Carlo Nardella

The Symbolic Legitimation of the European Union: Patterns and Problems



Despite the European Union's economic and institutional importance, its citizens lack a widespread feeling of belonging that binds them together and provides the EU with integrative force. This problem is at the core of Foret's book, "Religion and Politics in the European Union" [2015, New York: Cambridge University Press], which conceptualizes European secularism as capable of covering the EU's polity system with a "secular canopy" that makes it worthy of respect. This paper examines the possibilities and limits of a founding narrative for the European Union in light of symbols and rituals representing the EU and its integration process.


  • European Union
  • Symbolic Legitimation
  • Religion
  • Secular Canopy
  • François Foret


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