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Charlotte Galpin

The European Union has been in its biggest ever crisis since the onset of the Greek sovereign debt crisis in 2010. Beyond the political and economic dimensions, the crisis has also sparked discussions about Germany's European identity. Some scholars have argued that Germany's behavior in the crisis signals a continuation of the process of “normalization” of its European identity toward a stronger articulation of national identity and interests, that it has “fallen out of love” with Europe. This article will seek to reassess these claims, drawing on detailed analysis of political and media discourse in Germany—from political speeches through to both broadsheet and tabloid newspapers. It will argue that the crisis is understood broadly as a European crisis in Germany, where the original values of European integration are at stake. Furthermore, the crisis is debated through the lens of European solidarity, albeit with a particular German flavor of solidarity that draws on the economic tradition of ordoliberalism. Rather than strengthening expressions of national identity, this has resulted in the emergence of a new northern European identity in contrast to Greece or “southern Europe.”

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The End of the European Honeymoon?

Refugees, Resentment and the Clash of Solidarities

Siobhan Kattago

rise of populism, European solidarity risks being eroded by a clash of solidarities based on nation and religion. Ranging from hospitality to hostility, ‘refugees welcome’ to ‘close the borders’, asylum seekers from Syria and other war-torn countries

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Convergence in Social Welfare Systems

From Evidence to Explanations

Denis Bouget

After the Second World War, the view that people of every nation would be entitled to experience rising standards of living pervaded all corners of the globe. Convergence was seen as a positive way of achieving a Golden Age and a peaceful and affluent utopia, through modernisation and technical progress. Within this general belief, the development of national social welfare systems in Europe in the postwar period appears to be the outcome of autonomous national processes. The construction of Europe, which imposed common rules in many areas, was nonetheless consistent with the national development of social welfare systems within each national culture. The idea of a common system of social protection has always been linked to European political and economic construction, which was expected to create a more cohesive society. Reference is made constantly to convergence as a catching-up process in the comparative evaluation of national social policies, but the implementation of an ambitious European system of social protection and the creation of harmonised national welfare systems have always proved to be impossible. The paper focuses on two specific topics. Firstly, it examines attempts to quantify convergence among EU and OECD countries at the macro-economic level, using social indicators to assess the convergence or divergence of social expenditure. The evidence of convergence is shown to be ambiguous due to a number of methodological problems. Secondly, two main interpretations of convergence are examined: economic forces and legal frameworks. The paper shows that the analysis of national trajectories of social expenditure and the link with economic development can enrich the analysis of convergence or divergence in social protection. Even if the maturation or reform of national social policies explains the origins of increases in social expenditure, macro-economic pressures, or constraints (globalisation, Single Market), on public expenditure can fuel certain type of convergence. In all the developed countries, social welfare systems are based on national legal frameworks. A goal of social Europe is not only to work towards European solidarity but also to build common social rights throughout Europe. Convergence of national social welfare systems can, therefore, be interpreted as a component in a general process of convergence in law within the developed countries, especially within Europe. However, common explanations of convergence in social welfare systems often neglect elements of divergence. They, therefore, conceal the complexity of the process and very often underestimate the full extent of divergence.

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Ulrike Guérot and Michael Hunklinger

spring 2020, solidarity in Europe meant once again only solidarity within the nation-state. European solidarity was nowhere in sight. France and Germany proposed a plan including rescue pacts and direct aid to help those countries especially affected by

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Perceptions of German Leadership

Irish National Identity and Germany as a “Significant Other” during the Euro Crisis

Charlotte Galpin

days of the crisis in offering Greece a bailout was read as a sign of Germany “falling out of love” with Europe, 7 a turn away from its traditional commitment to European solidarity. 8 Such debates speak to a longer-term discussion about a

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Klaus Berghahn, Russell Dalton, Jason Verber, Robert Tobin, Beverly Crawford, and Jeffrey Luppes

solidarity. But is this one case enough to make a general argument about Germany’s dangerous influence on European solidarity? Are there other cases which can bolster the claim that Germany is using its economic power to dominate others, to gain wealth and

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Tiina Ann Kirss

commitment to human rights and the Geneva Convention on Refugees, but as a political and moral community. As Kattago reminds us, European solidarity is not only based on abstract ideas of freedom and equality but also on the shared experience of war, violence

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Leading through a Decade of Crisis—Not Bad, After All

Germany’s Leadership Demand and Followership Inclusion, 2008-2018

Valerio Alfonso Bruno and Giacomo Finzi

clarity in relation to the kind of institutional legal framework envisaged, avoiding any risks to German taxpayers and conceivable moral hazards in the Eurozone, resulting in (5) an effective “deterring action” against the claims of “European solidarity

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Migration and Citizenship in “Athens of Crisis”

An Interview with Vice Mayor Lefteris Papagiannakis

Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou and Nina Papachristou

Christians and won’t accept Muslims. Their approach makes more sense to me when they explain that they need a higher level of economic development in order to be in solidarity with the rest of Europe. European solidarity is a fundamental element of the

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Jaro Stacul

houses the European Solidarity Center (ECS). A discussion of its goals would require an article in its own right. I will simply say that the ECS is a municipal and state-funded research institution that houses a multimedia exhibition narrating the history