The Treaty of Nice, signed on 26 February 2001, reformulated the European Union in order to facilitate the entry of new members. After the enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe, Spain would stop being a recipient of European Aid, and then onwards would become a Member State that would contribute more than it receives from the EU budget. However, the Spanish Parliament surprisingly approved the Treaty of Nice in October of 2001 with no “against” votes.
The purpose of this research project is to examine the news coverage of the Treaty of Nice and its agenda through three ideologically different Spanish newspapers, El País, ABC and La Vanguardia, between February 2000 and February 2003. The work is expected to make a contribution on three main points. Firstly, it aims to provide an understanding of the ideological tendencies of the newspapers when reporting on the Treaty of Nice and its agenda; secondly, it strives to discuss the news coverage of the results obtained by Spain with the Treaty of Nice, and thirdly it attempts to ascertain which topics concerning the Treaty of Nice and its agenda that the Spanish press addressed.
The results found through quantitative content analysis and qualitative discourse analysis methods highlight that El País, ABC and La Vanguardia reflected their ideological positions when reporting on the Treaty of Nice and its agenda. It has also showed that these newspapers tended to report on the Spanish interests through an interpretative discourse showing more clearly their ideological positions. Moreover, this Master’s thesis reveals that political issues took priority on the agenda of the Spanish press.