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A virtual capital for the European Union?

Virginie Mamadouh
GeoJournal
Vol. 51, No. 1/2, European Capital Cities (2000), pp. 113-128
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41147502
Page Count: 16
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A virtual capital for the European Union?
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Abstract

This article explores the websites of the key institutions of the European Union to consider whether these applications of the new information and communication technologies may become a functional equivalent of the national capital city in the emerging supranational political arena. Three functions of capital cities are evaluated: that of command centre, showcase and cultural arena. The websites under consideration do provide a representation of the EU command centre, and they also offer detailed information useful for those monitoring and partaking in the EU decision-making process. They are underused as supranational showcase, with the noticeable exception of their institutionalisation of multilingualism. And they do offer a rudimentary EU-wide public space. The findings suggest that there is a real potential that could be exploited by the EU institutions to foster the expression of the supranational community.

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