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Since the first set of direct elections to the European Parliament in 1979, no previous five-year interval between contests had been as dramatic or as fraught with such difficulty for the European Union (EU) as the years between the elections in 2009 and 2014. This period was singularly defined by a deep economic and financial crisis. The political and policy response to this unprecedented downturn impacted not just on the campaign in May 2014 but also on political advertising across all member states. This chapter briefly outlines the context to the 2014 elections and the background in which electoral television advertising and posters were conceived in the 28 EU member states. This chapter focuses on the economic crisis that engulfed EU member states before considering the political fall-out. The chapter also references Eurobarometer survey data to illustrate the importance of economic issues to public opinion as well as the depth of negative sentiment towards the EU as the May 2014 elections loomed.
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See Economic Crisis in Europe: Causes, Consequences and Responses, European Economic 7/2009. European Commission, Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs.
See European Economic Forecast, Winter 2015. European Economic 1/2015. European Commission, Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs.
See National Accounts and GDP, Eurostat, 2015. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/National_accounts_and_GDP (15 September 2015).
See Unemployment Statistics, Eurostat, 2015. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Unemployment_statistics (15 September 2015).
‘Post-program surveillance for Spain’, European Commission. See: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/assistance_eu_ms/spain/index_en.htm (27 September 2015).
‘Merkel wins euro fund vote, warns on prosperity’, Reuters 26 October 2011. See http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/26/us-eurozone-germany-idUSTRE79O30W20111026 (27 September 2015).
Quoted in A Cautionary Tale: The true cost of austerity and inequality in Europe, Oxfam Briefing Paper, September 2013 (27 September 2015).
‘Portugal bailout details boost euro and bond markets’, The Guardian, 4 May 2011. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2011/may/04/portugal-bailout-euro-rises-bond-markets (27 September 2015).
‘Thousands of Greeks rally in anti-austerity strike’, Reuters, 20 February 2013. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/20/us-greece-strike-idUSBRE91I1D520130220 (27 September 2015).
European Commission (2013). ‘Public Opinion in the European Union’, Standard Eurobarometer 80, Autumn. See http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/eb/eb80/eb80_first_en.pdf (1 October 2015).
- Background to the 2014 Elections
- Palgrave Macmillan UK