Introduction: social solidarity in Europe: the fourth pillar

Marion Ellison

in Reinventing Social Solidarity Across Europe

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427274
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305552 | DOI:
Introduction: social solidarity in Europe: the fourth pillar

Show Summary Details


The European Union is committed to the principle of social solidarity and as such it is firmly embedded in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, (Chapter IV; Articles 27–38; Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union: Nice European Council 7 December 2000). Yet, the crises in welfare experienced across most European nations in recent decades can be regarded collectively as a crisis in social solidarity, with a deleterious impact on the public realm. The recent global financial crisis has further blurred the vision of legally enforceable solidarity rights at ‘transnational and national levels’, as tensions and contradictions between the ideological imperatives of neo-liberalism and the European Social Model frustrate the realisation of the principles of solidarity within an enlarged Europe. This chapter defines and locates European social solidarity within historical and contemporary contexts. It does so by considering and clarifying epistemological and philosophical questions relating to the relationship between European integration and solidarity within an enlarged Europe The chapter provides a framework of typologies for the analysis of social solidarity, modes of governance, democratic forms and public policy across Europe.

Keywords: solidarity; policy; Europe; integration; democracy; governance; crises; welfare

Chapter.  5740 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.