Chapter 1 A glass half full or half empty?
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Over the past decade, the EU has seen a sequence of deep crises, linked to a long-standing disconnect between the bloc's unbridled ambitions and the relatively modest set of tools available to it. From the common currency, through foreign and defence policy, to vaccine procurement in the pandemic of COVID-19, the story of European integration has been one of frequent overreach and underdelivery. That cycle is a direct consequence of the teleological understanding of the European project as one that ought to overcome the nation-state with a pan-European form of statehood. To prevent its hollowing out, the EU needs to be reconceptualized as an institutional framework structuring interactions between its member states and facilitating intergovernmental cooperation.