III Conclusions and Considerations The recent financial crisis hurt the economies of Southern Europe particularly hard. The debt crises in Greece, Portugal and Spain have had severe social consequences; the recent general strike in Spain on 29th September is evidence of the social impact economic austerity is having and will continue to have. European financial institutions (non less than the Euro itself) have come under attack and European unity was tested. This paper, however, has tried to illustrate how the European Union has historically meant more than economic security to the Spanish state. The Spanish model or paradigm of democratisation shows how integration into Europe helped transformed not only Spanish institutions but also the political culture and mass values of the Spanish society. After a “parenthesis” in Spain’s socio-cultural “Europeaness”, the Spanish transition marked the return of the country as a fundamental part of the new Europe. I believe the recent financial crisis will not change the fact that, at least for Spain, Europe has become far more than an institutional arrangement; Europe is, after all, the solution to the ‘problem of Spain’.