Chapter 5: Talking about solidarity . . . it sounds like a whisper: solidarity in law and public policies
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As a general principle of law enshrined in the constitutions of European member states, solidarity defines the interdependences among the diverse components of our societies, bridging cleavages in a tight weft of reciprocity exchanges. The recent economic crisis has re-opened a number of cleavages both within European member states (between the rich and the poor, the native and the foreigner, the employed and the unemployed, and so on) and among member states themselves. Chapter 5 explores to what extent the inclusion of solidarity in the constitutional texts of Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, and the UK, and in EU treaties, as well as in judicial review and constitutional litigation, has resisted as a meaningful legal paradigm the divisive effects of the economic crisis. The chapter discusses the most relevant legal dimensions of solidarity in the different jurisdictions, and it comparatively scrutinises the legal regulations of unemployment, disability and immigration/asylum as crucial fields in which to measure solidarity.