The Making of Solidarity in the European Parliament during and after the Eurozone and Refugee crises: an Analysis of the Main Party Families' Discourse

Dr. Elena Lazarou
Dr. Tatiana Coutto

‘Solidarity’ is a key principle in the history of European integration, but its meaning has evolved over time according to the political and economic a context as well as to the institutional changes the EU has gone through. This article investigates to what extent and through which mechanisms the Eurozone and refugee crises- and the policies they entailed - have affected European parties’ understandings of solidarity. The article uses both qualitative discourse analysis and computer-assisted (dictionary-based) content analysis methods in order to evaluate how ideas such as responsibility, equality loyalty and burden-sharing have been (re)constructed and (re)framed by different parties in their attempt to address the crises and meet voters’ political, economic and social expectations. While we analyze the discourse of the main party groups in the EP, Particular attention is paid to the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats’ views on solidarity. Data stem from EP speech database, declarations of party leaders and semi structured interviews.