This volume originates from a conference on ‘Solidarity and its Crisis in the European Union’ that was held at the University of Hamburg from June 2-3, 2016, and aims to discuss how solidarity is applied in practice among the Member States of the Union. It is a vital contribution for understanding the solidarity of the European Union (EU). The two main parts of this volume deal with (i) the concept of solidarity and its theoretical and practical meaning, and (ii) how the crisis of solidarity has become a crucial test for the integration project of the Union. This volume brings a multidisciplinary perspective to its analysis of the crisis of solidarity in the EU. The volume stands for the idea that the good intentions of European solidarity are not enough unless the solidarity turns into practice.
The EU is widely considered a pioneer in regional integration. It is often said the Union has faced many crises before, but since recent times “a lack of solidarity in dealing with the many crises” (p. v) –such as financial turmoil, the Eurozone crisis, the rise of separatist and independence movements, Brexit, migration, refugees, nationalism, right wing populism as well as the threat of terrorism– is present in the Union. A deficit in appeals to solidarity in all of these issues is obvious, and this threatens the existence of the Union in its current state.
Although solidarity is a core value and is in the DNA of the Union, this volume argues that the member states have recently given bad examples. Solidarity was –and should remain– a motor for European integration. In other words, solidarity is the only ‘currency’ Europe needs as a prerequisite for the inner and true cohesion of the Union. The Union needs to take concrete actions to show what solidarity actually means, and apply it in the context of the EU. Without solidarity there is no cohesion of the Union, and if there is no cohesion, unfortunately, there is no capacity to act e