Post-enlargement solidarity and free movement in the European Union

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Solidarity has long been - held to be - a fundamental value underpinning the European integration project. The Treaty of Lisbon proclaims the EU’s commitment to solidarity, mentioning it both as a value binding together member states and as a value binding together the citizens of each and every member state. Solidarity has also been recognised as a constitutional principle of EU law by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) (Joined Cases C-402/05 P and C-415/05 Kadi). However, the normative content of solidarity remains uncertain, particularly in the area of the free movement of persons. Recent case law of the CJEU which restricted the rights of economically inactive EU citizens (Case C-333/13 Dano and subsequent cases) to social benefits has led to question marks over the EU’s ability to live up to this fundamental value. This paper constructs a theoretical framework drawing on decolonising theory’s perspective on migration and solidarity in order to provide an alternative explanation for the CJEU’s approach in its Dano line of case law. This reflexive exercise allows us to deconstruct the meaning of solidarity in relation to the free movement of persons and to think about what a truly solidaristic frame for the free movement of persons across the EU would look like.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2022
EventUACES 2022 Annual Conference - Universite Catholique de Lille, Lille, France
Duration: 5 Aug 20218 Sept 2022


ConferenceUACES 2022 Annual Conference
Internet address


  • solidarity
  • free movement
  • enlargement
  • European Union (EU)


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