Does the law matter for transnational solidarity?
Veronica Federico (University of Florence)
Solidarity as a legal concept has a long history, dating back to Roman times. However, it is just in the last two centuries that it has become a relevant value in public and constitutional law. The national communities created in the 18th and 19th centuries recognised the revolutionary principle of fraternité as the socio-legal marker of nation states' citizenship. However, it was only at the end of the Second World War that solidarity came to be fully entrenched into several European constitutional texts, and it was transformed from a philosophical concept into a binding legal standard, grounding and strengthening the most relevant elements of contemporary constitutionalism: human dignity, fundamental rights and the rule of law.
Through the discussion of TransSol case-studies, on the one hand the workshop will critically discuss the role of “the law” in shaping the abstract principle of solidarity, and, on the other hand, it will explore whether solidarity as legal principle has a special role to play during the crisis Europe is experiencing since 2008, with a focus on constitutional/supreme court case-law in the fields if unemployment, migration/asylum and disability. Special attention will be devoted to the analysis of the impact (beneficial or inhibiting) of both the legal system and the institutional system on solidarity practices and perceptions at the level of individual citizens, organizations and public institutions.