The Romanian Review of European Governance Studies
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The European fiscal compact: more sticks than carrots? Political claims in the Romanian media

Frontpage calendar image June 1, 2013

Author: Adina Elena Marincea

The paper proposes an inquiry into the political communication triggered by the signing of the European Fiscal Compact, as it is reflected in two Romanian newspapers: Adevărul and Evenimentul Zilei. It aims at identifying the positions adopted by Member States regarding the treaty and the discursive alliances or oppositions embedded in different actors’ political claims. At the level of the media analyzed, the objective of the study is to compare the reporting style of the two newspapers and identify potential differences in the evaluations of the topic, the selection of frames and the visibility of different actors, both national and European. The research draws on political claims analysis in order to identify the communicative interactions regarding the Fiscal Compact and resorts to frames analysis for a more comprehensive insight into the reasons and stakes of the involved actors. Inductive and deductive frames analyses were carried out in an effort to explain the positions adopted by political actors in regard to the treaty. The results show that journalists of Adevărul and Evenimentul Zilei select different claims and frames, which results in opposing attitudes of the two media sources regarding the fiscal treaty. Though the general attitude of the EU countries has a negative tendency, reflected in their political claims, 25 out of the 27 member states have agreed to ratify the treaty. The frames analysis explains this contradictory finding, suggesting that the treaty was perceived as being more about sticks than carrots. In contrast with the general tendency, the results point out that Romanian actors manifest more support for the treaty in comparison to the political debate outside the borders.