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The criminalization of solidarity in today's European Union

Quenivet, Noelle; Dadomo, Christian; Tava, Francesco


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Noelle Quenivet
Director of Research and Enterprise (BLS)


European solidarity is a contested concept. Social groups and political parties with different ideological orientations across the European Union often try to impose their own conception of solidarity to the detriment of alternative interpretations. Whilst progressive, pro-European movements strive to nourish a form of transnational European solidarity, far-right conservative movements embrace a nationalistic approach to solidarity, whereby national, religious, linguistic bonds are deemed essential to establish stable solidarity relations. This latter position often leads to vicious attacks against people and organisations that undertake solidaristic practices which do not fall within this restrictive definition of solidarity (e.g., solidarity towards migrants and asylum seekers). This chapter argues that as EU Member States have (mis)used the EU Facilitation Directive with a view to reprimanding the facilitation of (irregular) migration they have in fact weaponised the law against a vision of solidarity of a more universal, humanistic nature. In particular, the legislation and prosecution in various countries have had a chilling effect across Europe even in countries such as France where the principle of solidarity (e.g. fraternity) has constitutional status. In this light, the chapter offers an alternative vision of solidarity towards migrants that is grounded in the possibility of reviving a vital source of solidarity in the national (and, in particular, constitutional) legislation of the EU Member States.

Online Publication Date Jul 31, 2023
Publication Date Jul 31, 2023
Deposit Date Jul 27, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 1, 2025
Pages 313-345
Book Title European Solidarity - Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Chapter Number 14
ISBN 9781910259153
Keywords solidarity; migration; France
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Contract Date Dec 1, 2022