This paper claims that the European Union (EU) has had a very peculiar relationship with the globalized post-Cold War economic order. On the one hand, the EU was instrumental in bringing about this order. It aggressively promoted (both internally and externally) the principles and policies upon which this economic order has been based. On the other hand, this proactive engagement was translated within the EU into a highly polarized and antagonistic public discourse that led to a serious identity crisis. In this way, it is argued that economic globalization emerged in the EU as a debate on the nature and future of Europe. After 2005, this polarized and antagonistic discourse started to change. The rise of flexicurity, as a new way of thinking about Europe‘s place and orientation in the global political economy, has been instrumental in this shift. The paper examines and evaluates these developments and their implications for the European project.