As noted in Chapter 1, the multi-dimensional crisis facing the EU is unprecedented in seriousness and severity. But crises are nothing new in the trajectory of European integration. Specifically, events to which politicians, officials, journalists, and others have attached the label ‘crisis’ are almost commonplace for the EU. According to the conventional wisdom, EU history is replete with so-called crises, which have been instrumental in driving the project forward. Indeed, the notion of ‘crisis as opportunity’ is central to the founding story of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC), and the EU itself. The severity of the current crisis has led to a reappraisal of the role of crises in EU history (Parsons and Matthijs, 2015). This chapter contributes to that reappraisal by reviewing EU history critically, with a view to exploring the relationship between the onset and the impact of supposed crises and the course of European integration. The chapter does not define the concept of EU crisis. Instead, it accepts at face value that a variety of political and economic shocks emanating from inside or outside the EU system constituted crises. Exogenous shocks include global economic and financial jolts; endogenous shocks are rooted in EU politics, policies, and procedures. The chapter raises a number of questions.
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- Crises in EU History
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- Chapter 2