A central concern of classical social theory was the question how society could remain integrated and 'achieve rationality' under the condition of the primacy of functional differentiation vis-à-vis territorial and stratificatory differentiation. The integration process seems to lead to an increase in territorial forms of political internal differentiation, at the same time as it diminishes the relevance of these forms. In Hegelian times, the political system combined collectively binding decision-making with, at the level of self-description, the reproduction of all-encompassing narratives which served as a basis for its claim of superiority towards other functional systems and the promotion of an organic understanding of society. One way of avoiding diminished relevance would be for the EU to transform itself into a structure more closely resembling a nation-state. The EU must rather be understood as a conglomerate which bundles perspectives from a whole range of functional systems through a horizontal stabilization of expectations and an institutionalization of social exchanges between the systems.