Chapter II: European integration and the concept of solidarity
Chapter II European integration and the concept of solidarity The current chapter is devoted to the concept of solidarity and its role in the European integration discourse. The concept of solidarity – applied to relations among European states – made an appearance already in the Schuman Declara- tion in which it served as one of the organizing elements of the discourse constituted by this declaration. “Solidarity” has remained an important term in the description of the aims of European integration since then, but its meaning has been changing over time depending on the context. Solidarity of states may imply the responsibility of each state for the security of other states or for their well-being; well-being may refer to the standard of living or to the quality of the natural environment or even to the satisfaction of people with the domestic politics of their nation-state. The last example might be somehow confusing, though. Currently the term “solidarity” has ceased to be one of those crucial ele- ments that serve as organizing units of the discourse, and it has been replaced in this role by other terms; most recently by the concept of democracy. I am trying to characterize the nature of the tension between those two ideas – solidarity and democracy – and to explain the reasons which led to their clash. Referring to the most recent changes in the European integration discourse, and the re- appearance of “solidarity” in the new context, I will attempt to reconstruct the current meanings of the concept of...
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