User Perception of EU Institutions – an Investigation into the EU Website

User Perception of EU Institutions – an Investigation into the EU Website

In the consciousness of European citizens, Brussels and the institutions of the EU are still distant. This shows, not least, in the French and Dutch refusal of the „European Constitution“. The European institutions do indeed try to make their work more transparent and to bring it closer to citizens by constantly renewing initiatives and improving their communications policies, yet many of these attempts apparently run into the sand.

This comparative study examines how the EU institutions are perceived by Internet users in Germany, Denmark and England. The results will be augmented by qualitative interviews with office-holders in EU institutions.


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Project Description

The official website of the EU (www.euro pa.eu) forms the subject for this study on the basis that the internet is constantly growing in importance, both for finding information and for distributing it and for public relations. Our assumption is that the users’ experience of this website effect their attitude to the EU negatively. Faced with this, the study is trying to develop recommendations for improving the interaction between institutions and citizens.

The theoretical intent behind this work lies in creating a frame of reference through the combination of „sense-making theory” and uses and gratifications, where both users and communicators can be investigated. The study will be completed in Spring 2008.



Project Information


Duration: 2006-2007

Involved persons

Dr. Talke Klara Hoppmann

Third party

Universität Hamburg, DAAD

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Christiane Matzen, M. A.
Head of Science Communication

Christiane Matzen, M. A.

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung │ Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 41
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17 77




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