The Principle of Solidarity in EU Internal Market Law

Date: 27 January 2014

Venue: UAntwerp - Stadscampus - Promotiezaal Grauwzusters - Lange Sint-Annastraat 7 - 2000 Antwerpen

Time: 5:00 PM

Organization / co-organization: Faculty of Law

PhD candidate: Paula Ploscar

Principal investigator: Prof. H. Verschueren and Prof. A.-M. Van den Bossche

Short description: PhD Defence Paula Ploscar - Faculty of Law

Abstract: This thesis investigates the role and meaning of social solidarity in the European Union from a novel perspective, which integrates normative and theoretical insight into the legal analysis. First, can national solidarity be said to be a principle of EU law? Secondly, if the Union is a polity which contains cross-border claims of distributive justice, what amounts to transnational solidarity? The first chapter of the thesis disambiguates the concept of solidarity and lays down the theoretical framework within which the legal analysis is conducted. The remaining three chapters contain the legal analysis in respect of competition law, free movement of persons and health services. One of the findings of this thesis is that the language of solidarity has trickled down into legal adjudication without abiding either to a strict conceptualization or to a normative position. With regard to national solidarity, the thesis concludes that it is a principle of EU law, which limits, in abstract, the potential of satisfying the competing principle of market integration. The thesis also concludes that transnational solidarity, which consists in allowing non-national EU citizens access to social benefits, both challenges and relies on the established forms of national solidarity. As the transnational dimension of solidarity cannot be envisaged without, or within a weakened form of, national solidarity, this thesis invites to further reflection regarding adequate forms of reconciling the two dimensions.