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The deep-rooted causes of the crisis of the European Union are a continuous subject of polemic, often based on oversimplistic explanations of ongoing nationalist sentiments. Citizens tend to identify Europe with a laissez-faire trend (asserted first with the Single Act, then with the Treaty of Maastricht), heedless of the different social systems and lifestyles that characterise Member States. The history of European integration is nothing if not that of a movement which, over the centuries, has brought markets closer together, modifying national identities but never questioning the state. Recognition that the tensions between Member States and the European Union are the driving force behind the European project allows us to better understand the ‘crisis of significance’ that it is currently experiencing, as well as the fact that, in reality, it captures the spirit of a liberal policy based on moderate decisions.