​​​​​​2016 ISSEI conference 

The University of Lodz, Poland

The recent crises that have beset Europe and its neighborhood—the sovereign debt crisis within the eurozone, the crisis in Ukraine, terrorist attacks, and the refugee crisis—have brought the question of solidarity to the fore.

A close reading of the Lisbon Treaty of the European Union (TEU) and of the Lisbon Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) provides a series of statements on the concept of solidarity. Let us take some examples. In the preamble of the TEU we read that one of the aims of the states that decided to establish a European Union was to “deepen the solidarity between their peoples.” Under “Common Provisions” (TEU, Article 2 and 3), it is emphasized that the Union in its relations with the wider world shall contribute to “solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, free and fair trade, eradication of poverty and the protection of human rights,” and under “Specific Provisions on the Common Foreign and Security Policy” (Article 24, 31), we read that the CFSP should be based “on the development of mutual political solidarity among Member States”; that the Union’s policy shall be supported “in a spirit of mutual solidarity”; and that any Member State abstaining in a vote shall “in a spirit of mutual solidarity” refrain from any action likely to conflict with or impede the action taken.

The section “Area of freedom, security and justice” (TFEU, Article 67, 80) underlines that a common policy on asylum, immigration and border control shall be based on “solidarity between Member States, which is fair to third-country nationals,” and that stateless persons “shall be treated as third-country nationals.” It further emphasizes that the policies on border checks, asylum and immigration “shall be governed by the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility.”

In short, in this workshop we will discuss “the principle of solidarity’ in the new millennium in the European context by asking whether it is a true European value in word and deed—internally (among EU member states as well as among their citizens), and externally (in relation to third-country nationals)—or whether professing solidarity has become mere lip service in the speeches of heads of state and governments, as well as for  European citizens who profess it so long as it carries no risks or consequences for them. 

Papers from different academic disciplines and perspectives on this theme are more than welcome. Please send a 350-500 word abstract by 31 March 2016 toStefan Höjelid, at stefan.hojelid@lnu.se

Chair: Stefan Höjelid
Asst. Professor of Political Science, Linnaeus University, Sweden

Workshop: Solidarity – A True European Value or Just Lip Service?