Vol. 11 No. 1 (2020)
Research Article

Unthought and Unrepresentable? The European Territorial Paradox

Published 2020-09-18


  • Territoriality, territory, regimes of territoriality, sovereignty, European Union

How to Cite

RICHARD, Yann, and Sylvain KAHN. 2020. “Unthought and Unrepresentable? The European Territorial Paradox”. European Journal of Geography 11 (1). https://www.eurogeojournal.eu/index.php/egj/article/view/120.


The crisis of the European Union is partially linked to the fact that it has not become an identity referent for the European citizens. This is a crucial issue because the revival of European integration could precisely be based on the abilityof Europeans to take ownership of the European construction. We set out two hypotheses: first that the weakness of the EU is intrinsic to the way it is constructed as a territory from one day to the next; second that the EU cannot be an object of social representation shared by European citizens. We show that the territoriality of the EU is ambiguous. We then define the EU as a particular type of political construction, in which pooling mechanisms render the relationship between territory and sovereignty hard to read. Finally, we show that Europeans are not able to produce a common territorial reference


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