Objectives and estimated results

To study the efficiency of the 'Debating Europe' platform as a transnational communicative space, the project team will compare the degrees of engagement of European citizens and EU policymakers along three dimensions: (a) across seven debate strands (Future, Asia&Europe, Global, Greener, Quality, Security, Smarter, which, so far, embed more than 600 debate topics suggested by European citizens); (b) across countries (the countries with the most active online citizens); (c) over time (2011-2017). The research project will have four objectives: descriptive, explanatory, prospective and prescriptive.

The descriptive objective is to provide a map of emergent tendencies towards a networking Europe along the three comparative dimensions (issues, countries and time). Through this objective we will show two important aspects: (a) degrees and forms of development, convergences and divergences of the seven debate strands over time (2011-2017); (b) differences and resemblances in degrees of European citizens' and officials' engagement in debating European issues.

The explanatory objective is to identify the types of the discursive engagement of EU policymakers and European citizens as (de)legitimators of Europe through comparative analyses. The content generated by European citizens and EU policymakers will be tackled upon in two ways: (a) by determining the conceptual mapping of the debate strands and topics; (b) by interpreting the cluster formations through discursive approaches (Critical Discourse Analysis and Social Semiotics).

Since online communication in European Union is an ongoing and open-ended process, the prospective objective is to assess the further development of a networking Europe through mobilizing and engaging more European citizens and EU policymakers. Through this objective we want: (1) to find out to what extent the debates on EU issues have evolved according to the 'Debating Europe' platform team members' expectations and how they will adapt to the new trends in online; and (2) to determine the impact that the debates on 'Debating Europe' platform has had for the most active online European citizens and to what extent they consider that their debates may influence the European policymakers.

The prescriptive objective will focus on recommendations for further engagement strategies directed towards European citizens as active legitimators of relevant EU issues in a transnational communicative space achieved through a networking Europe.

        STAGE 1 (October – December 2015)
        Estimated results

  • to design a website for the project;
  • to find relevant references for the online communication of/about the EU (a special heading on the website);
  • to deliver two presentations at international conferences in Romania;
  • to send two articles to be published in the conference proceedings of international conferences;
  • to deliver four presentations on the project topic during the workshop organized within the project.

        STAGE 2 (January – December 2016)
        Estimated results
  • to edit and publish the volume of the workshop organized in December 2015;
  • to deliver 8 presentations at international conferences organized abroad;
  • to deliver 8 presentations at international conferences in Romania;
  • to send for publication 4 articles to journals indexed in international data bases (BDI);
  • to send for publication an article in an ISI journal;
  • to deliver four presentations on the project topic during the workshop organized within the project;
  • to upload on the website the thematic clusters resulted after the processing of the ‘Debating Europe’ comments (for each channel) with the QDA miner software;
  • to upload on the website the graphic representations and the group clusters of the ‘Debating Europe’ platform debaters (for each channel) using the NodeXL software.


        STAGE 3 (January – July 2017)
        Estimated results

  • to edit and publish the volume of the workshop organized in 2016;
  • to publish a thematic issue in the journal Styles of Communication (journal indexed in Index Copernicus, EBSCO, DOAJ);
  • to publish an online guide on online participation strategies for European institutions;
  • to send for publication an article in an ISI journal;
  • to deliver 3 presentations at international conferences in Romania;
  • to deliver 2 presentations at international conferences organized abroad.