Europe is in the crucible! The ‘poly-crisis’ which hit the EU in the last decade – esp. the financial crisis threatening monetary union; the mismanagement of the mass inflow of refugees and migrants; the failure of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership; Brexit; and the rise of populism and Euroscepticism – have not destroyed the European integration project. On the contrary, outside states have demonstrated their European aspirations, and the overall support for the European Union has been increasing – for now.
Indeed, there are several indications that, in the long run, the EU’s response to the current challenges might be not sufficiently effective, if only because identification of their causes has sometimes failed. One of the most neglected causes is the impact of the past as it appears in the standard narratives of the societies of EU Member States. The collective memory of nations participating in European integration is a very fragile phenomenon that can easily be exploited by short-sighted, ruthless political leaders in order to mobilize their electorates.