German and French constructions of European identity - overcoming the Eastern vs. Western divide? A media analysis for the case of Estonia
MetadataShow full item record
This Master dissertation analyses the dynamics of German and French construction of European identity with regard to the inclusion of the East-European EU member states on the case of Estonia. The analysis is oriented around the key date of the EU's East-European enlargement on 1 May 2004 in order to assess changes in identity constructions due to the enlargement of Europe's political-economic unit, the EU. The research contributes to the debate on the Eastern vs. Western divide in European identity by focussing on the national distribution and (re)construction of European identity and the concrete examples of France and Germany. If European integration beyond a political-economic unit is sought, understanding the dynamics of in- and exclusion of the East-European member states is indispensable. The analysis relies on a combined quantitative and qualitative analysis of frames in all German and French quality news magazines between 2000 and 2011. An increased inclusion of Estonia into a common European sphere can be observed in the case of France and Germany. Nevertheless, it remains limited for both countries in several aspects, some of them related to the respective national identity. Estonia's inclusion thus seems only partly related to the enlargement of the political-economic unit of the EU. Knowledge of the factors influencing processes of in- and exclusion will help to define the necessary steps towards cultural-historical cohesion in both the framework of the EU and other occasions of intra-European dialogue.