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Article published by Croatian Odysseus member Iris Goldner Lang on ‘The EU Financial and Migration Crises: Two Crises – Many Facets of EU Solidarity

Abstract

In the past several years, the EU has been undergoing two major crises: the financial crisis and the migration and asylum crisis. Both crises have in common the need for solidarity among all EU Member States. Within the framework of both crises Member States are expected to help each other by financial and other means, thus alleviating the burden from the most pressured Member States and sharing the burden and responsibility collectively. This contribution aims to compare the financial and migration crises from the perspective of solidarity and tries to answer the question whether there is solidarity in these areas and, if so, in what way and to what degree. The answer is reached by establishing the meaning of solidarity and the motivations behind it. This is done by identifying the following four crucial facets of solidarity: loyalty, fairness, trust and necessity, whereas the word “facet” embraces both the motivating factors behind solidarity, and its true meaning and content. Each facet is analysed through practical examples in the area of financial and migration crises rules and instruments. The article displays that EU solidarity is a complex term which embraces a number of different motives and which may have diverse meanings, depending on the context. It argues that the predominant facet of solidarity, both in the context of the EU financial and migration crises, is necessity. On the other hand, in case one identifies solidarity to mutual trust, it is currently lacking. The lack of mutual trust between EU Member States, as well as between Member States and EU institutions is a common denominator of a number of problems encountered by the EU today. For this reason, the lack of mutual trust is an EU crisis of its own and should be seriously addressed for the sake of the Union’s future. The article argues that financial assistance, as the predominant solidarity mechanism – even though highly important in terms of its magnitude and capability of healing the wounds of the troubled Member States – does little to promote mutual trust. The article concludes that EU solidarity coincides with national border. The adoption of other, more supranational solidarity mechanisms would require further EU integration and a Treaty amendment for which there is currently no political will.

Goldner Lang, Iris, The EU Financial and Migration Crises: Two Crises – Many Facets of EU Solidarity (January 26, 2018). Solidarity in EU Law: Legal Principle in the Making, in A. Biondi, E. Dagilyte & E. Küçük (eds.), Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018 Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3110544
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