With the economic and financial crisis having hit European countries in different ways since 2008, the EU is considering how far each country is responsible and what kind of solidarity is needed to overcome this challenge. Europeans have hastily set up solidarity mechanisms that their monetary union was lacking. Questions about the legitimacy and the limits of European solidarity are now very much being asked out in the open.
They are all the more crucial as they generate tensions in national public opinions and among European political decision-makers. These tensions are not just about macroeconomic issues but have recently been about solidarity mechanisms put in place in the ‘Schengen area’ and also relate to the different extents of other EU interventions, such as in the area of agriculture or energy.
In this context, Notre Europe’s work is inspired by the vision of Jacques Delors, who advocates articulating European policies around three key points that are more necessary than ever: “Competition that provides a stimulus, cooperation that strengthens and solidarity that unites.” This vision, which embodied the Single Act of 1988, draws inspiration in particular from the 1987 report entitled « Stabilité, Efficacité, Equité » [Stability, Efficiency, Fairness], in which Tommaso Padoa Schioppa sets out how to push ahead with European economic and social integration in a balanced way.
Having put solidarity at the heart of the European forum of think tanks held in Barcelona in September 2010 (see attached report), Notre Europe has defined a broader project on this theme, which will allow it both to publish crosscutting reflection documents as well as ‘policy papers’ covering different sectors.
Migrants, ‘Schengen area’ and European solidarity, Viewpoint by Yves Bertoncini, Notre Europe’s secretary general, June 2011.
Is the CAP a ground for European disunion? An assessment of the solidarity mechanisms created by the CAP and their relevance after 2013, policy paper by Nadège Chambon, June 2011.
European solidarity : where do we stand? Should we foster it and how?, Synthesis by Elvire Fabry of the 2010 edition of the « European Forum of Think Tanks » was organised by Notre Europe in Barcelona, 30 September-1 October 2010, June 2011.
Solidarity and responsibility in the European Union, Policy Brief by Jérôme Vignon, June 2011.
Solidarity within the European Union: political foundations, tribune by Yves Bertoncini, January 2012.
The budgetary cost of solidarity in the euro zone: getting things clear and into perspective, policy brief by Sofia Fernandes and Eulalia Rubio, May 2012.
European solidarity in the Eurozone crisis: another Irish success story?, Tribune by Yves Bertoncini, May 2012.
Schengen and solidarity: the fragile balance between mutual trust and mistrust, policy paper by Yves Pascouau, July 2012.
Energy solidarity in Europe: from independence to interdependence, study by Sami Andoura, July 2013.