and the preferences of targeted audiences on the other. Findings – This communication gap is demonstrated by combining empirical data on EU eParticipation initiatives addressing young people, young citizens' involvement in EU affairs, the penetration of social media on young citizen groups and the social media presence of EU political entities. Research limitations/implications – These empirical data could be enriched with more detailed statistics, and monitored across time to identity advancements and changing trends. Practical implications – The paper proposes, therefore, that the focus for eParticipation instruments be redirected to social media due to their comparative advantages as regards their great visibility, their notable level of penetration into current social groups and their potential of targeting specific audiences and becoming an integral part of these audiences' everyday life. Originality/value – The paper believes this approach can contribute to improving eParticipation ventures in terms of their actual appeal to young citizens and contribution to the construction and diffusion of a European identity.

Journal

Transforming Government: People, Process and PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 18, 2013

Keywords: Social media; European Union; eParticipation; European identity; Young citizen groups

References