Solidarity and European integration

180 minuten

What does solidarity in the European Union mean today? And what should it mean? Do the European peoples practice solidarity? The conference will focus on defining the concept of solidarity in normative and theoretical, but also in public and practical terms. From the very first stages of European integration, the word ‘solidarity’ features in discourses about European project. Still, it is often ill-defined, a rhetorical device rather than a clear concept. Today, the consequences of monetary unification force upon the Union a classic notion of solidarity in coping with shared risks. Simultaneously, enlargement to the east created significantly more tension between the goals of upward convergence and domestic cohesion. In addition, the principle of non-discriminatory access to social benefits and services in all member states for mobile citizens has become increasingly controversial. In order to come to terms with these challenges and tensions, we need a dual perspective on solidarity: a European perspective and a national perspective. Such a dual perspective is intrinsic to the European project and, therefore, superficial rhetorical references to European solidarity will not suffice to revamp the European project’s political legitimacy. The aim of the conference is to explain what European solidarity means today, in terms that are embedded in clear normative principles but that can also appeal to resources in public opinion, and that can inform democratic political struggles. Kick-off
Aart de Geus, director of the Bertelsmann Foundation and former Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, will kick off the conference with a lecture in SPUI25 on 14 June, 20.00. For more in Access Europe go to their website.