The European Promise: EU integration as a post-conflict constitutionalisation of fundamental rights — and why it matters today

The starting point of most histories of the European project is post-WWII, with the Schuman declaration and the establishment of the European Steel and Coal Community. Indeed, one of the main justifications for the continuity of this project — now as the European Union — is to avert the horrors of inter-European war. One could say that the European project is commonly presented by Europeans, and by almost everyone around the world with an interest in the matter, as the result of the war, and of WWII particularly. This presentation will explore how an approach to the genetic narratives of the European project that goes deeper into the past and closer into the reading of the EU’s founding documents can provide stronger foundations to the current fight against the threat that illiberal regimes such as the ones in Hungary and Poland currently pose to the credibility and even the survival of the EU and its promise.