Domestic opportunity structures and political actors’ positions are widely regarded as the most important explanatory factors for EU politicisation. The euro crisis, however, has revealed cleavages across rather than within countries, suggesting structural factors as a potential explanation for politicisation. Based on the political economy literature on Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union, this contribution develops a structural approach to politicisation with respect to countries’ power and variety of capitalism. Using a content and claims analysis of business papers in Germany, France, Austria and Ireland before and during the crisis, the findings reveal a differentiated pattern of politicisation. While an expansion of actors indicates that EMU became more politicised during the crisis, polarisation remained low within countries. Countries’ variety of capitalism and their perceived power in the EU largely explain the substance and objects of politicisation. The findings encourage further research considering structural explanations for differentiated politicisation in less elite-centred settings of politicisation.