Rethinking European integration process in the light of crises introduction
European integration process has entered a new phase of instability and uncertainty due to cumulatively experienced and recent crises that have confronted the European Union (EU). Such a setback is directly related to serious questions and challenges that crises have posed against the EU’s integrity, balance and cohesion. Contrary to previous crises, the EU has currently experienced multiple, more intensive and interdependent crises more or less simultaneously. The seriousness of the Union’s current mode of the crisis has been reflected in the accelerated debates on the future of Europe, including the scenarios of differentiated disintegration. The aim of this article is to identify and examine the nature and the effects of cumulative crises in the EU’s history. A key theme of this article is that the challenges of current crises can be better understood when put against a comparative historical context. Another key theme of the article is that crises, both exogenous and endogenous, have been inherent to the integration process, from the outset, but the latter type of crises deserve more attention as they tend to have a cumulative impact for the pace, direction, and future of the integration process.