More and more observations of current EU political life seem to offer strong evidence that democracy has become an essential barrier to solidarity. It is hard to find another two concepts which would be more significant in the European integration discourse than ‘democracy” and “solidarity”, and at the same time more ambiguous in the political practice of integration. Of course, the theoretical nature of each of these concepts is quite different. The first one has a well established theoretical background linked to its etymology while the second has been primarily a concept of everyday life and has reached its current position in the language of politics quite recently, attaining the level of a distinct chapter in the Lisbon Treaty. Both have been taken for granted as the obvious fundamental principles of this unprecedented experiment which has brought together European states despite their differences and their difficult relations in the past. In the political language that has been developed along with European inte- gration the concept of solidarity has been used extensively since its beginning, e.g. in the Schuman Declaration of 1950, but the variety of its meanings in different contexts has always indicated potential for confusion. At the same time the ideal of democracy has been adopted as a primary condition for any accepta- ble political system in Europe. Therefore, it has become one of the basic requirements within the Copenhagen criteria which must be observed by states aspiring to membership of the European Union. As it happens both concepts...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.