Eine Kraftprobe für Europas Solidarität

Bröckelt die Solidarität der Europäischen Union? Der Gedanke ist gar nicht so abwegig: Die Erweiterungsverhandlungen und interne Differenzen wegen des Irak haben Spuren hinterlassen und die neue EU-Verfassung und die gemeinsame europäische Außen- und Verteidigungspolitik werden von ähnlichen Meinungsverschiedenheiten begleitet. Zudem ergeben Meinungsumfragen innerhalb der aktuellen EU-Mitgliedsstaaten einen drastischen Rückgang der Unterstützung für die Erweiterung. Es ist eine grundlegende Frage, ob die Krise der europäischen Solidarität echt ist oder nicht, denn die EU wird ohne Solidarität nicht überleben; jedenfalls nicht so, wie wir sie kennen.

Das Gefühl von Gleichheit und Solidarität ist die notwendige Basis jeder demokratischen Gemeinschaft. In den 50er-Jahren schrieb der britische Soziologe T. S. Marshall über die Entwicklung der Rechte, von den Bürgerrechten im 18. Jahrhundert über die politischen (demokratischen) Rechte im 19. Jahrhundert bis zu den sozialen Rechten im 20. Jahrhundert. Diese drei Dimensionen liberal, demokratisch und sozial beschreiben den modernen europäischen Nationalstaat.

Im 20. Jahrhundert stand die Solidarität im Vordergrund. Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg war sie die treibende Kraft hinter der Entwicklung der europäischen Länder und führte zu ihrer Transformation in "Sozialstaaten", die großen Wert auf soziale Sicherheit und eine Vielzahl von Fürsorgeprogrammen legten. Wir können diese "institutionalisierte Solidarität" innerhalb eines Nationalstaates anhand des Anteils der Umverteilung in seinem BIP messen.

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