The European Commission recently published a policy paper entitled "Solidarity in Europe: Alive and Active".
Research from the Horizon 2020 projects SOLIDUS and TransSOL indicates that solidarity is alive and active in Europe. There is clear citizen support for policies to assist the vulnerable and reduce inequalities, but solidarity is nuanced, conditional and often fragile. Solidarity is a moral value, tied to identity. Attitudes vary across policies and States: welfare solidarity receives strong support, solidarity for migrants is more contested. Solidarity actions are largely conducted at national levels but there is also evidence of transnational – European – activities by civil society organisations subject to constraints of political mobilisation and technical barriers such as funding.
EU-level actions to tap the potency of solidarity must address its durability, mobilisation and the need for an appropriate legal framework. Measures to strengthen solidarity should focus on nurturing and embedding cultural change through a mix of immediate and long-term educational and media measures. Support should also be given to civil society organisations and their role in a robust European societal infrastructure, building on the successful and innovative actions identified in the research projects. But there also needs to
be an appropriate legal space allowing for social interventions that directly improve citizens’ lives. Capturing the potential of solidarity provides a hugely important opportunity for the EU’s own relevance, renewal and resilience.
Read the entire policy paper here.