While Europe may never have been so prosperous, so secure or so free, it does not feel this way to most of its citizens, its third-country residents, or those on its borders. For EU citizens and near-citizens, as well as most of the rest of the world, the EU seems like a foreign country: an unintelligible, remote, neo-liberal place where they do things differently to the world of first-hand experience. European unification has made peace and prosperity possible within Europe, but in that moment of achievement the EU has lost its way, lost its meaning. For EU citizens and beyond, the EU has no meaningful raison d'être, no clear mission 20 years after European unification, 50 years after its creation.
Manners, I. (2009). The EU's raison d'être in the world 2020-2030: submission to the Reflection Group on the Future of Europe, 2020-2030. I Reflection Group on the Future of Europe, 2020-2030 http://www.reflectiongroup.eu/