TransSOL comprises six research-based work packages:
- The legal, political and socio-economic context of transnational solidarity
Work package 1 will assemble a comparative data set and develop a report on the institutional, legal, political and socio-economic situation in the eight countries under analysis. The aim is to unveil whether and to what extent the national context in its various traits has a beneficial or inhibiting impact on solidarity. This will enable us to understand better the cross-national variations of European solidarity at the levels of individual citizens, organisations and public discourses. In particular, this work package puts its focus on the performance of EU and national legislation, case law and policies in reaction to the crisis. It thus studies the direct and indirect effects of the legal and political context on European solidarity. Here, special attention is placed on the fields of unemployment, immigration and asylum, and disabilities.
- Innovative practices of transnational solidarity at times of crisis
Work package 2 will produce a comparative data set and report about innovative forms of transnational solidarity in times of crisis. This work package is devoted to monitoring, analysing and assessing innovative practices of solidarity in response to crisis, such as citizens’ initiatives and networks of cooperation amongst civil society actors. Again, a strong focus is on the fields of unemployment, immigration and asylum, and disabilities. Going beyond the mapping and analysis of existing practices, we aim to liaise with the individual and collective actors engaged in these initiatives in order to promote knowledge exchange and deliberation about the crisis’s implications for European solidarity. On these bases, we will develop a list of best practices and draft policy implications for the local, national and European levels.
- Individual forms of solidarity at times of crisis
Work package 3 is dedicated to the comparative assessment of individual solidarity across the eight countries under analysis. In this work package, we will conduct an online population survey aiming to measure the extent and forms of individual European solidarity, with regard to both attitudes and behaviours. Moreover, the survey is geared towards identifying the socio-demographic factors affecting or mediating dispositions and acts of solidarity. Thus, we will analyse how transnational solidarity is conditioned by individuals’ socio-economic and professional statuses, political attitudes and behaviours, social relations and networks, lifestyle patterns, and feelings of well-being and belonging. Additionally, there will be a particular focus on citizens’ views about the role and responsibilities of the EU and its member states in relation to European solidarity.
- Collective forms of solidarity at times of crisis
Work package 4 examines the organisational forms of European solidarity. Here, particular attention is placed on the fields of immigration and asylum, unemployment and disability. The aim is to map and survey the organisational field of civil society associations promoting and organising transnational solidarity. Moreover, this work package seeks to provide a better understanding of the main conditions and constraints, structures and dynamics of organised forms of European solidarity. Finally, we will engage in a comparative analysis across countries and issue fields, aiming to identify the lessons to be learned about European civil society, practical tools and potential policy recommendations.
- Transnational solidarity and collective identities in the public sphere
Work package 5 is devoted to the assessment and cross-country comparison of European solidarity in the public sphere. Here, the aim is to study public claims-making and the underlying ideas and norms of solidarity discussed in the mainstream mass media and online media. In particular, we seek to identify the extent to which European solidarity is granted public awareness and recognition, and what claims on behalf of or against European solidarity are made, and by whom. Moreover, we aim to understand the discursive construction, reproduction or corrosion of European solidarity in all its contentiousness. Finally, we wish to show how claims and discourses about European solidarity are related to debates about European identities and cultures, and what effects contentions between various allegiances have. These findings will help to understand better if and to what extend public discourses, collective images and public opinions might have an inhibiting or beneficial impact on transnational solidarity at the individual and organisational levels.
- Pilot study: Identifying and developing appealing, effective and sustainable practices for transnational solidarity
Work package 6 consists of a pilot study on innovative and alternative initiatives for European solidarity at times of crisis. Its aim is to produce a catalogue of best practices and a Guide to Transnational Solidarity. To this end, we will identify and systematically evaluate initiatives and projects that are particularly successful and apt to work as benchmarks, exploring their strengths and weaknesses. Based on the lessons drawn from these cases and the other work-packages, we will develop evidence-based, scientifically informed, application-oriented role models, generalised guidelines and practical recommendations. We will put these findings at the disposal of individual citizens, civil society organisations and public authorities in order to strengthen existing practices of European solidarity in line with their needs and aims.