A key aspect of investigating the foundations of justice in Europe is to understand how these were negotiated. Taking an empirical, grounded approach, this article focuses on the period starting with Roosevelt’s 1941 formulation of the Four Freedoms to be secured everywhere, for everyone in the world. This speech initiated a series of foundational moments, in which different conceptions of justice were tabled, to be enthusiastically embraced or ignored. The foundation of the EEC, with Europe’s four (market) freedoms in 1957 shows how – out of the wide range of conceptions of justice tabled in the post-War period – the emphasis came to lie on liberal freedoms, their protection by means of supranationalism, and peace. Justice notions such as Roosevelt’s freedom from want (distributive justice), and freedom from fear (security) were relegated to the second plane, only to surface again in discussions on justice in Europe many years later.