Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

The EU as an ATM? Media Perception Analysis of Next Generation Funds in Spain

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Abstract:  The Covid-19 pandemic has been a turning point in terms of communication and economics within the borders of the EU. Hence, the economic response to the consequences of the pandemic has been different from previous crises. Both factors influence the media’s representation of the European project, and the construction of this image is particularly relevant to generating a favourable public opinion towards the European project. This research aims to determine how the Spanish media represent the Next Generation recovery funds and to determine the main discourses around this issue. We analysed news items disseminated by a sample of six leading Spanish news media through qualitative and quantitative methods by applying content and critical discourse analysis. The selection collects data via Twitter from July 2021 to March 2022. We found that media discourse reflects a pro-European sentiment, departing from previous Eurosceptic views. Next Generation funds have positively influenced Spanish perception of the EU and shifted the narrative towards Europeanisation. The EU’s support for Spanish funds management advances European integration, but concerns about transparency and control remain. The findings show how the Spanish media present a pro-European view, placing the economic response as a window of opportunity for profound political, societal, and economic structural changes in Spain.

Keywords:  disinformation; Europeanisation; journalism; media; Next Generation EU; political polarisation; recovery funds; Spain



© Marcos Mayo-Cubero, Lucía García-Carretero, María-José Establés, Luis-Miguel Pedrero-Esteban. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.