A European public sphere, understood as a space of communication between political and private actors, is considered to be an important factor for social and political European integration, in particular for its democratic quality.
A European public sphere should assure information flows, opinion formation, public control over politics and social integration. Deficits of a European public sphere are discussed as central reasons for the European Unions democratic deficit. Since the public sphere is constituted by the mass media system, we address the question, if and how characteristics of the emerging information society: major changes in the media system and emerging forms of e-democracy, influence the formation of the European public sphere. For the analysis and discussion of these questions, an international conference was hosted in Vienna in November 2004 (10. Kommunikationswissenschaftliche Tage – KWT'04). Results were published in 2005.
Wolfgang R. Langenbucher, Institut für Publizistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft der Universität Wien (IPKW)
Österreichische Gesellschaft für Kommunikationswissenschaft (ÖGK)