P. Pansardi and F. Battegazzorre - ABSTRACT

In this article, we investigate whether and in which way the institution of the State of the Union Address, delivered annually by the President of the Commission to the European Parliament, has provided a setting for communication and top-down legitimation of the EU. Our analysis is based on a qualitative content analysis of the five State of the Union speeches delivered between 2010 and 2015, and is aimed at identifying the discursive legitimation strategies employed in the speeches and the particular conception of the legitimacy of the EU that emerges. Our findings show the presence of a number of elements of discontinuity that characterize the passage from the speeches by Barroso (2010; 2011; 2012; 2013) to the one pronounced by Juncker in 2015, and highlight a difference both in the discursive legitimation strategies employed and in the conception of the legitimacy of the EU that they promote.

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