Chapter 2: Solidarity in Europe: a comparative account of citizens’ attitudes and practices
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European citizens are actively engaged in acts of solidarity both within their countries and beyond national borders. To which extent are dispositions and practices of solidarity diffused within the population of European countries? Is solidarity primarily a matter of support among fellow citizens, or is transnational solidarity across borders a relevant phenomenon? And which social, political and cultural factors tend to promote or inhibit attitudes and practices of European solidarity? Chapter 2 aims to answer these questions empirically by presenting key findings from a population survey conducted in late 2016 among citizens of eight European countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and the UK). The empirical evidence presented in this chapter gives a mixed picture. While the majority of citizens are active primarily within their own country, European solidarity is supported by an important segment of the population. It is part of a civic conduct that shows solidarity towards various targets and is thus linked to a more inclusive and open conception of citizenship.