The European Union was designed as a secular body concerned primarily with economic issues. Most of the key actors of European integration have consciously or unconsciously separated religion from the political process. This presentation conceptualizes understandings of secularism which have underpinned the process of European integration and links them with the history of secularism as a philosophical idea. It is based on the assumption that the Westphalian model of secularism, in which the state regulates religious matters and thus creates a religiously homogenous society, has exhausted its potential.
Michał Maciej Matlak is a PhD candidate at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence. Currently, he is a Visiting Fellow at the IWM.