EU Crises, Solidarity and the Public Sphere: Towards Differentiated Integration

Friday, July 14, 2017
WMP Yudowitz Seminar Room 1 (University of Glasgow)
Asimina Michailidou , University of Oslo
Hans-Joerg Trenz , CEMES (Centre for Modern European Studies), University of Copenhagen
This paper investigates how appeals to transnational (European) solidarity are raised and publically contested in times of crisis. The principle of European solidarity, originally conceived as among the EU’s founding values and vehicle for social cohesion, is currently redefined as a kind of rescuing mechanism, which binds donating and receiving countries together in a situation of emergency. European solidarity is one of the most contested claims in public debates: a mobilization force for intellectuals, political actors and citizens’ movements. This paper provides an analytical framework for the analysis of solidarity contestation in crises times. We argue that a ‘new politics of solidarity’ can be distinguished from the ‘old politics of European identity.’ This ‘new politics of solidarity’ reflects a shift in emphasis towards differentiated integration, flexible arrangements, discretionary redistributive mechanisms and hegemony. Contested claims for solidarity are then to be regarded as a driver of differentiated integration.