In June 2004 the sixth direct election of the European Parliament took place. These "founding elections" were supposed to give a remarkable kick-off for an expanded European Union and to strengthen the still fragile European community. However, an all-time low voter turnout indicated that the elections barely evoked public attention and failed to mobilize voters. In this volume political scientists and communication scholars from almost all EU member states and the USA investigate - in country chapters and comparatively - the political parties' campaigns, mass media's election coverage, citizens' engagement, and the short- and long-term effects of the European integration process.
Michaela Maier is Junior Professor for Applied Communication Psychology at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau. Her current research and academic interest focus on political communication and public opinion, especially the introduction of the EURO as the common currency, and the development of the German media system.
Jens Tenscher is Junior Professor for Political Science with a specialization in Political Sociology at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau. Recently his research and academic interest has focussed on the professionalization of political communication, modern campaigning, and attitudes towards the European integration process.