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How Many Europes? Fragmentation in the European Space since the Great Recession


Since the Great Recession started in the late 2000s, the European Union (EU) has experienced an acute crisis that has triggered internal divisions among EU members. Three factors can help shed light on this tendency towards political fragmentation: economics and finance, culture, and territory. Each of these reveals a specific ‘geography’, in terms of policies and narratives, of the current malaise regarding the EU project and the limits of the Union in addressing issues important for the domestic debates of its members. Such discontent, as well as anti-EU sentiment, fuels strong political reactions including populism and anti-elitism that could further fragment the EU in the future.
Keywords: European Union, fragmentation, Great Recession, democracy