Events Calendar

From Thursday 15 June 2017 -  08:00
to Friday 16 June 2017 - 13:00
  • EC
  • EIC
  • ELG
  • EPS
  • EW
  • PEIW
annual conference

Solidarity and European integration

EU solidarity.jpg

What does solidarity in the European Union mean today? This is the central theme of ACCESS EUROPE's third Annual conference. The conference will focus on defining the concept of solidarity in normative and theoretical, but also in public and practical terms.

From the very first stages of European integration, the word ‘solidarity’ features in discourses about European project. Still, it is often ill-defined and elusive, a rhetorical device rather than a clear normative concept. Today, the consequences of monetary unification force upon the Union a classic notion of solidarity in coping with shared risks. Simultaneously, enlargement to the east created significantly more tension between the goals of upward convergence and domestic cohesion. In addition, the principle of non-discriminatory access to social benefits and services in all member states for mobile citizens has become increasingly controversial.

In order to come to terms with these challenges and tensions, we need a dual perspective on solidarity: a European perspective and a national perspective. Such a dual perspective is intrinsic to the European project and, therefore, superficial rhetorical references to European solidarity will not suffice to revamp the European project’s political legitimacy.

The aim of the conference is to explain what European solidarity means today, in terms that are embedded in sound normative principles but that can also appeal to resources in public opinion, and that can inform democratic political struggles.


Aart de Geus, director of the Bertelsmann Foundation and former Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, will kick off the conference with a keynote lecture in SPUI25 on 14 June, 20.00.


The conference is structured around three themes which will be discussed in panels:

  1. European solidarity and justice: normative issues
  2. Public opinion on European solidarity: a two-way street
  3. The politics of European solidarity in testing times 

The conference will start in the morning of 15 June and end on 16 June around lunchtime.


  • Ben Crum (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  • Frank Vandenbroucke (University of Amsterdam)
  • Theresa Kuhn (University of Amsterdam)
  • Jonathan Zeitlin (University of Amsterdam)


Credit image:


De Balie, Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, 1017 RR Amsterdam, room: De Salon