, Volume 51, Issue 1–2, pp 113–128 | Cite as

A virtual capital for the European Union?

  • Virginie Mamadouh


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.

capital city European Union Internet multilingualism websites 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginie Mamadouh
    • 1
  1. 1.Amsterdam Study Centre for the Metropolitan Environment (AME), Department of Geography and PlanningUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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