Even if it’s not easy to summarize it, 2011 will probably remain a key year as regards the European integration politics, for at least three series of reasons. The definition of the EU response to the global crisis it has been facing since 2008 has led the EU to adopt structuring financial and economic answers, even if they are still insufficient on many aspects. It was also a year full of doubts, contradictions and hesitations at the European level, and then a very challenging one for the EU governance at large. It also fuelled the debate on the way in which the EU and the other member states may influence the autonomy of national democracies. The common point of these three registers is that they led the EU to balance between negative words and positive facts – for a final outcome which will be easier to define with a bit more distance, but whose main components are detailed below.