The irony at the heart of Europe’s current crisis is that although the EU originated as part of a post-1945 effort to consolidate democracy in Western Europe, the Union’s travails are now pushing the continent in the opposite direction instead. Stable democracy is only a product of the post 1945 period in Europe. This article discusses changes that occurred in Europe after the Second World War at both domestic and regional levels and argues that while the former played a critical role in stabilizing Europe, the latter eventually worked to undermine it.